NCERT Textbook - Land, Soil, Water, Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources Class 8 Notes | EduRev

Geography for UPSC CSE

Class 8 : NCERT Textbook - Land, Soil, Water, Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources Class 8 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


In a small village in Tanzania, Africa, Mamba gets up 
very early in the morning to fetch water. She has to walk 
a long way and returns after a few hours. She then helps 
her mother in the house and joins her brothers in taking 
care of their goats.  All her family owns is a piece of rocky 
land around their small hut. Mamba’s father can barely 
grow some maize and beans on it after toiling hard. This 
is not enough to feed their family for the whole year.
Peter lives in the heart of the sheep rearing region in 
New Zealand where his family runs a wool processing 
factory. Everyday when he returns from school, Peter 
watches his uncle taking care of their sheep. Their sheep 
yard is situated on a wide grassy plain with hills in the 
far distance. It is managed in a scientific way using the 
latest technology. Peter’s family also grows vegetables 
through organic farming.
Mamba and Peter stay in two different parts of the 
world and lead very different lives. This difference is 
because of the differences in the quality of land, soil, 
water, natural vegetation, animals and the usage of 
technology. The availability of such resources is the 
main reason places differ from each other. 
Land Land is among the most important natural resources. 
It covers only about thirty per cent of the total area of 
the earth’s surface and all parts of this small percentage 
are not habitable.
The uneven distribution of population in different 
parts of the world is mainly due to varied characteristics 
of land and climate. The rugged topography, steep slopes 
of the mountains, low-lying areas susceptible to water 
Let’s do 
Observe the land, 
type of soil and 
water availability 
in the region you 
live. Discuss in 
your class, how it 
has influenced the 
lifestyle of people 
there. 
Do you know?
Ninety per cent 
of the world 
population 
occupies only 
thirty per cent of 
land area. The 
remaining seventy 
per cent of the 
land is either 
sparsely populated 
or uninhabited.
Land,Soil, Water, 
Natural Vegetation  
and Wildlife Resources
2020-21
Page 2


In a small village in Tanzania, Africa, Mamba gets up 
very early in the morning to fetch water. She has to walk 
a long way and returns after a few hours. She then helps 
her mother in the house and joins her brothers in taking 
care of their goats.  All her family owns is a piece of rocky 
land around their small hut. Mamba’s father can barely 
grow some maize and beans on it after toiling hard. This 
is not enough to feed their family for the whole year.
Peter lives in the heart of the sheep rearing region in 
New Zealand where his family runs a wool processing 
factory. Everyday when he returns from school, Peter 
watches his uncle taking care of their sheep. Their sheep 
yard is situated on a wide grassy plain with hills in the 
far distance. It is managed in a scientific way using the 
latest technology. Peter’s family also grows vegetables 
through organic farming.
Mamba and Peter stay in two different parts of the 
world and lead very different lives. This difference is 
because of the differences in the quality of land, soil, 
water, natural vegetation, animals and the usage of 
technology. The availability of such resources is the 
main reason places differ from each other. 
Land Land is among the most important natural resources. 
It covers only about thirty per cent of the total area of 
the earth’s surface and all parts of this small percentage 
are not habitable.
The uneven distribution of population in different 
parts of the world is mainly due to varied characteristics 
of land and climate. The rugged topography, steep slopes 
of the mountains, low-lying areas susceptible to water 
Let’s do 
Observe the land, 
type of soil and 
water availability 
in the region you 
live. Discuss in 
your class, how it 
has influenced the 
lifestyle of people 
there. 
Do you know?
Ninety per cent 
of the world 
population 
occupies only 
thirty per cent of 
land area. The 
remaining seventy 
per cent of the 
land is either 
sparsely populated 
or uninhabited.
Land,Soil, Water, 
Natural Vegetation  
and Wildlife Resources
2020-21
8 RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
logging, desert areas, thick 
forested areas are normally 
sparsely populated or 
uninhabited. Plains and river 
valleys offer suitable land for 
agriculture. Hence, these are 
the densely populated areas 
of the world.
LAND USE
Land is used for different 
purposes such as agriculture, 
forestry, mining, building 
houses, roads and setting up 
of industries. This is commonly termed as Land use. 
Can you list out the different ways in which Mamba’s 
and Peter’s family use their land?
The use of land is determined by physical factors 
such as topography, soil, climate, minerals and 
availability of water. Human factors such as population 
and technology are also important determinants of land 
use pattern.
Land can also be classified on the basis of ownership 
as – private land and community land. Private land 
is owned by individuals whereas, community land 
is owned by the community for common uses like 
collection of fodder, fruits, nuts or medicinal herbs. 
