Land degradation and conservation measures

This refers to increasing pressure of population on land, resulting in small farms, low production per person and increasing landlessness.

What is land degradation

Problem soils require special care in management, and failure to give such care leads to land degradation. Where phosphate deficiencies have been recognized and counteracted by phosphatic fertilizer, deficiencies of other nutrients, including sulphur and zinc, have been reported. In earlier times, food shortage or poverty could be combatted by taking new, unused, land into cultivation. Unfortunately, they are often utilized by poorer farmers. It is the leading cause of water erosion in steeply sloping humid environments. The other external force, increase in population, constantly drives the cycle that leads to poverty and land degradation. It could almost certainly be shown that richer farmers maintain their soils in better state than poorer. This has progressively lowered the water table, as in Iran, India and Pakistan. Overgrazing is the grazing of natural pastures at stocking intensifies above the livestock carrying capacity. Causes[ edit ] Soil erosion in a wheat field near Pullman , US Overcutting of vegetation occurs when people cut forests, woodlands and shrublands—to obtain timber , fuelwood and other products—at a pace exceeding the rate of natural regrowth. Relations between landlord and tenant are often good, and the tenant in fact remains on the same farm for many years.

As the land resource base becomes less productive, food security is compromised and competition for dwindling resources increases, the seeds of famine and potential conflict are sown.

This leads to reduced land productivity: a lower response to the same inputs or, where farmers possess the resources, a need for higher inputs to maintain crop yields and farm incomes. Only in Sri Lanka have attempts to reduce the rate of population increase made substantial progress, with a growth rate of 1.

Case studies illustrating the interconnections of this cycle are given in Asian Development Bank Despite efforts by legislation and land reform programmes over many years, tenant occupation of farmland is still very widespread.

Historically the more fertile, or high-potential, agricultural lands were the first to be occupied.

Causes and consequences of land degradation

This is a leading cause not only of wind erosion, but also of water erosion in dry lands. There are two ways to check this cycle, improved technology and reduction in population increase. Population increase Together with land shortage, the second basic cause of degradation is the continuing increase in rural, agricultural, population. Improper agricultural practices, for instance, occur only under constraints such as the saturation of good lands under population pressure which leads settlers to cultivate too shallow or too steep soils, plough fallow land before it has recovered its fertility, or attempt to obtain multiple crops by irrigating unsuitable soils. This affects peoples' livelihoods, by threatening their food and water supply, lowering the quality of their living environment, decreasing biodiversity, etc. Overpumping of groundwater In areas of non-saline 'sweet' groundwater, the technology of tubewells has led to abstraction of water in excess of natural recharge by rainfall and river seepage. Climate change[ edit ] Significant land degradation from seawater inundation , particularly in river deltas and on low-lying islands, is a potential hazard that was identified in a IPCC report. To address these challenges, Sustainable Land Management offers a range of interventions to prevent or reduce land degradation. The recent change of emphasis in soil conservation with more use of biological methods, including agroforestry, and greater stress on farmers' participation and economic incentives, has not yet been fully taken up by extension services. This assessment also cites it as a contributory cause to salinization. A contributory factor, not always appreciated by outside observers, is a change in economic attitudes. In earlier times, food shortage or poverty could be combatted by taking new, unused, land into cultivation. ESCAP, a. Overgrazing is the grazing of natural pastures at stocking intensifies above the livestock carrying capacity.

A consequence of land shortage is the next element, poverty. It is questionable whether there have been corresponding improvements in the real welfare of the rural poor. Application of water in excess of natural rainfall led to a progressive rise in the water table from the s onward.

This is also the underlying reason for two other direct causes noted above, improper crop rotations and unbalanced fertilizer use. Land Degradation and Conservation Land Degradation and Conservation Ever-increasing demands on the land from economic development, burgeoning cities and growing rural populations are driving unprecedented land use change.

soil erosion

Impoverishment of the natural woody cover of trees and shrubs is a major factor in causing both water erosion and wind erosion. It is a significant factor in Afghanistan.

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Land Degradation and Conservation