Biodiversity-(i.e. species and ecosystems with its ecosystem services).
As the world population rises and economic growth occurs, the depletion of natural resources influenced by the unsustainable extraction of raw materials becomes an increasing concern
The carbon cycle - Trees take in carbon dioxide and produces oxygen when photosynthesizing, therefore helping to control the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. So when excessive deforestation occurs, there would not be enough trees to help regulate the carbon dioxide content and the oxygen content in the air, resulting in the level of carbon dioxide in the air rising greatly.The water cycle - Plant takes in water and transpires. If there are fewer trees to transpire, the surrounding area will have lees moisture in the air, resulting in a hotter and drier climate in the future.3. Soil Erosion - The roots of the trees help hold the soil together, the branches and leaves of the trees also helps to shield the soil from rain or sunshine. With the trees gone, there won’t be anymore protection and there will eventually be soil erosion. Soil erosion can cause road blocks, can cause destruction to some small towns and cities and will also remove the fertile layer of soil when it occurs.4. Destruction of animal habitats - Most animals lives in the forest. If the forests are excessively cut down, there will not be anymore place for them to live. Soon these animals will become extinct and will only exist in photographs or zoos or our memories.
1. Quality of agricultural products decreased ----- The quality of agricultural products relies on the nutrient content of the soil in which it is grown in. Due to the depletion of fertile soil, the nutrient content in the soil decreases, thus producing crops which have poor quality. Animals that eat the “low quality” plants will not have the required nutrients to stay healthy. In the long run, the health of humans will degrade due to this fact too.2. Shortage of food ----- When nutrients in the soil run out, the land is no longer suitable for the growth of crops. It may instead become a piece of barren land, not allowing anything to grow on it. If soil in many parts of the world starts to degrade in s produce enough crops to supply enough food to the world’s still growing population. such a condition, we one day may not have enough fertile land to produce enough crops to supply enough food to the world’s still growing population.
Exploitation of Natural
Why Resources are Under
Problems arising from the
Exploitation of Natural
Acid Mine Drainage
Resource Depletion is term used to describe the resources
in a country or area being used up and has no more of the
Resource Depletion includes the depletion of resources
such as trees, oil, fish, fossil fuels, minerals etc.
Once these resources excessive used to the extent that they
cannot be replace in time to fulfill the needs of mankind in
time, they become exhausted and may eventually disappear
from the earth altogether.
Renewable and Non-renewable resources.
Renewable resources such as wind, solar energy, etc are
endless but are generally more expensive than nonrenewable resources.
Non-renewable resources cannot be reused after being used
for the first time, while renewable resources can be reused
even after being used for the first time.
This problem, resource depletion, may be due to the “overpopulating” of the world, or that there are too little
resources in the world.
Causes of Resource Depletion
Over-consumption / excessive or unnecessary use of
Slash and burn agricultural practices
Technological and Industrial Development
Habitat degradation leads to the loss of Biodiversity
Mining for Oil and Minerals
Pollution or Contamination of resources
Exploitation of Natural Resources
The exploitation of natural resources started from 19-20th
century. Today, about 80% of the world’s energy
consumption is sustained by the extraction of fossil fuels,
which consists of oil, coal and gas.
Another non-renewable resource that is exploited by
humans are Subsoil minerals such as valuable metals that
are mainly used in the production of industrial property.
Intensive agriculture is an example of a mode of production
that hinders many aspects of the natural environment, for
example the degradation of forests in a terrestrial ecosystem
and water pollution in an aquatic ecosystem.
Why Resources are Under Pressure
Increase in the complexity of technology enabling natural
resources to be extracted quickly and efficiently.
A rapid increase in population. This leads to greater
demand for natural resources.
Cultures of consumerism. Materialistic views lead to the
mining of gold and diamonds to produce jewelry,
unnecessary property for human life or advancement.
Excessive demand often leads to conflicts due to intense
Non-equitable distribution of resources.
Problems Arising from the Exploitation of
Greenhouse gas increase
Extinction of species
Extinction of rare
Different Types of Resource Depletion
4) Fertile Soil
Trees play an important role in our life. They provide us
with a lot of things such as paper, oxygen, bark, wood,
food, fruits etc.
Now, the rate at which humans cut down trees far exceeds
the rate of both natural reforestation or managed
Currently, we are cutting trees so fast that we are actually
cutting 12 million hectares of forest every year. If there are
no steps taken to stop this action, soon we will lose almost
all our forests in the world.