These community lands are also called common 
property resources.
People and their demands are ever growing but the 
availability of land is limited. The quality of land also 
differs from place to place. People started encroaching 
the common lands to build up commercial areas, 
housing complexes in the urban areas and to expand 
the agricultural land in the rural areas. Today the 
vast changes in the land use pattern also reflect the 
cultural changes in our society. Land degradation, 
landslides, soil erosion, desertification are the major 
threats to the environment because of the expansion 
of agriculture and construction activities.
Fig. 2.1: Salzburg in Austria
Notice in how many ways  the land has been used in the 
above picture.
Let’s do 
Talk to some 
elderly person 
in your family or 
neighbourhood and 
collect information 
about changes 
in the land use 
over the years, in 
the place where 
you live. Display 
your findings on a 
bulletin board in 
your classroom.
2020-21
Page 3


In a small village in Tanzania, Africa, Mamba gets up 
very early in the morning to fetch water. She has to walk 
a long way and returns after a few hours. She then helps 
her mother in the house and joins her brothers in taking 
care of their goats.  All her family owns is a piece of rocky 
land around their small hut. Mamba’s father can barely 
grow some maize and beans on it after toiling hard. This 
is not enough to feed their family for the whole year.
Peter lives in the heart of the sheep rearing region in 
New Zealand where his family runs a wool processing 
factory. Everyday when he returns from school, Peter 
watches his uncle taking care of their sheep. Their sheep 
yard is situated on a wide grassy plain with hills in the 
far distance. It is managed in a scientific way using the 
latest technology. Peter’s family also grows vegetables 
through organic farming.
Mamba and Peter stay in two different parts of the 
world and lead very different lives. This difference is 
because of the differences in the quality of land, soil, 
water, natural vegetation, animals and the usage of 
technology. The availability of such resources is the 
main reason places differ from each other. 
Land Land is among the most important natural resources. 
It covers only about thirty per cent of the total area of 
the earth’s surface and all parts of this small percentage 
are not habitable.
The uneven distribution of population in different 
parts of the world is mainly due to varied characteristics 
of land and climate. The rugged topography, steep slopes 
of the mountains, low-lying areas susceptible to water 
Let’s do 
Observe the land, 
type of soil and 
water availability 
in the region you 
live. Discuss in 
your class, how it 
has influenced the 
lifestyle of people 
there. 
Do you know?
Ninety per cent 
of the world 
population 
occupies only 
thirty per cent of 
land area. The 
remaining seventy 
per cent of the 
land is either 
sparsely populated 
or uninhabited.
Land,Soil, Water, 
Natural Vegetation  
and Wildlife Resources
2020-21
8 RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
logging, desert areas, thick 
forested areas are normally 
sparsely populated or 
uninhabited. Plains and river 
valleys offer suitable land for 
agriculture. Hence, these are 
the densely populated areas 
of the world.
LAND USE
Land is used for different 
purposes such as agriculture, 
forestry, mining, building 
houses, roads and setting up 
of industries. This is commonly termed as Land use. 
Can you list out the different ways in which Mamba’s 
and Peter’s family use their land?
The use of land is determined by physical factors 
such as topography, soil, climate, minerals and 
availability of water. Human factors such as population 
and technology are also important determinants of land 
use pattern.
Land can also be classified on the basis of ownership 
as – private land and community land. Private land 
is owned by individuals whereas, community land 
is owned by the community for common uses like 
collection of fodder, fruits, nuts or medicinal herbs. 
These community lands are also called common 
property resources.
People and their demands are ever growing but the 
availability of land is limited. The quality of land also 
differs from place to place. People started encroaching 
the common lands to build up commercial areas, 
housing complexes in the urban areas and to expand 
the agricultural land in the rural areas. Today the 
vast changes in the land use pattern also reflect the 
cultural changes in our society. Land degradation, 
landslides, soil erosion, desertification are the major 
threats to the environment because of the expansion 
of agriculture and construction activities.
Fig. 2.1: Salzburg in Austria
Notice in how many ways  the land has been used in the 
above picture.
Let’s do 
Talk to some 
elderly person 
in your family or 
neighbourhood and 
collect information 
about changes 
in the land use 
over the years, in 
the place where 
you live. Display 
your findings on a 
bulletin board in 
your classroom.
2020-21
 Land , Soi L, Water , n atura L Vegetation and Wi Ld Life r e Source S 9
Conservation of Land r esoUrCe Growing population and their ever growing demand has  
led to a large scale destruction of forest cover and  arable   
land and has created a fear of losing this natural resource. 
