Alexander, David Department of Geosciences, Morrill Science Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts.
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- Management techniques
- Environmental challenges
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The development of strategies to allocate and conserve resources, with the ultimate goal of regulating the impact of human activities on the surrounding environment. Environmental management is a mixture of science, policy, and socioeconomic applications. It focuses on the solution to the practical problems that humans encounter in cohabitation with nature, exploitation of resources, and production of waste (Fig. 1). In a purely anthropocentric sense, the central problem is how to permit technology to evolve continuously while limiting the degree to which this process alters natural ecosystems. Environmental management is thus intimately intertwined with questions regarding limiting economic growth, ensuring an equitable distribution of consumable goods, and conserving resources for future generations. Environmental management is a response to the increasing seriousness of the human impact on natural ecosystems. With a smaller global population base and a less pervasive use of technology, the environment might be able to recuperate on its own from human misuse; however, in many cases, it is now widely recognized that positive intervention is necessary if the environment is to recover. See also: Adaptive management; Conservation of resources; Ecology; Ecosystem; Environment; Environmental engineering; Industrial ecology; Water conservation
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