Development essay 3

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  • Created on: 11-09-13 11:16
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Emma Burton 13GGS
How has environmental damage in the
past, been rectified or reduced, by
changes in more recent times? (20)
In the past there was little to no regard for the future consequences of people's actions, with regard
to agriculture, industry and the management of urban areas. In the past the main aim in agriculture
was to produce as much as possible, without considering the consequences on the environment and
the effect it would have in the future such as soil degradation and in extreme cases desertification.
Industry was similar, during the industrial revolution in Britain where large amounts of fossil fuels
were burnt to help to produce products which were to be shipped all over the world to the empire.
This also has occurred all over the world, such as in China and India as countries have begun to
develop, this has lead to many adverse effects such as smog in Chinas large cities, pollution leading
to a lower quality of life. In the past urban areas have been allowed to grow uncontrollably leading to
extensive areas of urban sprawl , pockets of poverty within cities and the decline of the city centre.
There have also been problems dealing with transport and waste management of large settlements,
because if they are not managed correctly the impact could be disastrous. People have now begun
to realise that we have to look after our environment in order for it to look after us and it to be a
pleasant place to live.
Sustainable farming is now being encouraged all over the world to help protect the environment. For
example in north-western Burkina Faso, in the Sahel region, there is a high risk of land
becoming desert if the land is to intensely farmed as is not properly looked after.
However, in the village of Gourcy, they have turned many hectares of hard-pan gravel,
back into farmland where they grow drought tolerant crops such as sorghum. They have
stone lines following the contours of the land these trap soil and condensation at night,
adding moister to the ground. These stone walls also provide shelter from the winds.
Perennial grasses have been planted which also helps to slow winds and protect the soil
and the crops. Fruit trees have also been planted, such as date palms with long roots.
Sorghum is planted in small ditches, or planting pits to provide shelter and moisture. The
planting pits help to collect leaves which rot down to form humus. Stubble is left in the
ground to create more humus and is dug into the ground. Compost is also used however it is used per
plant rather than spread over a large area, this will help to improve the fertility of the ground
increasing crop yield without damaging the environment.
Sustainable farming is also carried out in the developed world for example in south-east Australia,
there is a high amount of soil degradation around the River Darling and the River Murray and this area
however produces 20% of Australia's food. However, by 2030 rainfall in this area will be down by
40%. The loss of carbon in the soil is a large problem, this is due to the types of crops grown e.g.
Cash crops such as wheat, and little rotation of the crops. This has caused 50% of the carbon in the
soil to go meaning the soil is less able to hold the water and is less fertile. Carbon farming is now
being promoted, the type of plants that should be grown should be those that absorbs CO2, from the
air and transfers it in to the roots, where it is converted into fungi, such as peas. Decomposition at
the end of the plats life then puts carbon back into the soil and improves the soil structure and holds

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Emma Burton 13GGS
more water. During this process CO2 is also removed from the atmosphere, this will help global
warming. A 1% rise in carbon in the world's soils would remove 300 gigatones of carbon front e
atmosphere. Moving animals, rotation of crops and animals, mixed farming all help to avoid over
grazing and keeps pastures well grassed.…read more


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