Keywords: rangeland degradation, developing countries, coupled systems, sustainable society, sustainability, sustainable development, rangeland ecosystems, African Savanna, Central Asian Steppe, Tibetan alpine meadows, Nepali Himalayas
Degradation of rangeland ecosystems in the developing world: tragedy of breaking coupled human–natural systems
Understanding the mechanisms that regulate rangeland health will contribute to our knowledge of complex coupled human–natural systems (CHANS). This will require the integration of multiple, complementary and independent methods of CHANS to open new opportunities for dialogue among natural and social scientists, particularly with regard to the interplay between ecological, social and economic systems in rangeland management. In this paper, four case studies from African Savanna, Central Asian Steppe, Tibetan alpine meadow and Nepali Himalayan rangelands are synthesised to demonstrate how important the concepts of CHANS are to clarifying the questions of driving forces for rangeland degradation and how the approaches of CHANS work for promoting the sustainability of rangeland ecosystems in the developing world.