Development Process, Planet Earth Resources And Environmental Change

William Rugumamu


This paper provides an exploratory account of the vital importance of
understanding the role of the Planet Earth as a complex system and as
reservoir of natural resources essential for human development from local,
through national, to global levels. Its analytical framework is the political
ecology discourse, which holistically interrogates natural resources,
resource use systems, forms of ownership and labour regimes as well as
types of commodity chains to underscore the role of power and wealth
relations in explaining human well-being and environmental health with a
view to equitably allocate scarce resources among and between competing
individuals, groups, classes and institutions. Aware that environmental
change is inevitable given the forces of both nature and humankind, and
that the current unequal terms of trade at the local level, as well as
between the developed and developing countries, are in disfavour of
smallholders, the paper argues that these should be the burning issues of
concern to the new generation of geographers. It advances that a
consortium of committed scholars composed of social scientists, on the one
hand, and the natural scientists and technologists, on the other, coupled
with community-based development partners should be instituted. The
paper concludes by advocating citizens’ protection against natural resource
use systems subjected to extreme socioeconomic-political-ecologic
vicissitudes to be treated by the government as human rights issues.

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