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Grazing vs. not grazing and its effects (Essay Sample)


Grazing vs. not grazing and its effect on desertification

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Grazing vs. not grazing and its effect on desertification
Desertification is one of the main dangers facing humanity in this century as the state of the natural environment deteriorates with the passage of time. The problem is particularly prevalent in the developing countries as communities practice livestock rearing, especially the nomadic pastoralists, which has significantly contributed to the process of desertification. Current environmental research indicates that overgrazing, especially in developing countries, will lead to the formation of more deserts if it is not addressed promptly. The problem is compounded by government reluctance to tackle the issues of food security, which is what causes overgrazing, in most areas.
Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa is a continent that is having a combination of both poor governance and lack of stringent policies regarding the impact of desertification, which can be attributed to the poor climatic conditions especially in the northern parts. The Sahara desert is the largest hot desert and research indicates that it was formed through the process of natural degradation of the environment over many centuries. It is believed that the area covered by the Sahara desert was once fertile with a lot of vegetation and that human activities may have led to the formation of the desert (Mortimore 12). Overgrazing is cited as one of the most likely factors, which led to the formation of the Sahara desert. Recent studies conducted in some of the semi-arid areas in Sub-Saharan Africa since the 1960s shows that there has been a steady decline in the conditions of these areas due to grazing activities. It is my belief that pastoralism is the major cause of increased desertification of the arid and semi-arid lands in developing countries. In order to stop the spread of desertification in sub-Saharan Africa, it is paramount that overgrazing is curbed.
Overgrazing in drylands
The impact of overgrazing in most dry lands is that it leads to increased desertification. This is according to studies carried out in country such as Chile and Morocco, which have an abundance of dry areas where grazing takes place. Over significant periods of time overgrazing has led to the loss of the natural vegetation, which is consumed by the livestock, leaving the land bare (Schlesinger 1045)Once the land is bare of any vegetation cover then it is not long before the fertile tope soil is swept away by winds leaving the land infertile. Across the world the majority of people who inhabit the drylands are found in poor developing countries with limited access to any economic activities (Klausmeier 1827). There are critics who propose that grazing does not lead to desertification, citing data on the efforts to stop desertification by reducing the sizes of cattle herds and the herds of other wild animals. The data indicates that a reduction in the number of grazing herds actually led to in...
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