Thesis On Environmental Degradation

In these reports, spatial planning is presented as a means to achieve a more sustainable use of land.This is because spatial planning mechanisms are thought to take into account the quality and characteristics of different land areas and soil functions, and balance them against competing objectives and private interests, such as those of urban developers [27]. highlight that sound spatial planning, capable of maintaining the non-economical functions of soil, would ensure the maintenance of soil functions [22]; similarly, Tobias reasons that spatial planning can compensate for soil sealing, thus helping to preserve ecosystem services [30].

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These drivers lead to a range of soil threats in different biophysical and socio-economic environments [3,13,14,15,16,17].

For example, the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC), through the project Preventing and Remediating Degradation of Soils in Europe through Land Care (RECARE), has identified and characterized 11 soil threats in contemporary urban regions [18].

In this paper, we review strategic spatial planning literature published between 19.

The focus is on the phenomena causing land degradation that are addressed by strategic spatial planning literature, as well as on the mechanisms describing the role of strategic spatial planning in land degradation reduction.

This has generated attention from supranational organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union (EU), as well as from the scientific community [4,5,6,7].

In accordance with both scientific and policy-oriented literature, land degradation is understood in this paper to be the result of interactions between physical and human factors, which generate a progressive reduction in the productive capacity of ecosystem services derived from land. Most importantly, land degradation threatens fertile agricultural soils and freshwater resources, which negatively affects food production and biodiversity [8,9,10,11,12].The spatial planning acts of some Austrian federal states are also given as examples, because they allow for the identification and delineation of priority fertile agricultural soils and protected green areas.Soil protection and land degradation reduction are not explicitly mentioned as goals in the Austrian planning acts; they are, however, implicitly covered by the various roles soils fulfil in ecosystem functioning [20,27].Land degradation is becoming a serious environmental issue threatening fertile agricultural soils and other natural resources.There are many driving forces behind land degradation.Results show that sustainable development and environmental concerns have become core objectives of strategic planning in recent years, yet references to the drivers of land degradation are rare.The mechanisms that exist are mainly intended to address environmental issues in general, and are not aimed at reducing particular forms of land degradation.The expansion of artificial surfaces due to various economic activities, such as housing, industry, and transport infrastructure, known as soil sealing, constitutes one of the most intensive forms of land degradation in urban regions.Measures to halt and reverse land degradation require both strong land-use management policies, as well as effective spatial planning mechanisms.Urbanization, including the construction of housing developments, the implementation of industrial sites and retail facilities, and the development of transportation infrastructures, has usually been referred to as a key driver.In addition, land degradation is also driven by poor management of soils and water resources [3].

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