Environmental Conservation

Environmental conservation is an important component while implementing 4-K Club projects. It is an umbrella term that defines anything we do to protect our environment to preserve our natural resources. Soil and water are two important natural resources that we need to preserve for sustainability of our projects. Agriculture depends on environment and we depend on agriculture.

SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION

Soil and water conservation measures are strongly linked. As one is carrying out soil conservation measures, water conservation measures are also undertaken. 

OBJECTIVES

  1. Recognize the importance of preventing soil erosion and preserving water resources.
  2. Learn strategies of how to preserve soil and efficiently manage water.
  3. Understand the need for short and long term conservation measures in farm planning

Soil Erosion

It is the preservation of soil against deterioration or erosion, and the maintenance of the fertilizing elements for crop production.

How does soil erosion affect crop productivity?

Most organic matter is located in the topsoil with approximately 50 percent of plant-available phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Losing topsoil to erosion therefore, contributes to a loss of valuable nutrients and will cause yields to decline over time. Applying more fertilizer can replace these lost nutrients, but is more difficult to replace organic matter. To increase crop yields it’s important to keep the soil in place and

build up soil organic matter levels.

SOIL CONSERVATION

This is the prevention of soil loss from erosion or reduced fertility caused by over-usage.

Farming Practices that reduce wind and soil erosion. 

  1. Water Erosion Prevention Practices
    1. Contour farming. 
    2. Direction of tillage.
    3. Reducing tillage.
    4. Check dams
  2. Wind erosion prevention practices. 
  3. Practices that prevent both water and wind erosion.
  4. Good crops for preventing soil erosion.
  5. Planting methods that prevent soil erosion.

WATER LOSS

How is water lost to the atmosphere?

Evaporation and transpiration are two natural processes that result in water loss to the atmosphere. Collectively, these two
forms are known as evapo-transpiration. Evaporation is water loss from a soil surface while transpiration is water loss from a plant surface.

How is water lost to the atmosphere?

What can you do to reduce evapo=transpiration from your fields?

  1. Plant Windbreaks
  2. Keep crop residues on the field. 
  3. Choosing Water Conserving Species.
  4. Adopting Suitable Crop Rotations.
  5. Adopt Suitable Irrigation Methods.

ROLE OF TREES IN LAND USE

Products and services derived from agroforestry systems.

Agro-forestry practices contribute a wide range of products and services. Trees may provide food, shelter, energy, medicine, cash/income, raw materials for crafts, fodder and forage and resources to meet social obligations. 

Trees used in agro-forestry systems can also provide a variety of services such as being a form of saving and investment and contributing to the improvement of soil fertility for crop production. 

These products and services can be summarized as follows:

Food

  • Increased amounts of food.
  • Provides food throughout the year.
  • Provides better-quality food

Energy

  • Increased fuel wood supply.
  • Better-quality fuel wood.
  • Cheaper and more convenient fuel wood sources.

Shelter, Structures

  • Building materials.
  • Shade.
  • Protection from wind.
  • Protection from animals.
  • Marking of boundaries.

Medicine

  • Preventive (to maintain health).
  • Curative (to treat diseases or injuries).
  • Veterinary medicine.

Raw materials for craft and cottage industry

  • An increased supply of materials.
  • New types of material

Cash income, savings and investment.

  • Employment (cash earnings).
  • Sale of products (cash earnings)
  • Substitution of own products for purchased items (less cash spent)
  • Exchange of products for other goods (less cash spent)
  • New forms of saving and investment.
  • Greater profitability or security of existing savings and investment.

Fodder and forage

  • Primary feed.
  • Supplementary feed.

    CLIMATE CHANGE

    WHAT IS CLIMATE?
    Climate is defined as an area’s long term weather pattern, the simplest way to describe climate is to look at the average temperatures and precipitation (rainfall) over time. Useful elements for describing climate include timing of rainfall, humidity, temperature, average wind speed and direction.

    WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?

    Climate change, commonly known as global warming refers to a long time change in the Earth’s climate brought about by an increase in the atmospheric temperature.

    WHAT CAUSES CLIMATE CHANGE?

    The earth orbits close enough to the sun to receive a lot of energy, but far enough away not to be scorched. The earth is protected by a blanket-like layer of gases (including carbon dioxide) called greenhouse gases. This layer acts like a blanket, keeping the earth warm and shielding it from the cold of universe, a phenomenon commonly referred to as the greenhouse effect. If this layer (blanket-like) gets thick due
    to activities happening on the earth it leads to the retention of more heat within the earth’s atmosphere hence the rise in the atmospheric temperature causing climate change.

    The change in Climate is therefore caused by factors such as biotic processes (e.g. cutting trees, keeping livestock etc), variations in solar
    radiation received by Earth, and volcanic eruptions. Certain human activities like use of fossil fuel (coal) and poor waste management have
    been documented to contribute to climate change. Use of fossil fuel produces carbon dioxide gas which is the main driver of greenhouse effect. Shifting weather patterns attributed to climate change threaten food production through increased unpredictability of rainfall, rising sea levels, contaminate coastal freshwater reserves and increased risk of catastrophic flooding, and a warming atmosphere that aids the spread of pests and diseases.

      POLLUTION & WASTE MANAGEMENT

      POLLUTION AND PREVENTION

      Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that causes harm or discomfort to humans or other living
      organisms. There are different types of environmental pollution including air pollution, land pollution, noise pollution and water pollution
      Pollution is recognized as one of the major threats to sustainable development because it has a direct influence on the quality of people’s lives. It is therefore important to put in place adequate measures to combat growing source and extent of pollution in order to maintain
      healthy societies, stimulate tourism and sustain development and new investments.

      WASTE MANAGEMENT

      Waste management refers to the generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling, reuse and residual disposition of solid wastes. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and the process undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics. The disposal and treatment of waste has the potential of producing emissions of several greenhouse gases (GHGs), which contribute to global climate change. The most signifcant GHG gas produced from waste is methane.