Land degradation is indicative: proxies of forest land degradation in Ghana
How is land degradation measured? The aim of the paper is to address this research question. At the premise, the paper states that land degradation as one of the truth claims of environmental science, is not directly monitored and detectable. Observers rely on indicators to know land degradation. The issues are illuminated by theoretical reference based on the notion of critical political ecology which tries to combine realist biophysical predictions and socio-political constructions. A methodology which mixes literature review, group discussion and field work produces a set of indicators of land degradation. Indigenous farmers used the indicators to spot land degradation in the forest ecosystem of Ghana. The results reveal physical indicators of ironpan formation in farms, uphill and downhill respective lost and gain of soil fertility, roots and building foundations exposed by soil erosion and river channels that do not carry running water even in the raining season. There are biological indicators of invasive species and termite infestations as well as socioeconomic indicators of poverty implicitly taken as indicators of land degradation. The paper concludes that land degradation includes multifaceted set of processes measured by variable and error-filled indicators operating at various spatial, temporal, economic and cultural scales.
Asiamah, R.D. 2008. Soil resources in Ghana. In: Bationo, A., Tabo, R., Waswa, B., Okeyo, J., Kihara, J., Fosu, M. and Kabore, S. (eds), Synthesis of Soil, Water and Nutrient Management Research in the Volta Basin. Nairobi: Ecomedia Ltd., pp 25-41.
Baartman, J.E.M., van Lynden, G.W.J., Reed, M.S., Ritsema, C.J. and Hessel, R. 2007. Desertification and Land Degradation: Origins, Processes and Solutions. DESIRE Report series: Scientific Report, (Wageningen: DESIRE).
Bai, Z.G., Dent, D.L., Olsson. L. and Schaepman, M.E. 2008. Proxy global assessment of land degradation. Soil Use and Management 24: 223-234.
Blaikie, P. 1995. Understanding environmental issues. In: Morse, S and Stocking, M. (eds), People and Environment. London: UCL Press Ltd.
Blaikie, P. and Brookfield, H. 1987. Land Degradation and Society. Methuen, London.
Botchie, G., Akabzaa, T., Gyasi, E. and Sarpong, D.B. 2007. Land Tenure, Land Use and Environmental in Ghana, (Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research, Accra).
Chokor, B.A. and Odemerho, F.O. 1994. Land degradation assessment by small-scale traditional african farmers and implications for sustainable conservation management. GeoJournal 25 (2): 145-154.
Dregne, H. E. 1986. Desertification of arid lands. In: El-Baz, F. and Hassan, M.H.A. (eds), Physics of Desertification. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus, Nijhoff.
Dumanski, J. 1997. Criteria and indicators for land quality and sustainable land management. ITC Journal 3 (4): 216-222.
Dumanski, J. and Pieri, C. 2000. Land quality indicators: research plan. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 81: 93-102.
Environmental Protection Agency. 2002. National Action Programme to Combat Drought and Desertification. National Action Plan April 2002, (Environmental Protection Agency, Accra).
FAO. 2004. Methodological Framework for Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA)', (Rome FAO Land and Water Development Division).
Forsyth, T. 2013. Critical Political Ecology: The Politics of Environmental Science. Routledge, Oxon.
Foster, R.H. 2006. Methods for assessing land degradation in Botswana. Earth & Environment 1: 238-76.
Gisladottir, G. and Stocking, M. 2005. Land degradation control and its global environmental benefits. Land Degradation and Development 16: 99-112.
GRID. 1991. Global Assessment of Human Induced Soil Degradation (GLASOD). A User Guide to the Global Digital Database. (Nairobi: UNEP ISRIC http://geodata.grid.unep.ch/results.php.).
Gyasi, E.A., Karikari, O., Kranjac-Berisavljevic, G. and Vordzogbe, V.V. 2006. Study of Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment Relative to Land Management in Ghana, (Accra: University of Ghana, Legon), 1-91 http://www.nlcap.net/fileadmin/NCAP/Countries/Ghana.
Hall, A.D. and Fagen, R.E. 1956. Definition of system. General Systems Yearbook 1: 18-28.
Hoffman, M.T. and Todd, S. 2000. A national review of land degradation in South Africa: the influence of biophysical and socio-economic factors. Journal of South African Studies 26 (4) : 743-758.
Kertesz, A. 2009. The global problem of land degradation and desertification. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin 58 (1) : 19-31.
Kessler, C.A. and Stroosnijder, L. 2006. Land degradation assessment by farmers in Bolivian mountain valleys. Land Degradation & Development 17: 235-248.
