The water-holding capacity of a degraded soil is only a fraction of a virgin soil. The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro revived interest. 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. 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. The Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service) was the largest single section of the US Department of Agriculture. Biosurfactants significantly affect the bioavailability and biodegradation kinetics of hydrophobic compounds (Ahmad et al., 2015). Under this condition, irrigation water fills all the soil pores in the root zone and obstructs the gas exchange between soil and air. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) deficiencies occur on 59%, 85%, and 90% of harvested land area, respectively (Chianu et al., 2012). The model includes sub models for water flow, pesticide movement, nitrogen dynamics and salinity (Wagenet and Hutson, 1989). 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. This small amount of rainfall is concentrated within a short period known as the wet season, ranging from several weeks in arid areas to several months in semi-arid areas; dry conditions similar to desert climate persist during the rest of the year. Yet, there is no doubt that the sustained research and institutional effort in the US, spurred originally by the Dust Bowl era, has not only raised awareness of land degradation but also done much to conserve that nation's soils today. A new integrated assessment paradigm, the DDP, has been proposed as a tool to aid in tackling the complexity of this phenomenon. With the exception of irrigation-induced land degradation, desertification usually starts with the removal of vegetation cover by humans or livestock. Desertification can be measured by the loss of ecosystem productivity it causes, and ranges from slight to severe. The major causes of desertification include overgrazing, overcultivation of marginal land, unsustainable ‘slash-and-burn’ agricultural practice, logging for fuelwood, and poor irrigation techniques. 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. Desertification, on the other hand, generally occurs after a prolonged degradation of land. As a result, salts in the irrigation water are deposited in the root zone. It is especially a problem in Africa, Asia, and South America. In other words, it can be as a consequence of poor management of our natural capital (soils, water, vegetation, etc.). However, soil … Agricultural land degradation and its end result of desertification have been receiving considerable attention by the international community in recent decades. 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. 2) Less vegetation cover 3) Changes in the characteristic of soil. This causes the buildup of chemicals harmful to plant growth. While modern agricultural practices present many problems for the land, they also represent one the greatest opportunities for improving our relationship with the land. There are now a large number of environmental risk assessment models available with which a particular agricultural land use and management can be assessed from the point of view of likely damage to the environment (Plentinger and Penning de Vries, 1996). The series of Sahel droughts in the mid-1980s illustrates the image problem of land degradation. S.S. Shinde, P. Modak, in Climate Vulnerability, 2013. As a result, there has been a renewed emphasis on national programs of abatement in numerous Mediterranean countries. The consequence of this degradation is the loss of biodiversity and the breakdown of ecosystem functions that regulate food chains, nutrient cycling, and the incidence and severity of pests, diseases, and weeds. Moreover, plant-based surfactants have other issues such as solubility and hydrophobicity (Xu et al., 2011). Strip farming: In Southern Rhodesia, research evidence of the potential seriousness of erosion directly led to the formation of the Department of Conservation and Extension (CONEX), which carried out major conservation planning and design works throughout the country. 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 main causes of erosion on agricultural land are intensive cultivation, overgrazing, poor management of arable soils and deforestation. 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. Intensive irrigation on a single patch of soil has caused a lot of the soil to be compressed and/or washed off. 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. 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. Privacy Policy 8. The annual rate of growth in food production and yield peaked during the early years of the Green Revolution, but it has declined since the 1980s (GoI 2004 83 pp.). Converting big parts of the land surface to agriculture have severe environmental and health consequences. The historical stereotype of land degradation is that it is a process ruining the planet, and a destruction caused by ignorant peasants, who will in short time reap the folly of their degrading activities. ... 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 … It can be prevented by formation of ridge and furrow during irrigation which lessens run off. Land degradation here mainly refers to the loss of life-supporting land resource through soil erosion, desertification, salinization, acidification, etc. 5. Asa L. Aradottir, Dagmar Hagen, in Advances in Agronomy, 2013. This led to the more holistic concept of ‘land husbandry,’ including all farm-level production activities, argued as being a more effective tool for delivering conservation than technical, often structural, measures such as earth bunds (contour embankments to intercept runoff and sediment). Content Filtrations 6. 