Volume 8, Issue 3 (12-2021)                   2021, 8(3): 1-16 | Back to browse issues page

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Alijani B. Geography and sustainable development. Journal title 2021; 8 (3) :1-16
URL: http://jsaeh.khu.ac.ir/article-1-3251-en.html
khu , alijani@khu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (3025 Views)
Geography and the Paradigm of Sustainable Development
Extended Abstract
Geography and sustainable development
The relation between society and environment has gone through different phases. During the years before the World War II, the environmental determinism controlled this relation. However, after the 1950’s the anthropocentrism replaced the environmental determinism and humans began to overuse the nature in such a way that nature lost its sustainability and many hazards and crises occurred. These destructions were so intense and widespread that some researchers compared with the episodes of geologic time and named the era beginning from 1970’s the Anthropocene epoch. During this period, the planetary boundaries were crossed in some areas such climate change, nitrogen cycle and biodiversity. Climate change has created most of other hazards.
To overcome these problems in 1978 the Brandtland report   announced the sustainable development as not to spend resources more than the nature’s production capacity and not to pollute the nature more than it can assimilate. In other words, the nature should remain in its sustainable state so that the future generations can live with no limitations. The principles of the sustainable development were defined in the earth summit of Rio in 1992 such as social equity, economic viability, and environmental sustainability. These principles were broken down in 17 goals. The Rio conference asked all countries to achieve the sustainable development goals by 2030. 
Methodologically the sustainable development requires integrated multidisciplinary approach to investigate the complex system of human- environment in different temporal and spatial scales to achieve the social equity, economic viability, and environmental sustainability. For this reason, many disciplines such as natural resources, environmental sciences, ecology and geography have contributed to the field. Different data from natural resources, human needs and drivers and environmental changes are required to process in very complicated models. In addition to different variables, the hazards are very important component of the sustainable development research, which also requires multi-aspect complicated approach and models. Spatial dependency is another aspect of sustainable development as it differs from place to place in many characteristics. In brief, from the spatial perspective the sustainable development is an integrated multi-approach research about the human-environment system to establish the sustainability on the earth. All of the related fields should study the sustainable development in collaboration with each other. However, the geography due to its long history of studying the relation between human and environment and its spatial dependency is the best single scientific field which can afford studying the sustainable development. Since the earliest times geography has developed quantitative methods, spatial techniques such as geostatistics, and environmental ethics to conserve the nature and human prosperity. The multi approach and systematic works are the main characteristics of Geography. On the other hand, Geography’s vision of defining the location for human’s activities while saving the nature’s sustainability covers the sustainable development completely. Therefore, geography is the overarching field for the sustainable development and it is the main intention of geographers to research and implement the sustainable development to reduce the environmental hazards and develop the sustainable environment for all the human beings at present and in the future. Geography studies the sustainable development through three steps including spatial analysis, spatial planning, and spatial management. In addition, geographers should learn different skills such remote sensing, multivariate statistics and above all develop a common language between different branches of geography.
Keywords: geography, sustainable development, environmental ethics, human nature relationship, Anthropocene, planetary boundaries, sustainability.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2021/08/9 | Accepted: 2021/11/1 | Published: 2021/12/21

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