Therefore, the present rate of degradation of land must 
be checked. Afforestation, land reclamation, regulated 
use of chemical pesticide and fertilisers and checks on 
overgrazing are some of the common methods used to 
conserve land resources.
s oiL
The thin layer of grainy substance covering the surface 
of the earth is called soil. It is closely linked to land. 
Landforms determine the type of soil. Soil is made 
up of organic matter, minerals and weathered rocks 
found on the earth. This happens through the process 
of weathering. The right mix of minerals and organic 
matter make the soil fertile.
Fig. 2.2:  Change in land use over time
1.
2.
3. 4.
Glossary 
Weathering
The breaking 
up and decay of 
exposed rocks, 
by temperature 
changes, frost 
action, plants, 
animals and 
human activity.
2020-21
Page 4


In a small village in Tanzania, Africa, Mamba gets up 
very early in the morning to fetch water. She has to walk 
a long way and returns after a few hours. She then helps 
her mother in the house and joins her brothers in taking 
care of their goats.  All her family owns is a piece of rocky 
land around their small hut. Mamba’s father can barely 
grow some maize and beans on it after toiling hard. This 
is not enough to feed their family for the whole year.
Peter lives in the heart of the sheep rearing region in 
New Zealand where his family runs a wool processing 
factory. Everyday when he returns from school, Peter 
watches his uncle taking care of their sheep. Their sheep 
yard is situated on a wide grassy plain with hills in the 
far distance. It is managed in a scientific way using the 
latest technology. Peter’s family also grows vegetables 
through organic farming.
Mamba and Peter stay in two different parts of the 
world and lead very different lives. This difference is 
because of the differences in the quality of land, soil, 
water, natural vegetation, animals and the usage of 
technology. The availability of such resources is the 
main reason places differ from each other. 
Land Land is among the most important natural resources. 
It covers only about thirty per cent of the total area of 
the earth’s surface and all parts of this small percentage 
are not habitable.
The uneven distribution of population in different 
parts of the world is mainly due to varied characteristics 
of land and climate. The rugged topography, steep slopes 
of the mountains, low-lying areas susceptible to water 
Let’s do 
Observe the land, 
type of soil and 
water availability 
in the region you 
live. Discuss in 
your class, how it 
has influenced the 
lifestyle of people 
there. 
Do you know?
Ninety per cent 
of the world 
population 
occupies only 
thirty per cent of 
land area. The 
remaining seventy 
per cent of the 
land is either 
sparsely populated 
or uninhabited.
Land,Soil, Water, 
Natural Vegetation  
and Wildlife Resources
2020-21
8 RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
logging, desert areas, thick 
forested areas are normally 
sparsely populated or 
uninhabited. Plains and river 
valleys offer suitable land for 
agriculture. Hence, these are 
the densely populated areas 
of the world.
LAND USE
Land is used for different 
purposes such as agriculture, 
forestry, mining, building 
houses, roads and setting up 
of industries. This is commonly termed as Land use. 
Can you list out the different ways in which Mamba’s 
and Peter’s family use their land?
The use of land is determined by physical factors 
such as topography, soil, climate, minerals and 
availability of water. Human factors such as population 
and technology are also important determinants of land 
use pattern.
Land can also be classified on the basis of ownership 
as – private land and community land. Private land 
is owned by individuals whereas, community land 
is owned by the community for common uses like 
collection of fodder, fruits, nuts or medicinal herbs. 
These community lands are also called common 
property resources.
People and their demands are ever growing but the 
availability of land is limited. The quality of land also 
differs from place to place. People started encroaching 
the common lands to build up commercial areas, 
housing complexes in the urban areas and to expand 
the agricultural land in the rural areas. Today the 
vast changes in the land use pattern also reflect the 
cultural changes in our society. Land degradation, 
landslides, soil erosion, desertification are the major 
threats to the environment because of the expansion 
of agriculture and construction activities.
Fig. 2.1: Salzburg in Austria
Notice in how many ways  the land has been used in the 
above picture.
Let’s do 
Talk to some 
elderly person 
in your family or 
neighbourhood and 
collect information 
about changes 
in the land use 
over the years, in 
the place where 
you live. Display 
your findings on a 
bulletin board in 
your classroom.
2020-21
 Land , Soi L, Water , n atura L Vegetation and Wi Ld Life r e Source S 9
Conservation of Land r esoUrCe Growing population and their ever growing demand has  
led to a large scale destruction of forest cover and  arable   
land and has created a fear of losing this natural resource. 
Therefore, the present rate of degradation of land must 
be checked. Afforestation, land reclamation, regulated 
use of chemical pesticide and fertilisers and checks on 
overgrazing are some of the common methods used to 
conserve land resources.
s oiL
The thin layer of grainy substance covering the surface 
of the earth is called soil. It is closely linked to land. 
