Land degradation here mainly refers to the loss of life-supporting land resource through soil erosion, desertification, salinization, acidification, etc. Deforestation accounts for the major land degradation problem as it results in severe soil erosion, flood, and loss of fertile soil.
About Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN)
It has been defined as “A state whereby the amount and quality of land resources, necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems”
Direct Causes of Land Degradation
- Deforestation of unsuitable land
- Overcutting of vegetation
- Agriculture related causes
- Shifting cultivation without adequate fallow periods/Improper crop rotations
- Extension of cultivation onto lands of longer potential and/or high natural hazards
- Unbalanced fertilizer use
- Problems arising from planning and management of canal irrigation
- Non-adoption of soil-conservation management practices
- Over pumping of groundwater
Effects of Land Degradation
- Loss of Biodiversity
- Decline in the chemical, physical and/or biological properties of soil
- Increased water and food insecurity; famine
- Decline in economic productivity and national development
- Conflict over access to resources
- Increased GHGs emissions and concentration in atmosphere
- Migrations of affected populations
- It is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of world’s deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020 & 350 million hectares by 2030.
- At UNFCC COP 2015 in Paris, India joined voluntary Bonn Challenge pledge to bring into restoration 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020, and additional 8 million hectares by 2030. India’s pledge is one of the largest in Asia.