EGU General Assembly 2020
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An innovative and attractive comic to transmit the message of soil importance to the Society: Living in the soil

Montserrat Díaz-Raviña, Maria Teresa Barral-Silva, Manuel Arias-Estévez, and Jorge Mataix-Solera
Montserrat Díaz-Raviña et al.
  • Instituto Investigaciones Agrobiológicas de Galicia del CSIC (IIAG-CSIC), Soil Biochemistry, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (

To commemorate the 2015 International Year of Soil, the Spanish Society of Soil Science (SECS-Territorial Delegation of Galicia) and the University of Santiago de Compostela published the comic Living in the soil, with the aim of raising awareness amongst young people the importance of soil and the need to protect it. The initial version, Vivir no solo, published by the Galician Culture Council, was modified and adapted  to the current  specific scenarios of the countries where it was edited, and translated  to Spanish, English and Italian as well as other languages (Galician, Catalan) for broadcasting it both at nationally at international level. In 2018 and 2019, the Spanish, Italian and Catalan versions were re-edited to commemorate the Decade International of Soils 2015-2024. All comic versions, including the English one, were edited in both paper (a total of 80.000 copies) and web format, the latter are available in the SECS web page (

Since 2015 up to now, the comic has been successful used in many projects/activities carried out in various institutions (Educational Centers, Natural Parks, Museums, Nature Associations, soil-related Institutions). The soil is a hidden resource very little known to the public. It is under our feet, but we can´t see it because it is covered by vegetation. However, agricultural or forest soil is a living systems, it is the home to a huge diversity of organisms of different sizes that perform important ecological functions and others linked to human activities. The protagonists of the comic are a snail, an earthworm and a mole that inhabit the soil as well as a group of young people who, trying to solve a problem of soil use management that occurs in a little village, show us several important soil aspects (concept, components, functions, threats, degradation, protection and restoration). Events, etc). Some examples of these events are: Science City Project: Living in the soil, 2015, Spanish Research Council  (CSIC), 2015; Would life on the planet be possible without the soil,  SECS, CSIC, 2019; Vivere nel Suolo: Giornata di Legalitá Ambientale; Vivere nel Suolo and Giornata Mondiale  del suolo,  SECS, Italian Society of Soil Science, Parco dei Nebrodi, European Soil Science Conservation, 2018-2019. Considering the success of all these events, it seems that the comic “Living in the soil” has a great potential as an innovative and attractive publication of great interest to disseminate and raise awareness worldwide about the importance of this non-renewable resource for maintaining life on the planet.

 Acknowlegments. All persons and organizations that participate in this initiative of the edition (2015) and re-edition (2018, 2019) of the comic in the different languages.  


How to cite: Díaz-Raviña, M., Barral-Silva, M. T., Arias-Estévez, M., and Mataix-Solera, J.: An innovative and attractive comic to transmit the message of soil importance to the Society: Living in the soil , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-22019,, 2020

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