Recovery of degraded areasDegraded Area Recovery Plan

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When we talk about recovering degraded areas, we talk about recovering areas with
different levels of degradation to levels similar to those found at the moment
prior to human intervention. Human activities, whether for food production
or extraction of raw material for industry, has been changing the nature and environment in which live. For this reason and due to the growing concern with the environment, it is imminent the need for recovery, which can then be drawn up in a Recovery Plan of Degraded Areas.

Depending on the level of damage to the ecosystem, for often not only the vegetation is affected, but also its ability to replenish Natural. For this reason, as in any process, the rehabilitation of the area needs a initial assessment of the situation.

Basic Concerts



Set of processes resulting from damage to the environment, by which some of its properties are lost or reduced, such as the quality or productive capacity of environmental resources.

Soil Degradation
Adverse changes in soil characteristics in relation to its various possible uses, both established in planning and potential.

Reproduction of the exact conditions of the site, as they were before being changed by the intervention.

The altered location is worked in such a way that the environmental conditions end up being close to the conditions prior to the intervention; that is, it is a question of returning the balance and stability of the active processes to the place.

Altered place destined to a given form of land use, according to a previous project and in conditions compatible with the surrounding occupation, that is, it is about reusing the area for another purpose.

Actions and technologies that aim to eliminate, neutralize or transform contaminants present in the subsurface (soil and groundwater). Refers to contaminated areas.





What is a Degraded Area Recovery Plan?

A disturbed or degraded area is defined by the occurrence of change in biotic and abiotic environmental properties due to the impacts of an activity.

This allowed the workers to be involved in the job instead of feeling like they had been made redundant by technology.

A Degraded Area Recovery Plan must, therefore, present the set of methods, instructions and materials necessary for the return of the degraded site to a given form of use of the working soil for use, in accordance with the pre-established plan for the use or capacity productive use of environmental resources.

The recovery is the restoration of the degraded area for the establishment of the original function of the ecosystem. The restoration implies the exacter placement of ecological conditions of degraded area.

Many plans focus on retrieving the native species, for example, using techniques of planting native species for seedlings or direct seeding; transposition of organic soil or leaf litter with propagating material; vegetative propagation of native species; driving the regeneration, reforestation.

The method of recovery or restoration of vegetation must be set according to the biotic and abiotic features of the area and knowledge of the impact, the resilience of the vegetation and the secondary succession, justified technically in plan.

Recovery Techniques

Revegetation: from the localized fixation of plant species (herbaceous or arboreal), to extensive reforestation;

Geotechnical Technologies: execution of engineering works (with or without containment and retention structures), including hydraulic ones, which aim at the physical stability of the environment;

Remediation: execution of predominantly chemical (or biological) treatment methods aimed at eliminating, neutralizing, immobilizing, confining or transforming contaminating elements or substances present, reaching the chemical stability of the environment.


Degraded Soils

For the recovery of degraded soils, it is necessary to:

  • Correction of the degradation, in the sense of establishing the balance of the processes of the physical environment;
  • Maintenance work, in order to avoid reactivating these processes and the consequent cancellation of corrective measures.

Basic recovery procedures and measures

Type Of Degraded AreaMain Degradation ProcessesSome Corrective Measures
Abandoned Mining in Urban Regions·         Runoff of surface water;

·         Erosion by grooves and ravines;

·         Slips;

·         Deposition of sediment and particles.

·         Revegetation;

·         Surface water collection and conduction;

·         Slope and block stabilization.

Industrial and Urban Waste Deposit·         Physical-chemical interactions in the soil (soil pollution);

·         Runoff of surface water;

·         Movement of subsurface waters.

·         Deposit prospecting;

·         Total or partial removal, transport and disposal of waste;

·         “In situ” soil treatment;

·         Soil decontamination or remediation.

Urban or Rural Boreholes·         Erosion by mouths;

·         Movement of subsurface waters.

·         Control of use and occupation;

·         Surface water collection and conduction;

·         Drainage of subsurface / bottom waters;

·         Stabilization of the slopes of the nozzle or grounding.

Housing Occupation of Slopes in Situations of Risk·         Slips;

·         Runoff of surface water.

·         Surface water collection and conduction;

·         Slope stabilization (with or without containment structures);

·         Revegetation.

Irrigated Agricultural Occupation·         Densification and compaction of the soil;

·         Acidification of the soil by leaching.

·         Irrigation control;

·         Irrigation control;

·         Correction of soil acidity.

Silted Courses and Bodies·         Deposition of sediments and particles;

·         Floods and floods.

·         Erosion control upstream;

·         Dredging of sediments;

·         Hydraulic works.

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