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What’s social about natural resources and why do we need to theorise it?


Lawrence, G and Higgins, V and Lockie, S, What's social about natural resources and why do we need to theorise it?, Environment, Society and Natural Resource Management: Theoretical Perspectives from Australasia and the Americas, Edward Edgar Publishing, G Lawrence, V Higgins and S Lockie (ed), Cheltenham, UK, pp. 1-15. ISBN 978 1 84064 449 4 (2001) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2001 Geoffrey Lawrence, Vaughan Higgins, Stewart Lockie

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For decades, social scientists have struggled for recognition as valid contributors to natural resource management (NRM). Overshadowed by the seemingly obvious importance of soils, hydrology, agronomy, biology, ecology and a host of other apparently ‘natural’ dimensions of NRM, the social dimensions of NRM have all too often been ignored. So how much have things changed? Since the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 (WCED, 1987) there has been growing international recognition of the relationships between what we understand as natural and social resources, or between environments and people. The WCED argued that sustainable use of natural resources was impossible without ensuring social and economic development, equity and justice. Environmental issues were thus also social, trade and economic issues. While it would be misleading to trace widespread change to a single report or event, it is evident nevertheless that as we begin the new century NRM policy statements from governments, non-government organisations and multilateral organisations alike embrace components of a new 'language' of partnerships, capacity building, institutional support, public participation, community initiatives, environmental health, community health, social capital, international cooperation, education, and a host of concepts and ideas once foreign to the natural sciences.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:environment, natural resource management, theoretical perspectives
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Environmental sociology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Higgins, V (Professor Vaughan Higgins)
ID Code:138158
Year Published:2001
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-03-26
Last Modified:2020-07-22

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