Springer Earth System Sciences

The End of Desertification?

Disputing Environmental Change in the Drylands

Editors: Behnke, Roy, Mortimore, Michael (Eds.)

  • One of the first books in the new Springer-Praxis Earth System Series
  • Written by a global team of experts with up-to-date knowledge of desertification
  • Makes good use of colour images for scientific interpretation
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Buy this book

eBook $179.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-642-16014-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $229.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-16013-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

The question in the title of this book draws attention to the shortcomings of a concept that has become a political tool of global importance even as the scientific basis for its use grows weaker. The concept of desertification, it can be argued, has ceased to be analytically useful and distorts our understanding of social-environmental systems and their resiliency, particularly in poor countries with variable rainfall and persistent poverty. For better policy and governance, we need to reconsider the scientific justification for international attempts to combat desertification. 
Our exploration of these issues begins in the Sahel of West Africa, where a series of severe droughts at the end of the 20th century led to the global institutionalization of the idea of desertification.  It now seems incontrovertible that these droughts were not caused primarily by local land use mismanagement, effectively terminating a long-standing policy and scientific debate. There is now an opportunity to treat this episode as an object lesson in the relationship between science, the formation of public opinion and international policy-making. 
Looking beyond the Sahel, the chapters in this book provide case studies from around the world that examine the use and relevance of the desertification concept. Despite an increasingly sophisticated understanding of dryland environments and societies, the uses now being made of the desertification concept in parts of Asia exhibit many of the shortcomings of earlier work done in Africa. It took scientists more than three decades to transform a perceived desertification crisis in the Sahel into a non-event. This book is an effort to critically examine that experience and accelerate the learning process in other parts of the world.

Table of contents (20 chapters)

  • Introduction: The End of Desertification?

    Behnke, Roy (et al.)

    Pages 1-34

  • Desertification in the Sahel: Local Practice Meets Global Narrative

    Toulmin, Camilla (et al.)

    Pages 37-63

  • Changing Paradigms for People-Centred Development in the Sahel

    Mortimore, Michael

    Pages 65-98

  • Does Climate Change Lead to Conflicts in the Sahel?

    Benjaminsen, Tor A.

    Pages 99-116

  • The Map Is not the Territory: How Satellite Remote Sensing and Ground Evidence Have Re-shaped the Image of Sahelian Desertification

    Herrmann, Stefanie M. (et al.)

    Pages 117-145

Buy this book

eBook $179.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-642-16014-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $229.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-16013-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The End of Desertification?
Book Subtitle
Disputing Environmental Change in the Drylands
Editors
  • Roy Behnke
  • Michael Mortimore
Series Title
Springer Earth System Sciences
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Distribution Rights
Distribution rights for India: Delhi Book Store, New Delhi, India
eBook ISBN
978-3-642-16014-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-642-16014-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-642-16013-4
Series ISSN
2197-9596
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VIII, 560
Number of Illustrations and Tables
76 b/w illustrations, 41 illustrations in colour
Topics