Historic And Social Aspects Report On Australia's Farming Practices Compare And Contrast The Impact On The Australian Environment Of European Farming Practices And Aboriginal Land Management Practices.

1639 words - 7 pages

Historic & social aspects reportCompare and contrast the impact on the Australian environment of European farming practices and Aboriginal land management practices.For over 200 years, Australia has been adopting European farming practices. Although these practices have generated a lot of money for the farmers, the impact on the Australian environment is starting to take its toll.But how come these practices are still being used in Europe but their environment isn't getting affected? The answer is simple - Australian farmers do not take into account how different their country is from Europe. In Australia, the conditions are much harsher, with higher temperatures, less rainfall, constant drought, and we have to deal with a flat land. This results in less fertile soils, bad drainage and bad nutrient distribution. The Australian environment is suffering, especially the soil, catchments and biodiversity. The farmers are also feeling the effects of these unsustainable farming practices and are not producing enough to meet market needs. [1]With less water and nutrients than Europe, many serious environmental problems are developing such as salinity, water logging, soil erosion, declining water quality and loss of biodiversity. Even though salt is naturally present in many of Australia's landscapes, farmers still adopt European farming practices and plant shallow-rooted plants, instead of native vegetation.[2], [3] European methods have also led to land clearing, removing deep rooted trees and plants. Monoculture was also adapted from the Europeans, and this practice has caused depletion of soil nutrients and a reduction in moisture levels.The European settlers did not care for the land like the Aborigines - their intentions were profit-driven and most of them were not actually farmers. They over-settled many regions, using the land beyond its limits, thus depleting all the resources. New crops that had large nutritional demands were introduced and this in turn introduced many unknown pests and diseases which could not be eliminated. The government also provided tax concessions for clearing trees, and many hard hoofed animals were used, which compacted and damaged the soil. [4]Conversely, the Aborigines used sustainable practices. One of the most well-known Aboriginal methods, managed burning, was actually beneficial to the environment. They would burn small areas of land to encourage plant and animal growth. Many trees and plants required fire in order for their seeds to germinate, and these fires could also get rid of underbrush which may have caused major problems in the event of a real, more severe fire. The fires also made areas suitable for kangaroos and wallabies, which were then hunted by the Aborigines.[5] This practice is still being used nowadays to lessen the effect of unexpected bushfires. According to experts, traditional Aboriginal burning practices in Australia's savannah country could reduce national greenhouse emissions by nearly...

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