Document Detail

Navigating challenges and opportunities of land degradation and sustainable livelihood development in dryland social-ecological systems: a case study from Mexico.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23045713     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Drylands are one of the most diverse yet highly vulnerable social-ecological systems on Earth. Water scarcity has contributed to high levels of heterogeneity, variability and unpredictability, which together have shaped the long coadaptative process of coupling humans and nature. Land degradation and desertification in drylands are some of the largest and most far-reaching global environmental and social change problems, and thus are a daunting challenge for science and society. In this study, we merged the Drylands Development Paradigm, Holling's adaptive cycle metaphor and resilience theory to assess the challenges and opportunities for livelihood development in the Amapola dryland social-ecological system (DSES), a small isolated village in the semi-arid region of Mexico. After 450 years of local social-ecological evolution, external drivers (neoliberal policies, change in land reform legislation) have become the most dominant force in livelihood development, at the cost of loss of natural and cultural capital and an increasingly dysfunctional landscape. Local DSESs have become increasingly coupled to dynamic larger-scale drivers. Hence, cross-scale connectedness feeds back on and transforms local self-sustaining subsistence farming conditions, causing loss of livelihood resilience and diversification in a globally changing world. Effective efforts to combat desertification and improve livelihood security in DSESs need to consider their cyclical rhythms. Hence, we advocate novel dryland stewardship strategies, which foster adaptive capacity, and continuous evaluation and social learning at all levels. Finally, we call for an effective, flexible and viable policy framework that enhances local biotic and cultural diversity of drylands to transform global drylands into a resilient biome in the context of global environmental and social change.
Elisabeth Huber-Sannwald; Mónica Ribeiro Palacios; José Tulio Arredondo Moreno; Marco Braasch; Ruth Magnolia Martínez Peña; Javier García de Alba Verduzco; Karina Monzalvo Santos
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences     Volume:  367     ISSN:  1471-2970     ISO Abbreviation:  Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-09     Completed Date:  2013-03-08     Revised Date:  2013-12-04    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7503623     Medline TA:  Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  3158-77     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological
Agriculture / methods*
Conservation of Natural Resources / legislation & jurisprudence,  methods*
Desert Climate
Environmental Policy
Food Supply*
Livestock / growth & development
Social Change
Socioeconomic Factors
Soil / chemistry*
Water / chemistry
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Soil; 059QF0KO0R/Water

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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