Wednesday,February 6, 2019

Land, Coastal and Marine Degradation

Land Degradation is defined as the reduction or loss of the biological or economic productivity and complexity of forest land including cropland, range, pasture, and woodlands resulting from land uses or a process or combination of processes arising from human activities and habitation patterns, such as:

• soil erosion caused by wind and/or water;
• deterioration of the physical, chemical and biological or economic properties of soil; and
• long-term loss of natural vegetation;

Impact of Land Degradation:

  1. Erosion
  2. Poor Crop Growth
  3. Siltation and pollution of dams, rivers, lakes and other waterways
  4. Flooding and water scarcity

Effect of Land Degradation on Biodiversity:

Land degradation when left unacted have a great impact on ecosystems and species extinction. Erosions on forestland will damage habitat of  animals and may push plant species into extinction.

Siltation in rivers, lakes and other waterways might damages sea beds, corals which are important habitat for marine species.

Based on a classification by the Global Assessment of the Status of Human-Induced Soil Degradation, 1990 (GLASOD), about 70% of the country’s land area has been degraded with soil erosion as the dominant forms of land degradation in the Philippines.

(Briones, 2009)
Map of Global Assessment of Human-induced Soil Degradation (GLASOD)

Coastal and Marine Degradation – The degradation of coastal and marine areas in the country is result of the following pressures and factors:

  • Indiscriminate habitat conversion and other destructive practices including massive land reclamation or dump-and-fill
  • Over extraction of resources
  • Overloading of waste, including massive sedimentation from mining and indiscriminate dumping of garbage
  • Climate related disturbances

Effect of Coastal and Marine Degradation on Biodiversity:

  1. Destruction of coastal ecosystem—including mangroves, sea grass and corals
  2. Marine Species extinction and migration of some species (fish,marine mammals)

——Sources / Further Reading—–