CBSE NOTES CLASS 10 SCIENCE CHAPTER 16
MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCESNatural Resource
Anything in the nature which can be used is called natural resource.
Management of Natural Resource
A system of controlling the use of natural resources in such a way as to avoid their wastage and to use them in the most effective way is called Management of Natural Resources.
Need to Manage Natural Resources
- Resources of the earth are limited. Due to rapid increase in population demand for natural resources is increasing. The proper management can ensure that the resources are used judiciously, so that they can fulfill the needs of present generation and also last for generations to come.
- Proper management of resources will lead to long term perspective and will prevent over exploitation for short term goals.
- Proper management will lead to equitable distribution of natural resources so that all the people get benefited from the development.
- Proper management will also ensure that minimum or no damage is caused to the environment during extraction or use of these resources. For example we should plan for the safe disposal of wastes.
Types of Natural Resources
Natural resources can be broadly categorized into two types, viz. exhaustible and non-exhaustible.
Exhaustible (or Non-renewable) Resources
Resources of which exist in a finite or limited quantity are called exhaustible resources. This means that if we extract this resource at a constant rate, it will be run out, for example mineral resources.
Inexhaustible (or Renewable) Resources
Inexhaustible resources are those resources which are present in unlimited quantity in nature and those resources which do not get exhausted or depleted by human activities. Inexhaustible resources are also known as renewable resources. These include air, clay sand, water and solar energy.
The development which meets the current basic requirements and also preserves the resources for the needs of future generations is called sustainable development.
3Rs for Conservation of Resources
This means that we use less. For example we can save electricity by switching off unnecessary lights and fans, we can save water by repairing leaky taps and we should avoid wasting food.
In the ‘reuse’ strategy, we simply use things again and again. Instead of throwing away used envelopes, you can reverse it and use it again. The plastic bottles in which you buy various food-items like jam or pickle can be used for storing things in the kitchen.
This means that we collect plastic, paper, glass and metal items and recycle these materials to make required things instead of synthesising or extracting fresh plastic, paper, glass or metal. In order to recycle, we first need to segregate our wastes so that the material that can be recycled is not dumped along with other wastes.
Forest and Wildlife
Forests are ‘biodiversity hot spots’, because a large number and range of different life forms (bacteria, fungi, ferns, flowering plants, nematodes, insects, birds, reptiles and so on) are found in them.
Conservation of forests and wildlife is necessary to protect the biodiversity. This is important because loss of biodiversity leads to ecological imbalance.
Stakeholders in Forests and Wildlife
Any person with interest or concern in something is called stakeholder.
Any conservation effort for forest and wildlife must keep the interests of all stakeholders in mind.
The stakeholders who are directly or indirectly affected by forest are,
- People living in or around forests as they depend on various forest produce for their livelihood.
- The forest department which is the owner of the forest land.
- The industrialists who depend on forest for many raw materials. For example, the beedi industry needs tendu leaves as raw material. Wood is used as raw material in many industries.
- The wildlife and nature enthusiasts who want to conserve nature in its pristine form.
Silviculture is the process of tending, harvesting and regenerating a forest.
Early Attitude of Government Towards Forest Management
Before the beginning of the colonial rule in India, forest dwellers were free to utilize the resources from forests as they wished.
Things changed when the British rulers took over the control of the forests in India. They restricted the access of forest dwellers to forest resources.
After the independence of India, the forest department took over but the interests of forest dwellers continued to be ignored for a long time. The forest was cut to obtain timber for making railways and for various construction activities. The cleared forest was replaced by planting eucalyptus trees which led to the problem of monoculture. Growing a single species is called monoculture. It disturbs the biodiversity of an area.
Local People and Forest Conservation
There are many examples which suggest that involvement of local communities is necessary for any conservation effort.
Case of Khejri Tree
The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan is one such example. Amrita Devi Bishnoi is still remembered with reverence for the way she fought for protecting the khejri trees in Khejrali village. She; along with 363 other people, sacrificed her life for the protection of khejri trees in 1731. The ‘Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award for Wildlife Conservation’ has been named in her honour.
Nomadic Herders of Himalayas
The nomadic herders used to graze their animals near the great Himalayan National Park. Every summer, the nomadic people brought their herds down the valley so that the sheep could get plenty of grass to eat.
When the National Park was made in that area, the nomadic herders were stopped from grazing their sheep in the protected area.
Now, in the absence of grazing by the sheep, the grasses grow very tall in the region. Tall grasses fall over and prevent fresh growth of grass.
This shows that by excluding and alienating the local people from forests, proper conservation efforts cannot be carried out.
The Chipko Movement began in the early 1980s from a small village, Reni in Garhwal district. The women of the village began hugging the trees to prevent the cutting of trees by the contractors. This movement later spread to other parts of India. It has been instrumental in stopping deforestation to a large extent.
Arabari’s Example of People’s Participation in Forest Management
Arabari sal forest lies in Midnapore district of West Bengal. Before 1972, the forest department was not allowing participation of local people. The earlier methods of policing and surveillance were a total failure as they often led to frequent clashes with local people. It also led to alienation of people from the conservation programme.
A forest officer; named A K Banerjee involved the local people in the revival of 1,272 hectares of forest. In lieu of that the villagers were given employment in silviculture and harvest and were given 25% of the harvest. They were also allowed to gather firewood and fodder against a nominal payment. Due to active participation of the local community there was remarkable revival of the Arabari sal forest.
Water Natural Resource
Water is a basic necessity for all terrestrial forms of life.
Rainfall pattern in India is not uniform in all the regions.
