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Abstract

PROTECTION OF EASTERN GHATS FROM LAND DEGRADATION

Dr. R. Vinolya Kumari*

ABSTRACT

The forests in Eastern Ghats are unique, in the sense that they are the
most ancient forest cover in the subcontinent. Forest biodiversity in
Nallamal forest of Eastern Ghats is undergoing threat due to land
degradation. Land in Eastern Ghats Presently, the prominent mountain
ranges is tremendously under stress, degradation, and damage. Loss of
vegetation occurs due to deforestation, cutting beyond the
silviculturally permissible limit, unsustainable fuel wood and fodder
extraction, shifting cultivation, encroachment into forest lands, forest
fires and over grazing all of which subject the land to degradation
forces. Land degradation manifest itself chiefly in the form of water
erosion, followed by wind erosion, biophysical, and chemical
deterioation Extraction of wood from forests for fuel is believed to be one of the most
important causes of forest Degradation in Eastern Ghats. Intrusive non-native species are
taking over the forest cover and artificial block plantations in many pockets of our reserve are
threatening the existence of seasonal native plants in many 'forested' areas. The discovery of
bauxite deposits in Eastern Ghats is another important factor for erosion. Bauxite mining
would not only render thousands of tribal people homeless, it would also sound the deathbell
for the cultural diversity of the community and the endemic biodiversity of Eastern
Ghats. Instead, the state government is in a hurry to sign agreements with private forms for
bauxite mining. Deforestation causes increased erosion rates due to exposure of mineral
soil by removing the humus and litter layers from the soil surface, removing the vegetative
cover that binds soil together, and causing heavy soil compaction from logging equipment.
Needless exploitation should give way to development without destruction. Other important
factors responsible for large-scale degradation are the extension of cultivation to lands of low
potential or high natural hazards, non-adoption of adequate soil conservation measures,
improper crop rotation. In addition, there are a few underlying or indirect pressures such as land shortage, short-term or insecure land tendency, open access resource, economic status and poverty of the agriculture dependent people, which are also instrumental to a significant extent, in the degradation of the land.

Keywords: Eastern Ghats biodiversity, land mining, responsible mining, Ecology restoration.


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