The pie chart below shows the main reasons why agricultural land becomes less productive. The table shows how these causes affected three regions of the world during the 1990s.
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The pie chart depicts the main reasons that led to the degradation of agricultural land around the world and the table gives information about how these factors affected North American, Europe and Oceania during the 1990s.
Overall, overgrazing, deforestation and over cultivation each accounted for around a third of land degradation worldwide. In Europe, the main cause was deforestation. However, in North America, the main factor responsible for land degradation was over cultivation and in Oceania it was overgrazing. Overgrazing accounted for 35% of land degradation around the world and this was followed by deforestation (30%) and over cultivation (28%). In Europe, 23% of the total land was degraded and this figure was the highest amongst the three regions. While 9.8% of this land was degraded by deforestation, over cultivation and over grazing were responsible for 7.7% and 5.5% of land degradation respectively. In Oceania, overgrazing degraded 11.3% of the land, whereas the other two factors had minimal effect. By contrast, North America had only 5% of the total land degraded and over cultivation was the main reason there. This factor caused the degradation of 3.3% of the total land in North America.
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