The cumulative dimensions of impact in resource regions
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The development of mineral and energy resources worldwide has placed pressure on regional environments, economies and communities. The cumulative impacts, or cumulative effects, arising from overlapping development have stretched political systems that have traditionally been geared toward the regulation and management of individual resource developments, presenting challenges for policy makers, resource developers and civil society actors. An equally challenging task has been realisation of the potential development dividends of mineral and energy resources in the areas of business development, infrastructure, human development or the management of resource revenues. This paper introduces a special issue on 'Understanding and Managing Cumulative Impacts in Resource Regions'. The special issue interrogates the effectiveness of new and traditional policy responses, explores methods and strategies to better respond to cumulative impacts, and details practical examples of collaborative and coordinated approaches. Papers cover a range of environmental, economic and social issues, geographical regions, commodities, and conceptual approaches. This introductory paper introduces the cumulative impact issues that have manifest in resource regions, critically appraises current conceptions of cumulative impacts, and details management and policy responses to address the cumulative dimensions of impact. © 2013.
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