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Land Degradation and Poverty

19.02.2008
'Geographical Research' has published a special land degradation and poverty issue which presents a collection of papers that examine the interactions between poverty and land degradation.

Published by Wiley-Blackwell, the papers in this special issue were presented at a workshop as part of a study tour of the same theme. The ten-day study tour held in north central Vietnam’s Nghe An Province highlighted the connections between environmental and livelihood vulnerability and provided a venue for government representatives and scholars to exchange knowledge as well as to profile local conditions in the impoverished province.

Co-editor of Geographical Research Arthur Conacher says, "Problems of degradation are often the outcome of poorly planned economic development strategies and have important implications – not just on the livelihood of poor people – but also impact upon the well-being and food security of all human society."

One of the articles, "Evaluating Ethnopedological Knowledge Systems for Classifying Soil Quality- A case Study in Bo Hamlet with Muong people of Northern Vietnam" by Trung et al. compared the scientific analyses of soil samples with the indigenous soil classification system of Muong farmers to confirm the validity of the local people’s assessments. This study underscores the need to improve collaboration and participatory research for sustainable land use in diverse ecosystems.

Another paper in this special issue, "Coastal Livelihood Transitions: Socio-Economic Consequences of Changing Mangrove Forest Management and Land Allocation in a Commune of Central Vietnam" by Hue and Scott documents one of Vietnam’s booming sectors – aquaculture - and suggests that attention to local context and histories can contribute to a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of environment-poverty interfaces.

Associate Professor Conacher adds, "Change and innovation are critical elements for constructing more sustainable paths for our collective future. We hope the collection of articles presented here will offer some insights on how these complex dynamics of poverty and land degradation can best be understood and addressed."

Articles in this special issue include:

- Steffanie Scott & Arthur Conacher, "Land Degradation and Poverty"

- Nguyen Van De et al., "Erosion and Nutrient Loss on Sloping Land under Intense Cultivation in Southern Vietnam"

- Dao Kim Nguyen Thuy Binh et al., "Local Knowledge and Economic Realities Affecting Soil Erosion in the Rach Rat Catchment, Vietnam"

- Nguyen Dai Trung et al., "Evaluating Ethnopedological Knowledge Systems for Classifying Soil Quality: A Case Study in Bo hamlet with Muong People of Northern Vietnam,"

- K.M. Rowntree and R. C. Fox, "Active Learning for Understanding land Degradation: African Catchment Game and Riskmap"

- Dimitrios Konstadakopulos, "Environmental and Resource Degradation Associated with Small-Scale Enterprise Clusters in the Red River Delta of Northern Vietnam"

- Le Thi Van Hue & Steffanie Scott, "Coastal Livelihood Transitions" Socio-Economic Consequences of Changing Mangrove Forest Management and Land Allocation in a Commune of Central Vietnam."

- Robert Fisher & Philip Hirsch, "Poverty and Agrarian-Forest Interactions in Thailand"

Alina Boey | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/press/pressitem.asp?ref=1620

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