The development of the region’s economy and its management largely depends on the size and effectiveness of the use of its resource potential. The resource potential of the region is understood as a set of all types of resources formed in a given territory, which can be used in the process of social production.
The resource potential of the region is divided into environmental, social and economic. In addition, the integral or aggregate potential of the region is highlighted.
The ecological (natural resource) potential of the region is natural resources that are theoretically available for use at a given level of technology development and socio-economic relations, taking into account the acceptable (maximum permissible) anthropogenic load on the territory.
Natural resources are:
targeted, i.e. designed to perform certain functions. Their features are uneven distribution throughout the country, concentration in certain regions, sources, deposits (for example, iron ore, bauxite, marl, etc.); multi-purpose, i.e. consumed everywhere. It should be pointed out that many multi-purpose natural resources are also ubiquitous and distributed, although their quality, properties, distribution density are geographically differentiated (land, water, fuel, energy, etc.).
To characterize natural resources, indicators such as quantity (reserves), quality (useful element content, land fertility, fuel caloric content, etc.), availability (depth of occurrence, cost of production, etc.) are used. It is important to point out that natural resources are not only some specific materially tangible objects, but also environmental conditions in the aggregate, in a complex (for example, agroclimatic conditions, seismic hazard, etc.). A comprehensive assessment of the state of the environment makes it possible to comprehensively take into account all the natural resources that the region possesses, i.e. to assess its integral, aggregate ecological (natural resource) potential.
When managing the resource potential of the region, it is necessary to take into account the territorial division of resources. In particular, indivisible natural resources, which include, above all, atmospheric air and water resources, are dynamic and capable of transboundary transport and are therefore very little managed. Other components of the environment – land, flora, fauna, subsoil – refer to divisible resources, being objects of management in a particular territory.
The social potential of the region is a set of opportunities available to the territorial entity (region) to achieve the main goal of its development – to ensure the most favorable living conditions for the population. The social potential of the region is largely determined by the development of the social complex of the territory, which includes, first of all, the social infrastructure (housing, educational institutions, healthcare, culture, etc.) and the demographic situation in the region.
The economic potential of the region, largely predetermined by its social and environmental components, reflects the level of development of the productive forces of the region, its ability to produce products, perform work and provide services. The economic potential consists of production, scientific and technical, educational, export, as well as the potential of interregional cooperation.
The main elements that determine the economic potential of the region are:
human resources; production facilities; infrastructure; natural resources and environmental conditions.
The provision of a region with labor resources (their number, level of education, qualifications) depends on the state of its social potential, and natural resources – on the environment. A special place in the formation of the economic potential of the region is occupied by infrastructure, which includes auxiliary, servicing industries that ensure the uninterrupted effective functioning of other spheres of human activity and industries. A distinction is made between production, management, market, social and environmental infrastructure depending on the areas of activity they serve.