Tuesday, September 26, 2006

THE COST OF LAND DEGRADATION IN SRI LANKA

W.G. Somaratne
Agricultural Resource Management Division
Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research & Training Institute

The major question that this paper addresses is: What are the immediate cost of land degradation for a nation? The objective of the analysis is to develop suitable measures to explain the national costs of land degradation. This paper further illustrates a spectrum of approaches to estimate land degradation-induced onsite and offsite environmental effects in Sri Lanka. The main onsite effect is the loss of soil productivity. The loss of productivity of downstream irrigated agriculture and hydropower generation, flushing cost of downstream reservoirs, operation and maintenance cost of highways network in the upland, are among the common costs of offsite effects. The study further suggests possible macro and complementary micro policy to minimize land degradation-induced onsite and offsite environmental costs in Sri Lanka.

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