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'Arid aquaculture' among livelihoods promoted to relieve worsening pressure on world's drylands
Date:11/11/2008

they do not primarily depend on land productivity, these and other options have the potential to reduce the pressure on the fragile resource base in marginal drylands, says the report. "At the same time, these strategies proved to yield significantly higher income per investment than traditional land-based livelihoods."

The report, "People in Marginal Drylands: Managing Natural Resources to Improve Human Well-being," summarizes the Sustainable Management of Marginal Drylands (SUMAMAD) project, funded largely by the Flemish Government of Belgium.

The project represents a systematic effort to understand these strategies and apply them to improving livelihood conditions of dryland dwellers with demonstration sites in China, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia and Uzbekistan.

Project partners included the University of Alexandria (Egypt), the Royal Society of Nature Conservation (Jordan), the Fars Research Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources (Iran) , the Chinese Academy of Sciences and many more national research institutions.

"The key message is that innovations are needed to ensure long-term sustainability of communities and to avoid rapid desertification in the face of growing population pressures," says report co-author Zafar Adeel, Director of UNU's International Network on Water, Environment and Health.

"The question is, what options do people living in these resource-scarce areas have? What this report describes are some of the many realistic livelihood substitutes that can relieve human pressure on these ecosystems, pressures that will only be exacerbated by the onset of climate change."

"At the same time, people living in drylands need more than advice," he adds. "They need help from all quarters and all levels of government to make their future existence in these places possible. The alternative will be a potential migration out of drylands in two or three generations that will stag
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
United Nations University
Source:Eurekalert

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