Report a Violation, Land Degradation: Mechanisms and Causes of Land Degradation, Land Degradation: 9 Main Causes of Land Degradation, Mineral Resources: Useful Notes on the Types and Uses of Mineral Resources. Continuous cropping activities on a piece of land leads to land degradation.This land degradation is a result of uprooting of farm produce, use farm machine, wearing away of topmost soil due to … ... Generally associated … Consequently, biological productivity of the land drops and sand dunes start to form. For example, as new EU economic policies are adopted, many pastoral and drylands farmers are being marginalized and moving to urban areas; social–economic conditions are rapidly changing, e.g., the rise of tourism, intensification of high-tech agriculture, and the shifting of populations to urban environments. In an attempt to make the concept more meaningful, Leakey (2010) added some steps to a conceptual diagram of the land degradation and social deprivation cycle. The modern agricultural practises, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides has adversely degraded the natural quality and fertility of the cultivation land. As annual agriculture expands, the land loses the protection of vegetation, especially during the dry season, and suffers from severe wind erosion. Restoration of eroded agricultural land is achieved through several agronomic and biological techniques. In addition, compacted soil allows less water to infiltrate, limiting the water resources for plant uptake. In terms of the affected land area, Asia suffers the most, with more than 1.3 billion hectares of dry lands degraded. ... intensive nature of … Land represents a key asset for the livelihoods of the rural poor, as it provides key resources such as food, energy, shelter, and ... agricultural and forestry practices, climate change, urban expansion, infrastructure development, and extractive industry [1]. Severe salinization and waterlogging may lead to complete crop failure. Acidification, compaction and salinization are some other causes of agricultural land degradation. Land degradation is a global problem largely related to agricultural use, deforestation and climate change. Intensive irrigation on a single patch of soil has caused a lot of the soil to be compressed and/or washed off. We hope this will be of use to scientists from different disciplines that are involved in ecological restoration projects and can stimulate meaningful interdisciplinary cooperation in this field. More than 70% of the Sudano-Sahelian dry lands are degraded; of the world's population that are moderately to severely affected by desertification, more than 80% reside in this region. It became more dangerous because it directly or indirectly effects the food security and environment. This leads to what is called the yield gap in food crops, which is the difference between the yield potential of new modern varieties and the yield actually achieved by a farmer (Tittonell and Giller, 2013). This usually checks or reduces the velocity of run off so that soil support vegetation. This results is depletion, erosion, modification or disturbance of the soil that is considered harmful or undesirable. Desertification is a land degradation process that occurs in drylands. Pollution of water resources from the contamination of soil through which water sweeps into ground or runoff to the water bodies. In the case of overcultivation of marginal lands, land is cleared of natural vegetation for agriculture, but is then abandoned after crop failure. Land degradation in many Pacific Island Countries (PICs) has become an emerging concern in recent years. Development of industries for the economic growth of the country leads to excessive deforestation and utilization of land in such as way that it has lost its natural up gradation quality. Permaculture. According to the recently ... Inappropriate land management practices refer to the use of land in ways which could be sustainable if properly managed, but where the necessary practices are not adopted. Hailey's (1938) African Survey called it the ‘scourge of Africa,’ providing the reader with images of sediment-choked rivers and barren hillsides. Land degradation may be caused by i.e. Desertification, on the other hand, generally occurs after a prolonged degradation of land. Copyright 10. In this paper, we outline the impacts of restoration on ecosystems and societies and clarify some of the main challenges and approaches to ecological restoration. Integrated methods for the restoration of all kind of degraded land i.e. 5. Asa L. Aradottir, Dagmar Hagen, in Advances in Agronomy, 2013. Today, the fastest-growing section of the global funding mechanism (the Global Environment Facility, GEF), which supports the incremental cost of developing countries' efforts to comply with the international environment-development conventions, is for land degradation projects. The International Food Policy Research Institute uses such data to show that, while food production may largely be maintained by ever-increasing inputs, there are ‘hotspots’ of serious land degradation in vulnerable places such as north-east Thailand, northern China, and many African drylands (Scherr and Yadav 1996). Land Degradation Land Degradation. The consequences of these include soil erosion, the loss of soil nutrients, changes to the amount of salt in the soil, and disruptions to the carbon, nitrogen and water cycles – collectively known as land degradation. Loss of natural fertility of soil because of loss of nutrients. However, the general lack of understanding and awareness about the root causes of land degradation persists, thus the slow progress in reversing the alarming trends of land degradation and land abandonment. For reasons outlined above, poor farmers are led to clear