Land Degradation & Development is an international journal which seeks to promote rational study of the recognition, monitoring, control and rehabilitation of degradation in terrestrial environments. The journal focuses on:
- what land degradation is;
- what causes land degradation;
- the impacts of land degradation
- the scale of land degradation;
- the history, current status or future trends of land degradation;
- avoidance, mitigation and control of land degradation;
- remedial actions to rehabilitate or restore degraded land;
- sustainable land management.
Land degradation may be defined as the loss of utility or potential utility through the reduction of or damage to physical, social, cultural or economic features, and/or reduction of ecosystem diversity. There may be a single cause or a complex mix of causes, some may be biogeophysical ('natural'), some socioeconomic ('human') and it is quite possible that cause(s) will be indirect, perhaps cumulative and difficult to identify. A major challenge is to learn how interactions between development and environment can be better managed to increase prospects for ecologically and socially sustainable improvements to human well-being. Development means attempts to improve human well-being or environmental quality in rich and poor nations on a sustained basis (sustainable development).
Papers are invited on scientific, social, economic, political and historical aspects of terrestrial environmental degradation. Also welcome are analyses presenting forecasts of trends, case studies and discussion on management, planning and policy-making relating to the promotion of ecological sustainability and the counteraction of land degradation.
In addition to original research papers, regional and thematic reviews, both invited and submitted, will be included, as will short communications, book reviews and applications of remote sensing and computer techniques. The members of the Editorial Board are drawn from a comprehensive range of disciplines and nationalities. Together with a strict refereeing procedure this will ensure Land Degradation & Development maintains a high standard and presents material from a wide range of disciplines, from interdisciplinary study and with an international coverage.
The subject matter will include the following topics:
Degradation of: deserts, savannas, rangelands; forests, woodlands, tundra; mountain environments; wetlands, floodlands; farmland, irrigated land; sand-dunes; coastal zones, islands, urban, peri-urban environments. In polar, temperate, subtropical and tropical regions.
'Desertification', rangeland degradation; soil degradation (compaction, loss of fertility, reduced organic matter, pollution, waterlogging, acidification, salinization, alkalinization, 'laterite' and hard-pan formation); erosion; degradation of vegetation cover, 'deforestation'; impoverishment of wildlife habitats, loss of species.
Climatic change; sea-level variation; drought; storms; earth processes (geomorphological, volcanicity, natural leaching of soils); bushfires; degradation as a consequence of: industry, urban growth, agrochemicals, agricultural modernization, energy production/consumption, mining, warfare, refugees or migrants, breakdown of traditional landuse strategies, altered communications, legislative changes, demographic changes, administrative causes, institutional causes, social or economic causes.
Perception/recognition of degradation, attitudes toward degradation; ethics and land degradation; indicators; monitoring, surveillance; assessment of significance; establishing past, present and future trends.