Clean Tech

The death knell of desertification

Team BL | Updated on: Apr 03, 2022
Nearly 30 per cent of India’s land area has been degraded through deforestation, over-cultivation, soil erosion and depletion of wetlands

Nearly 30 per cent of India’s land area has been degraded through deforestation, over-cultivation, soil erosion and depletion of wetlands | Photo Credit: Huseyin Bostanci

How poor land management is causing widespread desertification and exacerbating climate change events

Desertification is caused by poor land management such as over-cropping, over-grazing, improper irrigation practices, and deforestation.

Desertification is exacerbating climate change events, which, in turn, are causing even greater degradation such as an inability to absorb the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide

The country’s Green Revolution pockets are especially prone to desertification resulting from the cultivation of wheat and paddy.

Nearly 30 per cent of India’s land area — roughly the size of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra put together — has been degraded through deforestation, over-cultivation, soil erosion and depletion of wetlands.

India has pledged to restore 5 million hectares of degraded land by 2030. But this is just 1.5 per cent of its geographical area.

The UN predicts that within 10 years, 50 million people in drylands — especially in sub-Saharan and South Asian regions — will be displaced due to desertification

Dryland desertification is 30-35 per cent higher than the historical rates. From 15 per cent in 1991, land degradation increased to 24 per cent in 2008. Currently, 12 million hectares per year are becoming degraded.

Published on April 03, 2022
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