‘Regions in transformation’ refers to areas undergoing significant political, socioeconomic, or environmental changes. The changes are not only strongly interlinked but also highly relevant in the context of establishing strategies for sustainable development. Drivers of the transformation processes can take many forms, such as (geo-)political changes (e.g., the transition from socialist regimes to free democratic societies), economic transitions (e.g., from mining-oriented towards service-oriented), demographic trends (e.g., migration losses), and changes in settlement patterns (e.g., rapid urbanisation). Transformations can also be induced by major global and regional environmental changes, including the atmosphere, pedosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere, and global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The research programme, ‘Resource Nexus for Regions in Transformation’, aims at the development and assessment of strategies to implement Resource Nexus perspectives in regions undergoing significant changes. Over time, different regional archetypes would be considered.
In the context of regional transformation processes, the Resource Nexus provides a conceptual approach for analysing changes, developing future scenarios and strategies, and evaluating their implementation by considering their impacts on different natural resources. A Resource Nexus approach helps increase understanding of the interlinkages, synergies, and trade-offs between different resource goals, which enables the holistic assessment of resource use and management.
Considering regions undergoing various transformations worldwide, including the Global South, the programme promotes the development and implementation of Resource Nexus approaches for managing regional change in an integrated way, that would result in: