Rising stats show the problems of global land degradation
Repairing land helps restore the balance in the ecosystem.
Better soil quality means healthier food outputs of the land.
Traps and stores carbon dioxide thus improving pollution levels.
Land is one of the most important natural resources in the world that is a mixture of soil, water and biodiversity and helps create a healthy ecosystem and sustainable livelihood. But with growing population needs, there has been a rise in the overexploitation of land across the globe that has led to severe degradation in soil quality and formation. Around 3.2 billion people are at severe risk due to land degradation as their source of livelihood, food and health has been affected.
Thus, the global communities have started a new mission to achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030 where human activity will have a neutral or positive effect on land resources and reverse the damage of land degradation.
Land Degradation can be caused by both natural factors like wind and water erosion but is also caused by human factors like over cultivation of land, soil pollution due to buildup of mineral salts and urban wastes.
Soil erosion is one of the biggest factors that causes land degradation as the topsoil that is full of nutrients and organic matter is removed from the land. This is caused both by wind and water erosion as well as human activities like extensive farming and ploughing. Globally, at present, over 75 billion tons of soil is getting eroded from green landscapes at a rate of 13-40 times faster than normal erosion. 33% of soils across the globe have already been eroded and if strict action is not enforced over 90% of soil can get eroded by 2050.
Improper irrigation practices can increase soil salinity and degrade around 24% of land all across the world. Soil salinity is the accumulation of salts in the soil that can have adverse effects after a certain level on human and natural assets. The excessive accumulation of salts in the soil can lower the fertility of the soil and leads to desertification of lands. In parts of Australia like Queensland, salt salinization is a severe environmental issue that dramatically changes the industry and landscape across the region. According to the global estimates, around 50% of the soil will be salinized by 2050 unless some serious measures are taken.
Pesticides contain a host of harmful toxins and chemicals that are sprayed onto plants and soil matter to kill harmful germs and pests that attack these plants. But along with these harmful germs and pests, pesticides also remove beneficial microorganisms that are present in the soil and non-target plants. Insecticides and herbicides are generally the most harmful of these pesticides and can have adverse effects on the topsoil quality. According to global reports, over 64% of agricultural land is at risk of getting severely degraded from using and overusing pesticides and chemical fertilisers to kill insects and weeds.
There are five crucial benefits of global land repairing for the ecosystem such as increased food production, regulating climate change, providing good fibre, promoting regional biodiversity and storing carbon. Land repairing not only creates wholesome and rich land that meets the global needs for fibre and energy but also helps conserve the natural resources to provide a safe and healthy habitat for wildlife and natural vegetation. Proper methods of global land repairing will also help preserve the land resources for future generations to come so there is no future global shortage of food or mass extinctions.
Taking initiatives to restore the land to its former glory is a global endeavour
Soil Conservation Plans That Are In Effect In Queensland
In Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast Queensland, there have been measures to control soil erosion in these areas. In this regard, the Soil Conservation Act 1986 provides soil conservation plans for present and future owners of the property. To check whether your land falls under this act, you can check the Queensland government website online.
There are two types of soil conservation plans, property and project plans, that will help mitigate or lessen soil erosion. Property plans are when you have a map and specific requirements for preventing soil erosion and can cover part of or your entire property. There are over 2,500 approved soil conservation property plans in Queensland. On the other hand, project plans cover the planned conservation of a group of properties under statutory authority. At present, there are 98 soil conservation project plans in Queensland.
Meet Our Volunteer Team. Here are some of the world’s top global land repairing projects that have been a success
The Palm Jumeirah beach in Dubai is a successful land reclamation project.
Marina bay Sands is now a popular tourist destination in Singapore
The Lantau Tomorrow Vision is a planned land reclamation project in Hong Kong
As part of global land repairing it is important to note that we must restore agricultural land and make it more productive and healthy by using a variety of sustainable farming techniques. These practices include leaving crop residues on lands to prevent erosion, growing intermediate crops between harvest seasons to retain nutrients and to rotate crops by planting different varieties so that pests and insects do not start attacking the land where similar crops are constantly grown. There is also another way to restore agricultural land by growing cover crops that bloom close to the trees and shrubs and help provide protection to the soil and improve its overall quality by regulating the soil heat and temperature.
Once I learnt to restore my local farms, I noticed a massive increase in healthier output and good quality soil
I enjoy farming and was amazed at how small changes like using organic manure could impact my topsoil and produce.
The quality of the local waterways in my area have become much better with the growth of vegetation cover all around.