Impacts of Excessive Deforestation
Actually, deforestation itself is not a bad thing. The
problem now is that we are doing excessive deforestation,
which means that we cut down more trees than we plant
them which will eventually mean running out of trees to cut
and affecting our future living conditions.
1. The Carbon Cycle
2. The Water Cycle
3. Soil Erosion
4. Destruction of Animal Habitats
Hunting animals for their meat
or certain parts of their body
has been carried out for
hundreds of years, since
humans were just cave people.
Instead of killing and hunting
these animals, why
conserve them, if we continue
this rate of hunting, we may not
only upset the balance in the
ecosystem, but also may make a
The Earth is about 70% covered by water, however, out of
that 70%, only about 3% of it is consumable water that we
are able to consume.
Present distributions of this consumable water :
10% Personal use
Sources of Consumable Water
1. Surface Water
2. Ground Water
Causes of Water depletion
2. Wastage of water
Some people like to waste water even though they know
they are doing it.
However, wasting water like that is not helping in the water
Taking water for granted is not a solution. What we can do
is just to do simple water conservation, conserving water
Impact of Consumable Water Depletion
Shortage of freshwater in countries - Currently, the world
has more than 6.2 billion population.
Irrigation - Farming is one of the most important trades in
countries. Without proper water supply, farming would
definitely be harder and might not be able to provide
enough food to sell.
Power plants and factories also need water for cooling
purposes too. Lack of water would mean certain disaster for
these factories and power plants.
This could affect the production of electricity and may also
affect the trade and industry of a country greatly.
Water for personal use - In developing countries like China
and India, growing population may pose a big problem
when the shortage of water arrives.
Without consumable water and proper cleanliness of the
water supply, many people are certainly going to suffer
Soil (Fertile) Depletion
Agriculture is a very important part
of our survival. It provides us a
source of income, and also a source
Due to our growing population, we
have been using up the soil’s
minerals at a very alarming rate.
Some areas are even experiencing
low nutrients content in the soil.
This would eventually lead to poor
quality of crops growing there and
soon, we may experience a shortage
Usually, the soil would fill its nutrient content naturally.
However, the process takes quite a while; we are using the
nutrients of the soil up faster than it can fill itself.
In areas where there was once fertile soil, now it is just a
piece of barren land.
An example is the “fertile crescent”, which is somewhere
around Iraq. It was once a place where many crops could
grow, the soil was full of nutrients, but now much of it is a
Causes of Soil Depletion
There are a few reasons on why the depletion of fertile soil
happens. Some reasons include soil erosion, salinization,
Soil erosion is due to deforestation, because the roots of the
trees are no longer there to hold the soil together, resulting
in soil erosion.
Salinization is the process in which salt enters the soil. It is
actually a natural process, but over the years, human
involvement is causing the salinity of soil to increase.
By building dams and reservoirs, we are disturbing the
water cycle, increasing the salinity of some area.
Impacts of soil (fertile) depletion
1. Quality of agricultural products decreased
2. Shortage of food
Oil is actually fossil fuel, natural
gas, coal, etc. It is burnt in power
plants to produce steam so as to turn
the turbines to give power to the
Using oil to produce electricity in
actual fact makes even more air
People are debating that the effects
of climate change will be a bigger
concern than oil depletion, while
others say that without oil, it would
be harder to fight climate change.
The prices of oil have
recently rose very high. It is
because of oil depletion that
the price of oil per barrel has
According to survey, the
world is using 28 billion
barrels per year. If this
continues, the oil reserves
will run out very fast.
This will eventually become a
global problem as everyone
would be thinking about
alternatives to oil.
Over drafting is the process of extracting groundwater
beyond the safe yield or equilibrium yield of the aquifer.
Since every groundwater basin recharges at a different rate
depending upon precipitation, vegetative cover and soil
conservation practices, the quantity of groundwater that can
be safely pumped varies greatly among regions of the
Some aquifers require a very long time to recharge and thus
the process of over drafting can have high cost of
effectively drying up certain sub-surface water supplies.
Subsidence occurs when excessive groundwater is extracted
from rocks that support more weight when saturated. This
can lead to a capacity reduction in the aquifer.
Consumer capitalism is a theoretical economic and social
manipulated, in a purposeful and coordinated way, on a
very large scale, through mass-marketing techniques, to the
advantage of sellers.
