Soil degradation refers to the decline in quantity and quality of soil. Degradation of soil is done by erosion (wind and water), biological degradation, physical degradation (referring to the over loss of structure and changes in permeability) and chemical degradation, this refers to acidification, declining fertility, changes in pH levels, salinization and chemical toxicity. Soil degradation affects not only the environment but also the economy as well as people.
The effect that soil degradation has on the environment is that it is quickly stripping a vital part of the worlds needs. Soil it self is considered to be as important as water and air. Water and wind erosion account for more than 80% of the 20 million square kilometers degraded around the world. Soil degradation occurs when vegetation is fully removed from the ground. For example, deforestation has a significant part to play in erosion as the roots of trees and plants is what holds the soil together, without roots the soil is then vulnerable to wind erosion and water erosion.
As for the effect that soil degradation has on the economy, places like Uganda, where land has a big role on their source of income in terms of crops. As the soil becomes degraded, the soil quality will start to decline, which will lead to the inability to grow crops. Selling crops, for people in Uganda, gives them a steady source of income, although as the ability to grow crops in soil that had been degraded vanishes so will their source of income. Their role in the economy comes from land use.
Lastly, as the rate of soil degradation increases, without any prevention or actions to help improve the situation, at some point there will have to be political or governmental intervention. Since most of the degraded land was cause my human activities there should be some stop to the speed at which it is happening. With government intervention there will be no further process of deforestation, agricultural activities or industrialization in that certain area. In conclusion soil degradation should not be taken lightly, it is a serious matter at stake. It does not only effect the environment but it also affects eople’s lives. Soil degradation is an matter that has to be dealt with since the effects that happen due to it have significant impact on all of our surroundings. For a future with land that is suitable for the growth of crops, eliminating soil degradation would have to be done by a whole community, for example, rather than just a few people here and there. Such as the Loess Plateau rehabilitation project in China. The World Bank made it essential for the locals to include themselves in the project where they could be making money as well as help rehabilitate the land.