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Resource Tenure

  • By: Richard Howitt
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Legal tenure arrangements for natural resources such as minerals, fisheries, forest products, petroleum, among others, are fundamental to economic relationships in any human society and the cultural landscapes they create. At any geographical scale, claims to resources and systems to manage and use them must address the economic, environmental, cultural, and political dimensions of resources and the places in which they occur.

Geographically uneven distribution of natural resources is a key spatial characteristic of the environment. Social, political, and cultural responses to this spatial differentiation are fundamental to the proposition that geography continues to matter in the contemporary world, where it is often suggested that globalization foreshadows the “end of history” and the “end of geography.”

Resource geographies demonstrate that access to, control of, and identification with ...

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