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Management of Natural Resources

Chapter: Management of Natural Resources


Natural resources though abundant in nature need to be managed as well as they lead to some environmental problems. We need to use resources in such a way to sustain the natural resources and conserve our environment.  Some international laws and regulations are set for environmental pollution. Even India has set up its own standards to conserve environment and national and international organizations are also continuously working towards protecting of environment.

We can take Ganga cleanup plan as an example. River Ganga, which is the longest river in India, is being polluted a lot and it is found that the river contains bacteria called Coliform. Such pollutants are found to contaminate the water and turned to be harmful even when present in small quantities.

There are three predominant R’s to conserve environment:

1. Reduce

Reduce means using less of resources and thus saving. We can save electricity by switching off unnecessary lights, fans and other electrical appliances.

2. Recycle

Recycle includes recycling things like plastic, paper, glass etc and making required things. We can use this process instead of extracting fresh plastic, paper etc.

3. Reuse

Reuse is such a process in which we use things again and again. This process is better than recycling as recycling utilizes some energy. For example jam bottle can be used for storing things in kitchen after completing jam inside it.

Why Do We Need to Manage Our Resources?

Many things which we use in daily life like clothes, books, toys, furniture etc are obtained from natural resources. Energy is the only thing obtained from the Sun. why should we need to use resources carefully? These resources are limited and human population is also increasing tremendously; hence the demand is also increasing. We should consider the damage caused to the environment when the resources are extracted. We need to ensure safe disposal of wastes.

Forests and Wild Life

Forests are termed to be biodiversity hotspots. We need to conserve this diversity as a loss of diversity leads to ecological imbalance.

We all use forest products directly or indirectly. Some of the main stakeholders of forests are

  1. The people living in and nearby forests are found to be more dependable on forests for earning their living.
  2. The forest department which owns and control the resources in the forest
  3. The industrialists
  4. The wild life and nature therapists who want to conserve the nature

For example, bamboo is used to construct huts, make baskets etc. Aids used for agriculture, fishing and hunting are made of wood which is obtained from forests.  Fodder for cattle is also obtained from forests. Various herbs are also found in forests. Industries consider forest as their primary source of raw materials. Such deforestation should be controlled to protect our environment.

Wild life should be also conserved as it helps in preserving biodiversity and also wild life helps to maintain food chains and food webs.  It started with conservationists taking up large animals like lions, tigers, rhinoceros and elephants.  Now they recognize to conserve the biodiversity as a whole.  The Government of India has recently instituted an ‘Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award for Wildlife Conservation’ in the memory of Amrita Devi Bishnoi. She sacrificed her life along with 363 others for the protection of ‘khejri’ trees in Khejrali village near Jodhpur in Rajasthan.

Sustainable Management

Development is mandatory for making economic development as a whole. But development often comes with a price in the form of environmental damage. Sustainable development is defined as following certain practices which help in saving our environment from getting damaged. Sustainable management is very much necessary for maintaining the earth to be in a good shape so that future generations can also enjoy the gifts of nature.

Water for all

Water is a basic necessity for all living things. Water is used for agriculture, transportation, construction of buildings, roads etc. we need water for our daily activities like drinking, cleaning, washing etc. all these human activities are affecting the water availability  and hence we need to conserve water resources.


Dams are used to store water for irrigation and generation of electricity. Dams also serve also the purpose of supplying water to towns and cities and they also control floods.

Dams also have some disadvantages like rehabilitation of large number of people, being expensive and it causes deforestation and loss of biodiversity.

Water Harvesting

Water harvesting is the process of collecting rain water and storing it for future usage.The various methods of water harvesting are:

  1. Digging pits, ponds, lakes and collecting rain water in them
  2. Constructing small dams
  3. Construction of dykes and reservoirs
  4. Constructing roof top collecting units in houses

Coal and Petroleum

Coal and petroleum are fossil fuels. They are formed by the decomposition of animals and plants which are decayed inside the earth a million years ago. They are termed to be non-renewable sources of energy.It is found that coal reserves will be lasting for around 200 years and petroleum reserves for around 40 years.

Coal and petroleum contain carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and sulphur. They release carbon dioxide and oxides of nitrogen and sulphur when coal and petroleum are burnt.Carbon dioxide is called a green house gas and it causes global warming and acid rain is caused when oxides of nitrogen and sulphur combine with moisture in the air.