Landforms determine the type of soil. Soil is made 
up of organic matter, minerals and weathered rocks 
found on the earth. This happens through the process 
of weathering. The right mix of minerals and organic 
matter make the soil fertile.
Fig. 2.2:  Change in land use over time
1.
2.
3. 4.
Glossary 
Weathering
The breaking 
up and decay of 
exposed rocks, 
by temperature 
changes, frost 
action, plants, 
animals and 
human activity.
2020-21
10 ResouRces and d evelopment Landslides
Landslides are simply defined as the mass movement 
of rock, debris or earth down a slope. They often take 
place in conjunction with earthquakes, floods and 
volcanoes. A prolonged spell of rainfall can cause 
heavy landslide that can block the flow of river for 
quite some time. The formation of river blocks can 
cause havoc to the settlements downstream on its 
bursting. In the hilly terrain landslides have been a 
major and widely spread natural disaster that often 
strike life and property and occupy a position of major 
concern.
A Case Study
A massive landslide hit Pangi village near Reckong Peo in Kinnaur district of 
Himachal Pradesh and damaged a 200-meter stretch of old Hindustan-Tibet 
road, National Highway - 22. This landslide was triggered by intense blasting 
at Pangi village. Due to the blasting this weak zone of slope collapsed and 
caused intense damage to the road and nearby villages. The Pangi village was 
completely vacated to avoid any possible loss of life.
Mitigation Mechanism
Advancement in scientific techniques has empowered us to understand what 
factors cause landslides and how to manage them. Some broad mitigation 
techniques of landslide are as follows:
•	 Hazard 	 mapping	 to	 locate	 areas	 prone	 to	
landslides. Hence, such areas can be avoided 
for building settlements.
•	 Construction of retention wall to stop land from 
slipping.
•	 Increase 	 in	 the	 vegetation	 cover	 to	 arrest 	
landslide.
•	 The 	 surface 	 drainage 	 control	works to control 
the movement of landslide along with rain water 
and spring flows.
A Landslide
Retention Wall
2020-21
Page 5


In a small village in Tanzania, Africa, Mamba gets up 
very early in the morning to fetch water. She has to walk 
a long way and returns after a few hours. She then helps 
her mother in the house and joins her brothers in taking 
care of their goats.  All her family owns is a piece of rocky 
land around their small hut. Mamba’s father can barely 
grow some maize and beans on it after toiling hard. This 
is not enough to feed their family for the whole year.
Peter lives in the heart of the sheep rearing region in 
New Zealand where his family runs a wool processing 
factory. Everyday when he returns from school, Peter 
watches his uncle taking care of their sheep. Their sheep 
yard is situated on a wide grassy plain with hills in the 
far distance. It is managed in a scientific way using the 
latest technology. Peter’s family also grows vegetables 
through organic farming.
Mamba and Peter stay in two different parts of the 
world and lead very different lives. This difference is 
because of the differences in the quality of land, soil, 
water, natural vegetation, animals and the usage of 
technology. The availability of such resources is the 
main reason places differ from each other. 
Land Land is among the most important natural resources. 
It covers only about thirty per cent of the total area of 
the earth’s surface and all parts of this small percentage 
are not habitable.
The uneven distribution of population in different 
parts of the world is mainly due to varied characteristics 
of land and climate. The rugged topography, steep slopes 
of the mountains, low-lying areas susceptible to water 
Let’s do 
Observe the land, 
type of soil and 
water availability 
in the region you 
live. Discuss in 
your class, how it 
has influenced the 
lifestyle of people 
there. 
Do you know?
Ninety per cent 
of the world 
population 
occupies only 
thirty per cent of 
land area. The 
remaining seventy 
per cent of the 
land is either 
sparsely populated 
or uninhabited.
Land,Soil, Water, 
Natural Vegetation  
and Wildlife Resources
2020-21
8 RESOURCES AND DEVELOPMENT
logging, desert areas, thick 
forested areas are normally 
sparsely populated or 
uninhabited. Plains and river 
valleys offer suitable land for 
agriculture. Hence, these are 
the densely populated areas 
of the world.
LAND USE
Land is used for different 
purposes such as agriculture, 
forestry, mining, building 
houses, roads and setting up 
of industries. This is commonly termed as Land use. 
Can you list out the different ways in which Mamba’s 
and Peter’s family use their land?
The use of land is determined by physical factors 
such as topography, soil, climate, minerals and 
availability of water. Human factors such as population 
and technology are also important determinants of land 
use pattern.
