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Desert Outlook and Options for Action

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Title: Desert Outlook and Options for Action


1
Desert Outlook and Options for Action
GEO for World Deserts Chapter 5 Outline
  • September 7, 2005

2
Chapter Outline
  1. Outlook for desert development
  2. Sustainability and human well-being in deserts
  3. Closing remarks options for action

3
1. Outlook for desert development
  • Development scenarios future trends for water,
    biodiversity and land degradation
  • Population dynamics and projections on resource
    demand
  • Human well-being and desert vulnerability
  • Driving forces for foreseen changes
  • Possible actions to be taken to generate desired
    outcomes

4
2. Sustainability and human well-being in deserts
  • Determinants of well-being in deserts
  • The maintenance of ecosystem services
  • The evolution of traditional knowledge
  • Adaptation of new technologies
  • Capacity building for desert sustainability
  • Public participation and socio-economic
    organization

5
1. Outlook for desert development
6
Development scenarios Water
  • Current issues
  • Exploitation of non-renewable water
  • resources
  • Water conflicts and cooperation
  • Quantity and quality
  • Year-to-year variability
  • Future trends?
  • Difficulty in estimating renewable water
    resources
  • Climate change increased aridity, decreasing
    water resources?
  • Growing population growing demand

7
Dryland area by basin
Source http//www.waterandnature.org/eatlas/
8
Virtual water flows
Source http//www.waterandnature.org/eatlas/
9
Projected water supply in major watersheds in
drylands, 2025
White, R. P. and Nackoney, J. (2003) Drylands,
people, and ecosystem goods and services
web-based geospatial analysis. World Resources
Institute p. 37
10
Development scenarios Biodiversity
  • Current issues
  • Status of biodiversity in drylands
  • Inter-relationships between land degradation,
    climate change and biodiversity
  • Role of agro-diversity
  • Future trends?
  • Lack of natural resource inventories
  • MA projections conversion of grassland
  • into other uses (agricultural, urban)
  • Conservation challenges

11
Development scenarios Land degradation
  • Current issues
  • Vulnerability of drylands to climatic and
    anthropogenic stresses
  • Extent of land degradation/ desertification (e.g.
    GLASOD)
  • Degradation in oases salinization etc.
  • Examples of land rehabilitation Mortimore,
    Tiffen, Reij,
  • Future trends?
  • Population pressures and climate stress likely to
    increase ? how to counter their impacts?

12
"Dust Bowl" in the 1930's
Picture from the National Archives. Source
http//www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/cu
rrent/lectures/land_deg/land_deg.html
13
Gully erosion in an arid environment
Source http//skagit.meas.ncsu.edu/helena/gmslab
/reports/CerlErosionTutorial/denix/Models20and20
Processes/Gully.htm
14
Machakos then and now
Tiffen, M., Mortimore, M. and Gichuki, F. (1994)
More People, Less Erosion Environmental Recovery
in Kenya, John Wiley, Chichester. p. 8
15
Population dynamics and resource demand
  • Population in drylands significant and growing,
    despite environmental challenges
  • 94 of dryland population currently live in
    developing countries (Noin, 1998)
  • ? resource demand on the rise
  • Age structure and demographic transition
  • Relationships between population, resource
    demand, environment (Malthus, Boserup, etc.)

16
White, R.P. and Nackoney, J. (2003) Drylands,
people, and ecosystem goods and services a
web-based geospatial analysis. World Resource
Institute. p. 5
17
White, R.P. and Nackoney, J. (2003) Drylands,
people, and ecosystem goods and services a
web-based geospatial analysis. World Resource
Institute. p. 9
18
Average animal population growth rates per
country
Source?
19
Source http//proutworld.prout.org/features/image
s/pgrow3.jpg
20
Human well-being and desert vulnerability
  • Human well-being ? in how far dependent on
    natural environment?
  • Drylands as non-equilibrium ecosystems
  • Biophysical and socio-economic vulnerability
  • Vulnerability vs. resilience
  • ? Global climate change
  • ? Anthropogenic impact
  • Differential vulnerability (of human
    communities)

21
Evolution of ecological paradigms
non- equilibrium
???
State-and-transition model
P a r a d i g m
1970
equilibrium
Time
22
Importance of succession model
  • Succession model (Clements, 1916) Provided a
    planning and management tool for much of the past
    century
  • management objective achieving an equilibrium
    condition under an equilibrium grazing policy
  • concept of carrying capacity stocking rate at
    which sustainable grazing pressure is achieved

