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Ecology in Development: A Rationale for Three-Dimensional Policy

Table of contents (68 p.)

Brian Spooner

An ecological problem is not, in the first place, the same thing as a problem in ecology. A problem in ecology is a purely scientific problem, arising out of the fact that scientists do not understand some particular ecological phenomenon, how, for example, DDT finds its way into the fat of Antarctic birds. Its solution brings them understanding. An ecological problem, in contrast, is a special type of social problem. (We can easily be led to suppose otherwise because most books on ecological problems are written by scientists.) To speak of a phenomenon as a 'social problem' is not to suggest merely, or perhaps at all, that we do not understand how it comes about; it is labeled a problem not because, like a scientific problem, it presents an obstacle to our understanding of the world but rather because - consider alcoholism. crime. deaths on the road - we believe that our society would be better off without it.

Passmore (1974, p. 43)

Brian Spooner is Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

The United Nations University, 1984

ISBN 92-808-0458-8

This report was prepared for the United Nations University's Programme or the Use and Management of Natural Resources The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the United Nations university.

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The rise of human ecology
A framework for discussion
The choice of material
The aim of this monograph

I. Introductory

I. The paradox

Ecology and development
Natural and social science, pure and applied
The three dimensions of Ecology
Holism and selectivity in science and in common sense
The essential paradox

II. The process

The subsumption of man into ecology
The subsumption of ecology into the political process
Ecology as a movement
Ecology in administration and planning
A preview of the following chapters

2. Retrospective

I. Assumptions

On ecology and human ecology
On adaptation
On ecosystem
The problems of application

II. Reorientation

From a static to a historical perspective
From ecosystem to human use system
From system to organization
The argument so far
Some avenues of compromise

3. Illustratory

Desertification and development in South-West Asia: A historical perspective
I. Irrigation in South-West Asia

The case of the Punjab (Pakistan)
Comparative situations

II. Pastoralism on the iranian plateau

The case of Iran
The case of Afghanistan

4. Prospective

I. A rationalization of trends
II. The implications for policy and research


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