The term “resource” means any thing that we usefrom our environment to achieveour objective. For example, we require bricks,cement, iron, wood etc. to constructa building. All these items are called the resourcesfor construction of building. Aresource can be defined as „any natural orartificial substance, energy ororganism, which is used by human being for itswelfare. These resources areof two types:
CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCESAs the human population is continuously growing theconsumption of natural resources is also increasing. Withthe increasing industrialization and urbanization of themodern human society, the use of all the resources isrising. If they are not properly used and well managed, aserious scarcity will result. Therefore we need to conservethe natural resources. This will also upset the ecologicalbalance.Conservation is the proper management of a naturalresource to prevent its exploitation, destruction ordegradation.Conservation is the sum total of activities, which canderive benefits from natural resources but at the same timeprevent excessive use leading to destruction ordegradation.
Need for Conservation of Natural ResourcesWe know that nature provides us all our basic needs but wetend to overexploit it. If we go on exploiting thenature, there will be no more resources available in future.There is an urgent need to conserve the nature. Some of theneeds are :to maintain ecological balance for supporting life.to preserve different kinds of species (biodiversity).to make the resources available for present and futuregeneration.to ensure the survival of human race.
Conservation of Natural Resources and Traditions ofIndiaThe need for conservation of natural resources was felt by our predecessors and inIndia, there was a tradition of respecting and preserving the nature and naturalresources. Natural resources were conserved in the form of sacredgroves/forests, sacred pools and lakes, sacred species etc. In our country theconservation of natural forests is known from the time of Lord Asoka. Sacred forestsare forest patches of different dimensions dedicated by the tribal to their deitiesand ancestral spirits. Cutting down trees, hunting and other human interferenceswere strictly prohibited in these forests. This practice is wide spread particularly inpeninsular, central and eastern India and has resulted in the protection of a largenumber of plants and animals and. Similarly, several waterbodies, e.g., Khecheopalri lake in Sikkim was declared sacred bypeople, thus, protecting aquatic flora and fauna. Worshipping certain plants likebanyan, peepal, tulsi etc. has not only preserved them but also encouraged us fortheir plantation. History recalls numerous instances where people have laid downtheir lives in protecting the trees.Recent Chipko movement in India is one of the best examples. This movement wasstarted by the women in Gopeshwar village in Garhwal in the Himalayas. Theystopped the felling of trees by hugging them when the lumbermen arrived to cutthem. This saved about 12000 square kilometers of the sensitive water catchment
Conservation of SoilIn the previous section we learnt about the various causes of soilerosion. Soil loses its fertility due to erosion. So we need to conserve thesoil. Soil conservation means checking soil erosion and improving soilfertility by adopting various methods. Let us know some of thesemethods.1. Maintenance of soil fertility: The fertility can be maintained byadding manure and fertilizers regularly as well as by rotation of crop.2. Control on grazing: Grazing should be allowed only on the areasmeant forit and not on agricultural land.3. Reforestation: Planting of trees and vegetation reduces soil erosionby both water and wind.4. Terracing: Dividing a slope into several flat fields to control rapid runof water. It is practiced mostly in hilly areas.5. Contour ploughing: Ploughing at right angles to the slope allows thefurrows to trap water and check soil erosion by rain water.
Conservation of WaterConservation and management of water are essential for the survival ofmankind, plants and animals. This can be achieved adopting thefollowing methods:1. Growing vegetation in the catchment areas, which will hold water inthe soil and allow it to percolate into deeper layers and contribute toformation of ground water.2. Constructing dams and reservoirs to regulate supply of water to thefields, as well as to enable generating hydroelectricity.3. Sewage should be treated and only the clear water should bereleased into the rivers.4. Industrial wastes (effluents) should be treated to prevent chemicaland thermal pollution of fresh water.5. Judicious use of water in our day-to-day life.6. Rainwater harvesting should be done by storing rainwater andrecharging groundwater.
Conservation of BiodiversityNow you have an idea of the importance of biodiversity for our survivaland how it is destroyed. Let us know how to protect the biodiversity.There are two basic strategies for conservation of biodiversity:(i) In-situ conservation(ii) Ex-situ conservation(i) In-situ (on site) conservation includes the protection of plants andanimalswithin their natural habitats or in protected areas. Protected areas areareas of land or sea dedicated to protection and maintenance ofbiodiversity. For example: e.g., National Parks, WildlifeSanctuaries, Biosphere Reserves, etc.(ii) Ex-situ (off site) conservation is the conservation of plants andanimals outside their natural habitats. These include BotanicalGardens, Zoo, Gene Banks, DNA Banks, Seed Banks, PollenBanks, Seedling and Tissue Culture etc.