Rains in India are largely due to the monsoons. This means that most of the rain falls in a few months of the year.
Advantages of ground water over open surface water
- The groundwater does not evaporate and thus loss because of evaporation is prevented.
- The groundwater does not provide a breeding ground for the mosquitoes and hence is good for public health as well.
- The groundwater is relatively protected from contamination by human activities.
Due to following factors the availability of underground water has gone down in recent times,
- The loss of vegetation cover.
- Diversion of underground water for high water demanding crops.
- Pollution from industrial effluents and urban wastes.
Ancient Water Storage and Irrigation Methods
Irrigation methods like dams, tanks and canals have been used in various parts of India since ancient times.
These were small and generally managed by local people and assured that the basic minimum requirements for both agriculture and daily needs were met throughout the year.
The use of this stored water was strictly regulated and the optimum cropping patterns based on the water availability were arrived at on the basis of decades/centuries of experience.
The maintenance of these irrigation systems was also a local affair,
Later, the government also increasingly took over the administration of these systems leading to the loss of control of the local people over the local water sources.
- Large dams can ensure the storage of adequate water not just for irrigation through canal systems upto great distances. For example, the Indira Gandhi Canal has brought greenery to considerable areas of Rajasthan.
- Stored water is also used for generating electricity.
- It is also used for fish culture.
Problems due to dams
Dams have been associated with following problems,
- Social problems because they displace large number of peasants and tribals without adequate compensation or rehabilitation,
- Economic problems because they swallow up huge amounts of public money without the generation of proportionate benefits,
- Environmental problems because they contribute enormously to deforestation and the loss of biological diversity.
Watering harvesting means capturing rain water where it falls and capturing the runoff from catchment and streams etc. and collection of rain water. This collected water could be stored for later use and recharged into the ground water again.
Water harvesting is an age-old concept in India. Some examples which are still in use are,
- Khadins, tanks and nadis in Rajasthan, Bandharas and tals in Maharashtra,
- Bundhis in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh,
- Ahars and pynes in Bihar,
- Kulhs in Himachal Pradesh,
- Ponds in the Kandi belt of Jammu region,
- Eris (tanks) in Tamil Nadu,
- Surangams in Kerala,
- Kattas in Karnataka
Khadin of Rajasthan
A khadin is an ingenious construction designed to harvest surface runoff water for agriculture in Rajasthan. Its main feature is a very long (100-300 m) earthen embankment built across the lower hill slopes lying below gravelly uplands. Sluices and spillways allow excess water to drain off. The water-saturated land is used for crop production.
Kulhs in Himachal Pradesh
Parts of Himachal Pradesh had evolved a local system of canal irrigation called kulhs over four hundred years ago. The water flowing in the streams was diverted into man-made channels which took this water to numerous villages down the hillside.
The management of the water flowing in these kulhs was by common agreement among all the villages. During the planting season, water was first used by the village farthest away from the source of the kulh, then by villages progressively higher up. These kulhs were managed by two or three people who were paid by the villagers.
In addition to irrigation, water from these kulhs also percolated into the soil and fed springs at various points. After the kulhs were taken over by the Irrigation Department, most of them became defunct and there is no amicable sharing of water as before.
Advantages of Traditional Water Harvesting Techniques
- These provided for water harvesting and water conveyance.
- The traditional water harvesting structures are location specific and have been perfected by people over a long period of time.
- They take into account the local geography and the need of the local people and hence are highly efficient.
- The traditional water harvesting structures usually focus on recharging the groundwater rather than making an open reservoir.
- They are managed by local people hence there is sense of ownership and cooperation.
Coal and Petroleum Natural Resource
Coal and petroleum are fossil fuels and the main energy resources for us.
Coal and petroleum were formed from the degradation of bio-mass millions of years ago and hence these resources will be exhausted in the future no matter how carefully we use them.
It is estimated that at present rates of usage, our known petroleum resources will last us for about forty years and the coal resources will last for another two hundred years.
Hence we need to find out alternate sources of energy. Scientists are working on developing some alternate energy sources so that dependency on coal and petroleum can be reduced. Some examples are,
- Solar energy is being used to produce electricity at many places. Although the technologies for solar energy are still costly but future prospects look bright.
- Fuel cell is another development which may help in replacing the internal combustion engines from automobiles.
- Hydrogen is being used as fuel in buses and cars in many countries. Hydrogen when used as a fuel produces water as a byproduct. Thus, hydrogen can be an environment-friendly fuel.
Pollution caused due to burning of fossil fuels
- When fossil fuels are burnt carbon dioxide, water, oxides of nitrogen and oxides of sulphur are produced. When combustion takes place in insufficient air (oxygen), then carbon monoxide is formed instead of carbon dioxide.
- The oxides of sulphur and nitrogen are poisonous and also mix with water to cause acid rains which is harmful for living beings. Acid rain is also harmful for monuments and buildings.
- Carbon monoxide is poisonous at high concentrations.
- Carbon dioxide is a green-house gas which leads to global warming.
Minimising the use of fossil fuels
A few simple steps on our part may lead to lower consumption of fossil fuels thereby helping in judicious use of resources and saving the environment from pollution,
- Avoid using vehicles for short distances. Take a walk or use cycle.
- If vehicle is unavoidable, use public transport rather than using private vehicle.
- Use LEDs and fluorescent tubes rather than bulbs.
- Take stairs to climb rather than using lift.
- Wear sufficient woolen clothes rather than using a heating device (heater or ‘sigri’) on cold days.
- We should use energy efficient machines and vehicles. They should be kept in proper running conditions.