Salinas Chávez, Eduardo; Middleton, John. 1998. La ecología del paisaje como base para el desarrollo sustentable en América Latina / Landscape ecology as a tool for sustainable development in Latin America. http://www.brocku.ca/epi/lebk/lebk.html
The aim of this electronic publication is to show, using examples from a variety of Latin American countries, that landscape ecology can be a valuable tool for practical problems of sustainable development. The case studies will all include clear statements on the issues of spatial and temporal scale, interdisciplinary perspective, and the practical linkages between theory and application. The cases will use a consistent framework, to encourage comparisons of one to another. The volume will end with a critical summary and analysis of successes, failures, and opportunities for using Landscape Ecology as a tool for Sustainable Development.
Landscape ecology is a scientific framework for studying human impacts on ecosystems. It concentrates on the spatial and temporal scales that planners and managers need to know about. It is an interdisciplinary approach that encourages natural scientists, social scientists, and other professionals to escape their disciplinary walls and to work with each other on complex real-world problems of direct human significance.
This publication will be distributed electronically through a variety of channels, including Internet, e-mail, and computer discs via conventional mail. The information will be distributed free of charge, with charges only for incidental expenses (such as postage) if necessary.
WHY AN ELECTRONIC PUBLICATION?
Electronic communication is rapidly becoming an everyday reality. It offers many advantages over conventional printing on paper, although it is far from being a substitute.
Two of the barriers to electronic publishing are how to protect copyright, and how to collect money. In this case, both are easily dealt with: we will allow ( and even encourage) wide distribution, and forego payment (except perhaps for expenses e.g. to mail a disc if no other route is available). In other words, this is intended to be a non-profit project.
Even a moderately priced book in print ($50 for example) represents a significant barrier in most parts of the world. The problem is even larger where hard currency is not easily available. Although some universities and research institutions have central libraries others do not. Faculty-based collections may be widely dispersed across a city, with no central cataloguing. That is, accessibility to a information is more complex that arranging one copy per institution.
Clearly some other distribution system is needed. An electronic publication is particularly appropriate for improving two-way communication between North and South, especially if multiple formats are used (Internet, e-mail on request, disc by regular mail, etc).
Providing information in more than one language is easier in electronic than in print form. Availability in a language other than English is a major step towards wide distribution of ideas. Multiple-language communication also works against north-south asymmetries of power. For application of ideas (not just academic discussion) English-language texts are particularly weak, since technical English is uncommon outside universities in many countries.
It is inevitable that most professionals will need to master electronic communication within a very few years. There are great advantages in moving immediately to practical applications now, rather than waiting for others to lead the way.
CRITERIA FOR INCLUSION OF CHAPTERS
This outline, including the section headings, will be compulsory for all case studies. Chapters will be approximately 5000 words each. The editors' summary chapter will focus on sections 5, 6, and 7 of the various cases.
- state explicitly the spatial scale of interest;
- state explicitly the temporal scale of interest (including both historical context and policy objective for the future);
- be clearly and explicitly interdisciplinary (e.g. not just biological, not just geographical, not just planning, etc.);
- show a clear and explicit link between theory and practice (i.e. should be more that just design or cartography);
- take sustainable development of human society as the primary goal and focus.