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90952243 Permaculture Design Course Outline

90952243 Permaculture Design Course Outline

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Published by xxxrainbowxxx
90952243 Permaculture Design Course Outline
90952243 Permaculture Design Course Outline

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Published by: xxxrainbowxxx on Feb 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Desertification is the creation of collapsed, compacted, eroded, and salted soils. It is primarily a socio-
political problem. Causes are:
• Headwater and Local Deforestation: allows increased wind effects, rain splash, erosion, fast
overland flow, more infiltration to salty layers, groundwater rise, release of soil salts.
• Cultivation: breaks down topsoil structure, compacts subsoil layers.
• Overgrazing: combines above effects
• Burning: combines above effects; may bake topsoil, removes soil humus & nutrients (usually it
takes 20-30 years to replace nutrient loss from rain, trees)
• Local concentration of livestock: well access leads nomads to settle in one place- causes over
demand for firewood and fodder
• Increased hot wind evaporative effects as trees are cut down.
• Salting of drylands leads
to soil collapse by defloc-
culation, concretions, salt
ponds off streams, per-
manent deforestation,
swamping of collapsed
soils in rain.

Deserts can be reclaimed.

Some cures:

• Reforestation of intake
areas on rocky hills,
ridges, headwaters.
• Interceptor banks to pre-
vent overland flow and to
lead salty water to
• Swales plus trees to per-
mit “sweet” groundwater
• Gypsum to restore soil
structure, allow salt to
wash out in rains.
• Change of land use to forestry, mulch, green crop, sparse livestock systems, reduction of culti-
vated areas.
• Supplanting fire regime by slashing or strategic grazing, reduction of litter to mulch by any
means but fire (rollers, slashers, chippers, livestock).



Human and Socio-political Factors of Desertification

Great changes may be resisted on the basis of:
• Risk: traditional methods work well and are “safe”.
• Land ownership: benefits may accrue only to already privileged people
• Increased work & expense for families and farmers
• Culture prevents the use of some foods and strategies

Effective approaches:

• Multiple small trials and feedback. Meaningful local solutions and work. Must be moderated by a

land ethic.

• Education of large groups- tie education to field trials, create field days, have effective non-
institutional extension and education
• Whole system approach is essential, as is long term planning for new evolutions. Interdepend-
ent services must be provided.
• Emphasis on local, familial, regional self-reliance.
• Work only with people who at first volunteer to change; others will watch an assess
• Local “associations” and work-nets (not networks) raise morale.

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