Friday, December 2, 2011

Land Degradation and Conservathon

Land degradation is a worldwide problem. The denuding action of weathering, running water, air, etc. on the upper layer of the earth, is called land erosion.
Land is an important resource provides food, clothing, minerals, other raw materials, and shelter for human beings. Substantial reduction in the productivity of the land is the main outcome of land degradation. Soil, which is a part of land, is the gift of nature, which is available in limited quantity. Soil formation is a slow process. It takes hundreds of years to form. Therefore, it is necessary to put the available land to various uses with the most careful and planned way.
India is a vast country having a 3.28 million square kilometer area, with 22.5% under the forest, 46 % under the net sown area, 8% fallow land, and rest under the other uses. Land under the forest has increased from 14 % in 1950-51 to 22% in 1998-99. The forest-covered area is below the 33% of the total area, which is essential for balanced development. High growth of cities has depleted the forest cover. Mountainous slopes and semi desert areas are the most vulnerable by the running water and wind. In the plain, grinding of limestone for cement industry, release heavy amount of dust in the atmosphere. This later settles down in the surrounding areas, affects' water, and crop cultivation.
Human being has been creating their own world of living by constructing roads, railway, towns, industry, etc. Overgrazing by livestock, deforestation, poor farming practices, inappropriate irrigation, over drafting, Urban sprawl, land pollution, industrial waste, mining and quarrying of sandstone, ore and minerals, etc. are the major causes of land degradation.
We can conserve our land resources by adopting necessary measures:
1. All water resources, especially fresh water, should be used judiciously.
2. By educating and informing people and empowering local communities about its sustainable use for to fulfill needs.
3. Deforested areas should be replaced by tree plantations. Cutting of timber should be restricted and women should be involved in the movements for conservation of forests.
4. Inadequate land for pasturing, resort to animal grazing in area reserved for forest. This practice should be stopped immediately.
5. All the fallow land and wasteland must be under such tree, which can fulfill primary requirement of surrounding regions.
6. In the hilly or mountainous areas, fields must be ploughed along the natural contour of the hills.
7. A terraced farming method shall be adopting in the Rice growing regions along the slop.
8. At the margin of desert, shelter belts shall have planted to check the speed of winds.
9. Stabilization of sand dunes by planting grasses and thorny bushes can help land conservation.
10. Tribal people need to be educated to stop shifting agriculture.
11. Soil salination in irrigated land should be checked to reclaim the land.
12. Proper discharge, disposal of industrial and domestic, effluents and waste.
13. Desert and semi desert areas should be under the cover of grasses, and availability of water should be increased.
14. Land should be shielding from the overuse for chemical pesticide, insecticide, etc.
15. Chemical fertilizer in agriculture should be replaced with organic manure.
Land degradation is the result of unscientific development. Although land use in India is balanced one, but high growth of population may create imbalance. Exploration of land resources for prosperity may be a result of poverty and invitations to the natural calamity. Therefore, we need environment-friendly development for our food, shelter, and above all for the sake of human being.

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