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Special Issue "Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places"

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A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2010)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Dean Carson

Population and Tourism Studies Group, School for Social and Policy Research, Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory 0909, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable rural communities; tourism and economic development; population mobility; policy responses to disadvantage; population responses to critical incidents

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Remote areas are those with low population densities and distant from major population centres and transport routes. This Special Issue is concerned with the sustainability of human settlement in these places. Human settlement has long been under pressure as a result of limited infrastructure, small local markets, extreme climates, and difficulties in accessing food and shelter. More recently, global climate change, high rates of out-migration, and changes in the nature of resource economies have added to the challenges that people face in living in remote areas. We are seeking submission which explore the challenges to human habitation, and which report on community, industry, and policy interventions which have helped to address these challenges. Some of the key themes include: population ageing, globalisation, Indigenous habitation, gender roles, health status, generational change, migration, climate change, economic development, and transport and infrastructure. We are interested in the range of populations who inhabit remote areas – permanent residents, tourists, seasonal and short term workers, amenity migrants, fly-in/ fly-out workers and so on. We are interested in aspects of environmental, social, cultural, and economic sustainability. Case studies, comparative studies, and conceptual papers are all welcome.

Dr. Dean Carson
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • remoteness
  • demography
  • economic geography
  • community resilience
  • migration

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Improving the Net Benefits from Tourism for People Living in Remote Northern Australia
Sustainability 2010, 2(7), 2197-2218; doi:10.3390/su2072197
Received: 6 June 2010 / Revised: 27 June 2010 / Accepted: 29 June 2010 / Published: 15 July 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (331 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tourism can be an important source of livelihoods at a destination level. Yet, while there are economic benefits associated with more tourists, there can also be costs to destinations in the form of negative environmental and social impacts. This paper illustrates tourism-related dilemmas
[...] Read more.
Tourism can be an important source of livelihoods at a destination level. Yet, while there are economic benefits associated with more tourists, there can also be costs to destinations in the form of negative environmental and social impacts. This paper illustrates tourism-related dilemmas for two remote regions within Australia’s tropical savannas where increasing visitor numbers are straining not only the very environmental assets that attract tourist, but also the host communities. The paper draws on research conducted under the auspices of the Tropical Savannas Management Cooperative Research Centre. Tourism impacts on the regions are described and, where possible, quantified and distributional effects discussed. Evidence is provided that host populations in the remote of Australia’s tropical savannas are willing to trade off environmental and social costs for economic benefits, but that this situation may not be ecologically sustainable. The regions are parts of much larger destinations and consequently peripheral to their concerns. The onus for sustainable tourism and regional development strategies therefore falls on local decision makers. The research presented here provides a framework for local decision makers and stakeholders to ask questions, collect relevant data, and proceed with informed debates and choices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)
Open AccessArticle Planning for Community Based Tourism in a Remote Location
Sustainability 2010, 2(7), 1909-1923; doi:10.3390/su2071909
Received: 26 May 2010 / Revised: 6 June 2010 / Accepted: 16 June 2010 / Published: 1 July 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (175 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Remote areas are difficult to access, tend to lack critical infrastructure, are highly susceptible to shocks in the marketplace, and are perceived by industry to possess limited development opportunities. Accordingly a community orientated and territorial approach to development planning in a remote area
[...] Read more.
Remote areas are difficult to access, tend to lack critical infrastructure, are highly susceptible to shocks in the marketplace, and are perceived by industry to possess limited development opportunities. Accordingly a community orientated and territorial approach to development planning in a remote area will be more successful than a top down industry based approach [1]. Given the limitations of being remote, the case study community examined in this research manages and sustains a bird watching tourism product within a global market place. This paper examines how a remotely located community in the Arfak Mountains of West Papua overcomes these difficulties and plans for community based tourism (CBT) in their locale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)
Open AccessArticle Hot Spots and Not Spots: Addressing Infrastructure and Service Provision through Combined Approaches in Rural Scotland
Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1719-1741; doi:10.3390/su2061719
Received: 11 May 2010 / Revised: 5 June 2010 / Accepted: 7 June 2010 / Published: 17 June 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is widespread acceptance that the absence or presence of infrastructure and services in rural areas can lead to cycles of decline or resilience in these localities. It is also accepted that in remoter areas, population sparsity leads to a higher unit cost
