Local communities and non-local development agencies often hold diametrically opposing views of grasslands. Villagers may see grasslands as fragile, whereas officials see them as tenacious. The purpose of this volume is to examine some of these constraints, based on canonical studies from the past half-century on Southeast Asia, which has some of the most extensive and most intensely debated grasslands in the world.
These studies reveal that the evidence to understand the dynamics of these grasslands has long been available, but it has generally had little or no impact on grassland policy. Indeed, they demonstrate that policy regarding the region's grasslands has been dominated for a century and more by a persistent set of beliefs that are completely divorced from everyday reality. The perspective afforded by the studies in this volume encourages us to think not just about environmental problems, but also about the sociology of the science and policy that addresses such problems.
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