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Response to Land Degradation

E.M. Bridges I.D. Hannam L.R. Oldeman S.J. Scherr Samran Sombatpanit F.W.T. Penning de Vries
Price: $ 45

The book has been designed for advanced readers interested in methods of sustainable land management, the prevention, and the control of land degradation. It provides a coherent view of the current situation concerning land degradation and the human response to the problem.

The world population has passed 6 billion people and it will continue to rise at the annual rate of around 80 million for the next two decades before the rate declines. The increased population has two direct impacts upon the land: people require land surface upon which to live as is reflected in the rapid urban expansion seen worldwide, and also for food production. With the area of suitable land available reducing, additional pressures come to bear upon the remaining productive soils. Some soils have a physical and chemical capability for ongoing intensive use, whereas soils with a lower capability can become degraded.

Degradations of soils occurs by water and wind erosion, by chemical deterioration, and through physical damage. One estimate is that, out of approximately 8.7 billion hectares of global agricultural lands almost 2 billion hectares are already degraded, reducing the basis of food production at the very time when world population is increasing. Off-site effects of land degradation are often important and generally underestimated.

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