This is a one-of-a-kind research text containing rare high-level coverage on the interrelationship between desert peoples and their environment. It contains 19 chapters in four sections covering human causes of desertification, environmental problems of living in arid regions, population dynamics in arid regions, and management, responsibilities, and policies. These examine how the impact of the population on the environment and the environment on the population of arid regions have changed over time. It also addresses questions of the changing relationships between people and their environment that include soil and vegetation degradation, scarce water resources, and how these shape the human population in terms of numbers and density of inhabitants - the so-called carrying capacity. Includes bibliographic references and index.