By Joaquin Sendolo
The Head of Liberia’s European Union Delegation, Attilio Pacifici, has presented a Soil Atlas to Daily Observer Publisher Kenneth Y. Best, in observance of the publisher's 75th birth anniversary.
Mr. Best turned 75 on October 28.
Ambassador Pacifici in a letter to Mr. Best said the first ever African Soil Atlas is intended to enhance the work of the Daily Observer by providing rich information that the public will research in the Daily Observer Library.
This first Atlas on African soil published by the Joint Research Centre comprising the African Union, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and coordinated by the European Union, gives detail to information on the formation of soil, the importance of soil to the survival of man, the influence of climate on soil, as well as providing some basic reasons why key stakeholders of soil in Africa are no longer paying attention to the maintenance and nurturing of the soil.
The Atlas underscores that concepts such as cycling and organic matter management that are critical to soil fertility and food production are mystery to most people in the public because information about soil is not propagated through channels that key stakeholders who make use of the soil will understand, but written in journals that are only read by university students.
It is designed with various maps of colors and illustrations, and explains in a simple and clear manner the diversity of soil across the African Continent and emphasizes the importance of soil.
The Atlas further details soil types in various countries in Africa, factors responsible for a particular soil type, and its value to the population existing in a particular location.
The Atlas reveals that Debundcha in Cameroon is the area in Africa that receives the heaviest rainfall of around 11000mm, followed by the Liberian coast which receives about 5000mm.
Ambassador Pacifici in a message to Mr. Best noted that this innovative Soil Atlas aims to support and encourage the sustainable use of soil resources in Africa and the Global Soil Partnership for Food Security.
He furthered that it supports the development of protective measures to safeguard soils for current and future generation.
According to Ambassador Pacifici, the Atlas is though intended primarily for the educational sectors and policy makers; it is also for the purpose of bridging the gap between soil science and society at large.
The EU Ambassador acknowledged that the Daily Observer’s Publisher and Managing Director has many years of professional experience in journalism in Liberia, in which he has authored insightful books about Liberia’s democratic and political history.
“I feel especially excited to share this Soil Atlas with you as a token of appreciation on your 75th birthday, and it is my sincere hope that as you place this Atlas in your library, you will continue to support the raising of awareness and improved protection and sustainable management of Liberia’s and Africa’s soil and Natural Resources; as they play a crucial role in Climate Change adaptation and mitigation policies. They are the basis for sustainable development and food security,” Ambassador Pacifici stressed.
The Observer’s Manager celebrated his 75th birth anniversary on October 28, and his natal day has been characterized by words of praise from high-profile individuals in government and in the diplomatic circle.
Many people in Liberia and other parts of the world have also used various social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc) to extend congratulatory greetings to him as Liberia’s foremost Journalist whose writings have had an impact on their lives.
Mr. Best’s pre-birthday celebration began on October 26 and was celebrated at West Point, one of Liberia’s largest slum communities. He broke ground there for a modern town hall he has decided to help the community build, which is intended to provide a place of peaceful and productive assembly for the impoverished and less fortunate in the area.