Source Westoby, Walker and Noy-Meir, 1989 p. 266
23
Alternative models
  • Threshold model (Holling, 1973 May, 1977 Hurd
    Wolf, 1974 Noy-Meir, 1975)
  • Boundaries separate multiple equilibrium states
    in time and space
  • Sufficient modification of disturbance regime
    threshold from one stable state to an alternative
    stable state is crossed
  • Ball and cup analogy

Source Briske, Fuhlendorf and Smeins, 2003 p.
604
24
Alternative models
  • State-and-transition model (Westoby, Walker, and
    Noy-Meir, 1989)
  • Capacity and flexibility to integrate both
    equilibrium and non-equilibrium vegetation
    dynamics
  • Multiple dimensions encompassed

Source Briske, Fuhlendorf and Smeins, 2003 p.
604
25
Source http//soils.usda.gov/use/worldsoils/mapin
dex/desert.html
26
Driving forces for foreseen changes
  • Anthropogenic global warming effect on drylands
    not yet clear (evidence for both increase and
    decrease in rainfall depending on season and
    region)
  • Natural climatic cycles based on global patterns
    of pressure cells e.g. El Nino etc.
  • Population growth particularly in the developing
    world
  • Economic globalization winners and losers
  • ? Complication due to multiple exposure

27
Possible actions to be taken
  • Poverty alleviation (esp. among vulnerable
    households and women)
  • Strengthening adaptive capacities and local
    institutions (e.g. promoting diversity
    facilitating flexible use of labor, etc.)
  • Partitioning as a result of globalization
    global version of oasis economy

28
2. Sustainability and human well-being in deserts
29
Supplementary
  • Concept of sustainability
  • Brundtland Report (1987) development that meets
    the needs of the present without compromising the
    ability of future generations to meet their own
    needs
  • Triple bottom line environment, economy,
    social equity
  • Keywords carrying capacity, maximum sustainable
    yield
  • How does this concept apply to drylands?
  • Non-equilibrium dynamics
  • Pulse-reserve model in ecology (Noy-Meir, 1973)
  • Boom-and-bust economy
  • A new definition of sustainability for drylands?
  • How to buffer the bust in a boom-and-bust
    economy?

30
Source http//www.camelworld.com/images/PICT1505.
JPG
31
Determinants of well-being in deserts
  • Water availability
  • ?"In every drop of water there is a grain of
    gold." (Uzbek proverb)
  • ? By means of water, we give life to
    everything. (Quran 2130)
  • ? "You can live without love, but not without
    water" (Talmud)
  • Water conveyance and other infrastructure
    (energy, transportation, markets)
  • Policy framework (esp. water and land tenure),
    social protection etc.

32
The maintenance of ecosystem services
  • How to value ecosystem services? cost of
    substitution
  • Are they economic goods or human rights?
  • Appropriate management decisions require
  • reliable information on condition and trends of
    ecosystems
  • knowledge on possible consequences of alternative
    choices
  • enabling conditions to implement decisions

33
The evolution of traditional knowledge
  • Traditional knowledge ? static or backward
  • Guiding strategies flexibility and opportunism
  • Benefits from long presence and accumulated
    cultural wisdom in very close contact with
    environment
  • Solutions local in scale (e.g. rainwater
    harvesting) and site-specific
  • Often sustainable, but
  • ? Do these strategies offer room for desired
    development???

34
Adaptation of new technologies
  • Renewable energy? (wind farms solar farms
    etc.)
  • Biotechnology?
  • Closed environments?
  • New technologies vs. socio-cultural background
  • (technologically suitable ? socially or
    culturally adapted)
  • Maintenance issues

35
Capacity building for desert sustainability
  • Combining traditional knowledge and scientific
    findings
  • Not only bringing science to people outreach,
    workshops, community involvement
  • but also bringing people into science providing
    opportunities for higher education for desert
    dwellers

36
Public participation and socio-economic
organization
  • Decentralization
  • Empowerment of local people as decision-makers
  • Participatory, people-centered appraisal
    techniques (Chambers etc.)

37
3. Closing remarks options for action
38
Closing remarks options for action
  • What is economically feasible (different deserts
    in different part of the world have different
    possibilities) vs. what is ecologically desirable
  • Preserving status quo in ecosystems vs. adapting
    societies to changes in them
  • Self-sufficient desert livelihoods/economies vs.
    dependence on regional/global exchange processes
    (partitioning)
  • Salvation through new technologies? e.g.
    desalinization of seawater
  • Salvation through globalization?
  • Or precautionary principle?

39
Tourism
40
Energy exploitation wind
Source http//donb.furfly.net/photo_cd/l/b86.html

41
Energy exploitation solar
KJC Operating Company, Mojave Desert, California
42
Oasis economy
Deserts not a barriers but conduits for trade
43
Closed environments
44
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