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. Figure 10. 45% out of the Total Geographical Area (TGA) of 328 mha, followed by 175 mha by the Ministry of Agriculture (Soil and Water Conservation Division). 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. 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. However, rapidly changing social and economic conditions—along with the potential for climate change—pose many serious challenges to the Mediterranean region. Soil degradation is the decline in soil quality caused by its improper use, usually for agricultural, pastoral, industrial or urban purposes. 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. It is recognized that at all of the steps within this conceptual diagram, there are a range of socioeconomic and biophysical influences that will determine the speed of the downward progress at any particular site. Land degradation has been advanced as ‘the single most pressing current global problem’ (O'Riordan 2000). Its drivers are related to both human activity and the climate,and depend on the specific context. Jenkins, in Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, 2003. The degradation comes from several sources but it is mainly from extensive agriculture. This type of farming is usually practiced across the hill side and is useful in collecting and diverting the run off to avoid erosion. 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). In terms of the affected land area, Asia suffers the most, with more than 1.3 billion hectares of dry lands degraded. (Leaching Estimation and Chemistry Model). Eastern Africa including Ethiopia has experienced moderate to severe land degradation problems as shown in Figure 10. Land degradation and loss of biodiversity have put the world’s ecosystems under intense pressure, and their capacity to provide vital services is declining while at the same time the demand for these services is growing (Butchart et al., 2010; MEA, 2005a). 4) Pollution of water resources from the contamination of soil through which water sweeps into ground or runoff to the water bodies. In this highly interactive cycle, a desire for security and wealth drives deforestation, overgrazing, and unsustainable use of soils and water, all of which cause agroecosystem degradation. This usually checks or reduces the velocity of run off so that soil support vegetation. Land degradation is the major consequences of direct interference of human activities in the natural phenomenon. Understanding the complexity of the numerous and interacting socioeconomic and biophysical causal factors underlying land degradation and the problems of modern agriculture in the tropics and subtropics is difficult. In the past several decades, desertification has become a devastating problem of global concern. TOS 7. 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. 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. 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. Severe salinization and waterlogging may lead to complete crop failure. Ecological restoration is identified as one of several key activities that can reverse this trend (MEA, 2005a). 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. Acidification, compaction and salinization are some other causes of agricultural land degradation. water erosion, deforestation, soil compaction, desertification, salinization, waterlogging and many more. Desertification refers to land degradation in arid, semi-arid, and dry semi-humid areas resulting from various human impacts. Loss of natural fertility of soil because of loss of nutrients. 1. 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). Land degradation: Role of agricultural practices Most of these practices are not tuned to the natural processes and the natural variety of nature. 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. Table 1. Roger R.B. An optimum mix of fertilizer, along with sound crop management practices is required for reducing the issue of land degradation. 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. LAND DEGRADATION IN GUJARAT: AN OVERVIEW 279 Jr. of Industrial Pollution Control 31(2)(2015) pp 279-284 ... Degradation, Water, Deforestation, Population, Agriculture ABSTRACT Land degradation can be considered in terms of the loss of actual or potential productivity or utility as a result of natural or anthropic factors; it is the decline in land quality or reduction in its productivity. 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. 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. Land degradation is the process of deterioration of soil or loss of fertility of soil. 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). The salinity is high in both the soil and the stored water in dry lands, and excessive evaporation and transpiration (collectively referred to as ‘evapotranspiration’) tend to accumulate soluble minerals in the upper soil. 