It suggests manipulation of consumer demand so effective
that it has a coercive effect, amounts to a departure from
free-market capitalism, and has an adverse effect on society
Overconsumption is a situation where resource use has
outpaced the sustainable capacity of the ecosystem.
A prolonged pattern of overconsumption leads to expected
environmental degradation and the eventual loss of
Generally the discussion of overconsumption parallels that
of overpopulation; that is the more people, the more
consumption of raw materials to sustain their lives.
Fish kill known also as fish die-off and as fish mortality, is
a localized die-off of fish populations which may also be
associated with more generalized mortality of aquatic life.
The most common cause is reduced oxygen in the water,
which in turn may be due to factors such as drought, algae
bloom, overpopulation, or a sustained increase in water
Infectious diseases and parasites can also lead to fish kill.
Toxicity is a real but far less common cause of fish kill.
Fish kills are often the first visible signs of environmental
stress and are usually investigated as a matter of pressure
by environmental agencies to determine the cause of the
Pollution events may affect fish species and fish age classes
in different ways.
If it is a cold-related fish kill, juvenile fish and species that
are not cold-tolerant may be selectively affected.
A reduction in dissolved oxygen may affect larger
specimens more than smaller fish as these may be able to
access oxygen richer water at the surface, at least for a short
Depleted oxygen levels are the most common cause of fish
kills. In this way eutrophication can have disturbing
consequences for the health of benthic life
Fish kills may result from a variety of causes. Of known
causes, fish kills are most frequently caused by pollution
from agricultural runoff or biotoxins.
Ecological hypoxia (oxygen depletion) is one of the most
common natural causes of fish kills. The hypoxic event
may be brought on by factors such as algae blooms,
droughts, high temperatures and
Fish kills may also occur due to
agricultural and sewage runoff,
oil or hazardous waste spills,
hydraulic fracturing wastewater,
sea-quakes, inappropriate restocking of fish, poaching with
explosions, and other terrible
events that upset a normally
stable aquatic population.
Because of the difficulty and
lack of standard protocol to
investigate fish kills, many fish
kill cases are designated as
having an 'unknown' cause.
Blast fishing or dynamite fishing is the practice of using
explosives to shock or kill schools of fish for easy
This often illegal practice can be extremely destructive to
the surrounding ecosystem, as the explosion often destroys
the underlying habitat that supports the fish.
The frequently unprepared nature of the explosives used
also means danger for the fishermen as well, with accidents
Underwater shock waves produced by the explosion shock
the fish and cause their swim bladders to rupture.
This rupturing causes an unexpected loss of buoyancy; a
small number of fish float to the surface, but most go under
the surface to the sea floor.
The explosions indiscriminately kill large numbers of fish
and other marine organisms in the surrounding area and can
damage or destroy the physical environment, including
extensive damage to coral reefs.
Bottom trawling is trawling along the sea floor. It is also
referred to as "dragging".
The scientific community divides bottom trawling into
benthic trawling and demersal trawling.
Benthic trawling is trawling a net at the very bottom of the
ocean and demersal trawling is trawling a net just above the
Bottom trawling can be contrasted with midwater trawling,
where a net is towed higher in the water column.
Midwater trawling catches pelagic fish such as anchovies,
tuna, and mackerel, whereas bottom trawling targets both
bottom living fish (groundfish) and semi-pelagic species
such as cod, squid, shrimp, and rockfish.
Bottom trawling can be carried out by one trawler or by
two trawlers fishing cooperatively (pair trawling).
Cyanide fishing is a method of collecting live fish mainly
for use in aquariums, which involves spraying a sodium
cyanide mixture into the desired fish's habitat in order to
shock the fish.
The practice hurts not only the target population, but also
many other marine organisms, including coral and thus
Many fishing and diving areas across the world, already
severely damaged from the impact of dynamite fishing,
have been ruined or totally lost through cyanide fishing.
zooxanthellae, which results in coral reefs losing colour; it
also eliminates one of their major food sources. Even at
very low doses, cyanide results in higher mortality levels
Most legal and illegal fishing methods cannot by themselves
destroy a stable ecosystem. However, through the effects of
synergy, they have led to the breakdown of large coastal
areas which were formerly strong fishing grounds.
Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been
left or lost in the ocean by fishermen.
