Management of natural resources on scientific principles is essential to meet the increasing demand for land and water resources and to prevent environmental degradation. This requires proper inventory and management of all the natural resources including soil resources on a periodic basis for scientific land use planning and prevention of land degradation.
Soil resource information play a key role in the management of natural resources and more specifically in the agriculture sector. Management of soil resources on scientific principles is essential to maintain the present level of soil productivity and to prevent soil / land degradation. Therefore, in recent years increasing emphasis is laid on characterisation of soils, accurate mapping of different kinds of soils and developing rational and scientific criteria for land evaluation and interpretation of soils for multifarious land uses. This calls for comprehensive knowledge on soil resources in terms of types of soils, their spatial extent, physical and chemical properties and limitations / capabilities.
With the advancements in Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies , it has now become possible to generate and update the natural resources information in spatial format and proper monitoring of the resources / environment in a cost effective way. Latest and up to date information on soil resources and land degradation is essential for better planning and sustainable development patterns in the context of programme on Natural Resources Census. Mapping of soils and land degradation using satellite data is an on-going activity for the past two decades. National level mapping of soil resources and salt affected soils had been done at 1:250,000 scale using remotely sensed data and currently the mapping is standardized to 1:50,000 scales. A time has come to standardize the methodology to map soils and land degradation using satellite data, creation of digital soil data base,...
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