Are Grazing Lands ‘Wastelands’?

Rita Brara

in Shifting Landscapes

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195673012
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081813 | DOI:
Are Grazing Lands ‘Wastelands’?

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This chapter questions the statist and tehno-centric representation of grazing lands as ‘waste-lands,’ since the ephemeral vegetation of such lands is still critical to the subsistence of women, small farmers, and livestock-rearers whose numbers are growing. The results of most afforestation schemes were disappointing and sooner or later, the planners conceded that the goals were not adequately met. The inhabitants recognize the local indicators of scarcity and denudation. Their intimacy with the environment enables them to estimate the utility of diverse plant species and to discern ecological benchmarks that are sensitive to prior spatial and temporal variations. Contesting practices and meanings often went beyond the simple polarity or mutual exclusion that thought in terms of grazing lands or wastelands.

Keywords: grazing lands; wastelands; statist; afforestation; women; small farmers; livestock-rearers

Chapter.  12198 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Sociology

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