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UC Santa Barbara researchers play key role in UN Environmental Assessment
Date:7/10/2012

environment for subsistence and livelihoods in a way that we do not," he said. "When breakdowns in commodity pathways change for us, they are very quickly replaced by another. But breakdowns in subsistence pathways are less resilient to shocks to the system. They are much more local, and people are surviving on local resources through dint of their own labor. When a breakdown happens to them they have to deal with it immediately, in their environment, without the benefit of the global system that we have."

Former UCSB visiting scholar Narcisa Pricope, an assistant geography professor at Southern Oregon University, leant her expertise in the emerging concern over drylands to the chapter "Land," alongside Lpez-Carr, who focused on population, agricultural and forest transitions, and policy implications. Among other insights, they reveal that competing demands for fuel, food, feed, fiber, and raw materials are intensifying pressures on land and that globalization and urbanization are further aggravating those demands.

"My overall sense is that things will get worse for land before they get better," said Lpez-Carr. "I would be delightfully but significantly surprised if, in 10 years, we had more forest conservation, reversed soil decline, and enhanced farmland sustainability."

As much about finding solutions as it is about exposing problems, the GEO-5 also offers big-picture policy suggestions and identifies small changes with the potential for big impact from supporting universal primary education and health care, and improving governance and capacity building, to reducing consumption of red meat. Lpez-Carr describes the latter recommendation as "a win-win for human health and the environment."

About the role of UCSB academics in the report, Lpez-Carr added: "There is a lot of incentive, particularly in the UC, to publish, publish, publish in academic journals and get grants. We do that, at the highest level, yet we also use that k
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Contact: Shelly Leachman
shelly.leachman@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-8726
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

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