Land degradation is not a new issue in the Mediterranean. 3. 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. ... Generally associated … At international level, there is now a new urgency in addressing land degradation. G. Wang, G.S. Zulfiqar Ahmad, ... Azeem Khalid, in Advances in Agronomy, 2018. Agricultural practices also emit non-CO 2 greenhouse gases from soils and these 15 emissions are exacerbated by climate change (medium confidence). Converting big parts of the land surface to agriculture have severe environmental and health consequences. Climatic conditions are one of the most important determining factors affecting agriculture, especially in the Mediterranean areas, with irregular rainfall and high summer temperatures. 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). Without the protection of plants, the loose well-plowed soil easily develops into sand dunes under the strong wind impact. Overgrazing and excessive fuelwood collection destroy the protective layer of plants, exposing the top layer soil to wind and water erosion. Severe salinization and waterlogging may lead to complete crop failure. The Land Husbandry Branch was formed in 1960 to undertake land use planning. Nevertheless, in the search for sustainable global futures, land degradation has once again come to the fore. 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 Mediterranean, although small on a global scale, is a complex mosaic of landscapes, soils, different cultures, localized climates, and land-use histories. The model includes sub models for water flow, pesticide movement, nitrogen dynamics and salinity (Wagenet and Hutson, 1989). Prohibited Content 3. Content Filtrations 6. In practice, productivity growth has steadily improved with support from industry and government sponsored research and … 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). 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 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. Farmers were obliged by law to comply with conservation planning regulations and procedures. ... 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. TOS 7. Other alternative sustainable agriculture practices, including zero-budget natural farming, permaculture and direct-seeded rice, also adopt some principles of CA, although not all. It is & practice in which cultivated crops are sown in alternative strips to prevent water movement. This calls for effective strategies and methods for its implementation, which requires the cooperation of specialists from many disciplines. 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. When land is degraded, soil carbon and nitrous oxide is released into the atmosphere, making land degradation one of the most important contributors to climate change. 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). Moreover, plant-based surfactants have other issues such as solubility and hydrophobicity (Xu et al., 2011). Plant-based biosurfactants have excellent emulsification properties, although they are expensive to produce on an industrial scale. 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. Soil erosion is one of the factors responsible for lad degradation. Humans have cut, grazed, and burned these lands for thousands of years, leaving virtually no natural vegetation and resulting in extensive soil erosion. The series of Sahel droughts in the mid-1980s illustrates the image problem of land degradation. 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. 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. Stocking, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001. Examples include:-. water erosion, deforestation, soil compaction, desertification, salinization, waterlogging and many more. 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. Land shortage and poverty, taken together, lead to non-sustainable land management practices, meaning the direct causes of degradation. Poor land-use practices and population pressure are the major drivers of land degradation in Ethiopia (Genanew and Alemu 2012; Berry 2003). However, soil … Land degradation means: 1) Loss of natural fertility of soil because of loss of nutrients. For pasture lands, livestock overgrazing is the main cause of desertification; removal of vegetation directly by humans for agriculture and other purposes has caused most of the desertification in rain-fed lands; incorrect irrigation practice is responsible for the degradation of most irrigated lands. Land degradation is a global problem largely related to agricultural use, deforestation and climate change. 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. 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. While modern agricultural practices present many problems for the land, they also represent one the greatest opportunities for improving our relationship with the land. Pollution of water resources from the contamination of soil through which water sweeps into ground or runoff to the water bodies. ... To … 3. 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. (European Soil Erosion Model) (Morgan et al., 1994). 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). According to a study conducted by Ajai et al. The modern agricultural practises, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides has adversely degraded the natural quality and fertility of the cultivation land. They are highly adapted to climatic variability and water stress, but also extremely vulnerable to damaging human activities such as deforestation, overgrazing and unsustainable agricultural practices, which cause land degradation. Degradation of soil as a result of Erosion 2. Causes include: 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. 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). 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. From: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001, M.A. Continuous tillage of the soil definitely lead to land degradation and leaching which in turn leads to loss of soil nutrients. … 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. The Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resources Conservation Service) was the largest single section of the US Department of Agriculture. Copyright 10. Agricultural land degradation and its end result of desertification have been receiving considerable attention by the international community in recent decades. 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. 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. 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. 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. Soil degradation is a serious global environmental problem and may be exacerbated by climate change. Strip farming: Land degradation is the process of deterioration of soil or loss of fertility of soil. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. 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. Integrated methods for the restoration of all kind of degraded land i.e. Such changes have resulted in the abandonment of land for traditional agriculture and the increase in demand for water for urban expansion, tourism, and irrigation, resulting in increased land-use conflicts. 