Resources Science ›› 2018, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (1): 1-10.doi: 10.18402/resci.2018.01.01

• Orginal Article •     Next Articles

Resource utilization under global change: challenges and outlook

Lei SHEN1,2,3(), Shuai ZHONG1,3, Shuhan HU1,3   

  1. 1. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3. Key Laboratory of Carrying Capacity Assessment for Resource and Environment, Ministry of Land and Resources, Beijing 100083, China)
  • Received:2017-11-07 Revised:2018-01-10 Online:2018-01-20 Published:2018-01-20


In the last decade, global change has become a leading research area in geoscience, ecological science and environmental science. Tools such as geodesign, big data, cloud computing, material flow and resource flow analysis, resource metabolism and industrial ecology have been applied to global change. The study of resource utilization requires continual innovation to create new perspectives, methodologies and approaches. This study illustrates the diversity and complexity of global change, analyzes the overall challenge of resource utilization, and presents an outlook on China’s coping strategies and prospects. First, global change not only indicates climate change but also covers the changes in earth systems caused by natural and humanistic elements at a global scale. Second, resource and environment systems are an important component of earth life-supporting systems, it is implied that the impacts at the global scale have been changed from a single economic level to the multi-levels involving economic, social, political, resource, environmental and technological factors, with interactive processes, and these processes have been shaped with more complex characteristics in speed, span, depth and strength. Third, it is widely believed that seven common challenges occurred in resource utilization would lead to a new pattern of global resource governance, even though different resources (mining, energy, water, grain) have different challenges with various features. Fourth, China should implement a two-pronged strategy targeting both external and internal objectives: external objective should be the Belt and Road Initiative to establish a new system of global resource governance for guaranteeing resource supply security; the internal objective should rely on the innovation-driven strategy of the 13th Five-Year Plan to guarantee resource demand security.

Key words: global change, resource utilization, global resource governance, domestic and foreign challenges, China’s strategies;