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Focus on... Rehabilitating degraded land

Across vast areas of the world, human activity has degraded once fertile and productive land. Deforestation, overgrazing, continuous farming and poor irrigation practices have affected almost 2 billion hectares worldwide, threatening the health and livelihoods of over one billion people.

As fertile soil is degraded, those who rely on the land are less able to grow or harvest sufficient food, and their hopes of improving their livelihoods are diminished. In this edition of New Agriculturist, we focus on some of the approaches and policies that can help to successfully rehabilitate degraded land. While each of the articles highlights different approaches, the common theme for successful restoration of farmland is the importance of involving local communities and the need to change existing agricultural practice.

Bioreclamation of degraded lands in the Sahel

Bioreclamation of degraded lands in the Sahel

A number of initiatives are helping transform degraded land in the Sahel, improving agriculture and food security in this vast, dry and sandy stretch of Africa.

Date published: March 2008

Livelihoods in Nepal - No longer an uphill struggle

Livelihoods in Nepal - No longer an uphill struggle

Leasing plots of degraded forest in the highlands of Nepal is proving effective in the fight against environmental damage and helping landless families earn a living from the land.

Date published: March 2008

Harnessing the healing power of nature - natural regeneration in India

Harnessing the healing power of nature - natural regeneration in India

Community projects to restore land degraded by deforestation and overgrazing has had dramatic results in Rajasthan, enabling some of the region's poorest people to earn a living from the land once again.

Date published: March 2008

A solution to India's sodic soils?

A solution to India's sodic soils?

Continuous agriculture and irrigation has left the soils in Uttar Pradesh, India, suffering from sodicity. Regenerating abandoned sodic plots has become an important step in the fight to improve livelihoods in the state.

Date published: March 2008

The Loess Plateau: from China's sorrow to Earth's hope

The Loess Plateau: from China's sorrow to Earth's hope

The cradle of Chinese civilisation, the Loess Plateau is now one of the most degraded regions in the world. And yet, in just ten years, large-scale rehabilitation has been achieved. The lessons learnt provide hope for other regions that given the right policies and investment, ecological 'rebirth' is possible.

Date published: March 2008

Learning not to burn - transforming land and livelihoods in Central America

Learning not to burn - transforming land and livelihoods in Central America

Farmers in Central America are restoring lands degraded by slash-and-burn by using affordable, sustainable techniques.

Date published: March 2008

Brighter future for farmers in Uzbekistan

Brighter future for farmers in Uzbekistan

Liquorice grows wild in many parts of Uzbekistan, but scientists have only recently discovered the plant's remarkable power to restore degraded soil in the region, paving the way for a new era of cotton and wheat production.

Date published: March 2008

 

 

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