A multidisciplinary and participatory research approach in savannas and dry forests

Berardi, Andrea and Mistry, Jayalaxshmi (2006). A multidisciplinary and participatory research approach in savannas and dry forests. In: Mistry, Jayalaxshmi and Berardi, Andrea eds. Savannas and dry forests: linking people with nature. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, pp. 265–271.

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Parched landscapes, biodiversity loss, encroaching deserts and deforestation are some of the environmental crises taking place in tropical savanna and dry forests throughout the world. To date, much research into these regions has treated humans as 'outside' or as an 'impact' only. However, over and over again, examples show that in fact, humans are not external factors, but integral components of these systems. Unless we understand the human-environment relationship in these regions, we will never truly identify the causes or be able to provide solutions. This book focuses on the roles of the past, present and future human perceptions and actions on savannas and dry forests. It examines how the views of local farmers, NGO workers, government officials and international scientists differ on the links between the social and ecological components of savannas. It deals with these multiple perspectives by using systems thinking and conceptual modelling to provide a clearer and more explicit understanding and to promote better communication between the various actors concerned.

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