Burning land causes devastating problems
Author: The Vegan Pirates
We visited our land in the hills between Cortes and Palmar and discovered a massive fire on a neighboring lot some time ago. Before, we occasionally saw some smoke columns in the dry season or witnessed small trash- or wood fires. But the size of this burning shocked us.
The dry season, especially March and April, is dangerous for fires in the country, where a simple carelessness or inappropriate action can have serious consequences. The destructive practice of setting farmland on fire is to quickly clear the land and promote grass growth for cattle to graze on. Farmers believe they must clear their pastures with fire to keep the land usable and also get fertile ground. But these traditional burning land practices - combined with a lack of safety precautions and strong winds - can not only escalate into wildfires that destroy nature, crops, infrastructure, and houses.
Burning land is very bad for the biodiversity and is a dangerous activity that removes the soil protection and therefore causes huge problems: burning land destroys both valuable materials that make compost and provide mulch and plant materials that provide nutrients for the soil. It harms or can kill countless small critters and insects who can’t escape the fires. The fires reduce the number of soil biota, dry it, increase water loss, and expose the soil, roots from plants and trees to the sun, slowing their growth or even leading to their death. Further consequences can also increase erosion and flooding during the wet season. Another critical aspect is that burning creates pollution and carbon dioxide, contributing to climate change.
Farmers are legally allowed to set fire on their land, but it is also against the law in some areas. Cultural beliefs are deep-rooted within the communities, limiting the opportunities for people to change those habits. It’s essential to communicate the disadvantages of land burning and the dangers of wildfires. We need to make the population aware of the damages and effects caused by these practices of burning land.
Please don’t let our natural heritage turn into smoke and ashes! The first eroded soil is the topsoil, and this is the most valuable soil at all. It contains a lot of nutrients and takes many years to replace.
About Ballena Tales
Ballena Tales is an essential free guide and digital comprehensive magazine for travelers, residents, and investors covering Costa Ballena in the Canton of Osa in the South Pacific of Costa Rica. It is a fully bilingual, bi-monthly, and full-color digital magazine.
The magazine introduces the reader to the life of the local community, with interviews of pioneers, writers, and artists, as well as extensive information on restaurants, hotels, experiences, natural attractions, and wildlife of the South Pacific of Costa Rica.
Ballena Tales is an essential free digital magazine in Costa Rica,
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