• Land degradation is a process in which the value of the
biophysical environment is affected by a combination of
human-induced processes acting upon the land.
• It is viewed as any change or disturbance to the land
perceived to be deleterious or undesirable.
• Land degradation is the most important environmental
problem currently challenging sustainable development
in many parts of the world. The problem is most acute
where the environment is intrinsically vulnerable and
where the population is losing control of its own
• Natural hazards are excluded as a cause;
however human activities can indirectly affect
phenomena such as floods and bush fires.
CAUSES OF LAND DEGRADATION
1. Land clearance, such as clear cutting and deforestation.
2. Agricultural depletion of soil nutrients through poor
3. Livestock including overgrazing and over drafting.
4. Inappropriate irrigation and over drafting.
5. Urban sprawl and commercial development.
6. Vehicle off-roading.
7. Quarrying of stone, sand, ore and minerals.
8. Increase in field size due to economies of scale,
reducing shelter for wildlife, as hedgerows and copses
9. Exposure of naked soil after harvesting by heavy
10. Monoculture, destabilizing the local ecosystem.
11. Dumping of non-biodegradable trash, such as plastics
12. Soil degradation, e.g
I. Soil contamination
II. Soil erosion
III. Soil acidification
IV. Loss of soil carbon