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The Future of Arid Lands - Revisited: A Review of 50 Years of Drylands Research

Explores changes in the science and management of arid lands over the past 50 years within their historical contexts
Highlights the effects of changes in science on land use management policy
Speculates on what role arid lands might play in the future and how policy must adapt to their changing nature

Series: Advances in Global Change Research Volume: 32

By: Charles F Hutchinson (Author), Stefanie M Herrmann (Author)

228 pages, illustrations, tables

Springer-Verlag

Hardback | Oct 2007 | #171653 | ISBN-13: 9781402066887
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £126.50 $161/€151 approx

About this book

The Future of Arid Lands, edited by Gilbert White and published in 1956, comprised papers delivered at the "International Arid Lands Meetings" held in New Mexico in 1955. At these meetings, sponsored by UNESCO and the American Association for the

Advancement of Science, experts considered the major issues then confronting the world's arid lands and developed a research agenda to address these issues.

The Future of Arid Lands – Revisited, commissioned by UNESCO in 2005, reexamines this earlier work. Written by researchers from the University of Arizona, The Future of Arid Lands - Revisited first looks at the state of science in 1956 and attendant contemporary views of arid lands development. It then considers how scientific understanding of the processes governing arid lands has since evolved, before extracting lessons from these comparisons that might guide current and future arid land managers and speculating on what the future might hold for arid lands.

Reflecting the shift in drylands thinking from a piecemeal or a `magic bullet' approach to a systems-based approach that considers people as integral to solving problems, The Future of Arid Lands - Revisited will appeal not just to land managers, but to everyone involved in environmental issues who wishes to gain a better understanding of the state of arid lands science today.


Contents

Foreword

Chapter 1: Introduction: the future is now
1.1. The Future of Arid Lands
1.2 The Future of Arid Lands -- Revisited
1.2.1. Scope
1.2.2. Audience
1.2.3. Objective

Chapter 2. Contexts
2.1. The situation in the 1950s
2.1.1 Ambience: the post-World War II years
2.1.2. Science: belief in technology
2.1.3. Policy: focus on growth
2.2 The situation today
2.2.1. Ambience: towards a globalized world Globalization: Developing countries, Globalization: Industrialized countries
2.2.2. Science: complexity and uncertainty
2.2.3. Policy: focus on sustainability
Box 2.1: Drought follows the plow -- boom and bust in drylands

Chapter 3: The search for water
3.1 The situation in the 1950s
3.1.1. Surface water development
3.1.2. Groundwater development
3.1.3. Water harvesting
3.1.4. Desalination
3.1.5 Water reuse
3.1.6 Water use efficiency
3.2 The situation today
3.2.1. Surface water development
3.2.2 Groundwater
3.2.3 Water harvesting
3.2.4 Desalination
3.2.5 Wastewater
3.2.6 Stormwater
3.2.7 Conservation
3.2.8 Integrated water resource management
Box 3.1: The Aral Sea
Box 3.2: The Salton Sea

Chapter 4. Weather modification -- more than bargained for?
4.1 The situation in the 1950s
4.1.1 Understanding climate variability
4.1.2 Weather modification: making it rain
4.2 The situation today
4.2.1 Advances in understanding climate variability
4.2.2 Revisiting weather modification
4.2.3 Global climate change and drylands
Box 4.1: Project Cirrus (1947-1952)
Box 4.2: Use of ENSO information for southern Africa
Box 4.3: No Snows of Kilimanjaro -- a threat to water resources in the adjacent drylands?

Chapter 5. Plant and animal alternatives
5.1. The situation in the 1950s
5.1.1 Exploiting what is there
5.1.2 Developing new crops from dryland plants
5.1.3 Importing new resources from other drylands
5.1.4 Improving crops for dryland environments
5.2 The situation today
5.2.1. Exploiting what is there
5.2.2. Developing new crops from dryland plants
5.2.3 Importing new resources from other drylands
5.2.4 Improving crops for dryland environments
5.2.5 Livestock
5.2.6 Changes in the scope of research
Box 5.1: Guayule: A "new" drylands crop
Box 5.2: The prickly pear menace in Australia
Box 5.3: Buffelgrass: Boon or bane?

Chapter 6: Ecosystems
6.1 The situation in the 1950s
6.1.1 Ecological balance as guiding principle
6.1.2 Systems thinking in its infancy
6.2 The situation today
6.2.1 "New Ecology" and the non-equilibrium paradigm
6.2.2 Complex systems science
Ecosystems ecology
Biogeochemistry
6.2.3 Panarchy
Box 6.1: Succession and the classification of range condition
Box 6.2: Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER)
Box 6.3: The elephant question in Tsavo

Chapter 7: Land Use and Management
7.1 The situation in the 1950s
7.1.1 Drylands as a source of food: The Malthusian argument
7.1.2 Concerns about "overuse"
7.2 The situation today
7.2.1 Multiple land use alternatives
Agriculture
Urbanization
Recreation and tourism
Climate change mitigation
7.2.2 Systems approaches in land management
Gestion de terroirs
Integrated watershed management
7.2.3 Dryland management in the context of global debates
Sustainability and sustainable development
The desertification debate
Box 7.1: The Virgin Lands Programme in the Soviet Union
Box 7.2: Integrated river basin management: The Nile Basin Initiative

Chapter 8: Policy in and for drylands
8.1 The situation in the 1950s
8.1.1 Development through "modernization"
8.1.2 National governments as key political actors
8.1.3 Global institutions in their beginning
8.2 The situation today
8.2.1 New views on development
8.2.2 Global environmental governance
Desertification
Climate change
8.2.3 Inter-sectoral and inter-institutional coordination and cooperation
8.2.4 Civil society, participation and empowerment
8.2.5 The evolution of the dialogue between science and policy
Box 8.1: Cash aid distribution in Tanout, Niger
Box 8.2: A New "International Center for Desert Affairs" in Western China

Chapter 9: The Future of Arid Lands -- revisited
9.1 What we have learned
9.2 Where we may be going
Box 9.1: Trends for the future in African drylands?
Box 9.2: Drylands meet the terawatt challenge?
References


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