Environmental Science: Natural resources and their management sudeshrathod


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Resources are defined as matter, space and time utilized for the wellbeing of mankind is called as resources. The natural resources are materials, which living organisms can take from nature for sustaining their life or any components of the natural environment that can be utilized by man to promote his welfare is considered to be natural resources.

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Environmental Science: Natural resources and their management sudeshrathod

  1. 1. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Environmental Science Anything which is of is any physical, chemical, biological, social and/or virtual entity of limited availability and that needs to be consumed to support and benefit life or its activity is a resource. Thus any part of our environment such as land, water, air, minerals, forest, rangeland, wildlife, fish or ever human population that man can utilize to promote his welfare may be regarded as a resource. Five basic ecological variables viz. energy, matter, space, diversity and even time are called as resources. Ramade (1984) defined a resource as a form of energy and/or matter, which is essential for the fulfillment of physical, socioeconomic and cultural needs, both at the individual lands and that of the community level. The natural resources are materials, which living organisms can take from nature for sustaining their life or any components of the natural environment that can be utilized by man to promote his welfare is considered to be natural resources. On one instance the things which are not resources could be converted to resources with the help of technology. Some Natural resources can be found everywhere such as sunlight and air, when it is so the resource is known as an ubiquitous (existing or being everywhere) resource. However most resources are not ubiquitous. They only occur in small sporadic areas; these resources are referred to as localized resources. There are very few resources that are considered inexhaustible (will not run out in foreseeable future) – these are solar radiation, geothermal energy, and air (though access to clean air may not be). The vast majority of resources are however exhaustible, which means they have a finite quantity, and can be depleted if managed improperly. The living resources are known as biological or biotic resources whereas nonliving things are called as abiotic resources. Resources which last longer are inexhaustible and which are limited are exhaustible. Politically/ commercially even humans, time and space are considered as resources. Natural resources are further classified as renewable and non-renewable resource. Natural resources are classified based on quantity, mutability, maintainability and reusability. I. BIOTIC RESOURCES are resources which come from biosphere and have a life example. human beings, flora and fauna, fisheries, livestock etc. The materials obtained from them are also considered biotic, example fossil fuels, coal, petroleum, because these are formed from decayed organic matter. By Prof. S D Rathod Dept. of Zoology B N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India
  2. 2. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Environmental Science II. ABIOTIC RESOURCES are those resources which come from nonliving, non-organic material. Example, rocks, minerals, air, water, metals etc. Classification based on exhaustibility: Renewable vs. Non-renewable A. PERPETUAL RESOURCES – these are resources which exist irrespective of the amount of their usage. With adequate technology, they provide a vast potential for use. Example. Sun, wind and water B. RENEWABLE RESOURCES - the resources which can be renewed and reproduced by physical, chemical or mechanical processes are known as renewable or replenishable resources. These resources are able to increase their abundance through reproduction and utilization of simple substances. Examples of such resources are water, forests and wildlife, plants etc. we can further divide into continuous or flow and biological. Renewable Resources can be further classified as Living Renewable Resources and Non-Living Renewable Resources. Some examples of renewable resources though they do not have life cycle but can be recycled are wood and wood-products, pulp products, natural rubber, fibers (e.g. cotton, jute, animalwool, silk and synthetic fibers) and leather. 1. Living Renewable (biological) resources are those renewable resources which come from living (biotic) sources – like forests, plants 2. Non-Living Renewable resources are those that renewable resources which come from non-living (abiotic) sources like land, water, air. Example, metals, minerals, wind, sun etc. 3. Continuous/ Flow Renewable resources are resources which do not need regeneration. Similar to that of perpetual resources, example wind, tides etc. C. NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCES - this process takes place over a long geological time. Examples of such resources are minerals and fossil fuels. This may take By Prof. S D Rathod Dept. of Zoology B N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India
  3. 3. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Environmental Science millions of years in their formation. Some of the resources like metals are recyclable and some like fossils fuels cannot be recycled and as such they get exhausted with their use. Non-Renewable Resources can be further classified as Recyclable and Non-Recyclable resources. 1. Recyclable resources are those which can be processed to be used again and again. These are non-renewable resources, which can be collected after they are used and can be recycled. These are mainly the non-energy mineral resources, which occur in the earth's crust (e.g. ores of aluminium, copper, mercury etc.) and deposits of fertilizer nutrients (e.g. phosphate sock and potassium and minerals used in their natural state like asbestos, clay, mica etc) 2. Non- Recyclable resources are those which once used perish, example coal. These are nonrenewable resources, which cannot be recycled in any way. Examples of these are fossil fuels and uranium, which provide 90 per cent of our energy requirements. There are a few substances too which can be recycled a few times, before they completely perish or turn non-renewable resources. Inexhaustible N.R. Exhaustible N.R. [Unlimited but quality may degrade] [Quality and quantity both degradable] I-Immutable I-Maintainable [Quality not degraded by human use] Atomic energy Wind power Tidal power Precipitation [Availability depends on use] A-Renewable [Perpetual harvest possible] Fertility of soil, biomass human power, biological products II-Mutable B-Non-renewable [Once lost is never replaced] Wild life species II-Non-maintainable [Quantity may be degraded] [Quantity is static (limited) & once consumed not replaced] Solar radiation Running of water Hydropower Reusable Non-reusable [Consumptive use small] [Consumptive use is high] Seeds, metals like gold, Silver, platinum, iron etc. Fossil fuel, non-metal minerals like gypsum, sand, salts, etc. By Prof. S D Rathod Dept. of Zoology B N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India
