Yesterday was world awareness to stop desertification and drought day.
I do not want to lose our focus by working on the world statistics. As far as India is concerned we are at 30% of the country being threatened by droughts. The threat of the drought has moved southwards. There has been a 90% increase in desertification of the states in India.
Desertification is a process in which and productivity and resilience declines. Leading to problems of water and food. Loss of soil and forest cover, wind and water erosions are major causes for this. This effects the lively hood of people.
Goa is one of the states that touched 50% desertification. This desertification is man-made, with increased deforestation and mining activity.
Globalization and trade liberalization has brought about certain economic reforms which are export oriented products. This has affected the economic and social lives of people in turn effecting the interaction with the environment.
The mining activity in Goa has caused water erosion by silting the soil.
The focus was kept on the trouble in the mining industry, while the construction of eight lane high way, new airport, coal rail-lines all part of Bharatmala has lead to concretization of agricultural land and indiscriminate forest felling. This activity has also brought about a boom in real estate adding to the increased demands on the already dwindling resources. Sagarmala another project has contributed to this imbalance of environment.
Though reversal is a long and tedious process, we could for now begin with prevention. Few steps recommended by international panel
- Integrating land and water management.
- Protecting vegetative cover.
- Integrating grazing and farming land.
- Introduction of dry land agriculture and green house agriculture.
It is time that we really sat up and took responsibility for our environment.