forest, cultivate steep slopes without conservation, overgraze rangelands, make unbalanced fertilizer applications, and the other causes noted above. Land degradation leads to the reduction or loss of the At international level, there is now a new urgency in addressing land degradation. In colonial Africa, for example, the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland funded the largest ever soil conservation research program on the continent between 1953 and 1965 to investigate rates of erosion and runoff, as well as the effectiveness of conservation and types of land use. Erosion and degradation processes are more rapid when inappropriate dry farming agricultural practices are applied, leading to desertification. At about 50 percent of the total land use, agriculture is one of the biggest uses of land on our planet . Before publishing your articles on this site, please read the following pages: 1. In other words, it can be as a consequence of poor management of our natural capital (soils, water, vegetation, etc.). The main causes of erosion on agricultural land are intensive cultivation, overgrazing, poor management of arable soils and deforestation. Its importance for sustainable development and conservation efforts has been rising in recent years (Hobbs et al., 2011; Roberts et al., 2009), which is manifested in the growing role of ecological restoration in regional and global environmental policy and in the provision of ecosystem services (Bullock et al., 2011). Content Guidelines 2. Headlined ‘drought,’ its main impact came through widespread crop and grazing land failure due to the reduced capability of the degraded soils to support plant growth. 3), which may eventually provide general tools for linking science and policy in other regions of the world. water quality, air pollution, soil contamination. The Land Husbandry Branch was formed in 1960 to undertake land use planning. In terms of severity, the Sudano-Sahelian region in Africa is the most affected region of the world. This has resulted in reduction of soil water holding capacity of the known spring water sources and base flow of streams, which are known to be vital sources of residual soil moisture and domestic water sources. A Classification of agricultural land degradation in Australia A1 B Classification of agricultural regions in New South Wales B1 C The extent of land degradation in Australia C1 D Conceptual model of land degradation, farm output and profits D1 ... resources for future agricultural use. Normally they increase the bioavailability of hydrophobic compounds by reducing their water repellence (Paradelo et al., 2009). The impact of land degradation on agricultural productivity represents an on-site cost. As a result, there has been a renewed emphasis on national programs of abatement in numerous Mediterranean countries. As the vegetation cover decreases, soil compaction occurs as a result of the livestock trampling and rain drop tapping, which increases the proportion of fine materials in the top soil, thus accelerating soil erosion. Permaculture is a design system that applies principles that are found in nature to … Deforestation is taking place at a faster rate due to increasing demands of timber, fuel and forest products which results into degradation of land resources. The European Union (EU) recently established several major projects, such as Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use (MEDALUS). Biosurfactants play a physiological role in increasing the solubility and bioavailability of hydrophobic compounds and are involved in promoting the swarming motility of microorganism and in cellular physiological processes of signaling and differentiation (Kearns and Losick, 2003). The causes of land degradation can be divided into natural hazards, direct causes, and underlying causes. Read this article to learn about the meaning, factors responsible, prevention and control measures of land degradation: The change in the characteristic and quality of soil which adversely affect its fertility is called as Degradation. Desertification is not directly related to desert. It affects the land's capacity to supply ecosystem services, such as producing food or hosting biodiversity, to mention the most well-known ones. P. Bullock, in Developments in Crop Science, 1997, Although problems of land degradation associated with some agricultural systems have been long acknowledged, a much wider group of environmental problems are now recognised e.g. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. The causes of land degradation in PICs include: deforestation, inappropriate agricultural practices, overgrazing, mining, population pressure, land tenure issues and changing climate. Desert areas cannot support life for long as the available water can hardly support life. 3. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. Land degradation resulting from various natural and anthropogenic activities including the loss of organic matter, decline in soil fertility, erosion, and the effects of toxic chemicals is a serious global environmental problem and it may be triggered by climate change (DeFries et al., 2012; Lal, 1997). The major causes of desertification include overgrazing, overcultivation of marginal land, unsustainable ‘slash-and-burn’ agricultural practice, logging for fuelwood, and poor irrigation techniques. Privacy Policy 8. Eastern Africa including Ethiopia has experienced moderate to severe land degradation problems as shown in Figure 10. It results into reduced growth of vegetation, reduced diversity of plant species, excessive growth of unwanted plant species, soil erosion, and degradation of land due to cattle movement. From: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001, M.A. For instance, over a period of time, Ethiopia’s original forest cover was reduced from 65% to a mere 2.2% of the total country’s area coverage (Berry 2003). 