RUVIVAL Publication Series Volume 5
The RUVIVAL Publication Series is a compilation of literature reviews or introductory texts on topics concerned with the revitalisation of rural areas. It is part of the e-learning project RUVIVAL and each of the three contributions in this publication is connected to further interactive multimedia material, which can be reached under http://www.hoou.de. The first paper is an introduction to the global soil status, which in the past decades has continued to deteriorate. Globally, the total area of arable land has decreased, mainly due to unsuitable land usage related to agricultural practices. As a result of these practices, both chemical and physical degradation of soil can occur. An interrelated factor contributing to the loss of arable land is erosion, which is a naturally occurring process, but can be accelerated by human activities. This paper reviews research conducted on the soil situation in the six continents and therefore provides a global overview, including specific causes and soil management and monitoring practices. The second paper is a literature review on soil erosion and explains the mechanisms that cause it, both natural and human-induced. Most commonly, soil erosion is associated with water; however, it can also be caused by wind, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. This paper presents different soil conservation practices from around the world, showing that there is no single principle applicable to all cases. In addition to tailoring soil conservation measures to the specific environment, some local agronomic measures may also prevent erosion and these are also described in the paper. Lastly, the state of the art of soil erosion control measures is presented. The third paper in this volume focuses on rainwater harvesting methods developed from traditional ecological knowledge and indigenous knowledge. These methods are divided into two categories: micro-catchment methods and macro-catchment and floodwater methods. Bamboo drip irrigation and rice-fish farming in India are reviewed as case studies.
global soil status
traditional ecological knowledge
traditionelles ökologisches Wissen