Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Forests in Landscapes: Ecosystem Approaches to Sustainability

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Forests in Landscapes: Ecosystem Approaches to Sustainability

Article excerpt

Review: Forests in Landscapes: Ecosystem Approaches to Sustainability Edited by Jeffrey A. Sayer, Stewart Macginnis and Michelle Laurie Reviewed by Elery Hamilton-Smith Charles Sturt University, Australia Sayer, Jeffrey A., Macginnis, Stewart and Michelle Laurie. Forests in Landscapes: Ecosystem Approaches to Sustainability. London: Earthscan, 2005. 257pp. ISBN 1-84407-195-2.

This is a positive, even optimistic, book. It describes and discusses the developing integration of sustainable forest management with our growing understanding of forest ecosystems. Even more importantly, it has built from the ground up, rather than continuing the all-too frequent preaching from on high.

There is no question that forest management is changing, and the authors represented in this book are all demonstrating genuine professionalism in their search for positive response. The editors conclude with a summary of ten tenets of good practice that emerge from the studies included in the volume. But they end with the harsh reality captured in one sentence:

'The difficulty lays not so much in developing new ideas, as in escaping from old ones.'

Perhaps another way of stating the same problem is that we now have a great deal of knowledge and understanding, but the problem is that it is not often enough called upon by either governmental or corporate decision-makers.

I personally believe not enough attention has been given to the possibilities inherent in unearthing at least some of the lost expertise of indigenous peoples. …

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