The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:
You must have heard about the management of natural resources, as it is one of the hot topics of discussion on various platforms. The reason behind this is that most of the natural resources available freely to us are exhaustible. Since humans have started thoughtlessly using them, the amount available in nature has started decreasing. Let us dig deep into sustainable management of natural resources, and cover all aspects of managing natural resources more sustainably.
The 3 simple steps that you must have heard for better utilisation of the natural resources are:
It implies decreasing the excessive or wasteful use of natural resources, such as switching off electrical devices when not in use to save energy, fixing leaky faucets to save water, taking lesser quantities of food at a time to avoid wastage, and so on.
It implies producing materials that can be recycled easily, such as paper, glass, metals, or even plastics. Such wastes are generally requested to be dumped separately, to send them for recycling. Every place should have a mechanism for recycling materials.
A certain amount of energy is needed for recycling materials, but when you implement the strategy of reusing things, instead of throwing them and creating more waste, it is a significant step towards saving resources. Some things which can be reused include envelopes, glass bottles, and so on.
When we are aware of the impact of our small everyday actions on Earth, we will be able to understand the need for adopting sustainable management of natural resources.
Everything we use in our day to day lives is obtained using the resources of the earth. It is only the energy that is obtained from outside, i.e., the sunlight, which is processed by living organisms to sustain themselves and produce food.
Here are the reasons why natural resource management is needed:
Ecological stability is affected negatively when there is a loss in the biodiversity hotspots, i.e. the forests and wildlife. All of us are directly or indirectly dependent on forest resources. Some of the stakeholders in forest conservation are:
Among all the 4 stakeholders mentioned above, only nature and wildlife enthusiasts play a major role in conserving the natural environment. This is evident from the institutionalisation of the ‘Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award for Wildlife Conservation’ by the Govt. of India. It is in the memory of Amrita Devi Bishnoi, who sacrificed her life for the protection of Khejri trees in Khejarli village of Jodhpur in the year 1731.
Dams are built for irrigation and electricity generation. The canal system helps in transferring water to large distances, and ensure greenery in surrounding areas. But the lack of proper management has resulted in unequal water distribution.
Main issues caused by large dams include:
i. Loss of biodiversity and deforestation.
ii. Equivalent benefits are not generated, despite the expenses of building them being high.
iii. Many local people are displaced without enough compensation and rehabilitation.
The industrial revolution led to increased use of coal and petroleum products for energy production to produce daily use goods. Since biomass degradation has resulted in the formation of these two products, they would deplete in the near future even if we use them thoughtfully.
Also, you should know that these are not clean energy resources, and burning them leads to air pollution through the formation of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. This has resulted in a significant increase in global warming.
Some changes in our regular use of natural resource can help us in successfully managing them:
This is done for enhancing the production of biomass through scientific methods of conserving soil and water. It aims at developing land and water resources for procuring secondary resources of animals and plants, such that an ecological balance is maintained.
i. Increase in income.
ii. Efficient management of droughts and floods.
iii. Enhanced life of downstream dam and reservoir.
Some of the indigenous water-saving practices that ensure water for all and avoid over-exploitation of natural resources are as follows:
i. Digging out small lakes and pits, and implementing simple watershed systems.
ii. Building earthen dams.
iii. Construction of dykes and reservoirs using sand and limestone.
iv. Rooftop water collection systems are quite beneficial for collecting rainwater to make sure that there is usable water for all.
i. We must always opt for biodegradable options to avoid harmful waste generation. This includes the need to minimise the use of plastics which are used almost everywhere today.
ii. Switch to cleaner and renewable energy sources; such as hydropower, wind energy, and solar power, and reduce the dependency on coal, petroleum, and natural gas.
iii. Ensuring protection of biodiversity during dam construction, through the creation of wildlife centres and sanctuaries.
The significant rise in human population has resulted in an extensive pressure on the natural resources, because of which they are depleting quickly. This makes natural resource management important. You can refer to the MSVGo app/website for further details on this topic, as there are detailed explanations and video illustrations to ensure better understanding.
How do we manage resources?
The simple way of resource management is to utilize them thoughtfully, and switch to the renewable and cleaner alternatives that are non exhaustible in nature. For example, opting for solar energy for electricity instead of coal, using electric vehicles instead of those running on petrol/diesel, and so on.
What are the 4 types of natural resources?
Water, soil, coal, and natural gas are 4 important natural resources.
What is the effective management of resources?
Using the available resources in an efficient manner to avoid them from getting quickly exhausted is the efficient management of natural resources. For example, we need to opt for renewable natural energy sources such as wind, solar and hydro energy, instead of the non-renewable exhaustible sources like coal, and natural gas, which also lead to air pollution.
Are alternative energy resources reliable?
Yes, alternative renewable energy resources like solar energy, hydro energy, and wind energy can be harnessed to meet our daily needs of power and electricity, and they are reliable because they do not get exhausted even after using them consistently.
This was a brief overview of natural resource management. The environmental problems seem to be numerous, but by adopting safe practices, we can gradually deal with them. Though the national and international organisations are putting efforts towards it, the change must start on our end, and for that, we need to be clear in all the management of natural resources concepts.
You can always refer to the MSVgo app for going through the examples, and sled explanatory visualisations for better understanding the concepts.