Land degradation can have severe economic and environmental consequences. Almost two-thirds of land in Australia has been modified for human use, primarily for grazing on natural vegetation. Clearing of native vegetation continues to occur for agriculture, plantation forestry, and urban development. Over the past two centuries, as land use has intensified for a growing population in this arid land, vast areas of native vegetation have been cleared or degraded, resulting in adverse affects on biodiversity, soil and water quality and the spread of weeds, feral pests and diseases.
This book examines the damaging impacts of Australia’s land use and agricultural activity, and proposes improvements to current farming systems, including more sustainable use of water and soil, and development of new systems for irrigation, fertilisation and water use. To ensure long-term sustainability, land managers need to consider economic, social and environmental factors. How do we meet the needs of the present without depleting our natural land resources and compromising the future? Worksheets and activities; Glossary; Fast facts; Web links; Index