TOC o “1-3” h z u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc525502288 h 2Types of land use PAGEREF _Toc525502289 h 3Agricultural land use PAGEREF _Toc525502290 h 3Transportation PAGEREF _Toc525502291 h 3Commercials PAGEREF _Toc525502292 h 3Types of Degradations caused by land use PAGEREF _Toc525502293 h 3Deforestation PAGEREF _Toc525502294 h 3Biodiversity Degradation PAGEREF _Toc525502295 h 4Desertification PAGEREF _Toc525502296 h 4Degradation of water quality PAGEREF _Toc525502297 h 5Global warming PAGEREF _Toc525502298 h 5Sustainable agriculture land use PAGEREF _Toc525502299 h 6Rotating crops and embracing diversity PAGEREF _Toc525502300 h 6Planting cover crops PAGEREF _Toc525502301 h 6Integrating livestock and crops PAGEREF _Toc525502302 h 6Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc525502303 h 7Refrences PAGEREF _Toc525502304 h 8
Land use is the “total of arrangement, activities and inputs that people undertake in a certain land cover type”. Land use is part of the human life, no one can ever clime that they don’t use land. The movements’ men are born on this globe; land use is part of his life. Men walk on land, grow food on land and stay on land. Men are everything because land is there to support them. If one look around the world land is used for various purposes to meet so call men’s desire, such as agriculture, transportation, recreational, residential and commercials.
Throughout the world land is under intense pressure. In many countries, the human population is expanding and the demands on natural resources are increasing. Under this pressure, significant land degradation is taking place and land productivity is reducing. The situation in many countries is not sustainable, even though tiring efforts have been made to reduce degradation.As a result, the economies of many countries that depend on their forests, croplands and pastures have suffered: land degradation is costing many billions of dollars every year.
Land is supposed to use in sustainable way, however this is not the case. It is anticipated that the human footprint has affected 83% of the global terrestrial land surface and has degraded about 60% of the ecosystems services in the past 50 years alone (Roling ; Wagemakers, 1998). According to Patro (2008) the human activities are rapidly increasing with the rapid growth of population. To fulfill the human needs in day to day life, land use pressure is increasing delay. Rapid use of lands cause ecological imbalance, which leads to different types of pollution, disasters, deterioration of environmental and ultimately it cause threat to the living organism on the globe.
According to Lawn (2002) it is not possible to put complete stop in using any natural resources particularly land resources. He claims that concept of sustainable development concept came to existence in the year 1992 in the United Nation Conference on Environment and Development, mainly with the concept to balance the use of natural environment with economical development which human cannot avoid at any cost. Thus this paper tries to study the impact of land use on ecosystem and to look over the different area of land use that needed our attention.
Types of land use
Around the world land is used for different purpose in different countries. The use of land in different country depends upon different factors in different countries. It depends up on the factors such as physical, culture, political and climatic factors. In general the land use can be grouped in to agriculture, transportation, recreational, residential and commercials purpose.
Agricultural land useDifferent countries around world use different proportion of land for the agriculture purpose. In case of Bhutan, according to the Department of Agriculture 2016, Bhutan use around 11% of the total land, this is around 135,438 acres. Likewise the way of the using lands really differs from country to country. Because of that the level of the land degradations differs. In general in the world land use particularity for agriculture purpose has been increasing before green revolution but it has been declining after that. Since then agriculture has been able to yield maximum output using the advance technologies, high yielding verities of seeds and all kinds of pesticide to fight the disease related to crops.
Lands are also used for the construction of the transportations routs. As the transportations are consider as the backbone of any economic development, it is unavoidable. In the present world development is must and for that to happened efficient transportation routes.
CommercialsAll types of land used for the business purpose such as construction of the industries, be it light of heavy, offices, shopping malls and restaurants. The amount of land (acres) assessed for commercial purposes increased by 75 percent between 1985 and 2006.
Types of Degradations caused by land use
Forests cover a little more than 4 billion ha (31% of the world’s total land area) and match to an average of 0.6 ha per inhabitant. Each year in the past decade, about 13 million ha of forests were transformed to other uses or vanished as an outcome of natural phenomena.Most deforestation is due to using forested land for non-forest purposes, because of bad practices and processes resulting from social, economic and ecological pressures. These pressures include expanding cultivation, overgrazing, collecting wood for energy, drought, and fires.
Since the early 1980s, there has been considerable concern that deforestation and forest degradation are bringing huge costs to society, in the form of: lost economic rents, in efficient allocation of resources, degradation of renewable resources (such as soil and forests), disruption of watershed services, social distress and con?ict, massive loss of biodiversity, and emission of greenhouse gases. (Lawn, 2007)
Biodiversity includes plants, animals and other organisms. It is the variability among organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part. It includes diversity within species, between species and of, and between, ecosystems. It is an important source of natural resources and economic wealth globally and locally. Economic profit of biodiversity can be direct (direct exploitation/monetary gain), indirect (resources generated by other resources), available for future use, or philosophical/spiritual (subjective and moral value for humanity).
