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close this bookCERES No. 134 (FAO Ceres, 1992, 50 p.)
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View the documentAn almost biblical task
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An almost biblical task

An ounce of prevention may be worth a pound of cure but, increasingly, those who must assure the world's food supply are faced with a series of constraining fan's accompis- environmental wounds wreaked on such a scale, over so long a period, that there is little left to prevent.

The only miracle to pray for is resurrection. More and more, this seems likely to be the almost biblical task of coming generations: to heal our damaged forests, farms and seas, and bring them back to abundance.

Following are some examples of pioneering work in this field. From Vietnam Prof. Vo Quy reports on efforts to repair the damage caused by a war that included massive, systematic attacks on the environment itself. Colleague Le Van Lanh discusses methods employed to reverse poorly-adapted farming practices in his country's fragile midlands while Bob Petersen explains how to restore "channelized" streams, and the Philippines' Paul Icamina describes his nation's efforts to recover from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. In a future issue, Prof. Winfried E.H. Blum will discuss the rehabilitation of land tainted by heavy metals and toxic pollutants.

Together, these writers take the positive approach we must adopt if environmental concern is not to be reduced to mere hand-wringing, and a paralysis of will. They show us how to "get on with it".