EVALUATING ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY OF ARID AND SEMIARID REGIONS IN NORTHEASTERN RAJASTHAN, INDIA
Geographical Review 105(4)
Srimoyee Dutta, Gargi Chaudhuri
American Geographical Society: What is the main purpose of your study?
Srimoyee Dutta: The main purpose of the study is to first analyze the results of individual indices, then analyze the spatial association between different land-cover types, environmentally sensitive areas, and demographic patterns in the study area.
American Geographical Society: What are the practical, day to day implications of your study?
Srimoyee Dutta: The Environmentally Sensitivity Index map provides a spatial look at the assessed risk level, thus giving a practical implication of the study. This will again prioritize the actions for planning sustainable management of natural resources.
American Geographical Society: How does your study relate to other work on the subject?
Srimoyee Dutta: There have been several studies made on identifying the environmentally sensitive areas on the basis of the indices, namely, soil quality index, vegetation quality index and climate quality index. This study also takes into account those indices together with its association with demographic pressure and landuse cover.
American Geographical Society: What are two or three interesting findings that come from your study?
Srimoyee Dutta: The study shows that the moderately sensitive and the highly sensitive zones lie mostly in the agricultural area and the areas covered by scrubs. The low-sensitivity and no-sensitivity zones
fall in the more vegetated eastern area.
The arid and semi-arid regions of Rajasthan have undergone pronounced land-cover changes from scrubland to agricultural land. In last forty years, canal irrigation has led to intensive agricultural cultivation in the state. This pattern of agricultural practice has resulted in reduced surface heat and increased moisture fluxes in the arid and semi-arid regions of northwestern India, thus intensifying the problem.
American Geographical Society: What might be some of the theoretical implications of this study?
Srimoyee Dutta: The present study was only able to spatially correlate between land-cover and environmental sensitivity. Theoretically, multi-temporal analysis of land use and landcover change, as well as biophysical and socio-economic factors, are not taken into account to understand the causation and trajectory of desertification.
American Geographical Society: How does your research help us think about Geography?
Srimoyee Dutta: This research paper helps us in analyzing the impact of the different parameters on environmental sensitivity geographically. It helps us in spatially correlating land-cover and environmental
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