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Land Degradation

  • Date Submitted: 05/08/2013 02:37 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 25.9 
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Land degradation
Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by one or more combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land.[1] also environmental degradation is the gradual destruction or reduction of the quality and quantity of human activities animals activities or natural means example water causes soil erosion, wind, etc. It is viewed as any change or disturbance to the land perceived to be deleterious or undesirable.[2] Natural hazards are excluded as a cause, however human activities can indirectly affect phenomena such as floods and bush fires.
This is considered to be an important topic of the 21st century due to the implications land degradation has upon agronomic productivity, the environment, and its effects on food security.[3] It is estimated that up to 40% of the world's agricultural land is seriously degraded.[4]
Measuring
Land degradation is a broad term that can be applied differently across a wide range of scenarios. There are four main ways of looking at land degradation and its impact on the environment around it:
  * A temporary or permanent decline in the productive capacity of the land. This can be seen through a loss of biomass, a loss of actual productivity or in potential productivity, or a loss or change in vegetative cover and soil nutrients.
  * A decline in the lands “usefulness”: A loss or reduction in the lands capacity to provide resources for human livelihoods. This can be measured from a base line of past land use.
  * Loss of biodiversity: A loss of range of species or ecosystem complexity as a decline in the environmental quality.
  * Shifting ecological risk: increased vulnerability of the environment or people to destruction or crisis. This is measured through a base line in the form of pre-existing risk of crisis or destruction.
A problem with measuring land degradation is that what one group of people call degradation, others might view as a benefit...

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