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Nature's Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty Paperback – September 20, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-1844077823 ISBN-10: 1844077829 Edition: 1st

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Nature's Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty + The Global Farms Race: Land Grabs, Agricultural Investment, and the Scramble for Food Security + Campesino A Campesino: Voices from Latin America's Farmer to Farmer Movement for Sustainable Agriculture
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (September 20, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844077829
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844077823
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #648,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


'This well written book is informed by sophisticated ecological theory applied to the complexities of modern tropical development in a dazzling critique of conventional thinking.'Susanna Hecht, Professor of Urban Planning at the University of California, Berkeley and author of Fate of the Forest. 

'Greens of every stripe – agro-ecologists, conservationists, regional planners – recognize the need for ecologically farmed areas, an empowered farm population, preserved areas in any sustainable, just and productive mosaic landscape. We all advocate this integration. This book does it.'Richard Levins, Professor of Population Sciences at Harvard University and author of The Dialectical Biologist and Biology Under the Influence. 

'Nature's Matrix makes the powerful case that sustainable peasant agriculture is a positive force for biodiversity conservation, contrary to a lot of misrepresentation in the literature. It is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the connections between food sovereignty and the environment.'Peter Rosset, author of Food Is Different and Promised Land. 

'As the authors demonstrate in this ground-breaking book, traditional agroecosystems not only offer promising models for other areas as they promote biodiversity, thrive without agrochemicals, and sustain year-round yields but are key for food sovereignty and the conservation of millions of wild species as they promote high quality matrices.'Miguel Altieri, Professor at the University of California, Berkeley and author of Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture. 

'An excellent book, highly recommended.'Agroforestry News. 

'By providing analysis of how agriculture, conservation and biodiversity should be managed for the nutritional and social benefit of the majority, as well as the environmental security of the planet, Nature's Matrix offers policymakers, agronomists and ecologists much to ponder.'New Agriculturist. 

'An important publication that should be read by all ecologists, because the arguments are backed up with a considerable quantity of data.'Janet Sprent, British Ecological Society, 2010. 

'Hopefully books such as these will help the change from denial to holistic thinking.'IZWA. 

'This book is an important read for conservationists who are invited to adopt a landscape matrix perspective and aim for better understanding of the socio-economic and political forces that influence land use'ORC Bulletin, Dec 2010.

About the Author

Ivette Perfecto is Professor of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan. John Vandermeer is Asa Gray University Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan. Angus Wright is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Studies at California State University Sacramento.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Missnorth on August 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
The park system is the prevailing model for biodiversity protection in the world - think Teddy R. and the US National Park Service; think Tanzania's Selous National Park, the biggest in the world. Armed guards, strict rules, "nature here, humans there". Biologists have long recognized that local extinctions were common, even in these big, dynamic parks, so "corridors" were the rage a few years ago, little pathways that would connect two "natural" areas to each other to allow migration (the solution to local extinction) - bridges over busy highways, for example. Most ecologists have found this approach hasn't worked.

Using a dazzling array of different disciplinary perspectives (biology, history, politics, anthropology), Perfecto et al. propose a "matrix" model of biodiversity protection that recognizes humans as potential stewards of the environment right where they live and work. Conservationists, they argue, have been blind to the political realities that drive extinction in the most sensitive regions, regions that happen to be in the poorest areas of the world. They focus their attention on agriculture, which has been such a destructive force in places like Brazilian Amazon. But they draw an important distinction between the Green Revolution-style industrial system usually encouraged by the global economic powers and the farming practiced by smallholders around the world. The latter, they argue, actually contribute to this matrix of biodiversity by showing more care for the land and thus conservationists should support and work closely with rural social movements that advocate for them.

The book cites two large case studies from Latin America from coffee farms in Central America and cocoa farms in Brazil.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
People go where there is food. "Nature's Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation, and Food Sovereignty", the collaborative work of Ivette Perfecto, John Vandermeer, and Angus Wright, is an intriguing history that discusses humanity, and how agriculture drives development through ecological effects on earth. Calling upon modern research on the subject, Ivette Perfecto and his associates, professors on the subject, enlighten and intrigue readers about nature's invisible mathematical hand and its impact on human society. "Nature's Matrix" is a strong addition to environmental history collections.
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Format: Paperback
The book got here way ahead of time and it was in excellent condition. If you are interested in the food system, agriculture, biodiversity, and/or tropical rainforests, this book is for you!
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