An essential addition to the library of anyone concerned with practical integrative approaches to development for Latin American farmers. This volume brings together an outstanding group of scholars who critically analyze the limits and viability of local knowledge systems in modern processes of rural development. They avoid the usual pitfalls of naive romanticism or off-hand cynicism that often characterizes the writing on Traditional Knowledge Systems. The present volume is one of the most thoughtful reviews that are currently available.
This book identifies a major problem facing developing nations and the countries and sources that fund them: the lack of attention and/or effective strategies available to prevent farmers in underdeveloped and poorly endowed regions from sinking still deeper into poverty while avoiding further degradation of marginal environments. The contributors propose an alliance of scientific knowledge with native skill as the best way to proceed, arguing that folk systems can often provide effective management solutions that are not only locally effective, but which may have the potential for spatial diffusion. While this has been said before, the volume makes one of the best articulated statements of how to implement such an approach.
Traditional and Modern Approaches to Natural Resources Management in Latin America is the most comprehensive look at the constellation of programs, policies, and activities that determine the fate of this crucial region. A must read for anyone concerned with the global environment.
The book is excellent for purposes of reference, but should be read by all development practitioners —- above all by those who up to now have only offered scientific solutions to the problem.
Francisco J. Pichon is a sociologist at the World Bank and is co-author, with Uquillas, of Sustainable Agriculture and Poverty Reduction in Latin America’s Risk-Prone Areas: Opportunities and Challenges, a 1996 World Bank Report. He has contributed to numerous edited volumes and journals such as Economic Development and Cultural Change, World Development, Journal of Developing Areas, and the Journal of Development Studies. He lives in Washington DC.
John Frechione is associate director of the Center for Latin American Studies and adjunct associate professor of anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, where he received his Ph.D. in anthropology in 1981. He has carried out research over the last twenty years on ecological adaptations and economic self-development among indigenous populations in southern Venezuela and he is co-author of Indigenous People and Development in Latin America: A Literature Survey and Recommendations.
Jorge E. Uquillas is a social scientist specializing in Latin America and the Caribbean Region at the World Bank, and is co-author, with Pichón, of the aforementioned report. He has contributed to a range of edited collections and journals such as Ecology of Food and Nutrition, American Journal of Human Biology, and the proceedings of the World Bank Conference on Development in Latin America. He lives in Washington DC.