However, the consequences of various human activities (e.g., intensive agriculture, overgrazing, uncontrolled industry, unplanned urbanization), often act against preservation of biodiversity and sustainable natural resources management. Human activities may even lead to irreparable loss of animal and plant species. The vast majority of species currently in existence (of which only 1.4 million have been described so far out of an estimated total of between 5 and 30 million) have evolved from species that are now extinct. However, these natural extinctions occur at a rate that has little effect on overall biodiversity. Now, however, human activities have brought about an alarming loss of the world’s biodiversity. Although extinction is a natural phenomenon, it occurs at a natural “background” rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we are now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate, with literally dozens going extinct every day.( Cambridge, 2000)
According to Patro (2008) desertification is land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry areas. It involves progressive loss of soil efficiency and exhaustion of plant cover due to human activities and climatic variations.Land use often directly in?uences desertification. Land overuse, poor management of grazing areas and livestock, mechanized agriculture, bad irrigation practices, inadequate nutrient input back into the soil, deforestation, inadequate systems, and land use policies all contribute to desertification. Additionally, natural factors (for example, aridity over several years, uneven rainfall and recurrent drought) also in?uence the process of land degradation.
Desertification threatens one-third of the total land area of the globe, more than 4 billion hectares. It also threatens the livelihood of about one billion people in over 100 countries. Those affected are mostly people who depend on the land for physical and economic survival, and who are often some of the poorest people in the world. Then, the effects of physical land degradation are made worse for people by other factors such as rapidly rising populations, socioeconomic pressures and international exchange rate variations (which may mean people get less money for their products). As a consequence, millions of people are finding themselves in a downward spiral towards poverty and deprivation. (Wilson, 1999)
Degradation of water quality
Poor land use decisions (e.g., about the sorts and intensity of development that will be allowed on a piece of land) can result in big changes to natural land watersheds and water quality. Low-intensity uses include open spaces including woodlands, shrubs, grassland, farmland, and managed green spaces, whereas high-intensity uses include the likes of residential, commercial and industrial land use. (Rao, 2005)
When development occurs, the new land use changes how water is transported and stored. The combination of constraints related to impervious surfaces (driveways, roads, sidewalks, roofs, etc.) and compacted land creates a barrier to water infltration coming from rainfall and snowmelt. This causes, for example, reduced water quality, increased volume and velocity of runoff, increased frequency and severity of ?oods, and the loss of storage capacity and runoff water in natural vegetation. Numerous studies have established a direct relationship between intensity of development in an area – indicated by the size of impervious surfaces – and the level of water pollution. These studies suggest that water quality begins to be degraded at levels of imperviousness from 12% to 15% or even lower levels for particularly sensitive streams. (Wagemalers, 1998)
Deforestation, urban sprawl, agriculture, and other human in?uences alter and fragment the natural landscape. This disturbance of land causes changes in the atmospheric concentration of some chemicals and compounds (e.g., carbon dioxide, CFCs etc.). This in turn can modify energy ?ows from the surface of the earth. Moreover, degradation of air quality, a direct cause of global warming, represents one of the biggest threats to the Earth. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that global warming is unequivocally the cause of increased ocean temperatures, generalized melting of snow and ice, and rising mean sea level. The IPCC also states that it is very likely that global warming is caused by human activity, and that mitigation and adaptation efforts are needed by all countries to fight climate change. (S. M. Virmani, 1998)
Sustainable agriculture land useAccording to Reid (1997) in one way the green revolution is blessing in agriculture but on the other way round the use of all types of new innovations in agriculture have leads to the degradations of lands. Extensive farming was the result of the green revolution, which speed up the rate of land degradations. It is said that land is not able to regain its fertility at the rate of its use. It takes 100 year to develop 1 centimeters of the top soil. On the other hand food is the basic necessity for human existence but it is not possible if world use lands for the production of foods at the current rate. Thus for this vary reason it is viewed that agriculture land use should be in the sustainable way. It can be done in following ways,
Rotating crops and embracing diversityPlanting a mixture of crops can have many benefits, including healthier soil and enhanced pest management. Crop diversity practices include intercropping (growing a mix of crops in the same area) and complex multi-year crop rotations.
Planting cover cropsCover crops, like clover or hairy vetch, are planted during off-season times when soils might otherwise be left bare. These crops protect and build soil health by preventing erosion, replenishing soil nutrients, and keeping weeds in check, reducing the need for herbicides.
Integrating livestock and cropsIndustrial agriculture tends to keep plant and animal production separate, with animals living far from the areas where their feed is produced, and crops growing far away from abundant manure fertilizers. A growing body of evidence shows that a smart integration of crop and animal production can be a recipe for more efficient, profitable farms.(Schubert, 2007)
ConclusionFor human to sustain in the very earth food is needed, for food to produced we need land to grow to it. With the present rate of land use, sustaining life is quite difficult. Before the green revolution there was the shortage of food production with using maximum land that world can effort. However after the green revolution, with the help of innovations and technologies food production was able to increase with the less use of land. Still then problem was not solve with the green revolution, yes, it is right that food production was increased but if one look back how it is done, then one can figure out that it is achieved at the excessive use of lands. These have increased the food production in the present but future food production is at risk. Thus the only way to sustain land resources in the future time is only by using land sustainable way.
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