The arrival of western science and economic interests to the tropics has dramatically changed the tropical environment and its ecology. Environmental Management in the Tropics discusses the ecology of the tropics and examines how it is different from the temperate zone where western science evolved. The author discusses how native people traditionally subsisted in different ecological zones of the tropics and how they rationalized their relationship. The author also takes a critical look at the impact of colonialism in the tropics and how it changed traditional cultures and their relationship with the environment.
The current clash between economics and ecology in the tropics is explored in depth. According to the author, we are now able to draw "a line in the sand" and illustrate the consequences of continuing current practices. Environmental Management in the Tropics shows how this situation developed and discusses how the two opposing concepts must be brought back into harmony. The book is one of the few studies to take a truly interdisciplinary approach combining the serious inevitabilities of natural science with the variables of history, culture, politics, and economics. It gives us a new respect for the past and tradition of the tropics and clearly spells out why dramatic changes must occur to prevent further degradation of the tropical environment.
Environmental Management in the Tropics is an important reference for ecologists, conservationists, scientists, researchers, environmental consultants, land managers and developers, members of the world regulatory community, and anyone working on projects in tropical regions.
Table of Contents
Some Common Themes. The Tropical Climate: The Great Heat Engine. Resource Constraints and Opportunities. Energy and Food. Some Principles of Traditional Land Use. Adaptations to the Environment. Population and Land Use: Adaptations of the Environment. Europe Annexes the Tropics. Colonial Agriculture in the 20th Century. The Development Dilemma. Changes in Research: Systems and Revolutions. The Administrative Trap. Environmental Degradation in Kenya: Two Conflicting "Explanations". The Destruction of the Rain Forest: Development in Action? Desertification: What is it Really? Prospects for a Sustainable Future in the Tropics.