Here is your paragraph on on Land Degradation!
Land degradation today threatens the livelihood of many poor people of the underdeveloped countries.
It is a symptom of the rapid demographic, economic and social changes of the present era.
Although the natural factors such as soils, topography, vegetation and climate are determining the forms and seventy of land degradation but the catalytic process is mainly the changing land management practices and its use.
In economics, land as a factor of production does not refer only to the surface of land but to all gifts of nature, such as rivers, oceans, climate, mountains, fisheries, mines and forests etc. In the words of Dr. Alfred Marshall, “By land is meant…..materials and forces which nature gives freely for man’s aid, in land, water, in air, light and heat.” Land is thus, an important factor of production which helps in the production of goods and services in one way or the other.
Land forms about one fifth of the earth’s surface, covering about 13,393 million hectares. About 36.6 percent of the land area is occupied by houses, factories, roads, railways, deserts, mountains, rocks, glaciers and polar ice marshes. About 30 percent of land is covered by forests. About 22 percent of land is occupied by meadows and pastures.
The surface layer of land is called soil. About four-fifth of the land consists of soil. Soil also contains/Zora (plants) and fauna (animals). Soil is considered as a renewable resource. Land use may be defined as man’s activities on land which are directly related to the land. Use of land generally depends on its location, natural qualities including its surface and sub-surface characteristics and vegetative cover price, ownership (tenure) and improvements that can be made to and on land, viz., reclamation, leveling, filling, drainage etc.
With the increase in world population and standard of living, land in many parts of the world is coming under intensive pressure from a variety of uses, chief among them being residential, industrial, commercial, recreational, transportation, agricultural, pastoral, forestry, mining and mineral extraction, and preservation of natural habitat.
Pressure to expand the agriculture land has resulted in more and more utilization of marginal land. For this, either technology is not available for farming on a sustained basis or if available has been disregarded for social and economic reasons.
Thus, the expansion of agriculture to steep hillsides has led to serious erosion in Indonesia, increasing pressure of slash-and bum agriculture is distorting tropical forests in the Philippines, deforestation in the Himalayas is contributing to the increase in frequency and severity of flooding in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and overgrazing and deforestation is contributing to the southward march of the Sahara in the Saharain Zone of Africa. There are numerous other similar examples where short-term agricultural benefits have resulted in long-term environmental costs which have eventually completely negated the increased food production.