Thursday, October 31, 2013


Desertification is a progressive destruction or degradation of arid or semi-arid lands to desert. Desertification leads to conversion of range-lands or irrigated croplands to desert like conditions in which agricultural productivity falls. Desertification is classified by devegetation, depletion of groundwater, salination and soil erosion.
  1. Almost 80% of the productive land in the arid and semi-arid regions is converted into desert.
  2. Approximately 600 million people are threatened by desertification.
  1. Desertification: The process of denuding and degrading a forest land initiates the formation of a desert. Lack of vegetation prevents the rainfall from soaking into the ground resulting in poor recharge of groundwater. Eventually this results in soil erosion and loss of fertility.
  2. Over-grazing: Increase in cattle population coupled with repeated grazing at the same location results in depletion of vegetation in the area. Eventually, the land becomes loose and prone to soil erosion and formation of a desert.
  3. Water management: Over-utilization of groundwater, particularly in the coastal regions, results in saline water intrusion into aquifers thereby making water unfit for irrigation.
  4. Mining and quarrying:  These activities are responsible for loss of vegetative cover and denudation of extensive land area leading to desertification.
  5. Climate change: Climate change manifests in the form of failure of monsoons, irregular monsoons and frequent droughts thereby leading to desertification
  6. Pollution: Excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides to increase yield and disposal of toxic wastes into land leads to desertification.

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