1. Natural Resource: It is the stock of nature such as air, water, soil, minerals, coal, petroleum, forest and wildlife that are useful to mankind in many ways.
2. Pollution: It is defined as the undesirable change in physical, chemical or biological characteristics of our soil, air or water which harmfully affect human lives or the lives of other species.
3. Three R’s to Save the Environment: We can reduce pressure on the environment by applying the maxim of ‘Reduce, Recycle and Reuse’ in our lives.
Reduce: This means ‘ to use less: By switching off unnecessary lights and fans to save electricity. By repairing leaking taps to save water. By not wasting food.
Recycle: This means to collect plastic, paper, glass and metal items and recycle this material to make required things. In order to recycle, firstly segregation of waste is necessary so that materials that can be recycled are not dumped along with other wastes.
Reuse: This means ‘ to use thins again and again’. The used envelopes can be reversed and used again instead of throwing away. The plastic bottles of food items like jam or pickle can be used for storing things in the kitchen.
4. Natural resources are materials and component that can be found within the environment. A natural resource may exist as a separate entity such as fresh water, and air, as well as a living organism such as a fish, or it may exist in an alternate form which must be processed to obtain the resource such as metal ores, oil, and most forms of energy. They can be classified as renewable and non renewable source of energy. Natural resources are considered renewable if they can be replenished within a relatively short period of time like forests, wildlife. Non renewable resources must be considered gone forever once used up because they take millions of years to regenerate like coal, petroleum.
5. Management of Natural Resources is necessary so that these may last for the generations to come and are not exploited for short term gains.
6. Wildlife: It means all those naturally occurring animals, plants and their species which are not cultivated domesticated and tamed.
7. Conservation: It is the sensible use of the earth’s natural resources in order to avoid excessive degradation and betterment of the environment. It includes – the search for alternative food and fuel supplies when these are endangered, an awareness of the dangers of pollution and the maintenance and preservation of natural habitats and its biodiversity.
8. The stakeholders of wildlife are :
i) People who live in and around forests and depends on forest products.
ii)The forest department of Government responsible for managing the forest.
iii)The people involved in business, who use forest produce for commercial purpose.
iv)The wildlife and nature activist is one who are involved in wildlife and nature conservation.
9. A biodiversity hotspot is termed to the specific forests consisting of the richest diversity of species including most rare and prior to extinct species. There are two biodiversity hotspots in India – Eastern Himalayas and the Western Ghats.
10. Sustainable Development. It is the development which can be maintained for a long time without undue damage to the environment. The objective of sustainable development is to provide the economic well being of the present and the future generations and to maintain a healthy environment and life support system.
11. The Chipko movement is a Socio-ecological movement that practised the Gandhian methods of nonviolent resistance, through the act of hugging trees to protect them from being felled. The modern Chipko movement started in the early 1970s in the Uttarkhand. The landmark event in this struggle took place on March 26, 1974, when a group of female peasants from Uttarkhand, India, acted to prevent the cutting of trees and reclaim their traditional forest rights. By the 80s, the movement spread throughout India, and led to the formulation of people sensitive forest policies and stopping of open felling of trees in regions as far reaching as Vindhyas and the Western Ghats.
12. Dams: They are massive barriers built across rivers and streams to confine and utilise the flow of water for human purposes such as irrigation and generation of electricity. Large dams can also ensure the storage of adequate water. Canal system leading form dams transfer a large quantity of water great distances eg. Indira Gandhi Canal of Rajasthan brought greenery to considerable areas.
13. Purposes of Building a Dam: (i) Generation of electricity (ii) Irrigation (iii) Control flooding which either stops or slows the amount of water in the river.
14. Criticisms about large dams address three problems in particular –
(i) Social problems because they displace a large number of peasants and tribals without adequate compensation or rehabilitation,
(ii) Economic problems because they swallow up huge amounts of public money without the generation of proportionate benefits,
(iii) Environmental problems because they contribute enormously to deforestation and the loss of biological diversity.
15. Watershed management: It means scientific conservation of soil and water to increase the biomass production. Watershed management not only increases the production and income of the watershed community but also overcomes drought and flood. It increases the life of downstream dams and reservoirs.
16. Water Harvesting: it means capturing rainwater where it falls or capturing the runoff in a local area and taking measures to keep the water clean by not allowing polluting activities to take place.
17. Techniques of Water Harvesting: Water harvesting techniques are mainly location specific. Due to own control of the local population overexploitation of the local water resources is reduced. Some of the water harvesting techniques are – (i) Capturing of runoff from roofs tops; (ii) Capturing of runoff from local catchment (iii) Capturing seasonal flood water from local streams.
18. The benefit of Water Harvesting:
(i) Provide drinking water.
(ii) Provide irrigation water
(iii) Increase in groundwater resources
(iv) Reduces stormwater discharge, urban flood and overloading of sewage treatment plants.
19. Various ancient methods of water harvesting
Khadin, tanks, Nadis Rajasthan
Bandharas, Tals Maharashtra
Bundhis Madhya Pradesh and U.P.
Pynes, Ahars Bihar
Kulhs Himachal Pradesh
Ponds Jammu Region
Eris (tanks) Tamil Nadu
Bawlis – old method of water harvesting in Delhi and nearby region. These techniques are local, specific to ensure the mismanagement and over-exploitation of these resources.
20. Advantages of Khadin System :
a) Water does not evaporate.
b) Recharge wells and moisture for vegetation.
c) does not provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
d) Groundwater is protected from human and animal waste.
21. Fossil Fuels: These fuels are obtained from the remains of plants and animals, which go buried beneath the earth millions of ears age, change into cola, petroleum and natural gas due to excessive heat and high pressure inside the earth.
22. Coal and petroleum were formed from the degradation of bio-mass millions of years ago and hence these are resources that will be exhausted in the future no matter how carefully we use them.
23. When combustion takes place in insufficient air (oxygen), then carbon monoxide is formed instead of carbon dioxide. Of these products, the oxides of sulphur and nitrogen and carbon monoxide are poisonous at high concentrations and carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas
24. Another way of looking at coal and petroleum is that they are huge reservoirs of carbon and if all of this carbon is converted to carbon dioxide, then the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is going to increase leading to increase global warming due to greenhouse effect. Thus, we need to use these resources judiciously.
25. Some simple choices can make a difference in our energy consumption patterns. Think over the relative advantages, disadvantages and environment-friendliness of the following –
(i) Taking a bus, using your personal vehicle or walking/cycling.
(ii) Using bulbs or fluorescent tubes in your homes.
(iii) Using the lift or taking the stairs.
(iv) Wearing an extra sweater or using a heating device (heater or ‘sigri’) on cold days.
A short collection of terms and topics on Management of Natural Resources is here to help you understand what is sustainable development and terms like it. Take a dip and read. All comments are welcome.