Dryland opportunities: a new paradigm for people, ecosystems and development

Dryland opportunities: a new paradigm for people, ecosystems and development This latest IUCN paper presents a vision for drylands that makes their sustainable development a global responsibility. Focuses on maximizing the opportunities that exist for sustainable dryland development and empowerment of local people at national and international levels.
This paper builds on the understanding that has emerged over the past decade about climate dynamics in drylands and the role of uncertainty, risk and resilience. It situates this debate in the context of rapid global change - of climate, economy and geopolitics. The paper emphasises adaptive potentials, the value of dryland ecosystem services and the investment and marketing opportunities they offer, and the possibilities of strengthening the institutional environment for managing risk and rewarding resilience. It aims to apply the new scientific insights on complex dryland systems to practical options for development. A new dryland paradigm is built on the resources and capacities of dryland peoples, on new and emergent economic opportunities, on inward investment, and on the best support that dryland science can offer. The authors recommend five building blocks: strengthening the knowledge base; valuing and sustaining dryland ecosystem services; promoting public and private investment in drylands; improving access to profitable markets; and prioritising rights, reform, risk and resilience.