4) Pollution of water resources from the contamination of soil through which water sweeps into ground or runoff to the water bodies. Plant-based biosurfactants have excellent emulsification properties, although they are expensive to produce on an industrial scale. For example, moderate desertification causes a 10–25% drop in agricultural productivity, while severe desertification can result in a productivity loss of 50% or more. The need to prevent further land degradation and to restore degraded lands is especially important now because the demand for accessible productive lands is increasing with an increase in human population and consequent increase in food consumption. It was an insidious enemy, often masquerading under other names (see Desertification). In most cases, the desert is not expanding continuously on the human time scale, although its boundary may advance and retreat in response to interannual climate variability. The net result highlighted by this conceptual cycle of land degradation and social deprivation is that in developing countries where farmers are poor and must rely on a small piece of land for all their household needs, the benefits expected from existing agricultural technologies, such as improved crop varieties and livestock breeds, are constrained by a need for income to purchase the inputs essential for food production. Gradually, the top soil loses its fertility. FAO implements a range of SLM-related programmes and approaches, such as farmer field schools; conservation agriculture; catchment- and far… Under this condition, irrigation water fills all the soil pores in the root zone and obstructs the gas exchange between soil and air. James F. Reynolds, in Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 2001. Soil degradation is the decline in soil quality caused by its improper use, usually for agricultural, pastoral, industrial or urban purposes. In the US, worries about land degradation supported by pictures of (usually) wind erosion engulfing farmhouses and fields, triggered massive expenditure on research and new institutions. Scientists recently warned that 24 billion tons of fertile soil was being lost per year, largely due to unsustainable agriculture practices. Some of the science underpinning these procedures is now known to be flawed (Stocking 1996a). The degradation comes from several sources but it is mainly from extensive agriculture. Zulfiqar Ahmad, ... Azeem Khalid, in Advances in Agronomy, 2018. The issue of land degradation is further contributing to the loss of production. Currently, increased land degradation in developing countries may be connected with rural poverty among smallholder farmers when forced into unsustainable agricultural practices out of necessity. Globally, the immediate consequence of desertification is the reduction of agricultural productivity and the resulting threat of famine, which has serious social and economic impact. It is due mainly to nonsustainable human activities, such as overcultivation, overgrazing, deforestation, and poor irrigation practices and is often triggered or exacerbated by climate variability, mainly drought. International researchers – representing a wide range of disciplines such as ecology, atmospheric science, social sciences, policy, and integrated assessment – must work together to successfully address this pressing global problem. The aim of this project was to understand, predict, and mitigate the effects of desertification in Mediterranean countries of the EU, including the southern and eastern parts of the Iberian Peninsula of Spain, Mediterranean France, Italian Mezzogiorno, and almost all of Greece. Desertification also affects North America, the Middle East, Australia, and some European countries in the Mediterranean area. It is one of the agricultural practice in which different crops are grown in same area following a rotation system which helps in replenishment of the soil. The major causes of land degradation include, land clearance poor farming practices, overgrazing, inappropriate irrigation, urban sprawl, and commercial development, land pollution including industrial waste and quarrying of stone, sand and minerals. Various remediation technologies are being used for restoration of natural resources but most of them have additional impacts and are not ecologically safe. Land degradation is the major consequences of direct interference of human activities in the natural phenomenon. In the past, they have been lumped together as a downward spiral in which poverty drives land degradation and land degradation drives further poverty, but this is a gross simplification (Scherr, 2000). Land degradation is defined as the temporary or permanent decline in the productive capacity of the land, and the diminution of the productive potential, including its major land uses (e.g., rain-fed arable, irrigation, forests), its farming systems (e.g., smallholder subsistence), and its value as an economic resource. Unsustainable agricultural practices include: Table 1. Image Courtesy : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Karst_following_phosphate_mining_on_Nauru.jpg. Compliance involved using research outputs such as the ‘Universal Soil Loss Equation’ which calculated rates of soil loss for various planned land uses, comparing these with a benchmark known as the ‘tolerable soil loss,’ a rate at which it was said that future production would not be jeopardized. Current estimates are that land degradation affects 2 billion hectares (38% of world cropping area) (Eswaran et al., 2006), with soil erosion affecting 83% of the global degraded area (Bai et al., 2008). Land shortage and poverty, taken together, lead to non-sustainable land management practices, meaning the direct causes of degradation. These biosurfactants are also involved in biofilm formation and can also interact with various microbial proteins. (Leaching Estimation and Chemistry Model). CAUSES OF LAND DEGRADATION 1. However, it was not until 1998 that enough signatories drew their pens to ratify the Convention to Combat Desertification, the major components of which are national and international proposals to combat land degradation. 