© 2016

Building Resilience of Human-Natural Systems of Pastoralism in the Developing World

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

  • Shikui Dong
  • Karim-Aly S. Kassam
  • Jean François Tourrand
  • Randall B. Boone

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Shikui Dong
    Pages 1-37
  3. Hermes Morales, Fernando Coronato, Soraya Carvalho, Alejandro Saravia, Alejandro Schweitzer, Amaury Burlamaqui et al.
    Pages 177-208
  4. Ibrahim Daoud, Mona Abd-El-Zaher Oman, Veronique Alary, Naeem Moselhy, Ehab Salal, Adel Aboul Naga et al.
    Pages 209-250
  5. Randall B. Boone, Carolyn K. Lesorogol
    Pages 251-280
  6. Karim-Aly S. Kassam
    Pages 281-284
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 285-298

About this book


This edited volume summarizes information about the situational context, threats, problems, challenges and solutions for sustainable pastoralism at a global scale. The book has four goals. The first goal is to summarize the information about the history, distribution and patterns of pastoralism and to identify the importance of pastoralism from social, economic and environmental perspectives. The results of an empirical investigation of the environmental and socio-economic implications of pastoralism in representative pastoral regions in the world are also incorporated.

The second goal is to argue that breaking coupled human-natural systems of pastoralism leads to degradation of pastoral ecosystems and to create an analysis framework to assess the vulnerability of worldwide pastoralism. Our analysis framework provides approaches to help comprehensively understand the transitions and the impacts of human-natural systems in the pastoral regions in the world.

The third goal is to identify the successful models in promoting coupled human-natural systems of pastoralism, and to learn lessons of breaking coupled human-cultural pastoralism systems through examining the representative cases in regions including Central Asia, Southern and Eastern Asia, Northern and Eastern Africa, the European Alps and South America.

The fourth goal is to identify the strategies to build the resilience of the coupled human-natural systems of pastoralism worldwide. We hope that our book can facilitate the further examination of sustainable development of coupled human-natural systems of pastoralism by providing the summaries of existing data and information related to the pastoralism development, and by offering a framework for better understanding and analysis of their social, economic and environmental implications.


developing countries environmental change pastoralism resilience sustainable

Editors and affiliations

  • Shikui Dong
    • 1
  • Karim-Aly S. Kassam
    • 2
  • Jean François Tourrand
    • 3
  • Randall B. Boone
    • 4
  1. 1.BeijingChina
  2. 2.IthacaUSA
  3. 3.MontpellierFrance
  4. 4.Fort CollinsUSA

About the editors

Dr.Dong Shikui is currently a full Professor at School of Environment, Beijing Normal University and an Adjunct Professor at Natural Resource Department of Cornell University, as well as a fellow of India China Institute and New School, New York. He completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Grassland Science from Gansu Agricultural University in 1995 and 1998, respectively; he received his PhD in Grassland Ecology from Gansu Agricultural University in 2001; and he completed his post-doc program in Natural Sciences at Beijing Normal University in 2003.

Dr. Karim-Aly S. Kassam is International Professor of Environmental and Indigenous Studies in the Department of Natural Resources and the American Indian Program at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University. He is Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the American Indian Program.

Dr. Randall B. Boone is a Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory and Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University.

Dr. Jean François Tourrand is a Senior Researcher at the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomiquepour le Développement (CIRAD) in France.

Bibliographic information


“This is a fantastic book, which provides an album of rich information and deep insights for both researchers and policymakers in framing research/monitoring programs and designing policy actions in vast pastoral regions worldwide. I highly recommend it to scientists, planners, educators, students and many more who are involved in the actions for promoting the sustainability of worldwide pastoralism. This is a book that attracts you to read, think, and act right away.” (Xinquan Zhao, PhD, Professor, Director, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

“This book represents an important contribution to understanding and protecting the world’s extensive grasslands that convey critical ecosystem services to millions of people in developing countries. Challenges to maintaining pastoralism in the face of global change have led to continuing land degradation and the concurrent loss of rural livelihoods, biodiversity, and critical watershed functioning. Professor Dong and his colleagues have successfully addressed the complexity of this wicked environmental problem by coupling the dynamics of human behavior and ecosystem processes and providing strategies for promoting sustainable pastoralism worldwide. Their comprehensive assessment will provide guidance for scientists, managers, and government agencies seeking the sustainable development of the world’s valuable grassland ecosystems.” (James P. Lassoie, Ph.D., International Professor of Conservation, Cornell University)

“Pastoral systems are good examples of the coupled linkages between human and natural systems.
Current impacts of globalization, global environmental changes and local social-economic changes are affecting the adaptive capacity of the systems beyond the historic ranges of the pastoral communities to cope.
Exploring how to build enhanced resilience in these systems are critical to the survival of these communities in their current situations.
The book provides an excellent insights in how to harness available ecosystem services, enhance land management practices, and to better align policy and socioeconomic instruments to support these pastoral systems in the developing world.” (Dennis Ojima, Professor, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University)