Gereon Janzing, geobotánico y etnobotánico
Gereon Janzing, geobotánico y etnobotánico

Resource management

In resource managament ecology and economy come together. The natural resources are used in a certain way, best in a sustainable way, that the same way of using resources can go on for generations. The research of resource management is part of cultural ecology.

Among the resources to be managed, there are soil (quality and area), plants, animals, minerals, water, air, energy and also human resources (labour force, knowledge ...). In capitalist economics there is a tendency to treat labour force as something to be done away with, in economic geography and cybernetics it is ususally considered a resource.

Important for any group is the management of food resources. In industrial surplus societies has been established a waste of resources, both by throwing away food and by feeding plant products to animals. From the animals, a lot less energy comes out than has been put in with the plants. So the intensive production of meat and other animal products is a waste of energy. On the other hand, there have been forms of extensive use of animal products for millennia without wasting energy. For example when the animals graze and look for their own grass, not suitable for human use, maybe even in an area not suitable to grow vegetables. Or when pigs eat kitchen waste, things we humans do not want to eat. Of course, in all these cases a lot less meat is consumed than in the industrial society. And honey is a product from bees which makes the energy of the nectar accessible for us, without bees it would not be accessible because we would use more energy to collect the nectar than we can get out of it.

French: gestion de ressources