Deforestation, soil erosion, desertification, air and water pollution, loss of wildlife habitat, and declining biodiversity are interrelated manifestations of a growing environmental crisis in North Africa that has received relatively little attention from government policymakers and is poorly understood by North African peoples, the international development community, and scholars. In this book a multidisciplinary group of scholars explores the broad range of human activities causing the deterioration of North Africa’s fragile environment, including population pressure and poverty, rapid urbanization, intense competition for land and water, and mismanagement of natural resources. The contributors examine in particular the conflict between economic development and environmental sustainability. They analyze the historical roots of current environmental problems, the underlying socioeconomic causes, potential solutions, and differences in environmental policies among various countries. This is an insightful portrait of a developing region attempting to reconcile traditional methods of land use with growing demands for resources, the exigencies of economic development, and the limitations of its natural resource base.
Table of Contents
Introduction: North Africa’s Environment at Risk -- Historical Perspectives on Environmental Deterioration -- Is Drought Increasing in Northwest Africa? A Historical Analysis -- Development Trends and Environmental Deterioration in the Agropastoral Systems of the Central Middle Atlas, Morocco -- Sustained Past and Risky Present: The Tafilalt Oasis of Southeastern Morocco -- Desertification and Land Degradation -- Desertification and Degradation of Algeria’s Environmental Resources -- Land Degradation in Tunisia: Causes and Sustainable Solutions -- Pastoralism and Desertification in Mauritania -- Is Sedentarization of Pastoral Nomads Causing Desertification? The Case of the Beni Guil of Eastern Morocco -- Environmental Degradation in Northern Africa: An Ecological Modeling Approach with Implications for Sustainable Development and Global Change -- Threatened Ecosystems and Economic Development -- Endangered Wetlands and Environmental Management in North Africa -- Forest Degradation in Morocco -- Disappearing Species: The Case of the Monk Seal in Algeria -- Quality of Life and Environmental Protection Issues -- Pollution and the Deteriorating Quality of Life in Tunisia -- Desert Locust Control, Public Health, and Environmental Sustainability in North Africa -- Environmental Impacts of Tourism along the Moroccan Coast -- The Internationalization of North African Environmental Concerns -- Appendix
"Will D. Swearingen is research associate professor in the Earth Science Department at Montana State University, Bozeman. He is author of Moroccan Mirages and numerous articles on agriculture, food security, and drought in North Africa. Abdellatif Bencherifa is professor of geography and vice dean of the Faculté des Lettres et des Sciences Humaines at the Université Mohammed V, Rabat, Morocco. He specializes in the study of land-use practices in mountain and oasis environments in Morocco and has published widely on these topics."