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The Lie of the Land: Challenging Received Wisdom on the African Environment

Series: African Issues

Edited By: Melissa Leach and Robin Mearns

240 pages, Maps

James Currey

Paperback | Jan 1996 | #58763 | ISBN: 0852554095
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £14.99 $20/€17 approx
Hardback | Dec 1996 | #58764 | ISBN: 0852554109
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £39.99 $52/€46 approx

About this book

Images of children starving because of environmental destruction have become an integral part of the way that Africa is perceived in the north. This book questions the reasoning behind such images.

'The title says it all. The collection of essays in this fine book sets out to demolish the myths, half-truths and downright falsehoods that have shaped thinking and policy-making on the African environment over the last few decades...It is always fun to see idols being knocked from the pedestals, though rather disturbing to see a whole gallery of them smashed at once. The authors would not wish us to conclude that there are no serious environmental problems in Africa. But they do urge us to be much more critical about environmental diagnoses, and the data on which they are based. Above all, we should probe the motives of those who propound, accept, and act upon "narratives" that are unproven and unsound.' - Development Policy Review '... a book of great authority which makes for fascinating reading. New as it is, it has already become a basic text for my third and fourth year classes.' - Phillip N. Bradley in Journal of Development Studies ' engaging work which aims principally to abolish the existing myths surrounding the African environment by questioning the reasons behind those myths.' - The Geographical Review ' should be required reading by administrators, managers and students on a wide variety of land-use, development and environmental policy courses.' - Commonwealth Forestry


Environmental change & policy by Melissa Leach & Robin Mearns - Range management science & policy: politics, polemics & pasture in southern Africa by Ian Scoones - Soil erosion, animals & pasture over the long term: environmental destruction in southern Africa by William Beinart - Desertification by Jeremy Swift - Wildlife, pastoralists & science: debates concerning Mkomazi Game Reserve, Tanzania by Dan Brockington & Katherine Homewood - Rethinking the forest-savanna mosaic: colonial science & its relics in West Africa by James Fairhead & Melissa Leach - Dryland forestry: manufacturing forests & farming trees in Nigeria by Reginald Cline-Cole - Soil erosion: breaking new ground by Michael Stocking - Irrigation, erosion & famine: visions of environmental change in Marakwet by W.M. Adams - Land & capital: blind spots in the study of the 'resource-poor' farmer by Mary Tiffen - The cultural construction of environmental policy: paradigms & politics in Ethiopia by Allan Hoben

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