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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 themost ancient forest cover in the subcontinent. Forest biodiversity inNallamal forest of Eastern Ghats is undergoing threat due to landdegradation. Land in Eastern Ghats Presently, the prominent mountainranges is tremendously under stress, degradation, and damage. Loss ofvegetation occurs due to deforestation, cutting beyond thesilviculturally permissible limit, unsustainable fuel wood and fodderextraction, shifting cultivation, encroachment into forest lands, forestfires and over grazing all of which subject the land to degradationforces. Land degradation manifest itself chiefly in the form of watererosion, followed by wind erosion, biophysical, and chemicaldeterioation Extraction of wood from forests for fuel is believed to be one of the mostimportant causes of forest Degradation in Eastern Ghats. Intrusive non-native species aretaking over the forest cover and artificial block plantations in many pockets of our reserve arethreatening the existence of seasonal native plants in many 'forested' areas. The discovery ofbauxite deposits in Eastern Ghats is another important factor for erosion. Bauxite miningwould not only render thousands of tribal people homeless, it would also sound the deathbellfor the cultural diversity of the community and the endemic biodiversity of EasternGhats. Instead, the state government is in a hurry to sign agreements with private forms forbauxite mining. Deforestation causes increased erosion rates due to exposure of mineralsoil by removing the humus and litter layers from the soil surface, removing the vegetativecover that binds soil together, and causing heavy soil compaction from logging equipment.Needless exploitation should give way to development without destruction. Other importantfactors responsible for large-scale degradation are the extension of cultivation to lands of lowpotential 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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