Draft Concept for National Program for Use and Protection of Land
On November 18, 2011 the State Agency of Ukraine on Land Resources published draft Concept for National Program for Use and Protection of Land. Please avail yourself of English translation of the document provided by us, Center for Land Reform Policy in Ukraine.
Draft Concept for National Program for Use and Protection of Land
Issues to be solved
Use and protection of land is of one priorities of the state policy in the field of management of natural resources, environmental safety and protection of environment. This is an integral part of balanced economic and social development.
Excessive reclamation of land (53.8 % of land fund of Ukraine is ploughed), including hills slopes, resulted in violation of ecologically balanced ratio of agricultural grounds, forests and water ponds; that has had a negative impact upon sustainability of agro-landscapes and led to significant man-induced pressure upon eco-sphere.
Over 800 thousand ha of degraded, low-yield and polluted land is subject to conservation, 141 thousand ha of destroyed land is subject to re-cultivation and 253 thousand ha of low-yield grounds shall be improved.
The most tangible factor leading to deterioration of productivity of land resources and growth of degradation of agro-landscapes is water erosion of soils. The total area of land suffered from negative impact of water erosion makes up 13.3 million ha (32%), including 10.6 million ha of arable land. Eroded soils include 4.5 million ha of soils with strong and medium erosion and 68 thousand ha of soils which completely lost humus.
The processes of linear erosion and gullying are going intensively. The area of gullies makes up 140.4 thousand ha, and their number exceeds 500 thousand. The intensity of erosion in some gully systems exceeds average rate by 10-20 times.
Wind erosion is regularly plaguing over 6 million ha of land, and in years with dust storms – up to 20 million ha.
Quality of soils is also affected by other negative factors, like salinity, alkalinity, waterlogging, acidity and stoniness.
Intensive agricultural utilization of land is leading to deterioration of soil fertility due to excessive consolidation of soils (especially of black soils), loss of structure, water absorption and aeration features.
The processes of degradation of soil have sped up recently due to man-caused impact and pollution. The gravest danger for the environment is associated with radioactive pollution, heavy metals and agents of diseases.
The structure of soils of Ukraine is dominated with soils with poor qualities (degraded and low-yield) the area of which (within the overall area of arable soils) exceeds 6.5 million ha or 20% of arable land.
The quality of land resources is also effected by hydrometeorological and dangerous exogenous processes (mudslides, karsts, abrasion, destruction of water basins banks, subsidence etc) which are found at more than 50% of the national area.
Reasons causing problems listed above
The main reasons behind the problems listed above are:
- excessive and economically and ecologically unjustified level of utilization of land (first of all agricultural);
- considerable land-intensity of major sectors of economy;
- uneven agricultural utilization of territory because of which in some regions soils are excessively ploughed;
- most agricultural producers are lacking scientifically sound crop rotations, soil-protecting technologies of crop growing, adequate quantities of organic and mineral fertilizers leading to exhausting and degradation of land and fertility of soil;
- chaotic development of new types of tenure under market conditions through lease of land shares featuring instability, fragmentation and strip farming;
- intensive development of degradation processes and formation of considerable degraded areas;
- some areas are regularly affected by persistent dangerous natural disasters;
- the area of nature reserves, land of recreational, health-improvement, cultural and historical use is insufficient;
- vast areas are limited in use due to legislative conditions (like regions polluted because of Chernobyl disaster in 1986, sanitary and protection areas of industrial and other enterprises, nature reserves and water objects);
- high level of man-induced pollution of environment in many regions, insufficient development of ecological infrastructure;
- lack of funding of measures for protection of land;
- lack of complex approach towards use and protection of land.
These drawbacks are thought to be cured by way of development and implementation of National Program for Use and Protection of Land for the Period till 2022.
Ways and Tools for Solving Problems
The problems are to be solved by way of:
- stage-by-stage restoration of ecologically balanced ratio of grounds used for production and environmental purposes, decrease of level of reclamation and increase the level of aforestation;
- improvement of fertility of soils on account of introduction of fertilizers in optimal quantities and proportions, chemical amelioration of soils, scientifically sound crop rotations, elements of biologization of crop growing, progressive technologies of preservation and restoration of soil fertility and agriculture;
- prevention of degradation processes by way of introduction of soil-protecting technologies, development of projects for economically and ecologically sound crop rotations, conservation of degraded, low-yield and polluted areas, other measures;
- limitation of withdrawal (purchase) of especially valuable lands, including agricultural and forest lands, for non-agricultural uses;
- carrying out of agrochemical passportization of agricultural land;
- demarcation of boundaries of nature reserves and other similar areas;
- broadening of areas of natural and anthropogenic landscapes for recreational and health-improving uses;
- significant decrease of land-intensity of industrial and other production according to the levels attained in the developed countries;
- development and implementation standards in trhe field of land use and protection.
The Program shall be implemented in 2013-2022.
Among results to be attained:
- optimized structure of grounds;
- conservation of degraded, low-yield and polluted areas;
- increased area of land with natural landscapes sufficient for preservation of landscape and biological diversity;
- preservation of natural swamps;
- establishment of the system of forest amelioration plantations in river valleys and watersheds;
- demarcation of and due care for water protection zones and coastal protecting stripes of water objects;
- establishment of legal base and body of standards in the field of land use and protection, preservation and improvement of soil fertility;
- improvement of mechanism for management of measures in the field of land use and protection, preservation and improvement of fertility of soil;
- improvement of yields of main agricultural crops, ensuring food security of the state, stable financial and economic conditions of agricultural enterprises;
- stopping of processes of soil degradation, in particular ensuring deficit-free balance of humus.
The Program shall be funded on account of the state budget and other sources according to the law and within the limits of available funds.
Translated by the Center for Land Reform Policy in Ukraine, 2011. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use is prohibited
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