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. This calls for effective strategies and methods for its implementation, which requires the cooperation of specialists from many disciplines. In the case of overcultivation of marginal lands, land is cleared of natural vegetation for agriculture, but is then abandoned after crop failure. At international level, there is now a new urgency in addressing land degradation. The National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS&LUP) estimates projected an area of 187 mha as degraded lands in 19… 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). Plagiarism Prevention 4. Other alternative sustainable agriculture practices, including zero-budget natural farming, permaculture and direct-seeded rice, also adopt some principles of CA, although not all. Overgrazing refers to excessive eating of grasses and other green plants by cattle. The DDP, which is based on the simultaneous roles and complex feedbacks among the meteorological, ecological, and human dimensions of this problem, provides a roadmap (not a recipe) for thinking about drylands management issues. Farmers in Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya are therefore more vulnerable to undergoing desertification than others. 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. A somewhat different institutional base was set in Malawi in response to perceived land degradation. That is why, they have been causing land degradation (among other things). At about 50 percent of the total land use, agriculture is one of the biggest uses of land on our planet . Soil degradation map of eastern Africa. ... intensive nature of … All of these things result in lower crop yields, which in turn lead to hunger, malnutrition, and increased health risks, all of which manifest as declining livelihoods and so return the cycle to a desire for security and wealth. These factors make dry lands subject to anthropogenic desertification. Content Guidelines 2. ... Generally associated … Soil degradation is a serious global environmental problem and may be exacerbated by climate change. Biosurfactants may also contribute to agricultural sustainability by acting as antimicrobial agents for disease control. Changes in the characteristic of soil. Land degradation caused by agriculture takes many forms and has many causes. It affects the land's capacity to supply ecosystem services, such as producing food or hosting biodiversity, to mention the most well-known ones. 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. Land degradation has many negative impacts on agriculture and environment. Desertification also affects North America, the Middle East, Australia, and some European countries in the Mediterranean area. The causes of land degradation can be divided into natural hazards, direct causes, and underlying causes. Prohibited Content 3. Owing to the low level of rainfall and the shortness of a favorable growing season, the ecosystem of dry lands feature low biomass and poor resilience; the carrying capacity of the land, which is the number of people and animals the land can normally support, is very small. CAUSES OF LAND DEGRADATION 1. The causes of land degradation in PICs include: deforestation, inappropriate agricultural practices, overgrazing, mining, population pressure, land tenure issues and changing climate. In this way, they can change the enzyme conformation structure, thus, altering the enzyme specificity, activity, and functions (Kamiya et al., 2000) and consequently improve the degradation of chemical contaminants. The impact of land degradation on agricultural productivity represents an on-site cost. 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. The dominant cause varies on the land type. 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. Salinization and waterlogging lead to the destruction of vegetation cover in irrigated lands. Land Degradation. The reduced fertility and the increased water stress cause the land's productivity to drop, which then further degrades the vegetation cover. 3), which may eventually provide general tools for linking science and policy in other regions of the world. Increasing growth of population and demand for more residential areas and commercial sectors is also one of the reasons for land degradation. Pollution of water resources from the contamination of soil through which water sweeps into ground or runoff to the water bodies. Although many of the problems grouped under the general heading of desertification are similar throughout the region (e.g., rainfall variability, growing urbanization, loss of farmland and agricultural potential, increased tourism and human population density, forest fires, soil erosion, and flooding), it is doubtful that any one approach for solving these problems will apply. The Land Husbandry Branch was formed in 1960 to undertake land use planning. In addition, compacted soil allows less water to infiltrate, limiting the water resources for plant uptake. Land degradation may be caused by i.e. 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. Land degradation is the human-induced loss of biodiversity, productivity, … Some of the science underpinning these procedures is now known to be flawed (Stocking 1996a). It is & practice in which cultivated crops are sown in alternative strips to prevent water movement. Various remediation technologies are being used for restoration of natural resources but most of them have additional impacts and are not ecologically safe. The figure shows that very severe degradation occurred in northern Ethiopia (the food basket area), Sudan, and part of Somalia. 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