Greater Central Asia encompasses a vast area that includes deserts, natural grasslands, steppes, shrublands and alpine regions. Many of these land types are degraded and productivity is falling at a time when human populations and livestock inventories are on the rise. Ecosystem stability and biodiversity are under threat and there is an urgent need to develop more sustainable land management regimes. This book uses an integrated regional approach to provide a comprehensive exploration of sustainable land development in Central Asia. An interdisciplinary team of experts analyses the economic, ecological, sociological, technological and political factors surrounding sustainable land and water management in the region, sharing potential problems and solutions. As international concern about desertification grows, the book concludes by asking how the region is likely to develop in the future. This book will be of value to scholars, students, policy makers and NGOs with an interest in sustainable development in Central Asia.
Part I: Introduction
1. Greater Central Asia: its peoples and their history and geography
2. Biogeography and natural resources of Greater Central Asia: an overview
3. Managing the commons in the post-Soviet transition: what are the challenges of institutional change in pastoral systems in Uzbekistan?
Part II: Sustainable land management: a dream or an economic and ecological imperative
4. Sustainable land management: a pathway to sustainable development
5. The future we want: putting aspirations for a land degradation neutral world into practice in the GCA region
6. Barriers to sustainable land management in Greater Central Asia: with special reference to the five former Soviet republics
Part III: The nature and extent of land degradation in Greater Central Asia
7. Assessment of land degradation processes and identification of long-term trends in vegetation dynamics in the drylands of Greater Central Asia
8. Land degradation indicators: development and implementation by remote sensing techniques
9. Mitigation of desertification and land degradation impacts and multilateral cooperation in Greater Central Asia
Part IV: Thematic issues of SLM in Great Central Asia
10. Water in Central Asia: a cross-cutting management issue
11. Water from the mountains of Greater Central Asia: a resource under threat
Part V: Consolidating and summarizing findings: the way forward
12. Greater Central Asia as the new frontier in the twenty-first century
13. Greater Central Asia: China, Russia or multilateralism?
14. Unifying perspectives on land, water, people, national development and an agenda for future social-ecological research