Social and Economic Considerations of Human-Environmental Dynamics

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An integrative approach to geography and environmental development is one that seriously engages with the biophysical as well as the social worlds. Political Ecologists view the world as not simply just a stage or arena in which struggles over resource access and control take place, but consider nature, or the biophysical processes to play an active role in shaping human-environmental dynamics. It is important to consider that both economic income and environmental quality are objectives of equal worth. Environmental concerns have become more mainstream since the 1960s, and the combination of both economic growth and a clean environment is desirable, and must exist in synergy; it is just a matter of finding the correct trade-off. That is one possible interpretation of the more common phrase ‘sustainable development.” Political Ecologists consider knowledge, history, economy and the use and misuse of land in order to approach the correct decision-making processes for solutions to current environmental changes and particularly how these changes affect the local. It is a relationship driven by conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, in the constantly shifting dialectic between society and land-based resources. Environmental changes and how they are distributed, experienced and managed reflect the unequal social and economic differential power. Power is relative and the crux of the matter lies in the adverse use, abuse, availability and access of power, in order to make sense of the environmental issues related to power, we have to look at critical social theories, where power is seen as a hierarchy, exploiting and feeding self-interests. Those that possess the power to initiate change seek to create such a change whi... ... middle of paper ... ...mented at the grass root level. Ethnographic accounts have shown potential for cooperation in solving collective problems simply by using local knowledge, locally developed techniques, rules and decision-making processes. Evidences from these accounts suggest that individuals are not merely atomised, but rather monitor resource usage, communicate and work towards mutual interests. Local resource management is rooted in the local knowledge of the environment. Ordinary people doing ordinary things are what will bring about change. Collective action, human labour in environmental metabolism and changing environmental dynamics, that is the social, intellectual, or moral forces that produce activity and change in the environment, The diversity of perception and knowledge from multiple cultures, and knowledge that has perspective should be considered and appreciated.

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