The process of desertification is complex, involving interaction between many factors, both environmental and anthropogenic. However, human activities, especially from land-use change and inappropriate land use, are the most influential factors associated with the desertification risk. This study was conducted in Huay Sai, a degraded land in Thailand. The Environmentally Sensitive Area Index (ESAI) model incorporating Geogracphic Information System (GIS) was applied to investigate and map the desertification sensitivity area. The study aimed to analyze and assess measures to reduce the desertification risk. This study emphasized three group factors with nine subcriteria influencing desertification risk: soil (texture, fertility, drainage, slope gradient, and depth), climatic (precipitation and aridity index), and vegetation factors (land use and soil erosion). In terms of the required spatial measures to reduce the desertification vulnerability, policy and defensive measures that were closely related to drought and desertification of the area were considered. Three main measures covering soil and water conservation, soil improvement, and reforestation were implemented. The area development and restoration plans have been implemented continuously. The study found that 47.29% of the Huay Sai area was at a high risk, with a further 41.16% at a moderate risk. Implementation of three measures indicated that desertification risk was significantly decreased. Addressing the causes of the highest risk areas could help reduce the overall desertification risk at Huay Sai, where most areas would then be at either a moderate (61.04%) or low (32.43%) desertification risk with no severe- or high-risk areas. The success of the area restoration is from the formulation of a restoration and development plan that understands the local conditions. Moreover, the plan integrated the restoration of the soil, forests, and water together in order to restore the ecosystem so that the implementation was able to solve problems directly.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited