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close this bookEcology in Development: A Rationale for Three-dimensional Policy (UNU, 1984, 59 pages)
close this folder1. Introductory
close this folderII. The process
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentThe subsumption of man into ecology
View the documentThe subsumption of ecology into the political process
View the documentEcology as a movement
View the documentEcology in administration and planning
View the documentA preview of the following chapters

A preview of the following chapters

The biggest ecological headlines in the 1970s were related to the Green Revolution and the Sahelian Drought. The one was generally positive and optimistic, an apparent victory for technology (though not entirely without disappointments). The other was negative, pessimistic, suggesting the inadequacy of technology, political mobilisation, and aid in the face of Malthusian limits imposed by stochastic climatic fluctuation. The current status of ecological understanding and technological ability- research and application - is inevitably assessed against the background of these recent experiences. In their aftermath, what have we learned from field projects and from theoretical synthesis? In what follows. answers to these questions are pursued in relation to dry lands only, on the basis of material generated mostly by the Sahelian drought and the UN General Assembly's call for a conference and an international campaign to combat desertification. First, in chapter two, a brief introduction is given to some of the basic concepts of human ecology, illustrating the degree to which they help or hinder the progress of ecology in development; this review is followed in the second half of the chapter by a survey of some of the attempts that have been made during the 1970s to reorient the field of human ecology, an assessment in the light of the argument so far, and an outline of the implications and possible roads to improvement. Chapter three investigates two special cases: one of irrigation in South-west Asia, with special reference to the Punjab in Pakistan; the other of pastoralism on the Iranian Plateau, with special reference to Iran. The final chapter recapitulates the argument in a reassessment and rationalization of changing orientations towards ecology in development, and suggests implications for ecological and development planning and future research.