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Examples of the successful conservation and sustainable use of dryland biodiversity

United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation

VOLUME 9 of the series Sharing Innovative Experiences

Auteur(s) : Volume 9 was produced by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, The Global Environment Facility (GEF),the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the Third World Network of Scientific Organizations (TWNSO).

Publisher  : United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation
Date de parution :2004
Pages : 136


This volume focuses on initiatives in developing countries to conserve and sustainably use the biodiversity native to arid and semi-arid regions.

Arid and semi-arid lands cover nearly 30 per cent of the Earth’s land surface and make up half the surface of the world’s developing countries. Arid lands are defined as those areas receiving less than 250 millimetres of rainfall a year while semi-arid lands annually receive between 250 and 500 millimetres. These areas are home to a wide range of biodiversity, including plants with medicinal properties and the wild relatives of many modern grain crops. Despite being classified as “marginal” lands, arid and semi-arid areas are also home to a large number of people, many of whom live traditional ways of life that depend on indigenous knowledge and the sustainable use of local biodiversity. Indeed, many ethnic groups have survived for centuries in these harsh and fragile environments, passing their hard-earned knowledge from generation to generation by word of mouth.

The case studies in this collection all concern efforts to conserve biodiversity resources in arid and semi-arid areas in developing countries. Such efforts must combine a concern to save wildlife and natural resources with appropriate consideration for the needs of local communities to improve their well-being—a requirement that has only recently been recognized after years of giving greater importance to environmental protection using the “fortress” approach of keeping local people away from protected areas, as explained in the case study of Lebanon’s dryland conservation policies and practices by Zurayk and Haidar, the first case study in this volume.

The 19 case studies that follow, prepared largely by individuals and institutions that have been working on the reported initiatives, illustrate a range of programmes and techniques designed to enable the conservation and sustainable use of the threatened biodiversity of arid and semi-arid regions. Beyond the nature of each specific experience, the studies can be a source of solutions for those facing identical or similar problems or present methodologies that can be applied to different sets of circumstances.

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Page publiée le 18 janvier 2013