Towards integrated natural resources management (INRM) in dry areas subject to land degradation: the example of the Khanasser Valley in Syria
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Richard Thomas, Francis Turkelboom, Roberto La Rovere, Theib Oweis, Adriana Bruggeman, Aden A. Aw-Hassan. (2/12/2003). Towards integrated natural resources management (INRM) in dry areas subject to land degradation: the example of the Khanasser Valley in Syria. Paris, France.
The problem: land degradation and sustainability in dry areas. One of the greatest challenges currently facing humankind is the alleviation of poverty while maintaining life support systems on which we depend. Billions of people are dependent on natural resources that are often unsustainably used by poor people themselves or by other powerful stakeholders. A range of large-scale environmental problems is now threatening the long-term performance of many agricultural, forestry, livestock, and fisheries systems (Campbell et al., 2003). In dryland climates, about 1,000 million ha are estimated to be degraded:467 million ha by water erosion, 432 million ha by wind erosion, 100 million ha by chemical deterioration, and 35 million ha by physical deterioration (GLASSON approach by Oldeman et al., 1991). Recent estimates from the Millennium Assessment suggest that around 2 billion people live in the drylands (Adeel, pers. comm.). Drylands face a number of converging trends that include: • High population growth rates of up to 3 per cent and a demographic pattern that will result in large numbers of young people entering the job markets over the next ten to twenty years. • Regions that are already water-scarce and will be increasingly so, especially if climate change predictions are correct and the regions become hotter and drier. • Increasing dependency on grain imports for food security.• Increasing desertification and loss of biodiversity in some of the major centers of plant diversity. • Increasing out-migration of males from rural areas, which will result in the loss of traditional farming systems and greater reliance on women as heads of households.• Problems of access to international markets as a result of international trade policies and subsidies
- Agricultural Research Knowledge 
Aw-Hassan, Aden A.https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9236-4949