Natural resources and associated problems

Natural resources and associated problems

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this session, students will be able to

• Explain natural resources and associated problems

Contents

• Natural resources and associated problems

Natural resources and associated problems

Unequal consumption of natural resources

• Major part of natural resources are today consumed in the technologically advanced or ‘developed’ world

• Developing nations including India and China, also over use many resources because of their greater human population

• Advanced countries produce over 75% of global industrial waste and greenhouse gases

• Energy from fossil fuels is consumed in relatively much greater quantities in developed countries

• Consumption of food too is much greater as well as their waste of enormous quantities of food and other products, such as packaging material used in the food industry

• Producing animal food for human consumption requires more land than growing crops

• Countries that are highly dependent on non-vegetarian diets need much larger areas for pastureland than those where the people are mainly vegetarian

Planning Land use

• Land  itself  is  a  major  resource  needed  for  food  production,  animal husbandry, industry and for our growing human settlements

• Essential to evolve a rational land-use policy that examines how much land must be made available for different purposes and where it must be situated

• For instance, there are usually alternate sites at which industrial complexes or dams can be built, but a natural wilderness cannot be recreated artificially

• Scientists today believe that at least 10% of land and water bodies of each ecosystem must be kept as wilderness for the long term needs of protecting nature and natural resources

• Land as a resource is now under serious pressure due to an increasing ‘land hunger’ to produce sufficient quantities of food for an exploding human population

• Land and water resources are polluted by industrial waste and rural and urban sewage

• They are increasingly being diverted for short-term economic gains to agriculture and industry

  Natural  wetlands  of  great  value  are  being  drained  for  agriculture  and other purposes

• Semi-arid land is being irrigated and overused

• Most damaging change in land use is demonstrated by the rapidity with which forests have vanished during recent times, both in India and in the rest of the world

• Forests provide us with a variety of services such as maintaining oxygen levels in the atmosphere, removal of carbon dioxide, control over water regimes and slowing down erosion and also produce products such as food, fuel, timber, fodder, medicinal plants, etc

Need for sustainable lifestyles

• Quality of human life and the quality of ecosystems on earth are indicators of the sustainable use of resources

• There are clear indicators of sustainable lifestyles in human life

• Increased longevity

• An increase in knowledge

• An enhancement of income

• These three together are known as the ‘Human development index’

• Quality of the ecosystems have indicators that are more difficult to assess

• A stabilized population

• The long term conservation of biodiversity

• The careful long-term use of natural resources

• The prevention of degradation and pollution of the environment

Summary

• Major part of natural resources are today consumed in the technologically advanced or ‘developed’ world

• Land itself is a major resource needed for food production, animal husbandry, industry and for our growing human settlements

• Land and water resources are polluted by industrial waste and rural and urban sewage

• Quality of human life and the quality of ecosystems on earth are indicators of the sustainable use of resources

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