While the politicians and talking heads argue over climate change, there are other environmental problems going on that may be far more devastating. One of the biggest threats to our survival is soil erosion and desertification. Healthy soil is necessary for us to grow food, to retain moisture and recharge aquifers, and to maintain healthy ecosystems in general.
Desertification: Causes and Solutions
Unfortunately, human activity, especially conventional agriculture, has been a significant factor in soil loss and the spread of deserts. Many places that were once lush and fertile have become barren (think Middle East or 1930s dust bowl). However, there are things we can do to stop it and regenerate damaged landscapes.
Check out this video with Bill Mollison to learn about the threats to our food system and environment, and what can be done to fix it.
A decline in rainfall can affect fertile land, which can increase the scope of dry land. Even though desertification is not unfamiliar to us and has been existing in many parts of the globe, the past decades have witnessed an escalation in desertification.
Desertification basically destroys the top layer of the soil, making it extremely difficult to cultivate crops and vegetation. Because of it, an incredible number of farmers had no choice but to leave agriculture industry to try other jobs. Deforestation and excessive usage of fertilizers and pesticides are major factors of desertification. Some other reasons include population explosion, climate change and global warming.
It is a serious problem but can be avoided by simply following sustainable agricultural methods. Unfortunately, they are not brought to the attention of the public unless it gets to a crucial point.
Proper water and land management planning.
Correct usage of natural resources as a way to minimize stress on the productive land.
Protection system of the vegetative cover.
Incorporating areas of grazing and farming.
Deserts are not only expanding fast, but desertification now has also affected unaffected and untouched lands. Still, the best way to address the problem is to prevent it from occurring in the first place.