Model Answer - IELTS (Task 1)

The pie chart below shows the main reasons why agricultural land becomes less productive. The table shows how these causes affected three regions of the world during the 1990s.

Summarise the information by selecting and reporting the main features, and make comparisons where relevant.

The pie chart provides the main causes of global land degradation while the table gives a regional breakdown of this degradation during the 1990s.

The three main reasons why land used for agriculture is becoming less productive are over-grazing by livestock, deforestation and over-cultivation of crops. The percentages for these categories are almost on an equal footing with over-grazing at 35%, deforestation at 5% less and over-cultivation accounts for 28%. Other reasons are considerably lower at 7%.

Europe has the highest deforestation figure of 9.8% followed by Oceania with 1.7% and North America with 0.2%. Similarly, Europe has the greatest percentage in the over-cultivation category (7.7%) whilst in North America land degradation due to over-cultivation lies at 3.3%. No agricultural land is degraded by this method in Oceania. Finally, 11.3% of Oceania’s agricultural land is affected by over-grazing, about half of this amount in Europe (5.5%) and a considerably small amount in North America (1.5%).

To sum up, the main cause of worldwide land degradation is over-grazing. In terms of the greatest region where land degradation is most prominent, Europe comes first with 23%, followed by Oceania and lastly North America (13%).

Question taken from IELTS 8 past papers p.30
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