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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Desertification: Are there human hands behind?

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It has already been accepted that climatic variations and atmospheric changes are responsible for desertification. However, it is also accepted that a number of human activities too are equally responsible for causing desertification during the current time. It is agreed that desertification has many serious consequences that cause suffering and dangers to the whole life that exists in a deserted area. Desertification disrupts many of the environmental processes making the land completely unfavorable for life. Some of the serious consequences of desertification are – reduced ability of land to support life, reduced plant cover and nutrient level in the soil, self reinforcing nature of desertification causing expansion, reduced biological productivity leading to reduced economic productivity etc.

Human hands behind the problem of desertification are visible in many forms like massive deforestation, overgrazing, over cultivation, growth of human population and consequent degradation of land, and unscientific practices of irrigation like flooding of fields etc.
Desertification can be controlled by averting the processes that cause desertification. Desert lands can be reclaimed by adopting appropriate technologies of developing plant covers over the desert lands. Rows of trees can be planted at the margins of deserts as shelter-belts for checking the spread of deserts. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) suggests a number of measures that can be adopted for controlling desertification. Some of these measures are – banning of goat farming, reclaiming decertified land, development of appropriate farming practices suited to the fragile semi-arid regions, refinement of economically viable traditional practices controlling land degradation etc.

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