What Does Land Degradation Mean?
Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is influenced by a variety of human-caused activities that operate on the land.
The degradation of land can result in the poor availability of natural resources, decreased agricultural production, damaged ecosystems, and a loss of biodiversity.
It can be caused by factors such as erosion, soil compaction, loss of soil fertility, and loss of vegetation cover.
Land degradation can lead to a decline in the productivity of the land, and it can also cause environmental problems such as increased runoff of sediments and pollutants into surface water bodies.
What Are The Main Causes Of Land Degradation?
Land degradation is a process in which the quality of the land decreases. There are many causes of land degradation, but the three main causes are unsustainable land management practices, climate change, and natural disasters.
Unsustainable land management practices are any practices that degrade the quality of the land. This can include things like overgrazing, deforestation, and soil erosion.
Climate change can cause land degradation through things like droughts and floods.
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes and landslides, can also cause land degradation.
All of these causes can lead to a decrease in the productivity of the land, which can have a negative impact on the people who rely on it for their livelihoods. Land degradation can also increase greenhouse gas emissions, which can contribute to climate change.
Other causes include overuse of land resources -The misuse of land resources -The loss of natural vegetation -The pollution of land resources-The introduction of harmful chemicals or other substances to the land.
All of these factors can contribute to land degradation and the consequences can be very serious. Land degradation can lead to a loss of productivity, a loss of biodiversity, and an increased risk of natural disasters.
What Are Types Of Land Degradation?
There are many types of land degradation that can occur. The most common type is soil erosion, water erosion, wind erosion, chemical deterioration, and physical deterioration.
- Soil erosion – Soil erosion occurs when the top layer of soil is removed over a period of time by wind or water. This can happen when the ground is left bare, such as after a fire or when trees are removed. Soil erosion can also happen when there is too much rainfall or when there is flooding.
The loss of soil creates a gap; if enough time goes by, the land can no longer support plant life. Soil erosion is most prevalent in areas where farms exist because farming does not take place on uplands.
This leaves behind topsoil that is not being managed. Sometimes, the constant use of heavy machinery can also contribute to soil erosion and compaction/accumulation of soil particles in a small area, leading to poor water retention and prolonged periods without rainfall.
- Water erosion- Water erosion is the erosion of soil, usually through contact with water. This type of erosion occurs when the soil has been loosened by falling raindrops or by streams running off nearby land.
The main reasons for this are extreme rainfall and volcanic eruptions, which cause large amounts of rain to fall in a short period of time, causing flash flooding.
Water erosion can also be caused by continual exposure to a combination of wind, rain, and floods during the rainy season (May – September)
- Wind Erosion- A primary factor for the occurrence of wind erosion is drought conditions that are predominately prevalent in arid climates.
During these periods, the soil retains too much water, which can cause gully and ravine erosion. It is a common misconception that winds are not an important factor in soil erosion.
The most important factors in wind erosion are rain on the land and subsequent stream flow, especially when it is hot. If a rain storm occurs during the dry season, its impact is reduced or even gone by a few hours after it has passed because of the sun’s drying effect.
- Chemical Deterioration- Chemical deterioration occurs when pollutants enter the soil through runoff or leaching of chemicals from fertilizer and pesticides applied to farmland or residential areas nearby.
Usually, the chemicals that are applied to farms are a combination of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. When this mixture is applied to crops and enters into the soil, they supply nutrients that can either be taken up by the crop or remain in the soil near the root zone.
Nitrogen and phosphorus are highly soluble in water and often get carried away by runoff or leach into groundwater. Potassium is a nutrient that can only be taken up by an active root system, as it is not soluble in water.
- Physical Deterioration- Physical deterioration occurs when natural forces such as wind and rain cause the soil to collapse or erode away, usually on steep slopes and hillsides.
A direct result of physical deterioration is subsidence (sinking of the ground). Subsidence can also create sinkholes, which are holes that form on the surface of the land and, if they happen in residential areas, can be hazardous to people below.
- Drought- Drought is a natural disaster caused by a lack of rainfall over an extended period of time.
This can be caused by many things such as thunderstorms, volcanoes, tsunamis, and deforestation. If enough water is unavailable to support plant life, the land becomes infertile, and the soil degrades.
Other types of land degradation include soil compaction, when the soil is packed down too tightly, and soil salination when the soil becomes too salty.
What Are The Consequences Of Land Degradation?
Land degradation can have serious consequences for those who rely on it for their livelihoods and future generations. The most devastating consequence of land degradation is decreased productivity.
As the land degrades, productivity will drop and be replaced by a decrease in biodiversity. The loss of this biodiversity can lead to fewer species of animals and plants, leading to an increased extinction rate.
Degraded land will also be more vulnerable to natural disasters, such as flooding and landslides, which can further contribute to the decrease in land productivity and biodiversity.
Land degradation affects more than just agriculture; it is a global issue that includes problems such as erosion, desertification, deforestation, and soil contamination.
Farmers who rely on the land for their livelihood may suffer from decreased crop production or may not be able to grow crops any longer.
What Is Land Degradation Class 10?
Land degradation is the decrease of the land’s quality where it becomes less suitable for living or producing well. It can occur naturally or as a result of human activities.
The work that Land Degradation Class 10 has been undertaking over the last few years has been aimed at calculating the economic value of land degradation in developing countries around the world.
This is just one of the many ways in which the World Bank has tried to tackle the issue of land degradation and to put a value on its effects. Other institutions involved include the United Nations, World Resources Institute (WRI), and UNEP.
These organizations’ work has been called “support for sustainable land management.” This is because they have employed alternative methods of estimating land degradation and calculating its effects in terms of money.
They believe that by doing this, they are extending their work towards developing a more sustainable and durable way of life in developing countries.
Land degradation is a negative effect on the quality of the land. The term refers to human activities that degrade the quality of natural land resources, including soil, water, and soil organic matter.
It also applies to actions that degrade plant and animal communities as well as cultural heritage resources.
It can be caused by many different factors such as soil erosion, weed invasion, deforestation, improper farming practices, and its effects on agricultural production and food security.
In order to prevent degradation, there are a number of steps the government needs to take so that it can become more socially sensitive and environmentally friendly in its resource management course, the short path to sustainability.
One of the central ways in which these issues are addressed is in the context of sustainable land management. This is a term that was coined by Dr. Hjalmar Christensen, an environmental geographer and professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB).
His central idea is that environmentally sound and socially motivated land management practices can be carried out in order to conserve soil resources, promote biodiversity and natural resource resilience, achieve food security, meet a range of social requirements and support long-term societal efficiency.
More specifically, he has offered an alternative definition for sustainable land management: “Sustainable land uses are those which meet three conditions: 1) they are economically viable; 2) they are technically feasible; 3) they are socially justifiable”.
The term sustainable land management has therefore been widely used by Dr. Christensen and other researchers in their discussions of the problem of land degradation.
The term has been used in a number of different ways and with various definitions, but it is suggested that they are working towards the same goal, which is to protect land resources through sustainable methods.
In order to achieve this goal, another important concept that is used is that of society’s obligation to maintain sustainable resource systems.