Why does land management so often fail to prevent soil erosion, deforestation, salination and flooding? How serious are these problems, and for whom? This book, first published in 1987, sets out to answer these questions, which are still some of the most crucial issues in development today, using an approach called ‘regional political ecology’. This approach acknowledges that the reason why land management can fail are extremely varied, and must include a thorough understanding of the changing natural resource base itself, the human response to this, and broader changes in society, of which land managers are a part.
Land Degradation and Society is essential reading for all students of geography, agriculture, social sciences, development studies and related subjects.
Table of Contents
List of figures; List of tables; List of contributors; Acknowledgements; Introduction; 1. Defining and debating the problem 2. Approaches to the study of land degradation 3. Measuring land degradation 4. Decision-making in land management 5. Economic costs and benefits of degradation and its repair 6. Colonialism, development and degradation 7. Questions from history in the Mediterranean and western Europe 8. Degradation under pre-capitalist social systems 9. Management, enterprise and politics in the development of the tropical rain forest lands 10. The degradation of common property resources 11. Land degradation in socialist countries 12. The farmer, the state and the land in developed market economics 13. Retrospect and prospect; References; Index