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Journal of Applied Sciences
  Year: 2007 | Volume: 7 | Issue: 8 | Page No.: 1199-1205
DOI: 10.3923/jas.2007.1199.1205
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Land Desertification-An Emerging Threat to Environment and Food Security of Pakistan

M. Irshad, M. Inoue, M. Ashraf, Faridullah , Hossain K.M. Delower and A. Tsunekawa

The natural resource base of land, water and vegetation in arid and semi arid areas is highly fragile and greatly vulnerable to degradation. There is a serious problem of desertification in many parts of Pakistan. Population pressure along with the demand for more food, fodder and fuelwood has generated a chain of interrelated economic, social and environmental issues associated with the land degradation inside Pakistan. A variety of natural and human factors are contributing to desertification and severely impairs the biological productivity of lands across the country, including dwindling vegetation cover, overgrazing, flooding, over exploitation of water and land resources, over cultivation of marginal lands, deforestation, soil erosion, salinization, sodication and the use of inappropriate technologies. Unsustainable agricultural activities including inadequate soil conservation, cultivation of steep slopes, cultivation without adequate fallow periods, unbalanced fertilizer use and improper irrigation management coupled with the misuse of prime agricultural land for urbanization/industrialization had a devastating impact on land resources. The increased pressure on land with low productivity and environmental pollution through industrial wastes has further exacerbated the prevailing condition. In spite of the concerted national efforts to mitigate the effects of drought, combating desertification is still one of the major challenges to the people of the country. The action necessary to help avert desertification is to educate people as to the value of precious land and water resources. The present deserted situation is directly related to the failures of the unrealistic resource management policies. Various approaches are being applied to arrest the menace of desertification. The institutional set-up for formulation and implementation of programs and policies is being strengthened in the country. Numbers of land reclamation projects have been launched. The activities and efforts already underway by several public and private organizations, departments, NGOs and rural support programs to combat desertification are required to be strengthened, integrated and supplemented through a nationally supported, coordinated and monitored system. This study reviews some of the causes of desertification, identifies the patterns of land degradation and highlights the future prospects of combating desertification in Pakistan.
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How to cite this article:

M. Irshad, M. Inoue, M. Ashraf, Faridullah , Hossain K.M. Delower and A. Tsunekawa, 2007. Land Desertification-An Emerging Threat to Environment and Food Security of Pakistan. Journal of Applied Sciences, 7: 1199-1205.

DOI: 10.3923/jas.2007.1199.1205






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