These nets, often nearly invisible in the
dim light, can be left tangled on a rocky
reef or drifting in the open sea.
They can trap fish, dolphins, sea turtles,
sharks, dugongs, crocodiles, seabirds,
crabs, and other creatures, including the
occasional human diver.
Acting as designed, the nets restrict
movement, causing starvation, scratch and
infection, and suffocation in those that
need to return to the surface to breathe.
entangled in a
illegal, Unreported and Unregulated
Illegal fishing takes place where vessels operate in
destruction of the laws of a fishery. This can apply to
fisheries that are under the authority of a coastal state or to
high seas fisheries regulated by regional organisations.
Unreported fishing is fishing that has been unreported or
misreported to the relevant national authority or regional
organization, in breaking of applicable laws and regulations.
Unregulated fishing generally refers to fishing by vessels
without nationality, or vessels flying the flag of a country
not party to the regional organization governing that fishing
area or species.
Overfishing is the act whereby fish stocks are depleted to
unacceptable levels, regardless of water body size. Resource
depletion, low biological growth rates, and critically low
biomass levels result from overfishing.
The ability of a fishery to recover from overfishing depends
on whether the ecosystem's conditions are suitable for the
Dramatic changes in species composition can result in an
ecosystem shift, where other equilibrium energy flows
involve species compositions different from those that had
been present before the depletion of the original fish stock.
Whaling is the hunting of whales primarily for meat and oil.
Its earliest forms date to at least 3000 BC.
While the freeze has been successful in prevention the
extinction of whale species due to overhunting,
contemporary whaling is subject to powerful debate.
Anti-whaling countries and environmental groups say whale
species remain in danger and that whaling is corrupt,
unsustainable, and should remain banned permanently.
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and
loading of trees or logs onto trucks or skeleton cars.
In forestry , the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow
sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the
stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or
a load yard.
Illegal logging refers to what in forestry might be called
timber theft. It can also refer to the harvest, transportation,
purchase or sale of timber in violation of laws.
Logging usually refers to above-ground forestry logging.
Submerged forests exist on land that has been flooded by
damming to create reservoirs.
Such trees are logged using underwater logging or by the
lowering of the reservoirs in question.
Clear cutting, or clear felling, is a harvest method that
removes essentially all the standing trees in a selected area.
Depending on management objectives, a clear-cut may or
may not have reserve trees left to attain goals other than
regeneration, including wildlife habitat management,
mitigation of potential erosion or water quality concerns.
Silviculture objectives for clearcutting, and a focus on
forestry distinguish it from deforestation.
Other methods include shelterwood cutting, group selective,
single selective, seed-tree cutting, patch cut and retention
Acid Mine Drainage
Acid mine drainage, or acid rock
drainage (ARD), refers to the outflow of
acidic water from metal mines or coal
However, other areas where the earth
has been disturbed may also contribute
acid rock drainage to the environment.
In many localities the liquid that drains
from coal stocks, coal handling
facilities, coal washeries, and even coal
waste tips can be highly acidic, and in
such cases it is treated as acid rock
rock drainage occurs naturally within some
environments as part of the rock weathering process but is
exacerbated by large-scale earth disturbances characteristic
of mining and other large construction activities, usually
within rocks containing an abundance of sulfide minerals.
The same type of chemical reactions and processes may
occur through the disturbance of acid sulfate soils formed
under coastal or estuarine conditions after the last major sea
level rise, and constitute a similar environmental hazard.
Mountaintop Removal Mining
Mountaintop removal mining (MTR), also known as
mountaintop mining (MTM), is a form of surface mining
that involves the mining of the summit or summit ridge
of a mountain.
Coal seams are extracted from a mountain by removing
the land, or overburden, above the seams. The land may
be dumped back on the ridge and compacted to reflect
the approximate original curve of the mountain.
Excess rock and soil loaded with toxic mining byproducts
are often dumped into nearby valleys, in what are called
holler fills or valley fills.
Mountaintop mining has serious environmental impacts,
There are also adverse human health impacts which result
from contact with affected streams or exposure to airborne
toxins and dust.
Depletion of Natural Resources and the Status of
Conservation By Alan K. Craig
Sustainable Policy By Daniel Leigh and Jan-Peter Olters
Resource depletion, peak minerals and the implications
for sustainable resource management By Prior T, Giurco D,
Mudd G, Mason L and Behrisch J.