As the twenty-first century is approached it has become increasingly clear that the arid lands of the world will be subjected to ever greater land use pressures as a result of the continued growth of . the population. Yet the way in which these pressures should be tackled is not always obvious, for what one is dealing with is a series of different approaches to drylands dependent upon the country being studied. Crucial factors are the wealth of the nation, its political system, and the relative importance of drylands in the overall economy of the country. For some countries drylands only account for a minor percentage of the total area, whereas in others they represent the only types of land present. The attitudes of 'outsiders', including organisations such as the United Nations and other international agencies, should not be overlooked either (Johnston, 1992; Kunugi, 1992). With these an abstract and academic approach is often followed in which a problem is identified and an ideal solution sketched out. Unfortunately, in many cases such an approach is unworkable as it bears little relation to the problems on the ground; chief amongst which is a growing population which must be fed and housed.