Land Degradation Evaluation in Medan City, North Sumatra Province, Indonesia
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As the capital city of North Sumatra Province, Medan’s dense population and settlements as well as its flourishingindustrial and trading activities are significantly contributing to rapid land degradation. This study was aimed to evaluate the land characteristics and uses , analyze the main causes of land degradation, and explore efforts in preventingland degradation in Medan City. Conducted in June to October 2014, the study coveredresidential, industrial, and commercial areasas well as the areas for food crops, horticulture, permanent vegetated lands (parks, green open spaces, mangrove forests and urban forests). Survey method was used to collect primary data and soil samples by purposive sampling. From each type of land use, at least three observed points were taken as a minimum of 30 sample points. The results showed that the rate of erosion on dry land in the area ranged from 1.86 to 29.06 tons/ha/yr.The critical area of 5.15 ha (0.02%) while the potential critical of 21219.35 ha (74.99%) and the moderate critical area of 7,071 ha (24.99% of the total land area of Medan). These findings provided options to maintain the quality of land in Medan City, such asproper land use according to land characteristics and capability, increasing the of number of trees, prevention of pollution, both by domestic sewage and industrial waste through the application of environmentally friendly technologies, maintaining mangrove forests andland utilization balance between the interests of technical civil (building) and aspects of vegetative (green open space). In order to mitigate climate change in Medan City, it is important to evaluate land degradation as one of the efforts of climate change mitigation.