Unifying perspectives on land, water, people, national development and an agenda for future social-ecological research
Five aspects (economy, ecology, sociology, technology and policy) intersect and interact in the Greater Central Asia (GCA) region. This book examines and analyses the complex situation in this vast region using an integrated and regional approach to achieving sustainable land management (SLM). Internationally, SLM has been identified as the most important agenda for countries that are signatories to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) as it strives for a Land Degradation Neutral World (LDNW), as defined as a Sustainable Development Goal by the Rio+20 conference (Wang et al., this volume). The goal is to secure the contribution of our planet’s land and soil to sustainable development, including food security and poverty eradication. Responses by the governments of seven countries in GCA to the impending crisis brought on by past and ongoing mismanagement of the resource base (land, water and minerals) have been brought into sharp focus by increasing interest in GCA, especially by China but also by other countries as diverse as those in the Gulf Arab region, the EU and Russia (Squires, this volume; Swanström, this volume).