Analysing the Vulnerability of Dry Ecosystems to Desertification Due to Environmental Resource Degradation in Anantapur: The Need for Enhancing Ecological and Social Resilience
Proceedings of the 5th Biennial Conference of Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE) held at IGIDR, Mumbai on June 3-5, 2005
11 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2013
Date Written: June 5, 2005
Dry ecosystems are natural ecosystems on dry lands that are inherently vulnerable to desertification hazards. They are, however, becoming increasingly vulnerable due to environmental resource degradation in dry lands, which is caused, at least partly, by the socio-economic pressures of human population. As most dry ecosystems have natural resources at margins and experience the recurrence of extreme weather events, they have poor ecological resilience; hence, reducing their susceptibility to desertification hazard becomes is critical for the sustenance of the ecosystems as well as for the inhabiting human populations. At the same time, building social resilience is also important to buffer against the ecological and climatic catastrophes. Anantapur is one such dry land district located in the South-Central part of peninsular India that has been experiencing desertification conditions due to environmental resource degradation, which is conditioned by natural factors and exacerbated by anthropogenic factors. The current paper analyses the vulnerability of dry ecosystems in Ananatapur to the desertification hazards due to environmental resource degradation and discusses the need for mitigating it through a range of institutional and policy interventions. Desertification, in this context, is predisposition of ecosystem to natural vulnerability and an exacerbation in it caused by the above factors. The paper, however, does not venture into establishing direct cause-effect relationships, since these interactions are quite complex and intertwined.
Keywords: Environmental resource degradation, desertification, dry ecosystems, vulnerability, sustainability and resilience
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