Critical Resources

Resources are "the total means available for economic and political development, such as mineral wealth, labor force, and armaments; an available supply that can be drawn on when needed." (dictionary.com). The human ecosystem framework identifies a set of critical resources which are required in order to provide any human system with necessary supplies. These resources are of three kinds:

  1. natural resources such as energy, fauna, flora, or water
  2. socioeconomic resources such as labor or capital
  3. cultural resources such as myths and beliefs

These resources keep the human ecosystem functioning; their flow and distribution are critical to sustainability. Some critical resources may be indigenous to the local area, and used locally or exported. Others may be imported from adjacent or faraway locales. For example, urban sources of investment capital and national media sources of information are integral parts of rural human ecosystems, as are other distantly produced, but critical, supplies.

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