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Global desertification: building a science for dryland development

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • J.F. Reynolds
  • D.M. Stafford-Smith
  • E Lambin
  • B.L. Turner II
  • Michael J. Mortimore
  • Simon Batterbury
  • T.E. Downing
  • H. Dowlatabadi
  • R.J. Fernandez
  • J.E. Herrick
  • E. Huber-Sannwald
  • H. Jiang
  • R. Leemans
  • T. Lynam
  • F. Maestre
  • Brian Walker
  • M. Ayarza
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/05/2007
Issue number5826
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)847-851
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


In this millennium, global drylands face a myriad of problems that present tough research, management, and policy challenges. Recent advances in dryland development, however, together with the integrative approaches of global change and sustainability science, suggest that concerns about land degradation, poverty, safeguarding biodiversity, and protecting the culture of 2.5 billion people can be confronted with renewed optimism. We review recent lessons about the functioning of dryland ecosystems and the livelihood systems of their human residents and introduce a new synthetic framework, the Drylands Development Paradigm (DDP). The DDP, supported by a growing and well-documented set of tools for policy and management action, helps navigate the inherent complexity of desertification and dryland development, identifying and synthesizing those factors important to research, management, and policy communities.