LADA. 2011. Manual for Local Level Assessment of Land Degradation and Sustainable Land Management. Rome: FAO. 1-165.
Lindskog, P. and Tengberg, A. 1994. Land degradation, natural resources and local knowledge in Sahel zone of Burkina Faso. GeoJournal 33 (4) : 365-375.
Mari, L., Lazzarotti, V. and Manzini, R. 2009. Measurement in soft systems: epistemological framework and a case study. Measurement 42 : 241-253.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. 2005. Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Desertification Synthesis. Island Press, Washington, D.C.
Peprah, K. 2014a. Applying DPSIR to land degradation analysis: the case of Asunafo, Ghana. International Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Development 2 (4) : 712-725.
Peprah, K. 2014b. Indigenous farmers management of land degradation: the case of Asunafo, Ghana. American Journal of Sustainable Cities and Society 3 (1) : 219-241.
Peprah, K. 2014c. Mitigating land degradation with chemical fertilizer application in the Asunafo Forest, Ghana. International Journal of Science and Research 3 (4) : 476-482.
Peprah, K. 2014d. Poverty and land degradation nexus: the case of Asunafo, Ghana. International Journal of Science and Research 3 (4) : 483-489.
Peprah, K., Yiran, G. B. and Owusu, A. B. 2014. Land use trajectories, forest cover change and consequential land degradation of the Asunafo forest, Ghana. International Journal of Innovative Research & Studies 3 (1) : 447-503.
Peters, N.E. and Meybeck, M. 2000. Water quality degradation effects on freshwater availability: impacts of human activities. International Water Resources Association 25 (2) : 185-193.
Rubio, J.L. and Bochet, E. 1998. Desertification indicators as diagnosis criteria for desertification risk assessment in Europe. Journal of Arid Environment 39 : 113-120.
Safriel, U.N. 2007. The assessment of global trends in land degradation. In: Sivakumar, M.V. K.and Ndiang'ui, N. (eds), Climate and Land Degradation. New York: Springer, pp 2-38.
SEDAC. 2012. The Causes of Land Degradation and Desertification New York: CIESIN Columbia University.
Stocking, M. 1987. Measuring land degradation. In: Blaikie, P. and Brookfield, H. (eds), Land Degradation and Society. London: Methuen.
Stocking, M.A. and Murnaghan, N. 2001. Handbook for the Field Assessment of Land Degradation. Earthscan Publications Ltd., London. Stringer, L.C. and Reed, M.S. 2007. Land degradation assessment in Southern Africa: integrating local and scientific knowledge bases. Land Degradation & Development 18 (1) : 99-116.
Symeonakis, E. and Drake, N. 2004. Monitoring desertification and land degradation over subsaharan Africa. International Journal of Remote Sensing 25 : 573-592.
Thiam, A.K. 2003. The causes and spatial pattern of land degradation risk in Southern mauritania using multitemporal AVHRR-NDVI imagery and field data. Land Degradation and Development 14 : 133-142.
UNCCD. 2012. UNCCD - Important Dates. Bon, Germany: United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, http://www.unccd.int/en/about-theconvention/history/Importantdates/Pages/default.aspx. UNEP. 2011. Global Partnership on Waste Management: Integrated Solid Waste Managemen (ISWM) Work Plan for 2012-2013', (Nairobi: United Nations Environmental Programme), 1-17.
Vargas, R.R., Omuto, C.T., Alim, M.S., Ismail. A. and Njeru. L. 2009. Land degradation Assessment and Recommendation for a Monitoring Framework in Somaliland. Nairobi: FAO-SWALIM, http//www.faoswalim.org. Viswanathan, M. 2005. Measurement Error and Research Design. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks.
Wall, G., Baldwin, C.S. and Shelton, I.J. 2003. Soil Erosion - Causes and Effects Factsheet. Ontario: Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs http://www.envirothon.org/pdf/CG/soil_erosion.pdf , 1-6.
Warren, A. 2002. Land degradation is contextual. Land Degradation and Development 13 : 449-59.
Warren, A. and Agnew, C. 1988. An Assessment of Desertification and Land Degradation in Arid and Semi-arid Areas. International Institute for Environment and Development Paper/CIESIN, 2, 1-23.
Wasson, R. 1987. Detection and measurement of land degradation process. In: Chisholm, A. and Dumsday, R. (eds), Land Degradation: Problems and Policies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., pp 49-69.
- There are currently no refbacks.
Copyright (c) 2015 Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management
License URL: http://jdmlm.ub.ac.id/index.php/jdmlm/about/submissions#copyrightNotice