G. S. Sastry, K. Ganesha Raj, M. A. Paul, P. S. Dhinwa, K. L. N. Sastry
Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing
Desertification; Vulnerability Assessment Model; Inter-disciplinary framework; Multi-disciplinary approach; Delineation; Complex methodology; GIS framework
Desertification is a global challenge being experienced across countries irrespective of their levels of development. Desertification is a complex negative process involving both natural and human components in terms of their socio-economic attainments. Hence, for identification and assessment of the process, pattern, magnitude and possible impacts of desertification, a multi-disciplinary approach with inter-disciplinary framework of analysis is essential. This study has made such an attempt to develop a comprehensive desertification vulnerability assessment Model on the basis of multi-variate Principal Component Analysis along with the Geographic Information System framework by using natural and socio-economic resources data inputs from census, satellite data and other sources. Bellary district, located in a rapidly growing southern state of India, Karnataka which is afflicted with various natural and development issues such as droughts, backwardness, haphazard mining, over irrigation, and associated effects of land degradation, siltation and water pollution has been chosen for the study. The inter-disciplinary framework based desertification vulnerability assessment model has assessed that 1379.198 km2 area (15.55%) of Bellary district is prone to desertification (based on the satellite data IRS LISS III data of Dec 2005, Feb 2006, March 2006 and April 2006). In addition, 3229.337 km2 (36.40%) is under moderate vulnerability which is fragile. Hence, unless proper development intervention and conservation measures are taken well in advance, almost more than half of Bellary district (51.95%) will be vulnerable to desertification. Spatially, the talukas that are seriously affected and that require development intervention on high priority are: Sandur, Kudligi, Hospet and Bellary which are the prime talukas of the district.