Conservation of ForestsForests is an important part of the environment, becausetrees clean the air and keep the atmosphere cool. We cannotlive without plants, because the oxygen need for breathing isproduced by plants.Trees absorb sunlight and reduce the heat. Plants providefodder foranimals, firewood, timber, medicines, honey, wax, gum, lacand food for us. Tree roots penetrate deep into the soil andfrom cavities in the ground. The dry leaves which fall onground, cover the soil and absorb more rain water, whichslowly percolates through the soil. Thus, a large portion of therain water can be retained in the field, by planting more trees.Flooding or rivers can be prevented by protecting trees in the
For the conservation of forests, following methods can be taken:(a) Conservation of forest is a national problem so it must be tackledwith perfect coordination between forest department and otherdepartments.(b) Peoples participation in the conservation of forests is of vitalimportance. So, we must get them involved in this national task.(c) The cutting of trees in the forests must be stopped at all costs.(d) Afforestation or special programmes like Van Mahotsava should belaunched on grand scale.(e) Celebrations of all functions, festivals should precede with tree-plantation.(f) Cutting of timber and other forest produce should be restricted.(g) Grasslands should be regenerated.(h) Forest conservation Act 1980 should be strictly implemented tocheck deforestation.(i) Several centres of excellence have been setup and awards should beinstituted.
LEGISLATION FOR CONSERVATIONVarious acts and laws have been passed inIndian constitution for conservation ofnatural resources. Some of them are: Environment Protection Act, 1986 Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 National Forest Policy, 1988 Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and amendedin 1991
What is Environment?Our Environment is our surrounding. This includes living andnon-living things around us. The non-living components ofenvironment are land, water and air. The living componentsare germs, plants, animals and people. All plants and animalsadjust to the environment in which they are born and live. Acharge in any component of the environment may causediscomfort and affect normal life. Any unfavorable change ordegeneration in the environment is known as ‘EnvironmentalPollution.We need to protect our environment to live happily.
How to Maintain a Good Environment?For better environment, all its components should beprotected from pollution and the surroundings shouldbe clean. We need to take good care of our land, waterresources, forests and atmosphere . it is also necessaryto ensure a balance between these resources and livingcreatures, to meet our needs.
What Role can Children Play inPreventing Environment Pollution?Children in rural and urban areas can play animportant role in preventing environmentpollution very effectively there is greatsatisfaction in doing it ourselves.
What Can Rural Children do?Children in village can persuade their parents to : Use smokeless chulhas or install biogas plants; Provide smoke outlets and ventilation in the kitchen; Tie livestock outside the house and reduce their number Feed livestock in their sheds without letting them out for grazing; Plant trees around the house, on field bunds and along roadsides; Develop filed bunds across the slope the retain more water and prevent the soil being washed away. Plough the field across the slope; Keep tanks, canals and other water sources clean; Use the sewage water for growing trees; Keep the surroundings of the house and well clean; Prepare compost by using garbage, dung and other wastes; Select a suitable site for the toilet, away from water sources and houses. It can also be connected to the biogas plant; Use agro-chemicals carefully and try to avoid them. Plant products may be preferred wherever effective to protect crops; Protect wildlife like frogs, snakes, mongoose, birds, etc. which
What Can Urban Children do?Urban children can do a lot to reduce environment pollution.Plant tress in school and home premises. Even if you are staying in a flat, plants andcreepers can be raises in pots and wooden boxes, in the balcony; Protect the trees planted along roadsides; Keep public areas clean and avoid littering; Plant trees along roadsides, near bus stops, around playgrounds, and in parks toprovide shade; Avoid dumping garbage on the street. Dispose them in a garbage dump; you canalso make a compost pit to convert garbage into manure; Waste paper, plastic, glass and metal pieces can be recycled this would reduce thepollution and conserve our resources; Avoid using plastic materials such as plates and carry bags which cannot be usedagain. Moreover, when plastic is thrown away, it does not degrade but remains in thesoil, polluting the surroundings; Do not make noise in public places; every likes quiet surroundings; Request your family members to use automobiles only when necessary; walking orcycling can be a pleasure when the distance is short; If someone is causing pollution in your area, inform the authorities through yourteachers or parents.
We can protect ourenvironment inmany ways. Let usact now andpersuade others tojoin us. This willensure safety forour futuregenerations.