Soil degradation in Ukraine

Every year huge land plots become unsuitable for cultivation. In some countries, the scale of soil degradation is worrisome, which provokes not only significant migration of people from rural areas to cities, impoverishment of farmers, food shortages, but also in some places military conflicts. Soil degradation is also a challenge for Ukraine. The scale at which the country is losing its fertile black soil is alarming. The zone of risky agriculture is rapidly moving to the North of the country. It is time to change attitudes towards land, and move from land use to responsible land ownership and preserving it for future generations.

KYIV. June 17 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine is moving into a zone of ultra-high temperatures and cataclysms due to weather changes, and in the next 30-40 years, the country is threatened with desertification of vast territories, which threatens the loss of biodiversity, lack of water, the spread of poverty, hunger and mass migration of the population, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources reported on its website on Thursday.
According to the ministry, in Ukraine, 13 million hectares of agricultural land are exposed to the harmful effects of water erosion, more than 6 million hectares - of wind, up to 20 million hectares are covered by dust storms.
The ministry clarified that the development of degradation processes is largely influenced by the high level of plowing of the land (54% of 33 million hectares of the total arable land).
The ministry noted that for Ukraine, combating desertification and land degradation is one of the priority areas of environmental policy. For this, an action plan to combat this phenomenon until 2025 was approved and a coordination council was created to combat land degradation and desertification.
"Our state has joined the process of establishing and implementing voluntary national targets to achieve a neutral level of land degradation. This work is being carried out within the framework of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. To achieve a neutral level of land degradation, we must implement measures to stabilize the increase in the content of humus in soils," the ministry quoted Minister of Ecology Roman Abramovsky as saying.
Earlier, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine Roman Leshchenko said that two-thirds of Ukraine's territory is located in the zone of risky farming, 6 million hectares of agricultural land require conservation. This process is especially noticeable in the south of the country.

Soil degradation

The most large-scale degradation processes include soil erosion caused by water and wind (nearly 57% of the country’s territory), waterloggingof land (about 12%), acidification (almost 18%), salinization and alkalinization of soil (over 6%). According to various criteria, approximately 20% of Ukrainian lands are polluted. Almost 23 thousand cases of landslides are registered yearly. Abrasion is the cause of destruction of 60% of Azov and Black Sea coastlines and 41% of the Dnipro River reservoirs coastlines. Over 150 thousand hectares of land are disturbed by mining and other activities. The number of underground and surface karst phenomena amounts to 27 thousand cases.

Here you can read about soil degradaton processes in Ukraine and Dutch-Ukrainian cooperation in this field.