UNESCO releases lecturer's book online as free download

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A new book edited by a term lecturer at UC Santa Cruz has been released by UNESCO on the United Nations website free for anyone to download.

Water, Cultural Diversity and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures? was published jointly by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Office in Jakarta and Springer, a leading global scientific publisher.

Editor-in-chief is Barbara R. Johnston, a senior research fellow with the Center for Political Ecology in Santa Cruz. She is an environmental anthropologist who studies relationships between environmental crises and human rights, and is a frequent lecturer at UCSC. Initially, Springer sold the 560-page volume as a text on its Earth science list and provided free ebook access to universities on springerlink.

UNESCO released the book last month on its website as a pdf free of charge. Free textbooks are rare, particularly in the sciences, Johnston said. "Works that address the human dimensions of global environmental change from an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective are increasingly in demand and need," she said.

Johnston said the book is one outcome from a UNESCO International Hydrological Program-sponsored expert panel on water and cultural diversity on which she served as the U.S. representative. The work to develop and publish the book was sponsored by the Center for Political Ecology, UNESCO-IHP, and the United Nations University Institute for Advanced Studies Traditional Knowledge Initiative.

To download the book or find more information see the UN news release.