Erosion control in the tropics

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In compiling the booklet we have kept the following objectives in mind:

  • To emphasize the seriousness of the erosion problem. Erosion is not always recognized in time, and certainly not when it takes place surreptitiously.
  • To give an insight into the causes and the course of the erosion process, by stating the factors which influence the mechanism of erosion and how these factors are linked up.
  • To clarify the relation between erosion and the farming system. The farming system (land-use) largely determines whether erosion will occur; erosion in its turn again imposes limitations on agriculture.
  • To enumerate the most important soil conservation measures and the principles on which they are based, at the same time indicating how they can be applied. How erosion can be prevented will be discussed at length here too.

For clarity, we have restricted ourselves to erosion caused by water. In doing so, the connection between the causes of erosion and the principles of erosion control measures will always be kept in mind. The socalled mass movements (earthquakes, mud streams etc.) will also be discussed briefly because these phenomena are often related to water erosion and the causes of it. The seriousness of wind erosion cannot be underestimated but this is beyond the scope of this booklet.

Hil Kuypers
Anne Mollema
Egger Topper