The Pie Chart Below Shows the Main Reasons Why Agricultural Land

Lilie King
Written by Lilie

Scored a 7 twice in the writing test

December 14, 2021

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.

This essay question is from Cambridge IELTS 8 Test 1 Writing Task 1.

Causes of worldwide land degradation

causes of worldwide land degradation

Causes of land degradation by region

causes of land degradation by region

Sample Essay

The pie chart displays the major causes of global land degradation, while the table illustrates how three regions of the world were affected by these causes during the 1990s.

Overall, over-grazing, deforestation, and over-cultivation are the main reasons why agricultural land worldwide is degraded. Europe had a much higher percentage of degraded land than Oceania and North America.

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Over-grazing, which accounts for 35% of the world’s degraded land, is the single biggest reason for global land degradation. Deforestation and over-cultivation constitute another 30% and 28% respectively.

Of the three regions, Europe had the greatest proportion of degraded land during the 1990s, at 23%. However, there, the biggest factor was not over-grazing but deforestation, which caused 9.8% of the land to become less productive. Oceania was the second most affected region, with a total of 13% of its land degraded, and this was mostly caused by over-grazing, at 11.3%. It is also noteworthy that Oceania didn’t over-cultivate its land. In comparison, only a total of 5% of the land in North America was degraded and over-cultivation, responsible for 3.3%, was the biggest cause. (185 Words)

How to Understand the Pie Chart

A certain percentage of the world’s land is degraded, but we are not told what this percentage is. As you can see, the percentages in the pie add up to 100 (35+30+28+7). This doesn’t mean that 100% of the world’s land is degraded. The pie chart only tells us that over-grazing, for example, accounts for 35% of the world’s degraded land, not 35% of all the world’s land. So don’t say something like “35% of land worldwide is degraded by over-grazing”.

30 CommentsLeave A Comment

  1. the pie chart and table demonstrate the percentages combination of the original rationale of the fewer activations of working on lands by farmers and how these reasons affected NORTH AMERICA, EUROPE, AND OCEANIA in the 1990 decade.

    In general, the most significant reason was related to overgrazing especially in Oceania, and deforestation being at the next position, particularly in European countries. whereas, other reasons had the lowest contribution to degradation.

    As can be seen, overgrazing was the biggest segment in degradation in the world with 35%, in which Oceania had the highest contribution with 11.3% which was about double compared to Europe with 5.5%. In addition, North America was the lowest part with 1.5%. there was about 30% deforestation in the world in the 1990s, In which Europe had the most significant participation with 9.8%. whereas, Oceania and North America had fewer contributions, at 1.7% and 0.2% respectively.

    In the 1990s, Europe and North America witnessed 7.7% and 3.3% of over-cultivation respectively, while, Oceania had no participation. moreover, over-cultivation made up 28% of the degradation of the world. Other causes contributed the least to degradation, at 7%.

    To sum up, European countries had the largest total land degraded, however, North America experienced the lowest total land degradation. Oceania which consists of a large group of islands in the South Pacific such as Australia and New Zealand has had an intermediate contribution.

  2. It is the best one I’ve read until now, but as the number of words exceeded the limit, would they consider it or give a negative mark?

  3. The pie chart reveals some information and statistics over the prime features responsible for soil erosion and the next table illustrates the magnitude of theses causes on three distinct areas during the decade of 1990s.
    It is evident that animals foraging for food possess the greatest threat to pasturelands. European agricultural fields underwent the most extended amount of degradation.
    There are diverse aspects that put agriculture industry in such a great danger, as animals accounted for 35 percent since they needed to be pastured to survive. Cultivation to excess and logging participated almost equally in such man-made disaster, 28 and 30 per cent, respectively.
    As 9.8 percent of European lands were destroyed due to desertification, this number dropped to 1.7 and 0.2 percent in Australian islands and North America. Food supply for human beings caused 7.7 percent of European lands to be damaged, this statistic almost halved in North America. Not a single land was over-cultivated in Australian islands though, providing food for livestock came in with such great price there, as it is shown that 11.3 per cent of agricultural fields became no longer available. Over-grazing did harm on 5.5 and 1.5 percent of European and North American lands.

  4. You wrote-Over-grazing, which accounts for 35%. My question is, if I write Which accounted for 35%, will it be correct?

  5. The pie chart illustrates the reasons for the erosion of agricultural land, while the table describes the data on the affected regions in the 1990s. Overall, overgrazing was the main cause for degrading land globally, with Oceania experiencing the greatest impact. However, Europe was the area that had the most degraded land.
    Europe had almost a quarter of its land degraded, but the main cause of this was due to deforestation, at 9.8%, with over-grazing being the lowest contributor to the total land degraded, at only 5.5%. In contrast, Oceania had over 11% of its land eroded by over-grazing, the biggest contributor worldwide, but over-cultivation did not have any impact on the land.
    North America had just 5% of its land degraded, with over cultivation constituting the highest proportion, at 3.3% while deforestation stood at merely 0.2%, the lowest of the three areas. While the causations of degradation of land were divided evenly for over-grazing, deforestation and overcultivation, at 35%, 30% and 28% respectively, every part of the world witnessed different patterns.

