Rapid expansion of Thar desert due to land degradation in Rajasthan
According to a recent study conducted by the Central University of Rajasthan, the Thar Desert is expanding rapidly due to land degradation.
This study was done to understand the process of desertification in Rajasthan. It is noteworthy that this study was a part of the assessment of environmentally sensitive areas within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention of Desertification (UNCCD).
The focus of the study is the climate and vegetation found in the Thar Desert (the world’s ninth largest hot subtropical desert).
UNCCD is the only legally binding international agreement linking environment and development to sustainable land management.
Key findings of the study
- The Thar Desert is expanding due to migration of people, change in rainfall pattern, expansion of sand dunes and unscientific plantation drive.
- Over-exploitation of resources has resulted in reduction of vegetation cover.
- The Aravalli ranges are gradually eroding. It is known that this range acts as a natural green wall between the desert and the plains.
- The erosion of the Aravallis will intensify the sand storms. They will be able to reach the National Capital Region (NCR) and pollute the air there.
- In the last 46 years, there was an increase in reservoirs in this area and a decrease of 4.98% in the inaccessible sand area.
- Land degradation refers to the reduction or loss of biological or economic productivity as a result of land use or by a combination of processes or processes, including human activities.
- It is the erosion of land in arid, semi-arid and arid sub-humid regions.
- It is mainly caused by human activities and climate change.
- Desertification does not mean the expansion of existing deserts.
Source – The Hindu