2) Less vegetation cover 3) Changes in the characteristic of soil. Land Degradation. The Mediterranean, although small on a global scale, is a complex mosaic of landscapes, soils, different cultures, localized climates, and land-use histories. Disclaimer 9. Ecological restoration is identified as one of several key activities that can reverse this trend (MEA, 2005a). ... India’s precarious groundwater situation, land degradation and the threat of climate change all together make CA a desirable proposition – at least if we intend to tackle these challenges without comprising our … FAO has a mandate to: support its member countries and partners in developing or reforming norms, standards and policies; provide technical advice; and implement national and local programmes through capacity development and technical knowledge management activities. The water-holding capacity of a degraded soil is only a fraction of a virgin soil. Land degradation is not a new issue in the Mediterranean. ... To … Land degradation is the process of deterioration of soil or loss of fertility of soil. Farmers were obliged by law to comply with conservation planning regulations and procedures. Concern about degradation, particularly the processes of soil erosion, has fuelled many campaigns to combat it, and spawned numerous institutions to address it. Land degradation has many negative impacts on agriculture and environment. Land degradation can cause or exacerbate poverty and inequality by ... in the agricultural sector [2]. The series of Sahel droughts in the mid-1980s illustrates the image problem of land degradation. Deforestation accounts for the major land degradation problem as it results in severe soil erosion, flood, and loss of fertile soil. This calls for effective strategies and methods for its implementation, which requires the cooperation of specialists from many disciplines. 4. In this chapter, we specifically discuss the use and application of biosurfactants for sustainable soil management with the view that biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers can potentially play a more prominent role in the future. 3. This degradation leads to a phenomenon which is the disappearance of nutrients and minerals needed for plant growth. water erosion, deforestation, soil compaction, desertification, salinization, waterlogging and many more. It can be prevented by formation of ridge and furrow during irrigation which lessens run off. Following are some practises for controlling land degradation: It is & practice in which cultivated crops are sown in alternative strips to prevent water movement. According to a study conducted by Ajai et al. The National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS&LUP) estimates projected an area of 187 mha as degraded lands in 19… 2 billion people and the impact of its effects will only grow with time. Agricultural land degradation and its end result of desertification have been receiving considerable attention by the international community in recent decades. However, microbially produced biosurfactants have advantages over plant-based surfactants due to scale-up capacity, rapid production, and multifunctional properties. There are different causes for the different types/forms of land degradation, and causes may differ from one country or state/province to another (depending on factors like agricultural practices, other environmental pollution factors and so on). Without the protection of plants, the loose well-plowed soil easily develops into sand dunes under the strong wind impact. Land degradation caused by agriculture takes many forms and has many causes. Desertification can be measured by the loss of ecosystem productivity it causes, and ranges from slight to severe. Content Filtrations 6. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. It is especially a problem in Africa, Asia, and South America. There are several different processes associated with the desertification phenomenon: degradation of vegetation cover; soil erosion; soil compaction; and waterlogging and salinization in irrigated lands. 1. Humans have cut, grazed, and burned these lands for thousands of years, leaving virtually no natural vegetation and resulting in extensive soil erosion. Deforestation and inappropriate agricultural practices especially on sloping lands often lead to soil … Land degradation means: 1) Loss of natural fertility of soil because of loss of nutrients. Land degradation here mainly refers to the loss of life-supporting land resource through soil erosion, desertification, salinization, acidification, etc. So reports the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an independent intergovernmental body set up by UN member states, in a new summary for policy makers. Increasing growth of population and demand for more residential areas and commercial sectors is also one of the reasons for land degradation. Farmers in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya are therefore more vulnerable to undergoing desertification than others. Historically, the failure to recognize and include the interdependencies of these three dimensions has slowed progress by the UNCCD in tackling the enormous problem of dryland degradation, although recent developments are encouraging. agricultural practices. Image Guidelines 5. Changes in climatic conditions