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Land Degradation

  • By: Lawrence Morara Kiage
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Land degradation is one of the most important global issues because it affects all parts of the world and, more significantly, has severe impacts on agronomic productivity, the environment, food security, and the quality of life. The term land degradation is a relatively new scientific description of an ancient environmental problem that has been in existence probably since humans began to use fire to modify landscapes. Essentially, land degradation refers to natural and/or anthropogenic processes that substantially decrease the utility or potential utility of the biophysical environment, sometimes leading to loss or change of features of the environment that cannot be replaced. In the context of utility, land degradation results whenever there is a mismatch between land quality and land use.

This entry first discusses the ...

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