Desertification in Western Rajasthan (India): Causes, Effects and Mitigation Measures
Asian Journal of Geological Research,
Desertification is a type of land degradation in drylands whereby biological productivity is reduced due to natural or anthropogenic factors converting them more arid. Thus, it is emerging global environmental issues and problems, India inclusive. It is a threat for both human beings and ecological systems. The various causes of desertification are attributed to climatic change which is the combination of both natural and anthropogenic factors. These causes leads to destruction of vegetation that result in extinction of species, soil erosion and soil infertility, increase vulnerability of natural disasters, pollution of soil, air and water, rise of famine, poverty, forcing mass migration and social conflicts. Rajasthan state of India due to its proximity to Thar desert in western part of Rajasthan also gets impacted to great extent by the effects of desertification and industrialization to as Rajasthan has a rich source of limestone and gypsum. The actions of desertification in western Rajasthan leads to destruction of ecological system and loss of biodiversity. The mitigation of desertification effects is critical and essential in meeting the millennium development goals. Such that the human well-being of dry land people, which constitute of about 90% of whom are in developing countries of the world, including India, lagging significantly behind. The combination of high variability in ecosystem conditions in dry lands and high level of poverty leads to situation where societies are vulnerable to a further decline in human well-being and existence. Hence mitigating desertification, thus facilitates eradication of extreme poverty, integrated land and water management, protection of Vegetation cover as envisioned in the millennium development goals (MDGs). Hence, individuals, communities, national and international, NGOs have to act actively to mitigate these effects and causes of desertification as a whole.
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