51, May/June 2002
Using geospatial technologies to understand dryland dynamics
compiled by Katherine Waser
| Water management in Islam. Edited by Naser I. Faruqui, Asit K.
Biswas, and Murad J. Bino. Tokyo: United Nations University Press; Ottawa:
IDRC, 2001. ISBN: 92-808-1036-7 (UNUP edition); 0-88936-924-0 (IDRC edition).
US$ 19.95; CA$ 30.00.
(in the United States and Europe)
The United Nations University, 53-70, Jingumae 5-chome,
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan
International Development Research Centre
P.O. Box 8500
Ottawa, ON, Canada K1G 3H9
This book is primarily based on the findings of the Workshop on Water Resources Management in the Islamic World, held in Amman, Jordan in December 1998 and organized by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Recognizing the crucial role that religion can play in affecting how individual and collective choices are made, the book presents interpretations from eighteen scientists (themselves Moslem) on the role that Islam might play in water management. While it focuses specifically on the Middle East-North Africa region, its value is most definitely not restricted to MENA countries nor to followers of Islam. An opening chapter gives an overview of the papers presented at the workshop and summarizes the principles and suggestions for further research that emerged from the workshop discussions. Following this overview chapter, the actual papers from the workshop are presented; these papers focus on four main topics: Water as a social good; non-economic instruments of water demand management; economic instruments of water demand management; and integrated water management. Overall, the papers, and the workshop as a whole, suggest that "there is no contradiction between what Islam says about water management and the emerging international consensus on the issue, as reflected by recent accords such as the Dublin Principles or the UN Water Convention." A valuable resource for those working on various aspects of water management in countries with largely Moslem populations.
* * * * *
Invasive exotic species in the Sonoran region. Edited by Barbara
Tellman. Tucson, Ariz.: University of Arizona Press, 2002. ISBN 0-8165-2178-6.
Within the last century, the Sonoran Desert has become the home of more than 600 non-native species, both plant and animal. It is only recently that the potential of these non-natives to disrupt native species and even entire ecosystems has begun to be understood, and that attempts have begun to be made to control these invasive species. Based on a symposium held in May 1998 at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson, this book is not a proceedings but rather a synthesis of the information presented at the symposium, as well as some new information not included in the symposium. It brings together current research by university, government, and NGO specialists in the first single-source volume to describe the arrival and spread of species as diverse as buffelgrass and mosquitofish, rats and saltcedar. The book comprises three parts: the first part summarizes the broad framework of exotic species invasions for the region as a whole, and the changes that have happened as a result; Part 2 examines the situation in some depth in each major subregion of the area; Part 3 reviews methods of control, both natural and human-directed. Appendices summarize relevant laws and present the first-ever lists of naturalized species of flora and fauna in this region. This book will be of interest to wildlife biologists, botanists, ecologists, land managers, and anyone else interested in understanding and preserving the native biodiversity of the Sonoran Desert.
About the Arid Lands Newsletter