  4. 4. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Environmental Science 1. Natural resource management refers to the management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, minerals, plants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations. 2. The depletion of natural resources is caused by ‘direct drivers of change’ such as Mining, petroleum extraction, fishing and forestry as well as ‘indirect drivers of change’ such as demography, economy, society, politics and technology. There are many competing uses for natural resources, and society is challenged to manage them for improving social well-being. Furthermore, there may be dire consequences to natural resources mismanagement. It recognizes that people and their livelihoods rely on the health and productivity of our landscapes. Population increase, resource use conflicts, technological advancements, climate change, political doldrums, and unsustainable use and harvesting of resources have all put more pressure on natural resources leading to land degradation and poverty. Renewable resources, such as water, land and the environment are linked, and decisions made with regard to one may affect the others. 3. Causes of depletion Over-consumption/excessive or unnecessary use of resources, overfishing, cascade effect Non-equitable distribution of resources Overpopulation Slash and burn agricultural practices, currently occurring in many developing countries Technological and industrial development Erosion, draught, deluge Irrigation, soil salinization Mining for oil and minerals Aquifier depletion, water pollution Forestry Pollution or contamination of resources Species extinction, Loss of biodiversity, endangered species. 4. The current practice of Agriculture is another factor causing depletion of natural resources e.g. the depletion of nutrients in the soil due to excessive use of nitrogen and desertification. The depletion of natural resources is a continuing concern for society. 5. In 1982 the UN developed the World Charter for Nature in which it recognized the need to protect nature from further depletion due to human activity. UN outlined the need for sustainable use of natural resources and suggested that the protection of resources should be incorporated into the law system at state and international level. It brings together land use planning, water management, biodiversity conservation, and the future sustainability of industries like agriculture, mining, tourism, By Prof. S D Rathod Dept. of Zoology B N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India
  5. 5. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Environmental Science 6. 7. 8. 9. fisheries and forestry. The resources are managed by the users according to the rules governing of when and how the resource is used depending on local condition. The World Ethic of Sustainability developed by the IUCN, WWF and the UNEP in 1990 which set out eight values for sustainability, these include the need to protect natural resources from depletion. Policy and management of natural resources now require interdisciplinary and sustainable approaches including natural and social sciences to correctly address our society preferences. The resource management should focus on economics, management and policy of renewable biological resources, such as water, land, crop protection, sustainable agriculture, technology, and environmental health. It incorporates modern thinking and techniques of economics and management. The following four conceptual models for interdisciplinary and sustainable natural resource management can be considered: Model1. the natural environmental system of biosphere elements, such as human and wildlife populations, natural resources, or ecosystems; Model2. the social system of human attitudes, values, behavior, institutions, and technology; Model3. the economic system that focuses on human attitudes, institutions, and behavior related to the allocation of land, labor and capital; and Model4. the political system of policy, laws, courts, and public agencies, with the natural environment and resources (in the environmental system) providing and receiving impacts from the other three systems. The NRM (Natural resources management) program works closely with policy-makers, foresters, scientists, research institutions and non-governmental organizations in India and globally across several countries. The expertise of the group lies in working with rural communities, institutions, local & national NGOs, and the central & state governments providing services viz. Project Management, Sector Strategy & Policy Reviews, Technical Assistance, Program Implementation, Action Research, Assessments, Comprehensive Monitoring & Evaluation and Capacity Building Specifically features of the program are: Climate change adaptation Climate-induced vulnerability and resilience Forest management Biodiversity conservation Livelihood security Renewable Energy REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) plus means it goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. Soil and Water conservation Governance issues By Prof. S D Rathod Dept. of Zoology B N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India
  6. 6. T Y B Sc. Zoology Notes: Paper IV –Environmental Science To achieve a win-win situation, we need to change our mindset by thinking outside the box through advocating integrated and holistic approaches in managing our natural resources. The managerial approaches could include use of GIS and Remote Sensing technologies, decision support system models, involvement of stakeholders in major decisions regarding use of natural resources, community level initiatives, and use of surveillance and monitoring mechanisms. Fighting against climate change; that goes mainly through avoiding damage, deforestation, and promoting preservation, sustainable management and reforestation. Fighting against desertification; the "Green Sahel" operation needs to be continued, so basically it implies growing trees in arid areas. Fighting against pollution, nuisances and dangerous chemicals; we will implement a fiscal incentive system to favor the use of green and biodegradable substances. The systematic repression of polluters is implemented. A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) we emit individually in any one-year period. CO2 is produced from many sources and is the primary gas responsible for global warming. The carbon footprint is made up of two parts, the primary and the secondary. The primary footprint is a measure of our direct emissions of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels including domestic energy consumption and transportation. The secondary footprint is a measure of indirect CO2 emissions from the whole lifecycle of products we use. By Prof. S D Rathod Dept. of Zoology B N Bandodkar College of Science, Thane, India