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. Land degradation is the major consequences of direct interference of human activities in the natural phenomenon. As annual agriculture expands, the land loses the protection of vegetation, especially during the dry season, and suffers from severe wind erosion. Biosurfactants significantly affect the bioavailability and biodegradation kinetics of hydrophobic compounds (Ahmad et al., 2015). ... 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 … 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. James F. Reynolds, in Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 2001. Land degradation here mainly refers to the loss of life-supporting land resource through soil erosion, desertification, salinization, acidification, etc. 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). Under this condition, irrigation water fills all the soil pores in the root zone and obstructs the gas exchange between soil and air. 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). Changes in the characteristic of soil. Disclaimer 9. However, rapidly changing social and economic conditions—along with the potential for climate change—pose many serious challenges to the Mediterranean region. Land degradation may be caused by i.e. As a consequence, crop yields decline as the soil fertility is depleted. 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. 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. 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. The causes of land degradation can be divided into natural hazards, direct causes, and underlying causes. Increasing growth of population and demand for more residential areas and commercial sectors is also one of the reasons for land degradation. It is especially a problem in Africa, Asia, and South America. This type of farming is usually practiced across the hill side and is useful in collecting and diverting the run off to avoid erosion. Overgrazing refers to excessive eating of grasses and other green plants by cattle. CAUSES OF LAND DEGRADATION 1. Such soil salinization increases the osmotic pressure of the root medium, leading to a reduction of the vegetation's ability to tolerate water stress. Another destructive agricultural practice is the ‘slashing and burning’ of natural perennial vegetation, including trees and shrubs, to clear land for annual agriculture. 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. 5. 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). The issue of land degradation is further contributing to the loss of production. Unsustainable agricultural practices include: 4. 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. Desertification, on the other hand, generally occurs after a prolonged degradation of land. Changes in climatic conditions because of unbalanced created in the environment. Degradation status of global land in crops, permanent pasture, forest, and woodlands, S.A. Moges, A.S. Gebregiorgis, in Climate Vulnerability, 2013. In addition, compacted soil allows less water to infiltrate, limiting the water resources for plant uptake. 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. These biosurfactants are also involved in biofilm formation and can also interact with various microbial proteins. Land degradation has many negative impacts on agriculture and environment. Acidification, compaction and salinization are some other causes of agricultural land degradation. With the exception of irrigation-induced land degradation, desertification usually starts with the removal of vegetation cover by humans or livestock. 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. Following are some practises for controlling land degradation: It is & practice in which cultivated crops are sown in alternative strips to prevent water movement. Land degradation is the human-induced loss of biodiversity, productivity, … 2) Less vegetation cover 3) Changes in the characteristic of soil. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. ScienceDirect ® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V. 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Desertification is a land degradation process that occurs in drylands. 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. However, microbially produced biosurfactants have advantages over plant-based surfactants due to scale-up capacity, rapid production, and multifunctional properties. 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. Arid and semi-arid areas (or ‘dry lands’) generally receive an annual rainfall less than 600 mm, with high interannual variability. Deforestation accounts for the major land degradation problem as it results in severe soil erosion, flood, and loss of fertile soil. The causes of land degradation in PICs include: deforestation, inappropriate agricultural practices, overgrazing, mining, population pressure, land tenure issues and changing climate. water quality, air pollution, soil contamination. Leakey, in Multifunctional Agriculture, 2017. Land degradation can cause or exacerbate poverty and inequality by ... in the agricultural sector [2]. It affects the land's capacity to supply ecosystem services, such as producing food or hosting biodiversity, to mention the most well-known ones. The problems are especially severe in Africa, where more than 80% of countries are nitrogen-deficient, and where nutrient loss has been estimated at 9–58 kg ha−1 year−1 in the 28 worst affected countries and 61–88 kg ha−1 year−1 in 21 others (Chianu et al., 2012). 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. As a result, there has been a renewed emphasis on national programs of abatement in numerous Mediterranean countries. In the past several decades, desertification has become a devastating problem of global concern. These factors make dry lands subject to anthropogenic desertification. Asa L. Aradottir, Dagmar Hagen, in Advances in Agronomy, 2013. This causes the buildup of chemicals harmful to plant growth. Desert areas cannot support life for long as the available water can hardly support life. James F. Reynolds, in Encyclopedia of Biodiversity (Second Edition), 2013. Before publishing your articles on this site, please read the following pages: 1. One process or a combination of several processes may be involved in the desertification. Ecological restoration is identified as one of several key activities that can reverse this trend (MEA, 2005a). 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. 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. Is now known to be flawed ( stocking 1996a ) Malawi in response to perceived degradation! For more residential areas and commercial sectors is also one of the world 's land area Asia... ( Ahmad et al., 2011 ) considered harmful or undesirable it in! And excessive fuelwood collection destroy the protective layer of plants, the Middle land degradation from agricultural practices, Australia, and causes. Divided into natural hazards, direct causes of degradation, 2013 contemporary of... 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