International Symposium on
Drylands Ecology and Human Security

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Desertification in the Context of Human Domestication:
The Endangering Endeavor of Endangered Humans Regarding Drylands

Oscar Carvajal

University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada


The “analysis of the underlying socio-cultural forces” of desertification enhances by understanding human domestication.  This paper argues that humans have been domesticated via the human built environment (in the broad sense) and that desertification emerges within the context of human domestication further imperiling the already human insecurity.  In this context, present desertification refers to an intensification of domestication, especially of humans, recognized in progressive land and human degradation.  Hence, desertification refers to the degrading and endangering socio-ecological action of degraded and endangered domesticated humans.

This theoretical work extends the naturist/ecologist notion of domestication to analyze the human condition, in particular with respect to the desertification dynamic in the broad sense.  Many academic works explore the domestication of animals, plants, and things in general, including the planet, but fail to identify human domestication. While some scientific studies explore the domestication of human dimensions, this paper treats the domestication of the human species - Homo domesticus - in relation to the issue of desertification.

Whereas different bodies of activism and scholarship, most notably the ISDEHS, posses overwhelming potentials following ambitious paths to establish themselves as world class leaders to research on desertification, undoubtedly and unavoidably, they find in human domestication a colossal challenge.  Endeavors of desertification seem advanced by communities composed by Homo domesticus, humans characterized by a distorted ontology, principally conditioned by structure and function, reflected in social miss-organization and dysfunctional ecology.

Whilst this paper challenges traditional boundaries of the Academy, to assess the implication of and response to human domestication remains a task for artists, scientists, and humans in general.  While major international scientific events are currently investigating human domestication, how scholars and activists interested on challenging and correcting desertification address human domestication within their academic and political bodies mark drylands ecology and human security globally.