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  • Nick Kemp

Task 1 Report: Land Degradation


Question: The above pie chart 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.


Band 8+ Sample Answer::


(Intro & Overview) The pie chart explains the main causes of a reduction in productivity of agricultural land globally, whereas the table illustrates how three distinct areas in the world were affected by the same three causes throughout the 1990s. Overall, over-grazing was the most significant, closely followed by deforestation and over-cultivation. In addition, the table indicates that Europe suffered the largest proportion of degraded land, with North America experiencing the least. Each of three areas showed different primary causes of degradation.


(Detail 1) Turning to the detail of the pie chart, 35% of land degradation was caused by over-grazing, compared to deforestation composing 30% and over-cultivation accounting for 28%. Therefore these were the three most significant reasons, with a mere 7% due to ‘other’ causes.


(Detail 2) Regarding the table, 23% of total land degraded occurred in Europe which was the highest figures across the three regions. This primarily resulted from deforestation and over-cultivation, with 9.8% and 7.7% respectively. Following this was Oceania with 13% of total farmland being destroyed by over-grazing (11.3%) and deforestation (1.7%). It is worth noting that over-cultivation caused zero deterioration of farmland in this region. By contrast, North America experienced the least serious problem, with just 5% of total land degraded. Of this 3.3% was derived from over-cultivation, as opposed to 1.5% due to over-grazing and just 0.2% resulting from deforestation. (227 words)


Words: Nick Kemp, former IELTS examiner.

Image: Cambridge