Land can also be classified on the basis of ownership 
as – private land and community land. Private land 
is owned by individuals whereas, community land 
is owned by the community for common uses like 
collection of fodder, fruits, nuts or medicinal herbs. 
These community lands are also called common 
property resources.
People and their demands are ever growing but the 
availability of land is limited. The quality of land also 
differs from place to place. People started encroaching 
the common lands to build up commercial areas, 
housing complexes in the urban areas and to expand 
the agricultural land in the rural areas. Today the 
vast changes in the land use pattern also reflect the 
cultural changes in our society. Land degradation, 
landslides, soil erosion, desertification are the major 
threats to the environment because of the expansion 
of agriculture and construction activities.
Fig. 2.1: Salzburg in Austria
Notice in how many ways  the land has been used in the 
above picture.
Let’s do 
Talk to some 
elderly person 
in your family or 
neighbourhood and 
collect information 
about changes 
in the land use 
over the years, in 
the place where 
you live. Display 
your findings on a 
bulletin board in 
your classroom.
2020-21
 Land , Soi L, Water , n atura L Vegetation and Wi Ld Life r e Source S 9
Conservation of Land r esoUrCe Growing population and their ever growing demand has  
led to a large scale destruction of forest cover and  arable   
land and has created a fear of losing this natural resource. 
Therefore, the present rate of degradation of land must 
be checked. Afforestation, land reclamation, regulated 
use of chemical pesticide and fertilisers and checks on 
overgrazing are some of the common methods used to 
conserve land resources.
s oiL
The thin layer of grainy substance covering the surface 
of the earth is called soil. It is closely linked to land. 
Landforms determine the type of soil. Soil is made 
up of organic matter, minerals and weathered rocks 
found on the earth. This happens through the process 
of weathering. The right mix of minerals and organic 
matter make the soil fertile.
Fig. 2.2:  Change in land use over time
1.
2.
3. 4.
Glossary 
Weathering
The breaking 
up and decay of 
exposed rocks, 
by temperature 
changes, frost 
action, plants, 
animals and 
human activity.
2020-21
10 ResouRces and d evelopment Landslides
Landslides are simply defined as the mass movement 
of rock, debris or earth down a slope. They often take 
place in conjunction with earthquakes, floods and 
volcanoes. A prolonged spell of rainfall can cause 
heavy landslide that can block the flow of river for 
quite some time. The formation of river blocks can 
cause havoc to the settlements downstream on its 
bursting. In the hilly terrain landslides have been a 
major and widely spread natural disaster that often 
strike life and property and occupy a position of major 
concern.
A Case Study
A massive landslide hit Pangi village near Reckong Peo in Kinnaur district of 
Himachal Pradesh and damaged a 200-meter stretch of old Hindustan-Tibet 
road, National Highway - 22. This landslide was triggered by intense blasting 
at Pangi village. Due to the blasting this weak zone of slope collapsed and 
caused intense damage to the road and nearby villages. The Pangi village was 
completely vacated to avoid any possible loss of life.
Mitigation Mechanism
Advancement in scientific techniques has empowered us to understand what 
factors cause landslides and how to manage them. Some broad mitigation 
techniques of landslide are as follows:
•	 Hazard 	 mapping	 to	 locate	 areas	 prone	 to	
landslides. Hence, such areas can be avoided 
for building settlements.
•	 Construction of retention wall to stop land from 
slipping.
•	 Increase 	 in	 the	 vegetation	 cover	 to	 arrest 	
landslide.
•	 The 	 surface 	 drainage 	 control	works to control 
the movement of landslide along with rain water 
and spring flows.
A Landslide
Retention Wall
2020-21
 Land , Soi L, Water , n atura L Vegetation and Wi Ld Life r e Source S 11
Do you know? 
It takes hundreds 
of years to make 
just one centimetre 
of soil.
Fig. 2.4: Factors affecting soil formation
Climate
Temperature, 
Rainfall influence 
rate of weathering
and humus 
formation
Time
Determines thickness 
of soil profile
Soil
Flora, Fauna and 
Micro-organism
Affect the rate of humus 
formation
Relief
Altitude and 
slope, determine 
accumulation 
of soil 
Parent Rock
Determines colour, 
texture, chemical 
properties
 mineral, content, 
permeability
Fig. 2.3: Soil Profile
Top soil with humus and 
vegetation
Sub soil with sand, silt and 
clay
Weathered rock material
Parent rock
f aCtors of s oiL f ormation The major factors of soil formation are the nature of 
the parent rock and climatic factors. Other factors are 
the topography, role of organic material and time taken 
for the composition of soil formation. All these differ 
from place to place.
2020-21
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