What is soil erosion?
What are the negative impacts of soil erosion?
Define overgrazing, overcultivation, and deforestation. Include ideas on what people can do differently to reduce the impact of these three practices on soil erosion.
Provide examples of where this happens both locally and regionally. Within the examples list the specific consequences.
Soil is naturally removed by the action of water or wind: such 'background' (or 'geological') soil erosion has been occurring for some 450 million years, since the first land plants formed the first soil. In general, background erosion removes soil at roughly the same rate as soil is formed. But 'accelerated' soil erosion - loss of soil at a much faster rate than it is formed - is a far more recent problem. It is always a result of mankind's unwise actions, such as overgrazing or unsuitable cultivation practices. These leave the land unprotected and vulnerable.
The negative effects of erosion on yields and the production potential of land vary widely (from nil to heavy). However, the cost of off-site damage in terms of eroded fields is generally much higher, and the effects much more spectacular, amply justifying the majority of large-scale erosion control schemes. This observation is true of RML, which seeks to maintain communication links in the mountains and protect restructured valleys. It is also true of SPR, which seeks to protect soil, but especially to prevent dams from silting up too fast, and structural works, roads and villages from being destroyed. Even soil conservation, officially designed to maintain land production capacity, also concentrates on protecting water quality, which is so essential for urban dwellers. This is why the State makes considerable efforts to provide technical and financial assistance to farmers to develop their land (a task undertaken with varying degrees of willingness...