Marginal locations need an integrated approach
Certain regions of the world are at such a disadvantage
with respect to their endowment with natural resources that
they can be considered marginal locations in terms of settlement
and utilization of resources. This includes semiarid and arid
regions with no means of irrigation, highland and mountain
regions with little precipitation, but also areas with unfavourable
transport facilities. Usually the whole system is quite unstable
and offers little resistance to human intervention; sometimes,
however, the system also shows great powers of regeneration,
if the damage has not progressed too far.
The people in these areas have learned to live with their
environment. In our modern age, a long-existing "sustainability",
i.e., the utilization of resources within the framework of
the ecologically determined utilization potential, has been
violated due to population growth and pressure to increase
production using means that are no longer ecologically sound,
which often results in the destruction of resources. The ecological
carrying capacity of these areas is no longer adequate for
the existing population, and it is hardly possible for the
inhabitants to take part in the general economic development.
What can be done here? How can the people in these areas be
helped to raise their income and increase their opportunities?
Four strategies can be applied: