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resource management 1

  A broad multidisciplinary area or programme of study focusing on the management of natural resources. This includes both renewable and non-renewable resources that are managed by private enterprise, public-sector agencies or community-based forms of management. It seeks to:

{img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } explain the processes (physical, socioeconomic, cultural and political) involved in resource supply, exploitation and consumption; {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } analyse the allocation of resource products and services over space and time; {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } evaluate management systems, policies, programmes and practices; and {img src=show_image.php?name=2022.gif } develop alternative management strategies and evaluatory tools.Although issues of resource management have a long history (see conservation), the recognition of resource management as a distinct area of inquiry has occurred largely since the 1960s with the growth of environmentalism. It is sometimes seen as a sub-field of environmental management, and sometimes the terms appear to be used interchangeably. Contemporary resource management is linked closely to the notion of sustainable development. It is often seen as part of the technocratic approach to looking at human-nature relationships and is sometimes opposed by environmentalists who believe that humans should manage themselves and their consumer lifestyles, rather than attempting to manage nature as a resource for human purposes. Nesmith and Wright (1995) emphasize the gender dimensions of resource management, and argue that women have played key roles, over many years, in moving towards more participatory forms of resource management and towards sustainability. Wolfe-Keddie (1995) and Aplin (1998) highlight the importance of indigenous people in resource management over many years.

Despite these conceptual changes, the multidisciplinary field of resource management sometimes fails to address the complex interrelationships between physical, social, economic and political systems. This is particularly the case when resource management is seen as the application of scientific fact (often ignoring cultural considerations), and when the field becomes very specialized into the management of specific resources, e.g. water management. Geographers have participated in the field of resource management primarily through resource analysis, but increasingly there is work on environmental values and perceptions of resources (Nesmith and Wright, 1995).

Johnston (1983) investigated the potential for integration of human and physical geography through this field, but found that the case for links across the human/physical divide remained weak in comparison to links with related disciplines, e.g. sociology. The attempt to unite human and physical geography by using aspects of the environment (as done by Manning, 1990, in relation to sustainable development) has been a recurring theme in the discipline of geography, but has to date met with little success.



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Other Terms : post-Marxism | critical rationalism | classification and regionalization
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