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Natural resource

About: Natural resource is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 28297 publications have been published within this topic receiving 583845 citations.


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TL;DR: This article explores the special features of freshwater habitats and the biodiversity they support that makes them especially vulnerable to human activities and advocates continuing attempts to check species loss but urges adoption of a compromise position of management for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem functioning and resilience, and human livelihoods.
Abstract: Freshwater biodiversity is the over-riding conservation priority during the International Decade for Action - 'Water for Life' - 2005 to 2015. Fresh water makes up only 0.01% of the World's water and approximately 0.8% of the Earth's surface, yet this tiny fraction of global water supports at least 100000 species out of approximately 1.8 million - almost 6% of all described species. Inland waters and freshwater biodiversity constitute a valuable natural resource, in economic, cultural, aesthetic, scientific and educational terms. Their conservation and management are critical to the interests of all humans, nations and governments. Yet this precious heritage is in crisis. Fresh waters are experiencing declines in biodiversity far greater than those in the most affected terrestrial ecosystems, and if trends in human demands for water remain unaltered and species losses continue at current rates, the opportunity to conserve much of the remaining biodiversity in fresh water will vanish before the 'Water for Life' decade ends in 2015. Why is this so, and what is being done about it? This article explores the special features of freshwater habitats and the biodiversity they support that makes them especially vulnerable to human activities. We document threats to global freshwater biodiversity under five headings: overexploitation; water pollution; flow modification; destruction or degradation of habitat; and invasion by exotic species. Their combined and interacting influences have resulted in population declines and range reduction of freshwater biodiversity worldwide. Conservation of biodiversity is complicated by the landscape position of rivers and wetlands as 'receivers' of land-use effluents, and the problems posed by endemism and thus non-substitutability. In addition, in many parts of the world, fresh water is subject to severe competition among multiple human stakeholders. Protection of freshwater biodiversity is perhaps the ultimate conservation challenge because it is influenced by the upstream drainage network, the surrounding land, the riparian zone, and - in the case of migrating aquatic fauna - downstream reaches. Such prerequisites are hardly ever met. Immediate action is needed where opportunities exist to set aside intact lake and river ecosystems within large protected areas. For most of the global land surface, trade-offs between conservation of freshwater biodiversity and human use of ecosystem goods and services are necessary. We advocate continuing attempts to check species loss but, in many situations, urge adoption of a compromise position of management for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem functioning and resilience, and human livelihoods in order to provide a viable long-term basis for freshwater conservation. Recognition of this need will require adoption of a new paradigm for biodiversity protection and freshwater ecosystem management - one that has been appropriately termed 'reconciliation ecology'.

5,857 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors examined the relationship between per capita income and various environmental indicators and found no evidence that environmental quality deteriorates steadily with economic growth, rather, for most indicators, economic growth brings an initial phase of deterioration followed by a subsequent phase of improvement.
Abstract: We examine the reduced-form relationship between per capita income and various environmental indicators. Our study covers four types of indicators: urban air pollution, the state of the oxygen regime in river basins, fecal contamination of ri'ver basins, and contamination of river basins by heavy metals. We find no evidence that environmental quality deteriorates steadily with economic growth. Rather, for most indicators, economic growth brings an initial phase of deterioration followed by a subsequent phase of improvement. The turning points for the different pollutants vary, but in most cases they come before a country reaches a per capita income of $8000. I. INTRODUCTION Will continued economic growth bring ever greater harm to the earth's environment? Or do increases in income and wealth sow the seeds for the amelioration of ecological problems? The answers to these questions are critical for the design of appropriate development strategies for lesser developed countries. Exhaustible and renewable natural resources serve as inputs into the production of many goods and services. If the composition of output and the methods of production were immutable, then damage to the environment would be inextricably linked to the scale of global economic activity. But substantial evidence suggests that development gives rise to a structural transformation in what an economy produces (see Syrquin [1989]). And societies have shown remarkable ingenuity in harnessing new technologies to conserve scarce resources. In principle, the forces leading to change in the composition and techniques of production may be sufficiently strong to more than offset the adverse effects of increased economic activity on the environment. In this paper we address this empirical issue using panel data on ambient pollution levels in many countries. Examination of the empirical relationship between national income and measures of environmental quality began with our *We thank the Ford Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Institute for Policy Reform, and the Centers of International Studies and of Economic Policy Studies at Princeton University for financial support. We are grateful to Peter Jaffee, who tutored us on the various dimensions of water quality, to Robert Bisson, who provided us with the GEMS/ Water data, and to seminar participants at the O.E.C.D. Development Centre and the Institute for International Economic Studies in Stockholm, Sweden, who gave us helpful comments and suggestions. Special thanks go to James Laity, whose research assistance was simply extraordinary.

5,582 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
24 Jul 2009-Science
TL;DR: A general framework is used to identify 10 subsystem variables that affect the likelihood of self-organization in efforts to achieve a sustainable SES.
Abstract: A major problem worldwide is the potential loss of fisheries, forests, and water resources Understanding of the processes that lead to improvements in or deterioration of natural resources is limited, because scientific disciplines use different concepts and languages to describe and explain complex social-ecological systems (SESs) Without a common framework to organize findings, isolated knowledge does not cumulate Until recently, accepted theory has assumed that resource users will never self-organize to maintain their resources and that governments must impose solutions Research in multiple disciplines, however, has found that some government policies accelerate resource destruction, whereas some resource users have invested their time and energy to achieve sustainability A general framework is used to identify 10 subsystem variables that affect the likelihood of self-organization in efforts to achieve a sustainable SES

5,442 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a natural resource-based view of the firm is proposed, which is composed of three interconnected strategies: pollution prevention, product stewardship, and sustainable development, and each of these strategies are advanced for each of them regarding key resource requirements and their contributions to sustained competitive advantage.
Abstract: Historically, management theory has ignored the constraints imposed by the biophysical (natural) environment. Building upon resource-based theory, this article attempts to fill this void by proposing a natural-resource-based view of the firm—a theory of competitive advantage based upon the firm's relationship to the natural environment. It is composed of three interconnected strategies: pollution prevention, product stewardship, and sustainable development. Propositions are advanced for each of these strategies regarding key resource requirements and their contributions to sustained competitive advantage.

5,339 citations

Book
13 Sep 2007
TL;DR: A more systematic approach to locating and designing reserves has been evolving and this approach will need to be implemented if a large proportion of today's biodiversity is to exist in a future of increasing numbers of people and their demands on natural resources.
Abstract: The realization of conservation goals requires strategies for managing whole landscapes including areas allocated to both production and protection. Reserves alone are not adequate for nature conservation but they are the cornerstone on which regional strategies are built. Reserves have two main roles. They should sample or represent the biodiversity of each region and they should separate this biodiversity from processes that threaten its persistence. Existing reserve systems throughout the world contain a biased sample of biodiversity, usually that of remote places and other areas that are unsuitable for commercial activities. A more systematic approach to locating and designing reserves has been evolving and this approach will need to be implemented if a large proportion of today's biodiversity is to exist in a future of increasing numbers of people and their demands on natural resources.

4,916 citations


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Performance
Metrics
No. of papers in the topic in previous years
YearPapers
20241
20231,105
20222,115
20211,204
20201,278
20191,207