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Issues - Land and Soil Resources

Land degradation is a process in


which the value of the biophysical
environment is affected by a
combination of human-induced
processes acting upon the land.
Issues with land resources -
Degradation
Poor land management can result
in key problems:

erosion
nutrient depletion
desertification
pollution
Soil- what is it ?
Litter:The very top layer of dead
leaves and grass.

Topsoil:A mixture of rock


fragments, nutrients, water, air,
and decaying animal and plant
matter.

Subsoil: Below the topsoil, contains


rock fragments, water and air, but
less animal and plant matter.
Bedrock: Soil that makes up
Earths crust.

Ittakes hundreds of years to


form just a few centimeters of
new soil.

But human activities destroy


resources in seconds !!
Erosion
Is the process by which water and
wind, moves particles of rocks or
soil.
The ground has been washed away by water.
Why are the roots of this tree so visible? What made this
happen?
Erosion caused by water.
Erosion can be caused by wind
and rain.
Erosion can happen quickly or slowly over a
period of time. This formation took years and
years of erosion to form.
This picture is
of erosion
down a
mountain that
destroyed the
houses at the
bottom.

Destroye
d houses
What can help prevent
erosion?
Plants can help prevent erosion! Look at the roots on
these grasses. Roots help hold the soil in place so that it
doesnt wash away.

Plant
roots
Nutrient Depletion
Nutrient Depletion: When farmers plant the
same crops in a field year after year. As a
result, the plants use more nutrients than
the decomposers can replace. The soil
becomes less fertile.
Desertification
The advance of desertlike
conditions into areas that
previously were fertile.
How have each of these factors
contributed to desertification?
Climate

Drought: low rainfall

Soils become dry and there


is no water left in wells.

Trees die, grass withers and


is replaced by poor desert
scrub.

Crops fail and cattle feed on


poor pasture.

Less roots to protect the


topsoil, less humus; soils
become more sandy and dry.

Wind erosion removes the


soil, causing dust storms,
leaving bare rock.
Human activity
Population is high and
increasing fast.

To increase food supplies


more crops are grown and
more cattle kept leading
to over-cultivation and
over-grazing.

Yields decline and cattle


are undernourished and
die.

Demand increases for


water as population
grows.

Trees are cut down for fuel


supplies.

Less vegetation; more dry,


bare soil; more wind
Animals/ insects
Locusts destroy the
crops.

Overgrazing means all


vegetation is eaten.

Animals trample the


ground reducing it to
dust.

Animals die and cant


breed.
Solid wastes

Solid wastes are a major problem


in degrading land and soil quality.

This has been growing worldwide


due to :
Population growth
Increased consumption and
needs
Unsustainable development
Solid Waste
Every hour people throw away 2.5 million plastic
bottles.
Every year people throw away enough white paper to
build a wall 4 meters high that stretches coast to
coast.
Every year people throw away 1.6 billion pens, 2.9
million tons of paper towels, and 220 million
automobile tires.
Pollution -Problem of Waste
Disposal

Municipal solid waste :

Waste materials produced in


homes, businesses, schools, and
other places in a community.
Solid wastes is a burning problem
in Sri Lanka! Lives lost .
Municipal solid Wastes in Sri
Lanka
Domestic waste (exclusive of sewage and hazardous
waste)

Commercial waste (Market waste)

Institutionalwastes (schools, hospitals (non clinical),


public offices, etc.)

Street sweeping and beach cleansing waste

Garden waste (Tree cuttings and grass cutting wastes)

Wastes collected from drains and water courses in urban


areas
General requirements of SW
management in SL (CEA)
Priorities
must be given for
promoting source separation and
sorted waste collection .

In the waste management plan


priorities must be given on waste
recycling and resource recovery
and to reduce the amount of final
disposal.
When handling biodegradable
waste and waste not containing
any toxic contaminants priorities
must be given for biological
processing such as
composting,
anaerobic digestion
or any other appropriate
biological processing for
stabilization of waste
Land filling shall be encouraged to

non biodegradable,
inert waste and
other waste that are not suitable
either for recycling or for biological
processing.
Management should take adequate
mitigatory measures to minimize
possible pollution of air, water and
soil.

Adequate training should be given to


workers involved in solid waste
management operations and
operator should endeavour to involve
trained workers as far as possible.
Hazardous Wastes
Hazardous wastes are classified
into 4 categories: Toxic,
Explosive, Flammable, and
Corrosive.
Toxic Waste
Are poisonous wastes that an
damage the health of humans
and other organisms.
Different methods of handling solid
waste.
Sanitary Landfills: Holds
municipal solid wastes,
construction debris, and some
types of agricultural and
industrial waste.
Incineration
The burning of solid waste is called
incineration.

Theadvantages of incinerators is that they


do not take up as much space as landfills,
they do not pose the risk of polluting
groundwater, and the heat they produce can
generate electricity.

Disadvantage is that they are more


expensive to build.
Recycling
Recycling: The process of reclaiming
raw materials and reusing them.
Biodegradable: A substance that can
be broken down and recycled by
bacteria and other decomposers.
Most recycling focuses on 4 major
categories of products: metal, glass,
paper, and plastic.
Products to Recycle
Metal
Metals
such as iron and aluminum can be
melted and reused. Recycling metal saves
money and causes less pollution than
making new metal.
Glass
Glass is one of the easiest products to
recycle because it can be melted down over
and over.
Recycling glass is less expensive than
making glass from raw materials.
Less energy is required. It also reduces the
environmental damage caused by mining for
sand, soda, and limestone.
Paper
Most paper products can only be recycled a
few times.
Each time the paper is recycled to make
pulp, the new paper is rougher, weaker, and
darker.
It takes about 17 trees to make one metric
ton of paper.
Plastics
When oil is refined to make gasoline and
other petroleum products, solid materials
called resins are left over.
These resins can be heated,
stretched, and molded into
plastic products.

Numbers are found on the


bottom of plastic containers.
The numbers 1 & 2 are made
from plastics that are often
recycled.
What Can You Do?
3 Rs Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Reduce: Refers to creating less waste


in the first place. (Use cloth shopping
bags than disposable paper or plastic
bags.
Reuse: Find another use for the
object rather than discarding it.
( Example ???)
Recycle: Reclaiming raw materials to
create new products.
Composting
Composting: Is the process of helping the
natural decomposition processes break down
many forms of waste.
Compost is an excellent natural fertilizer for
plants.