Land-Use Planning for Controlling Land Degradation in Kuwait

  • Fikry I. Khalaf
  • Jasem Al-Awadhi
  • Raafat F. Misak


Several land degradation indicators have been recognized in Kuwait; these are soil loss by wind and/or water; soil crusting, sealing, and compaction; soil contamination by oil; soil salinization; deterioration of vegetation cover and its biodiversity; and hydrological degradation. Aeolian processes, as manifested by soil deflation, drifting sand, and migrating dunes, may be considered as one of the primary causes of soil degradation in Kuwait. The present status of land degradation as reflected by the severity of degradation of vegetation cover, soil erosion/deflation, and hydrological drought has been assessed based on visual comparison between data recorded in the early 1980s and recent field surveys (early 2010). It has been concluded that the northwestern and southern parts of Kuwait are severely degraded. Anthropogenic activities (off-road vehicle traffic, excessive grazing, camping, and quarrying) as well as military operations (Gulf Wars and present defense structures) are the main causes of land degradation in Kuwait. However, aeolian processes, nature of surface sediments (soil type), and climatic conditions play a significant role. It was also recognized that the sandy soils (Torripsamments) that cover most of the southern part of Kuwait are the most vulnerable to aeolian processes, particularly soil loss by deflation. Hence, mitigation measures for the maintenance of Kuwait desert ecosystem are recommended.


Anthropogenic activities Kuwait Land degradation Land-use planning Military operations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fikry I. Khalaf
    • 1
  • Jasem Al-Awadhi
    • 1
  • Raafat F. Misak
    • 2
  1. 1.Earth and Environmental Science Department, Faculty of ScienceKuwait UniversityKuwaitKuwait
  2. 2.Environment and Urban Development Division, Coastal and Air Pollution DepartmentKuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)KuwaitKuwait

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