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Resources and Sustainable Utilization

A section of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

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Sustainable utilization of resources has been central to the sustainability agenda since the beginning. Oral traditions in rural societies have recognized the need to sustain renewable resources since ancient times, and a written tradition exploring the conditions that would ensure sustainable harvest from forests and fisheries goes back more than two centuries. Theories of optimal depletion of exhaustible resources appeared more recently and led to speculation that human welfare could be sustained if renewable resources were substituted for depleted exhaustibles. The value of environmental quality and the concept of waste assimilation capacity as a resource to be managed have been taken seriously since the mid-twentieth century. Resources and sustainable utilization remain a core component of a coherent sustainability agenda, with relevance at the macro level—how do the essential concepts of sustainability fit together and move us forward?—and the micro level, where the details and particulars of sustainable utilization are studied theoretically and empirically.

As a Section of the Sustainability journal, “Resources and Sustainable Utilization” aims to encourage and publish excellent research on topics ranging from the macro to the micro, using concepts and methods from the sciences and engineering to ethics and aesthetics, with a vast set of disciples in between—for example. geography, social sciences, economics, planning, and management. The organizing principle is that contributions to this Section should have implications, of one kind or another, for sustainable use.

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