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This book is open access under a CC BY-NC 2.5 license. This book provides an unprecedented synthesis of the current status of scientific and management knowledge regarding global rangelands and the major challenges that confront them. It has been organized around three major themes. The first summarizes the conceptual advances that have occurred in the rangeland profession. The second addresses the implications of these conceptual advances to management and policy. The third assesses several major challenges confronting global rangelands in the 21st century. This book will compliment applied range management textbooks by describing the conceptual foundation on which the rangeland profession is based. It has been written to be accessible to a broad audience, including ecosystem managers, educators, students and policy makers. The content is founded on the collective experience, knowledge and commitment of 80 authors who have worked in rangelands throughout the world. Their collective contributions indicate that a more comprehensive framework is necessary to address the complex challenges confronting global rangelands. Rangelands represent adaptive social-ecological systems, in which societal values, organizations and capacities are of equal importance to, and interact with, those of ecological processes. A more comprehensive framework for rangeland systems may enable management agencies, and educational, research and policy making organizations to more effectively assess complex problems and develop appropriate solutions.
Rangelands are vast, making up one quarter of the United States and forty percent of the Earth’s ice-free land. And while contemporary science has revealed a great deal about the environmental impacts associated with intensive livestock production—from greenhouse gas emissions to land and water degradation—far less is known about the historic role science has played in rangeland management and politics. Steeped in US soil, this first history of rangeland science looks to the origins of rangeland ecology in the late nineteenth-century American West, exploring the larger political and economic forces that—together with scientific study—produced legacies focused on immediate economic success rather than long-term ecological well being. During the late 1880s and early 1890s, a variety of forces—from the Homestead Act of 1862 to the extermination of bison, foreign investment, and lack of government regulation—promoted free-for-all access to and development of the western range, with disastrous environmental consequences. To address the crisis, government agencies turned to scientists, but as Nathan F. Sayre shows, range science grew in a politically fraught landscape. Neither the scientists nor the public agencies could escape the influences of bureaucrats and ranchers who demanded results, and the ideas that became scientific orthodoxy—from fire suppression and predator control to fencing and carrying capacities—contained flaws and blind spots that plague public debates about rangelands to this day. Looking at the global history of rangeland science through the Cold War and beyond, The Politics of Scale identifies the sources of past conflicts and mistakes and helps us to see a more promising path forward, one in which rangeland science is guided less by capital and the state and more by communities working in collaboration with scientists.
Rangelands are large natural landscapes that can include grasslands, shrublands, savannahs and woodlands. They are greatly influenced by, and often dependent on, the action of herbivores. In the majority of rangelands the dominant herbivores are found in domestic herds that are managed by mobile pastoralists. Most pastoralists manage their rangelands communally, benefitting from the greater flexibility and seasonal resource access that common property regimes can offer. As this book shows, this creates a major challenge for governance and institutions. This work improves our understanding of the importance of governance, how it can be strengthened and the principles that underpin good governance, in order to prevent degradation of rangelands and ensure their sustainability. It describes the nature of governance at different levels: community governance, state governance, international governance, and the unique features of rangelands that demand collective action (issues of scale, ecological disequilibrium and seasonality). A series of country case studies is presented, drawn from a wide spectrum of examples from Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe and North America. These provide contrasting lessons which are summarised to promote improved governance of rangelands and pastoralist livelihoods.
Written by seventeen experts in the field of rangeland management, this compilation of essays brings to light the latent issues concerning this subject to readers all over the globe. Though technical approaches can address some issues, social processes ultimately prevent the balancing of these matters. Socio-economic and political institutions are often a stumbling block for improving rangeland management. Human intervention (such as burning and grazing) have been used as rehabilitation efforts to address reverse land degradation problems. It is also hoped that these methods will bring about ecological restoration for more than 30 percent of the worlds land mass and provide living conditions for 1 billion people across every inhabited continent. Multiple-use has become an important factor in the last few decades, especially when discussing global climate change. The extensive bibliography we provide will give researchers, members of academia and policy makers contemplative subject matter; they may access multi-lingual literature that give insight into the issues concerning rangeland situations.
Towards Sustainable Use of Rangelands in China’s North West is based on the program of the International Conference Implementing GEF Objectives in a Systems Framework held in Lanzhou, Gansu, China in October 2008. This collection reviews the extent of resource debasement in China’s pastoral zones and offers solutions for their sustainable use. The five parts deal with ran- lands, and the people who manage them, and assess prospects for implementation of more sustainable rangeland/livestock production systems. Topics include Livestock husbandry development and agro-pastoral integration in Gansu and Xinjiang; Ecological restoration and control of rangeland degradation. Despite widespread degradation, the articles reveal the approaches that are likely to lead to recovery of these rangelands and better livelihoods for the local herders and farmers. Two chapters are devoted to the achievement of global environmental objectives. Carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation in mountain grasslands are just a few of the covered subjects. This portion of the book pays special attention to the successful results in Gansu and Xinjiang – major regions of China’s pastoral lands. The final division addresses measures to improve the profitability and susta- ability of herding and farming in the pastoral areas of north-west China There are fifteen chapters on subjects that include: Livestock management, Rangeland management interventions, Agro-pastoral integration, Improved animal husbandry practices as a basis for profitability. Land tenure and access, Environmental education, Ecological Restoration and New Management approaches for China’s northwest pastoral areas.
Desertification has occurred worldwide. The biophysical and socio-economic complexity of this phenomenon has challenged our ability to categorize, inventory, monitor and repair the condition of degraded lands. One of the most important distinctions to be made in relation to land degradation is between cultivated land used for annual crop production and `rangelands'. Grazing by free-roaming livestock is the traditional primary use of the world's rangelands. However, there is growing recognition of the importance of these vast acreages for wildlife habitat, hydrology and ground water recharge, recreation and aesthetics. This text focuses on the desertification of rangelands and explores processes, problems and solutions. Chapters in the first section evaluate interactions between `natural' and human-induced disturbance regimes, thresholds, and non-linear change with respect to vegetation, hydrology, nutrients and erosion. Chapters in the second section examine socio-economic constraints and approaches for preventing and reversing degradation. The book provides a contemporary, process-oriented perspective on rangeland degradation of value to students, policy-makers and professionals alike.
The economic activities of humanity, particularly during the last couple of cen turies, have had a profound impact on the natural environment. Fast depletion of the world's forest resources, fish stocks, fossil fuels and mine deposits have raised many moral as well as practical questions concerning present and future generations. Furthermore, a number of global environmental problems such as acid rain, the 'greenhouse effect' and depletion of the ozone layer are causing concern throughout the world. What does economics say about the exploitation of nature's scarce resources? This book, which is a much expanded version of an earlier publication, Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment, aims mostly at final-year undergraduates reading subjects such as economics, business studies, environ mental science, forestry, marine biology, agriculture and development studies. There is also a good deal of material - especially in the chapters on fisheries, forestry, valuation and discounting - that post-graduate students may find useful as stepping-stones. The material presented stems from my lectures to final-year students at the University of Ulster during the last 12 years, and some of my ongoing research work. When I moved to Northern Ireland in 1982 I was given a course called 'Economics of Exhaustible Resources' to teach. This has changed its title and focus a number of times along with the structure of the University. My early reading lists included a number of journal articles and books written on the sub ject.

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