Restoring Lands - Coordinating Science, Politics and Action
In the late 19th century, the Progressive Era laid the foundations for "scientific management" of lands and natural resources. Yet scientific management, often lauded in concept, is elusive. Land and resource management occurs in a social, economic, and political context in which different values, priorities, and interests influence goals, funding, and management choices. Complexities and uncertainties abound. At least three decades ago, critics of these decision processes began arguing that the complexities of managing natural systems required an interdisciplinary approach. Most books on scientific and political management of natural resources and lands are either theoretical academic tomes, a compendium of case studies, or handbooks. Despite this vast literature, land managers struggle to effectively restore and sustain lands amid conflict, controversy, and sometimes weak application of science to decisions. Though some notable conservation successes exist, in many places land health continues to deteriorate through mismanagement, neglect, and land transformation for development, agriculture, energy production, and other uses. This book examines decision making processes, the intersection of science and policy, and practical examples of how, where, and why successful conservation, restoration, and land management are occurring.
The text consists of three sections— Science, Technology, and Engineering; Politics and Policy; and People and Action. The Introduction lays out the premise of the book (harmonizing science, politics, and people to take action to restore and sustains lands given the complications of governance and climate change) and puts each chapter in context. The Synthesis is the linchpin chapter. It synthesizes the concepts put forth in each chapter into a plan of action to restore and sustain lands. It makes recommendations how this plan can be tested through action research. The plan will be dynamic; that is it will be designed to adapt to changing circumstances so that action can be taken quickly.
Provides a roadmap that will help to achieve healthier ecosystems alongside productive societies Includes contributions from policy makers, government, political scientists and engineers Provides a unique insight into coordinating scientists, politicians and people to act to restore and sustain lands