because of unbalanced created in the environment. This should involve the adoption of sustainable land use practices as well as the restoration and protection of any degraded or marginal soils to ensuring food security for an increasing population demand. With the exception of irrigation-induced land degradation, desertification usually starts with the removal of vegetation cover by humans or livestock. Land degradation is defined as the temporary or permanent decline in the productive capacity of the land, and the diminution of the productive potential, including its major land uses (e.g., rain-fed arable, irrigation, forests), its farming systems (e.g., smallholder subsistence), and its value as an economic resource. Some of the main reasons for this are use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers that affected the fertility levels of the soil after the initial harvests, indiscriminate extraction of groundwater leading to reduced water tables, and increased salinity of the soil. Biosurfactants may also contribute to agricultural sustainability by acting as antimicrobial agents for disease control. It reduces the land's potential for biological productivity, and causes conversion of productive lands used for pasture and agriculture into desert-like conditions. Moreover, plant-based surfactants have other issues such as solubility and hydrophobicity (Xu et al., 2011). The mid-term assessment of the 11th Five Year Plan (GoI 2008a) suggests that the fertilizers used for enhancing the crop production has led to micronutrient deficiencies in the soil, leading to reduced capacity of crop growth and production. Soil degradation is a serious global environmental problem and may be exacerbated by climate change. (Simulation of Nitrogen Dynamics in Arable Land) (Bradbury et al., 1993). Biosurfactants are amphiphilic molecules which are mainly derived from plants and microorganisms. A somewhat different institutional base was set in Malawi in response to perceived land degradation. The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro revived interest. Climatic conditions are one of the most important determining factors affecting agriculture, especially in the Mediterranean areas, with irregular rainfall and high summer temperatures. In farmers’ fields, this is seen as soil erosion, breakdown of nutrient cycling, and the loss of soil fertility and structure. Extensive forest fires throughout the Mediterranean in the early 1990s, which resulted in extensive soil erosion, runoff, and flooding, had a major impact on the public perception of land degradation. Thus, there is a global interest not only in exploring the green technologies for remediation of such problematic soils but also in devising strategies for sustainable plant protection and improvement of crop yields. However, programs such as MEDALUS have made significant advances in integrating desertification research across all levels of concerns (Fig. Stocking, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001. Strip farming: In the past several decades, desertification has become a devastating problem of global concern. While modern agricultural practices present many problems for the land, they also represent one the greatest opportunities for improving our relationship with the land. While the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland 1987) highlighted sustainable development, land degradation was only then seen as a shadowy adversary in achieving long-term productive agriculture. Figure 10. 2. In practice, productivity growth has steadily improved with support from industry and government sponsored research and … Land degradation is the human-induced loss of biodiversity, productivity, … Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) deficiencies occur on 59%, 85%, and 90% of harvested land area, respectively (Chianu et al., 2012). S.S. Shinde, P. Modak, in Climate Vulnerability, 2013. Conversion of primary to Overgrazing and excessive fuelwood collection destroy the protective layer of plants, exposing the top layer soil to wind and water erosion. As a result, salts in the irrigation water are deposited in the root zone. These factors make dry lands subject to anthropogenic desertification. Desertification (land degradation in drylands) is the loss of biological and economic productivity, and biodiversity in arid and semiarid croplands, pastures, rangelands, and subhumid woodlands of the world. (2009), out of the country's total geographical area of 328.73 million, 57% is either desertified or degraded. This causes the buildup of chemicals harmful to plant growth. The driving force for the renewed interest comes from new data from international projects such as the Dutch-based Global Assessment of Soil Degradation (see Table 1). The dominant cause varies on the land type. This type of farming is usually practiced across the hill side and is useful in collecting and diverting the run off to avoid erosion. Yet, it is an old problem (e.g., Jacks and Whyte 1939), that has undergone a series of often-emotive revivals every decade since the Dust Bowl era in the mid-West USA (e.g., Osborn 1948, Carson 1962, Commoner 1972; Blaikie and Brookfield 1986). Such factors include access to markets, land tenure, and local governance; external factors, such as natural disasters and conflict and war; and economic drivers, such as international policy and trade agreements. Causes include: The reduced fertility and the increased water stress cause the land's productivity to drop, which then further degrades the vegetation cover. And enhance our Service and tailor content and ads erosion and degradation processes are more rapid when dry. Many disciplines is also one of the factors responsible for lad degradation wind.! 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