    What do you think of this?

  6. Over-grazing, which accounts for 35% of the world’s degraded land, is the single biggest reason for global land degradation. Deforestation and over-cultivation constitute another 30% and 28% respectively.
    I think using past tense here is more apposite.

    1. Hi, have you noticed that the introductory text of the charts uses the present simple for the first chart but the past simple for the second chart?

  7. hey. thank you for your sample answer. it was a great help.
    just a question popped out now. why did you shift the tense from past to the present in the overview paraghraph?

    1. Hi Basira, this because the introductory text of the charts switches from the present simple (becomes) to the past simple (affected).

      1. Hey,I recently tried attempting this question.I am grateful for your essay.I have a question about it,is it alright to mix the chart and table under one word? For instance,”The depicted diagrams illustrate the mayor causes of land degradation and how these affected certain regions …”

  8. Hello Lillie, ma’am! Your writing lessons are amazing, and they are helping me a lot during my preparation. Could you also provide guidance on the listening and reading sections?

  9. The pie chart illustrates the major causes of agricultural land degradation worldwide whereas the table shows the statistical information about the effects of these reasons in three regions of world.

    We come to know from the pie chart that there are three main reasons behind the degradation of farmland and these are over-grazing, deforestation and over-cultivation. Over-grazing is the most dominating reason, decreasing about 35% of farmland productivity. Deforestation and over-cultivation are the other two factors that diminish about 30% and 28% farmland land productivity respectively. There is another portion in the pie chart which is denoted by others and causes just 7% of degradation.

    Europe is the most agricultural land degraded region which is about 23% and main factor behind this is deforestation. About 11.3% land degradation is served by over-grazing among 13% in Oceania. North America is the least affected area whose quantity of land degradation is only about 5%.

  10. I want to know how much will i get from this answer.

    The pie chart reflects the reasons of worldwide land degradation. It shows us that 35% of the land degradation is caused by over-grazing, 30% is because of deforestation, 28% is lead by over-cultivation and the rest 7% is caused by other minor problems. So, in other words, the main reason of land degradation is over-grazing and the minor reason is the other short problems which are not mentioned specifically.

    In the table it shows us the similar things but it also contains the percentage of land degradation by regions. It shows us that North America’s total land degradation is 5% which includes 0.2% of deforestaion, 3.3% of over cultivation, 1.5% of over-grazing. In Europe, the total land degraded by 23% and for Oceania, it is 13%.

    Overall, Europe is the highly damaged by the land degradation and we can see that the main reason is deforestation and over-cultivation, which contains 9.8% and 7.7% out of 23%.

  11. The chart provides data about how the degradation of land has occurred over the whole world, and the table shows the percentage of land degradation in several regions between the year 1990 to 1999.

    Firstly, it can be noted that overgrazing due to high demand of beef and milk has caused most of the damage to agricultural land which is 35%. Similarly, deforestation and over-cultivation has severe impact contributing 30% and 28% along with 5% of other factors.

    To be specific, Europe has lost the most quantity of cultivating land between the year 1990 to 1999 which is 23%. Oceania and North America are in very good condition as compared to Europe in the above mentioned years with 13% in Oceania and only 5% in North America.

    It must be mentioned that deforestation in Europe is the most contributing factor for land degradation, followed by over-cultivation and over-grazing. Oceania exceeds all other regions in over-grazing and there is very slight effects of deforestation but cultivation was done within harmless limits. So far, North America has been in the safest side with very little deforestation and over-grazing and slight over cultivation that caused land degradation.

  12. Hi, thank you for your sample answer and explanation. I left my essay below, how would you assess it? Thank you again in advance

  13. The pie chart illustrates the main causes of the low productivity of agriculture, while the table gives information about three regions of the world affected by them during the 1990s.

    Overall, over-grazing, deforestation, and over-cultivation are the main culprits of land degradation. Europe was affected the most, as opposed to North America, which suffered the least from this problem.

    In terms of over-grazing, it comprises 35% of land deterioration, remaining the main issue. With regard to over-cultivation and deforestation, they account for another 28% and 30% respectively, leaving a tiny 7% for other reasons.

    Although globally over-grazing made up the largest part of the pie chart, Europe was impacted mainly by deforestation, which accounted for just under one-fifth of the total 23% of degraded land. The second region most affected by this issue was Oceania, with the total 13%, where over-grazing was the main concern and constituted 11.3%. Interestingly, in Oceania over-cultivation didn’t have any influence on the land condition; however, in North America it accounted for 3.3% of the total 5% and was the biggest challenge.

  14. “Over-cultivation, responsible for 3.3%, was *again* the biggest cause.”

    Where was it the biggest cause the first time ?

  15. Hi Ms. Lilie, I saw that you used different tenses when describing the chart and table. Could I use past tense for both? Thank you.

    1. Hi, thanks for your question. No, you can’t. Please read the question carefully. For the pie chart, it uses the simple present tense “becomes”. But for the table, it uses the simple past “affected”.

      1. I’m very sorry that I don’t do essay corrections now. But if you have any specific questions about writing, please ask. I’ll try my best to answer.

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