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Fewer People, Less Erosion: The Twentieth Century in Southern Bolivia

David Preston, Mark Macklin and Jeff Warburton
The Geographical Journal
Vol. 163, No. 2, Environmental Transformations in Developing Countries (Jul., 1997), pp. 198-205
Published by: geographicalj
DOI: 10.2307/3060183
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3060183
Page Count: 8
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Fewer People, Less Erosion: The Twentieth Century in Southern Bolivia
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Abstract

Detailed investigations of household livelihoods in the valleys of Tarija, southern Bolivia, show how the resources of many different localities are used to provide a satisfactory living without necessarily reducing the stock of resources in the longer term. Historical studies of changes in the numbers of people and livestock show how land-use systems have evolved in recent centuries, and studies of river basins reveal the extent to which the frequency and intensity of floods have changed. The perceptions of rural people as to how the vegetation and hillside erosion may have altered, suggest that some environmental changes in the last half of the present century may be positive. This paper weaves together these threads of information to provide a coherent view of the current environmental situation in a part of southern Bolivia, set in the context of diversified household livelihood strategies.

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