The symposium on "Land Management and Sustainable Development in Rural and Urban Environments of the Third World" at the 1996 International Geographical Congress in The Hague focused on geographical research in land society relationships. The range of papers provided a variety of case studies of local land management in terms of livelihood strategies and the wider politico-socio-economic and ecological context in which they operate. They also highlighted the contradictions and tensions between different systems of knowledge about the environment, and the ways in which one may be privileged over others. These are implicit in most of the papers - in some, modernising knowledge is promoted for the solution of the problems of a modernising economy (for example, managing urban pollution in Malaysia), while in others institutional, political and technical knowledge is undergoing profound change, whereby the local continues to resist, adapt to, or be replaced by the forces of globalisation . Most papers in this collection make implicit distinctions between the familiar, and some would say, stereo-typical characterisations of different knowledges (scientific, western and modern on the one hand and indigenous and traditional on the other), although it is a much debated point whether it is useful to make a distinction between them at all (Agrawal 1996).

KNAG, Amsterdam
ISS Staff Group 0
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Blaikie, P., & de Haan, L. (1998). Reading maps in the dark. Route planning for development geography in a post-ist world. In ISS Staff Group 0. Retrieved from