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Lecture 8

IDSB02 lecture 8.docx

Political Science
Course Code

of 6
IDSB02 Development and the Environment
March 6th 2012
Lecture 8
Article Skole et al:
Tropical deforestation has large influence on hydrology climate and biogeochemical cycles
But difficult to understand why?
Lack of accurate measurement, geographic extent and spatial patterns
He proposes 2 methods for accurate measures of regional scale patterns:
Remote sensing
Land census data
However economic and institutional patterns/factors need to be understood. For example:
Oil prices of the 70s - banks wanted to lend money brazil needed capital to invest in economic
Agricultural modernization world bank crop credits but only to specific crops for export
(little emphasis on food crops = declining food security)
What are the alternative solutions to deforestation?
Land reform
Protection and conservation
Clearly defined natural parks
Improved techniques/silvicuture
Extractive reserves
De-emphasize ranching
Non-Timber forest products: NTF products
No clear definition but is definitely not timber
Products benefits or services comes from forests or trees
Berries? Carbon credits?
History of forests dominated by timber why?
Why do we think of forests in terms of timber? Because it is the first thing/biggest thing one
Very important NTFP’s are substituted (rubber, gums) or in plantations (oil palm, cocoa)
Marginalizations of indigenous peoples
Only recently do we have ideas of nature reserves that can coexist with native peoples
Are NTF’s important? Tool for development?
Potential income higher and more sustainable
Conservation by commercialization hypothesis
Typically maintaining NTFP;s means maintaining ecological integrity
Increased organization of markets will eliminate middle men improve rural livelihoods
Problems with this argument?
Many NTFP’s damage trees
Some species better able to sustain continuous harvest than others abundant region
Increased competition
Larger markets means high income -> greater imports of competing products -> shift to higher
valued NTFP’s -> risk of sustainability
Low population densities, diversity of resources may give illusion of sustainability
Commodification of nature moving nature into capitalistic system (contradictory to
sustainability), can lead to a misunderstand of nature, fighting over the commodification of
nature, if the dependent variable is carbon sequestration many issues can arise palm oil
plantations can sequester more than natural forests why don’t cut the forest down and plant in
a plantation, this has been in the hands of powerful people, trickle down effect
Dryland constraints
Arid and semi-arid lands ~35% of the global terrestrial area
Population ~ 1 billion people
Environmental deterioration which has undermined livelihoods over the last 30 years
Dryland management
Drylands: a large and important region particularly in sub-Saharan Africa
Dominated by constraints to water timing and availability of soil nutrients confounded by
Pastoral nomadism and subsistence agriculture have been developed as responses to these
resource constraints
o Consist of highly developed context specific bodies of knowledge about these
environments local ecological knowledge!
• Savanna dryland environments--‐ part of the world with the slowest economic growth:
• Where are they and what do they grow on?
Sub-tropical high convergence zone
Possibility of salinization
Typically sandy
Savanna stresses
• Primary stresses:
Winter drought (water)
Winter fire (natural versus human induced)
• Secondary stresses:
Low soil fertility
• All management techniques will therefore have to consider the enhancement and/or protection of
these resources: soil moisture, soil nutrients, and areas of arable soil.
Response to stresses?
• Plant strategies:
• Drought--‐resistant
Shrubs widely spaced, extensive root systems, small waxy leaves, water storing tissues(cactus)
• Herbaceous, vanish entirely under dry conditions, leaving only seed
• As a result, surface cover is variable
sometimes nothing on the environment in dry seasons
Forms of food production
• Pastoralism (nomadic livestock herding, animal husbandry)
• Manage extreme spatially and temporally variable resources
• Strategy: seasonal migration of animals/herders --‐ capture moisture and soil fertility and then move
on BEFORE resources are exhausted
• Dominant reason for migration = find better pasture
• Affected by season and altitude
• Specific constraints (ex: goats can’t handle long migrations so groups can only move 30--‐50km in a
• Knowledge required to manage migrations: detailed, context specific
o need to know where to go and when requiring persistent experience of regional
environmental variability
• Access to different lands necessary to traverse during migrations
o Lands governed by a range of schemes from common property to private ownership
MIGRATIONs used as a strategy to not hit the limits to growth a strategy not to push the
boundaries and sustainability
Proximate causes of land degradation
Rainfall erosivity and change in crop types
Poor tillage methods -push towards modernization but not affective to soil types
Excessive growth of cattle herds
Increased demand for fuel wood
Poor road construction
Ultimate causes of degradation
Any combination of environmental, social, economic and political factors resulting in increasing
sedentarization on lands not suited for it (environmental limits of growth!)