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The Fragile Tropics of Latin America
• Sustainable Management of Changing Environments •

Table of contents (335 p.)

Edited by Toshie Nishizawa and Juha I. Uitto

Note to the reader from the UNU

The United Nations University research and training programme area entitled "Sustaining Global Life-Support Systems" responds to the priorities identified in the UN system-wide Agenda 21 emanating from the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The University's work has been organized according to five complementary programmes: (i) Eco-restructuring for Sustainable Development; (ii) Integrated Studies of Ecosystems; (iii) Information Systems for Environmental Management; (iv) Natural Resources in Africa; and (v) Environmental Law and Governance. UNU research is multidisciplinary, encompassing both natural and social science approaches.

The present book falls within the second programme, Integrated Studies of Ecosystems. This programme aggregates issues of environmentally sustainable development from the entry point of ecosystems and their ability to support, resist, or recuperate from the long-term impacts of major transformations. The programme has two main thrusts, one focusing on integrated studies of fragile ecosystems and vulnerable places in given geographical zones; the other focusing on critical resources and their management.

The research carried out for this volume was initiated under an earlier UNU programme on Sustainable Development in the Humid Tropics. The first step for the research, the outcome of which is the present book, was the symposium on the Fragile Tropics of Latin America: Changing Environments and Their Sustainable Management, organized in Tsukuba, Japan, 1990. The work forms a part of a larger UNU effort to understand the man-environment relationships in the humid tropical areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Edited by Toshie Nishizawa and
Juha I. Uitto
United Nations
University Press

© The United Nations University, 1995

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations University.

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Part 1 : The ecological outlook

Ecological prospective for tropical Latin America

1 Introduction
2 The current condition of the tropical Latin American ecosystems
3 Modelling ecological changes
4 The reference scenario
5 The sustainable scenario
6 Conclusions

Rich and poor ecosystems of Amazonia: an approach to management

1 Introduction
2 Characterization of the oligotrophic environment
3 Characterization of eutrophic forests
4 Management of oligotrophic areas
5 Management of eutrophic areas
6 Conclusions

Archaeological perspectives on the potential of Amazonia for intensive exploitation

1 Introduction
2 Evolutionary principles
3 Past and present settlement behaviour
4 Relations between várzea, and terra firme groups
5 The impact of climatic fluctuation
6 Overcoming environmental constraints
7 Conclusion

Distribution and interannual variability of rainfall in Brazil

1 Introduction
2 Data source and distribution of rainfall in South America
3 Interannual variability of rainfall in brazil
4 Relationship to southern oscillation Index
5 Seasonal variability of rainfall in Brazil
6 Comparison of the rainfall in northern Brazil to other tropical regions
7 Conclusion

Part 2 : The Brazilian Amazon

Waters and wetlands of Brazilian Amazonia: an uncertain future

Sweet sea
The Amazon river system
Human use of Amazonian aquatic and wetland ecosystems
The future, a cascade of uncertainties
A broader picture: environmental perspectives in Brazil

A fragile capitalism in a fragile environment: entrepreneurs and state bureaucracies in the free zone of Manaus

1 Introduction
2 Methodological remarks
3 A theoretical excursus
4 Entrepreneurs and bureaucrats
5 Findings
6 The winners

Part 3 : The Peruvian Amazon

Aquatic and land fauna management among the floodplain ribereños of the Peruvian Amazon

1 Introduction
2 The ribereños of San Jorge
3 The Amazon floodplain in north-east Peru
4 Ribereño hunting
5 Fishing
6 Distribution and consumption
7 Changes in fisheries
8 Conclusion

Subsistence- and market-oriented agroforestry in the Peruvian Amazon

1 Introduction
2 Traditional agroforestry in north-eastern Peru
3 Swidden-fallow agroforestry among the Bora indians
4 Market-oriented agroforestry in Tamshiyacu
5 Conclusions and recommendations

Local management of forest resources in a rural community in north-east Peru

1 Introduction
2 Study area and objectives
3 Population dynamics
4 Distribution and use of terra firme lands in the community
5 Traditional use of forest resources
6 Prospects for sustainable management

Part 4 : The semi-arid north-east

White sand soils in north-east Brazil

1 Introduction
2 Site characteristics
3 Distribution of the white sand soils in the Paraíba-Pernambuco area
4 White sand on the Conde upland, Paraíba
5 Origin of upland white sand
6 The effect of deforestation

Changing aspects of drought-deciduous vegetation in the semiarid region of north-east Brazil

1 Introduction
2 Study sites and methods
3 Results
4 Discussion and conclusion

Characteristics and utilization of tree species in the semi-arid woodland of north-east Brazil

1 Introduction
2 Bioclimatic divisions of north-east Brazil and the floristic composition of the caatinga stand
3 Response and stress tolerance of caatinga trees to various water conditions
4 Utilization of the caatinga trees
5 Deforestation associated with increased firewood consumption and charcoal production
6 Conclusions and a proposal

Drought, irrigation, and changes in the sertão of north-east Brazil

1 Introduction
2 Reservoir irrigation in Paraíba
3 Middle São Francisco valley
4 Consequences of irrigation agriculture

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