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Trends in Land Degradation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Fernando Santibañez Center on Agriculture and Environment (AGRIMED) University of Chile.

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Presentation on theme: "Trends in Land Degradation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Fernando Santibañez Center on Agriculture and Environment (AGRIMED) University of Chile."— Presentation transcript:

1 Trends in Land Degradation in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Fernando Santibañez Center on Agriculture and Environment (AGRIMED) University of Chile Arusha, Tanzania, Dec. 2006

2 One of the biggest reserves for new cultivable area The greatest reserve of fresh water in the world The richest reserve of plant and animal species One thirth of the forests of the world Some of the less disturbed biomes in the world Due to its interaction with Antactic waters, has the highest marine biodiversity Some facts about Latin America and the Caribberan

3 Emisiones industriales

4 Debido al cambio de uso de la tierra

5 Global changes Erosion Overgrazing Soil denudation Mining Charcoal Slope cultivation Human drivers Climate drivers

6 How climate change is affecting this continent? Climatic drivers for land degradation

7 Changes in Minimum temperatures in the Western side of Los Andes CHILE ARGENTINA Pacific Ocean ice field SANTIAGO CITY

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15 Present climate (anual ΣT-10º) (anual ΣT-10º)

16 + 1.8 ºC

17 2*CO2

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22 year Annual rainfal

23 Fournier index year

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30 2*CO2 Warm Amazonian Temperate Cold Patagonian steppes Polar Andean The most remarcable expected modifications Precipitation Increase Precipitation decrease Higher climatic variability

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33 How human activity is affecting this continent? The human drivers

34 Land use / Human activities Marginal lands good lands Poverty intensive agriculture Unsound practices unsound practices due to due to lack of the lack of environmental technology considerations. Plan cover removal soil compaction and forest fires salination chemical deterioration flooding slope cultivation overgrazing soil erosion decay of soil productivity AGRI DESERTI afforestation urbanization mining natural restoration The LAC degradation cycle

35 LS MES LSMMES Warm Cold Dry Humid NE CatingaChaco Temperate forest Rain Forest sub antarctic Tundra Dry Pampas Andean altiplano Atacama desert Sclerophylus forest Patagonian steppes HHHHHHHHHHHLLHHLHLLL HL Population pressure Climate change pressure Present situation of the main LAC Biomes

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38 Guayaquil 1985

39 Guayaquil 2000

40 Iguazú 1973

41 Iguazú 2000

42 Rondonia 1975

43 Rondonia 2000

44 Santa Cruz 1975

45 Santa Cruz 2000

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47 MONITOR STRUCTU RE EDITOR DATA BASE MAPPING TOOLS STATISTICAL MODULE FILTERS DESERTIFICATION INDICATORS DESERTIFICATION INDICATORS MAPS STATISTICAL ANALYSIS Simulated pesimistic scenario for the presence of a species within the polygons of a region in Chile to t+1 t+2 t+3 t+4 GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL FACILITY LATIN AMERICAN UNIT UNITED NATIONALENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM TIME MODELS TIME TRENDS SIMULATOR MODELS USERS DEFINED ALGORITHMS THEMATIC LAYERS CHANGE SCENARIOS MAPS POVERTY = INCOME + HEALTH + EDUCATION

48 Monitor development Pilot areas

49 Mining Slope cultivation Soil fertility deterioration Unsound agricultural practices Inefficient irrigation Soil exposure to precipitation Solid deposition Irrigation with saline water Contamination Erosion Salination Contamination Compaction Loss of OM Physical destruction Degree of erosion Degree of salination Level of Pollution Degree of compaction OM content Loss of agricultural lands i Soil UNEP/GEF

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52 Database Filters Indicators TendenciesStandards Scenarios Projects Maps Histograms Matrices Maps x2 Editor MONITOR Structure

53 Biodiversity Mapas no a escala Mexico Brazil Chile

54 Clearly, the war against desertification is won or lost at the local level Fos this, we need to connect actors having diverse capacities. Research Action Policy Participation

55 Major symptoms of desertification in LAC 1. Loss of native vegetation 2. High topsoil erosion rate 3. Declining groundwater tables 4. Salinization of topsoil and water 5. Reduction of surface water All of these symptoms show negative trends

56 Slope cultivation

57 Overgrazing

58 Habitat fragmentation

59 Soil erosion

60 Deforestation

61 LAC has originally 6.93 millions Km2 of forests, it has been reduced at present to The continent loss near Km2 of forest every year 306 millions hectares are moderate or intense degradation Irrigated lands are about 15 millions hectares, the most part of them show simptoms of soil degradation 20% of physical surface is already degraded …are we waiting for more? Soils

62 The region contains 40 per cent of the plant and animal species of the planet. The biota of all LAC countries are threatened. Brazil has the second largest number of threatened bird species (103 species) in the world, and Peru and Colombia occupy the fifth place with 64 species each A third of Chilean vertebrates are threatened Brazil also has 71 threatened mammal species (the fourth highest in the world). More than 50 per cent of Argentinean mammals and birds are also threatened. Areas with large numbers of threatened birds tend also to have large numbers of threatened mammals. Biodiversity

63 Will our economies continue to grow based on environmental subsidies? Will we halt this tendency before a real catastrophe? Will the agriculture be able to take a relevant role to prevent future (ecological, energy, water) crisis? Who will pay for…the crisis….the equilibrium? Will we have enough capacity to adapt to new planetary situations? (this imply restrictions, opportunities and decision)


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