|Environmental Handbook Volume II: Agriculture, Mining/Energy, Trade/Industry (GTZ, 1995, 736 p.)|
|27. Plant production|
In order to prevent plant production from giving rise to unintentional developments, ascertainment of the initial situation and appraisal of potential consequences must be followed by regular assessment of forecast and actual changes in environmental conditions. The same applies to social conditions, as there is a close interrelationship between cultural and economic factors on the one hand and the natural environment on the other hand.
The impacts of plant production generally consist in reduction of the diversity of species, adverse effects on the nutrient balance as well as on the physical and chemical properties of the soil, and contamination of the environment with pollutants.
Appropriate planning techniques and technical measures have been developed and must be taken into consideration. It is essential to refute the opinion that plant production activities (including biological erosion protection measures) have little or no impact on the environment.
Resource-depleting impacts are generally unwanted side-effects which are not directly related to the production goals. It is precisely when these side-effects are ignored that the natural environment will suffer damage and adverse long-term consequences will arise in the economic and social spheres.
Careful planning and implementation will ensure that plant production has minimal environmental impacts, has no undesirable social consequences and is economically efficient.