Challenging Drylands Myths with Economics and Facts

Policy Brief

Ecological adaptations allow dryland plants and animals to reproduce, grow and survive in extreme conditions. Simply dryland systems are ecologically resilient and cannot be dismissed as wastelands

It is important that sustainable use strategies are informed by an understanding of adaptations and dynamics of dryland systems. This type of knowledge results from regular interaction between people and their environment. This knowledge has a value, measurable not in monetary terms but in the success or failure of household livelihood strategies over time. Recognizing the full value of ecosystem services and the opportunities they offer will enhance better planning and realization of the full economic potential of dryland ecosystems. This eventually will change the wrong but popular notion that drylands are economic wastelands, not worth of investment


Files and links

Sustainable Development Goals
Publication reference
Nyangena, Wilfred, 2009 “Realising the true value of ecosystem services” in Mortimore, M. (Ed) “Dryland Opportunities: A new paradigm for people, ecosystems and development” pp. 27-41. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland, IIED, London, UK and UNDP, Ne
Publication | 16 October 2009