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Record number 510204
Title ‘Dryland Landscapes: Forest Management, Gender and Social Diversity in Asia and Africa’
Author(s) Bose, P.; Dijk, J.W.M. van
Source In: Dryland Forests: Management and Social Diversity in Asia and Africa / Bose, Purabi, van Dijk, Han, Springer Verlag - ISBN 9783319194042 - p. 3 - 21.
Department(s) Sociology of Development and Change
Publication type Peer reviewed book chapter
Publication year 2016
Abstract Drylands cover 40 % of the earth’s surface and provide the basis for the livelihoods of 2 billion people, many of whom belong to the poorest of the world. Dryland forests provide these people with woods, fruits, fibre and pasture. Drylands are among the poorest and most problem-ridden areas of the world. Therefore a different approach to drylands and dryland forest management is needed. The chapter develops a framework for analysing dryland forest management departing from a forestry approach to a landscape approach putting the diversity and interconnectedness of different forest and non-forest resources in the centre of analysis. It departs from the assumption that dryland ecosystems are not in equilibrium and extremely dynamic. Therefore, management should focus on forest ecosystems as providing a large diversity of resources niches in time and space for diverse groups of users, ranging from pastoralists to smallholders, men and women, indigenous peoples and caste. Rules of access and resource tenure should take account of this diversity.

The aim of this book is to examine the management of dryland forests from the perspective of social diversity and the gender dimension. Globally, dryland forests have received much less attention from policymakers and scientists than permanent green forests in humid regions (Blackie et al. 2014). Yet, drylands occupy 41 % of the world’s land surface and host around 2 billion people (MEA 2005). The majority of the rural people whose livelihood is dependent on dryland forests belong to marginal groups such as women, youth, pastoralists and indigenous people. In general, dryland areas are regarded as problematic because of the combination of low rainfall, fast-increasing populations and what has been labelled unsustainable land use technologies, which are all said to contribute to extensive land degradation and desertification. Moreover, private investment has been limited, and whenever there are interventions they rarely benefit the local population. Trees and forests are a major component of dryland ecosystems despite the image to the contrary. Dryland forests and trees fulfil numerous functions underpinning the livelihoods of rural people and are important sources of income and products such as wood, fuel, fruits, fodder, fibres, incense, honey and even insects. These products contribute in a myriad of ways to local livelihoods, especially in times of drought and famine when agriculture and livestock-keeping become difficult.
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