Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution in Agriculture

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Pamela A. Matson
Island Press, Sep 26, 2012 - Political Science - 312 pages
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Seeds of Sustainability is a groundbreaking analysis of agricultural development and transitions toward more sustainable management in one region. An invaluable resource for researchers, policymakers, and students alike, it examines new approaches to make agricultural landscapes healthier for both the environment and people.

The Yaqui Valley is the birthplace of the Green Revolution and one of the most intensive agricultural regions of the world, using irrigation, fertilizers, and other technologies to produce some of the highest yields of wheat anywhere. It also faces resource limitations, threats to human health, and rapidly changing economic conditions. In short, the Yaqui Valley represents the challenge of modern agriculture: how to maintain livelihoods and increase food production while protecting the environment.

Renowned scientist Pamela Matson and colleagues from leading institutions in the U.S. and Mexico spent fifteen years in the Yaqui Valley in Sonora, Mexico addressing this challenge. Seeds of Sustainability represents the culmination of their research, providing unparalleled information about the causes and consequences of current agricultural methods. Even more importantly, it shows how knowledge can translate into better practices, not just in the Yaqui Valley, but throughout the world.
 

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Contents

Why the Yaqui Valley? An Introduction
3
A Brief History of the Yaqui Valley
13
INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVESON SUSTAINABILITY
29
Looking for WinWins in Intensive Agriculture
31
Ecosystems and Landuse Change in the Yaqui Valley Does Agricultural Intensification Spare Land for Nature?
47
Linking Knowledge with Action for Sustainable Development A Case Study of Change and Effectiveness
63
Exploring Vulnerability in the Yaqui Valley HumanEnvironment System
83
From Wheat to Waves and Back Again Connections between the Yaqui Valley and the Gulf of California
93
Agricultural Research and Management at the Field Scale
139
Nitrogen in the Yaqui Valley Sources Transfers and Consequences
171
Water Resources Management in the Yaqui Valley
197
CONCLUSIONS
229
Lessons Learned
231
References
259
Contributors
279
Index
281

ELEMENTS OF THE YAQUI VALLEY SYSTEM
105
The Yaqui Valleys Agricultural Transition to a More Open Economy
107

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About the author (2012)

Pamela Matson was a professor at the University of California, Berkeley at the beginning of the Yaqui Valley research project. She then moved to Stanford University, becoming the Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies and Co-director of the Center for Environmental Science and Policy in the Institute for International Studies. She is currently Dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford and Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment.

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