Land Degradation and Restoration
The process of desertiﬁcation is complex, involving interaction between many factors, both environmental and anthropogenic. However, human activities, especially from land-use change and inappropriate land use, are the most inﬂuential factors associated with the desertiﬁcation risk. This study was conducted in Huay Sai, a degraded land in Thailand. The Environmentally Sensitive Area Index (ESAI) model incorporating Geogracphic Information System (GIS) was applied to investigate and map the desertiﬁcation sensitivity area. The study aimed to analyze and assess measures to reduce the desertiﬁcation risk. This study emphasized three group factors with nine subcriteria inﬂuencing desertiﬁcation risk: soil (texture, fertility, drainage, slope gradient, and depth), climatic (precipitation and aridity index), and vegetation factors (land use and soil erosion). In terms of the required spatial measures to reduce the desertiﬁcation vulnerability, policy and defensive measures that were closely related to drought and desertiﬁcation of the area were considered. Three main measures covering soil and water conservation,soil improvement,and reforestation were implemented. The area development and restoration plans have been implemented continuously. The study found that 47.29% of the Huay Sai area was at a high risk, with a further 41.16% at a moderate risk. Implementation of three measures indicated that desertiﬁcation risk was signiﬁcantly decreased. Addressing the causes of the highest risk areas could help reduce the overall desertiﬁcation risk at Huay Sai, where most areas would then be at either a moderate (61.04%) or low (32.43%) desertiﬁcation risk with no severe- or high-risk areas. The success of the area restoration is from the formulation of a restoration and development plan that understands the local conditions. Moreover, the plan integrated the restoration of the soil, forests, and water together in order to restore the ecosystem so that the implementation was able to solve problems directly.
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