March 2004 / Vol.54 No.3
more extended treatments ofthe many issues addressed in
Animal Social Com- plexity
rather than these relatively brief,data-free presentations,concise andreadable though many may be.The vol-ume could,however,serve as a usefulstarting point for a senior undergradu-ate or graduate seminar,providing use-ful introductions to relevant literaturethat students could consult in preparingoral or written presentations.BENNETT G.GALEF JR.
Department ofPsychology McMaster University Hamilton,Ontario L8S 4K1,Canada
Byrne R,Whiten A,eds.1988.Machiavellian Intel-ligence:Social Expertise and the Evolution ofIn-tellect in Monkeys,Apes,and Humans.Oxford(United Kingdom):Clarendon Press.
NOURISHING HUMANSWITHOUT DIMINISHINGNATURE
World Agriculture and the Environ-ment:A Commodity-by-Commodity Guide to Impacts and Practices.
JasonClay.Island Press,Washington,DC,2004.568 pp.,illus.$35.00 (ISBN1559633700 paper).
ason Clay,vice president ofWorldWildlife Fund’s Center for Conserva-tion Innovation and one ofthe first pur-veyors of“green marketing,”brings to
World Agriculture and the Environment
decades ofagricultural experience,be-ginning with working the family farmin Missouri.He has synthesized into thisaccessible reader an impressive volume of facts,figures,and trends on the state of world agriculture and its myriad envi-ronmental impacts.Unlike the reams ofstatistics aggre-gated in national or United Nations Foodand Agriculture Organization reports,the numbers for each ofthe 21 com-modities covered in Clay’s work arewoven into a narrative that captures sig-nificant patterns.Two trenchant chapterscover “agricultural trends and realities”and “agriculture and the environment.”These are followed by chapters on sepa-rate commodities,each ofwhich beginswith a map ofthe geographical areas of production;“fast facts”on productionand international trade;the key coun-tries that produce,export,and importthe commodity;and a summary ofma- jor environmental impacts and the po-tential for improvement.Clay examinesin some detail the main threats that eachcommodity poses to the environmentand the overall global trends that shapethese threats.He also presents a detaileddiscussion ofbest management practices(BMPs),both tried-and-true ones andnew approaches,that could boost pro-duction while minimizing ecologicallosses.The book can be read from multipleperspectives.For example,Clay exam-ines eight categories ofthreats and im-pacts—habitat conversion,invasivespecies,agrochemicals,soil erosion,wastes,water,fire,and greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions;he then presents in-novative policy recommendations—some market based,some that operatethrough regulatory enforcement—foraddressing them.Habitat conversion,especially ofintactecosystems with globally significant bio-diversity,is covered quite well.Severalstriking insights run through many of the commodity assessments:
Habitat conversion can occurregardless ofwhether the com-modity price increases,decreases,or remains stagnant.A commodity’s scale ofproduc-tion in terms ofhectares undercultivation may not always be themost meaningful indicator of biodiversity threat and impact.Advances in biotechnology (bothclassical and transgenic) continueto overcome one agriculturalconstraint after another,enablingexpansion ofproduction intohabitats previously inhibited by some limiting factor.Agricultural subsidies promotehabitat conversion.Ironically,though,the reduction oftheOrganization for EconomicCooperation and Development’sdomestic manipulation ofcon-sumer prices and ofits provisionofproducer subsidies (which to-taled over $300 billion in 2001)could also accelerate conversionofsome ofthe planet’s most bio-logically rich habitats in develop-ing countries.(Such conversioncan be avoided,however,by the use ofmechanisms I discussbelow.)
All ofthese factors combine with othertrends to pose ever-present threats thatlead to broadscale fragmentation,degra-dation,and destruction ofintact ecosys-tems.These other trends include anannual increase in human populationgreat enough to people Mexico;as in-comes rise,growth in the percentage of protein derived from animals,a shift thatdemands even more agricultural land;conversion ofnatural resources in de-veloping countries to alleviate masspoverty and foster economic expansion;a rising rate ofconsumption ofland-based commodities globally;and a steady decline in the quality and productivity of soils.Clay’s most important BMP and pol-icy recommendations to combat suchthreats concern land zoning:Areas of high biodiversity and habitats importantfor maintenance ofecosystem servicesshould be set aside,he maintains.Notonly does such zoning need to be done atthe landscape or ecosystem level,he says,but it is essential to identify minimal-size,viable forest fragments ofbiologicalsignificance within commodity opera-tions.“Farming with nature,”an idea long ig-nored by large-scale,high-input mono-culture systems,is attracting greaterattention.The concept ranges from con-necting fragmented patches into ecolog-ical corridors for sustaining viablepopulations ofendangered species (e.g.,Sumatran rhinoceroses in unplantedareas ofoil palm plantations) to usingmulticrop systems with ecologically based
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