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There is widespread acceptance that the absence or presence of infrastructure and services in rural areas can lead to cycles of decline or resilience in these localities. It is also accepted that in remoter areas, population sparsity leads to a higher unit cost for delivery of services and infrastructure, and that private sector providers do not find such areas attractive for investment. At the same time, there is a reduction in spending capability within the public sector due to the significant impact of economic crisis on their resource base, affecting provision of services. How are these seemingly intractable challenges being addressed? Using an interpretive policy analysis approach [1] and narrative tools, the storyline of policy statements, approaches and policies in Scotland is presented and discussed, within a wider European setting. This is complemented by a brief presentation of public-private and third sector initiatives in response to service and infrastructure challenges in rural Scotland. The paper concludes with the argument that we are facing two alternatives—the current “hot spots” and “not spots” pattern of provision, where the fittest survive, or further shifts towards strategic, cross-sectoral investment which gives scope for more cohesive development for rural communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)
Open AccessArticle Virtual Realities: How Remote Dwelling Populations Become More Remote Over Time despite Technological Improvements
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1282-1296; doi:10.3390/su2051282
Received: 8 April 2010 / Revised: 27 April 2010 / Accepted: 3 May 2010 / Published: 10 May 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For those who have access to them, technologies of various sorts play a key role in maintaining connections between small and geographically dispersed settlements and to the wider World. For technologies to work in remote areas, there must be a framework of adaptability
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For those who have access to them, technologies of various sorts play a key role in maintaining connections between small and geographically dispersed settlements and to the wider World. For technologies to work in remote areas, there must be a framework of adaptability which ensures that users can adapt their practices to suit the new technology, technologies can be customised for local conditions, and an institutional infrastructure (including a regulatory environment) allows these adaptations to occur. In recent times, remote Australia’s “power to persuade” government to consider its needs when designing regulatory environments has diminished as a result of the changing nature of remote economies. This paper uses two case examples—that of air transport technology and that of communications technology—to demonstrate how a poor regulatory environment in effect increases the isolation of remote settlements. In the case of air transport, over regulation has made the cost of adoption and access too high for many remote dwellers. In the case of communications technology, de-regulation has made it difficult for remote dwellers to demand equity of access to infrastructure. We conclude by suggesting that regulatory systems need to be more aware of the unique conditions facing remote populations. Research into the persistently low rates of technology adoption in remote areas needs to be more cognizant of the regulatory adaptability aspect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)
Open AccessArticle Fly-in/Fly-out: Implications for Community Sustainability
Sustainability 2010, 2(5), 1161-1181; doi:10.3390/su2051161
Received: 22 March 2010 / Revised: 7 April 2010 / Accepted: 27 April 2010 / Published: 29 April 2010
Cited by 40 | PDF Full-text (421 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
“Fly-in/fly-out” is a form of work organization that has become the standard model for new mining, petroleum and other types of resource development in remote areas. In many places this “no town” model has replaced that of the “new town.” The work system
[...] Read more.
“Fly-in/fly-out” is a form of work organization that has become the standard model for new mining, petroleum and other types of resource development in remote areas. In many places this “no town” model has replaced that of the “new town.” The work system has both beneficial and adverse implications for the sustainability of both existing communities near new resource developments and for the more distant communities from which workers are drawn. This paper explores these outcomes drawing upon examples from North America and Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)
Open AccessArticle Cultural Resilience—The Roles of Cultural Traditions in Sustaining Rural Livelihoods: A Case Study from Rural Kandyan Villages in Central Sri Lanka
Sustainability 2010, 2(4), 1080-1100; doi:10.3390/su2041080
Received: 1 March 2010 / Revised: 9 March 2010 / Accepted: 11 March 2010 / Published: 21 April 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (171 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The reasons for the significance of cultural values are complex and many advocacy groups have not successfully provided clear explanations for and convincing arguments in favor of prioritizing cultural values in the development processes. The aim of this paper is to examine the
[...] Read more.
The reasons for the significance of cultural values are complex and many advocacy groups have not successfully provided clear explanations for and convincing arguments in favor of prioritizing cultural values in the development processes. The aim of this paper is to examine the roles played by culture in relation to livelihood resilience, posing the question of how cultural traditions might potentially offer alternatives/adaptive strategies, not only to strength livelihood assets of rural communities, but also in generating new opportunities during vulnerabilities caused by economic, social and political changes. Rural Kandyan communities afford us a good example of “cultural resilience”, relying on longstanding cultural traditions for their survival. This paper shows how culture and traditional values strengthen livelihood resilience and argues that while the impulse for change may come from external influences, adaptation comes from within, through dynamics, which are specific to values of the people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Human Populations in Remote Places)

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