Natural resources from nature are used for human activities and do not require human intervention for their formation or manufacturing. The management of natural resources determines the survival of humans and other life forms on the planet. Land, water, fossil fuel, animals, minerals, sunlight, and air are some natural resources.
Water is essential for the maintenance and health of humankind and other species for agriculture and many industries, and it is a sink for waste discharges. Coastal and marine ecosystems include the most diverse and productive habitats, and marine fisheries are part of the food supply.
Ecological processes sustain soil productivity, recycle nutrients, purify air and water, and control climatic cycles, among other things.
At the genetic level, the diversity in natural life forms supports the breeding programs necessary for protecting and improving cultivated plants and domesticated animals, which safeguards food security.
Proper management of natural resources can improve the quality of life of the world’s population and can make invaluable contributions to sustainable growth.
We detailed the management of natural resources.
Table of Contents
Necessity of management of natural resources
Management of natural resources ensures the environment is in balance. The various components of the environment are interconnected, and an imbalance created by overconsumption of these resources upsets the equilibrium, harming all types of life forms directly or indirectly.
- Food, raw materials, and fuel for manufacturing are all made from natural resources.
- Plants and animals provide food for human consumption
- Natural resources such as natural gas, coal, and oil provide heat, light, and power
- Natural resources are also the raw materials used to make items such as toothbrushes and lunch boxes, clothing, automobiles, televisions, computers, and refrigerators
Types of management of natural resources
Renewable and non-renewable natural resources
Regardless of how many renewable sources we use, these sources are always available in nature. After use, they can be restored or replaced.
Vegetation, water, and air are examples of renewable resources. Animals are also renewable resources and breed to generate offspring to replace older animals.
Although these resources are renewable, replacing them could take ten to a hundred years.
- Organic, renewable resources originate from living things such as animals and plants;
- Inorganic renewable resources originate from non-living things such as the sun, water, and wind.
When used or destroyed, non-renewable resources cannot be replaced or recovered.
Minerals and fossil fuels are examples of such management of natural resources. Minerals are classified as non-renewable because they are formed naturally through the geological cycle and require thousands of years for their creation. Because they are on the point of extinction, some animals, especially endangered species, may be classified as non-renewable.
Biotic and abiotic natural resources
Natural resources are from the biosphere and are known as biotic natural resources (organic and living materials). These include animals, woods (vegetation), decomposed organic matter, fossil fuels like petroleum, oil, coal Etc.
The non-organic and non-living management of natural resources are referred to as abiotic natural resources. Water, land, air, and heavy metals such as iron, copper, silver, gold, etc., are examples of abiotic natural resources.
Stock Natural Resources
Natural resources highly abundant in the environment but cannot be used because of inadequate essential expertise or technology are known as stock natural resources. Hydrogen is an example of a natural resource that is in short supply.
Issues raised by not managing natural resources
Natural resource management prevents the overexploitation of resources such as agriculture, forestry, and fisheries.
- Wanton use of pesticides is hazardous to the environment.
- Resource extraction, processing, and usage of natural resources can result in the following:
- Pollution of air, land, and water;
- Disruption or loss of ecosystems;
- Reduction in biodiversity.
Humans use natural resources to satisfy their requirements, directly and indirectly.
Satisfying the needs of the individual by effectively using and managing natural resources is critical. However, each individual must also pay attention to the common welfare and maintain the environment, which is a right all people have.
Development of management of natural resources
Pollution and other environmental issues have become crucial to long-term economic growth. Because of the tradeoff between nature and society, the impact of natural resources on society is as old as human activities.
Economic activities (production, exchange, and consumption) cause environmental problems. The depletion of finite renewable and non-renewable natural resources poses questions on the long-term viability of economic rents derived from resource exploitation.
Economic growth is a long-term goal and is dependent on improving technology. Institutional and ideological adaptations are essential for long-term economic and social well-being.
For satisfying human necessities, management of natural resources has a limited direct economic use, but their economic value to society increases when translating into commodities and services.
The transformation of natural resources useful for goods and services occurs through a mix of productive activities. The activities are performed by diverse sectors of the economy, moving to achieve sustainable growth, which is the foundation for sustainable development.
Degradation of natural resources
A quarter of the world’s total land area is degrading. Land degradation is one of the most serious environmental issues, and it will worsen without immediate action. Land degradation releases soil carbon and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere, rendering it one of the contributions to climate change.
Water resources degradation
Water, like other natural resources, is a finite but renewable resource and is a necessary component of the environment. Water preservation is vital for improving biodiversity and environmental quality.
India’s water resources are under severe biotic and abiotic stress. Most rivers, lakes, tanks, and ponds are contaminated, and groundwater aquifers in most dry and semi-arid regions have been over-exploited to exhaustion or depletion. As a result, the water quantity has decreased considerably, reducing the amount of water accessible for drinking and agriculture.
‘Biodiversity’, also known as ‘biological diversity’, refers to variance in all life forms on Earth or within an area or ecosystem. Biodiversity states the total number of species in the area of interest or the genetic diversity within a species.
Genetic diversity, species diversity, and environmental diversity are the three types of biodiversities. Genetic information stored in every animal, plant, and microbe species on the planet is genetically diverse, and the number of species in a system is species diversity.
Laws dealing with the protection of natural resources
Various legislations deal with the protection and use of natural resources in India. These legislations regulate the use of natural resources to achieve sustainable development. Let us discuss a few legislations:
- The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
- The Environment Protection Act, 1986
- The Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, etc.
The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010: This act was enacted to establish a National Green Tribunal for expeditious resolving disputes related to the protection and conservation of forest and natural resources. The act aids in compensating damages and enforcement of any legal right.
The Air (prevention and control of pollution) Act, 1981: This act was brought to curb air pollution and activities leading to the cause of the same and acts in this regard to prevent the air degradation.
The Water (prevention and control of pollution) Act, 1974: The water act brought in 1974 aimed to keep a check on the water pollution and activities. The act aimed to restore the water bodies in the country. The aim of reducing water pollution is to increase the extraction of resources beneath the water’s surface and protect living beings inside these water bodies.
The Environment Protection Act, 1986: The act is critical in protecting the overall environment, including all natural resources.
The act is aimed to establish a framework for achieving sustainable environmental growth and achieving environmental safety. This legislation works in a wider aspect, including protecting air and water resources and checking their pollution.
Management of natural resources is vital in everyday life, economy, and agriculture. We rely on them for our farming techniques and the products and services we consume daily.
Government must perform the critical duty of providing necessary services and directing the activity of economic agents to ensure alignment with policies for long-term growth.
A responsible administration ensures the formulation and execution of policies promoting intergenerational economic and social welfare for the benefit of both current and future generations, which is a prerequisite for long-term growth.
What are renewable resources?
A renewable resource may be used again and not depleted because it is refilled organically.
What are non-renewable resources?
A non-renewable resource is a natural resource that does not regenerate itself at the same rate as used and has a limited supply.
What are the types of natural resources management?
Natural resources management is of the following types:
- Renewable and non-renewable,
- Biotic and abiotic,
- Stock natural resources
What are the uses of natural resources management?
Minerals, forest products, water, and soil are some examples of natural resources management.
Why is management of natural resources important?
Natural resource management is used to describe a plan for dealing with renewable and nonrenewable resources. Natural resources such as land, soil, water, plants, and animals are affected by global warming, overcrowding, industrial expansion.