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close this bookEcology in Development: A Rationale for Three-dimensional Policy (UNU, 1984, 59 pages)
close this folderPreface
View the documentThe rise of human ecology
View the documentA framework for discussion
View the documentThe choice of material
View the documentThe aim of this monograph
View the documentAcknowledgements


The argument and the data presented here have grown together over the past five years or so during my association with a number of different projects, especially the Turan Programme (see below, chapter three); and the final result, whatever its faults and deficiencies, demands the acknowledgement of assistance and inspiration from a variety of sources. Published and other written sources which I have consciously used are of course cited and listed at the end. But apart from reading I have benefited incalculably from interaction with scientists and planners from a wide range of backgrounds in the contexts of work with the Department of the Environment (Tehran), the Central Arid Zone Research Institute (Jodhpur), and various projects sponsored by UNESCO's Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the United Nations University (UNU). Among individuals, I am particularly grateful to Douglas J. Merrey and Stephen Sandford, both for help and discussion and for allowing me to use their work on the Punjab (Pakistan) and on Turan (Iran) respectively to support my argument in chapter three. The associates of the Turan Programme have influenced my thinking in many cases far beyond the immediate implications of their personal work in the field, and I take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of them, and especially to Lee Horne and Mary Martin with whom I have worked most closely. Both of them read through the penultimate draft and made detailed comments which helped me to eliminate many inconsistencies and infelicities.

More generally, during the last five years or so as I developed the ideas reflected here, I believe I have learned most from Drs. J.A. Mabbutt, H.S. Mann and J.P.S. Uberoi, in the disciplinary, administrative and epistemological dimensions of my interests. My ideas have been worked out in discussion with students and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and some of the material was included in a paper presented at The Regional Seminar on Alternative Patterns of Development and Life Styles in Asia and the Pacific sponsored by UNEP and ESCAP in Bangkok, August 14 -18, 1979, and another at the Anthropology Department Seminar at Yale University in February 1982. I am grateful for all the opportunities for stimulation and edification afforded by these connections, though I may not always have known how to make the most of them. I hope the resulting essay, despite its imperfections, will succeed in reflecting without too much distortion the growing global awareness of human nature especially in its social and cultural dimensions - in relation to the physical and biological bases of life.