The following steps can be taken for conserving renewable resources:

Conservation of Water:

1. Using water economically and preventing wastage.

2. Preventing deforestation and promoting afforestation programmes in order to maintain the water cycle.

3. Treating sewage and industrial wastes in water treatment plants before releasing them into rivers and other water bodies.


4. Constructing dams and reservoirs to prevent flooding of low-lying areas.

5. Recycling agricultural and industrial wastes. This can be done by using wastes to form compost and gobar (dung) gas.

6. Rainwater harvesting which means, saving and conserving every drop of water which falls as rain and taking measures to keep that water clean.

Conservation of Soil:

1. Preventing soil erosion: soil erosion can be prevented by:


i. Afforastation: Planting trees on a large scale is called afforestation. Roots of plants bind the soil thereby preventing soil erosion.

ii. Contour farming or terrace farming: In hilly areas, slopes are cut into steps for farming. This slows down the flow of water, preventing loss of the topsoil.

iii. Proper drainage and irrigation: In fields, proper drainage and irrigation arrangements help to prevent soil erosion.

iv. Preventing overgrazing: Preventing over grazing by herbivores helps to conserve soil.


2. Preserving soil fertility: Soil fertility can be preserved by following practices:

i. Crop rotation: The practice of alternating a crop like rice and wheat with a leguminous plant is crop rotation. The root nodules of leguminous plants contain rhizobium bacteria which fix atmospheric nitrogen and enrich the soil.

ii. Mixed cropping: The practice of growing two or more crops simultaneously in a field is called mixed cropping. This way, products or wastes of one crop can be utislised for the growth of the other.

iii. Leaving field fallow: The practice of leaving the field free or uncultivated for some time after few growing seasons helps the soil to regain its fertility.


iv. Application of manures and fertilizers: fertility of soil can be preserved by applying suitable manures and fertilizers.

Conservation of Forests:

The maintenance and upkeep of forests is called forest conservation. The following steps must be undertaken to conserve forests:

1. Afforestation:

Afforestation is the practice of renewing a forest by planting trees on a large scale. Forests can be conserved by striking a balance between planned cutting of trees (block-cutting) and afforestation.

2. Block-cutting:

Block-cutting refers to cutting down of trees in a specified part of the forest while trees are planted in an adjacent area of the same size. This practice of deforestation and afforestation is carried out annually, because of which a sustained supply of timber or any other forest product is obtained every year without affecting the size of the forest.

3. Preventing overgrazing:

Overgrazing by cattle, horses and sheep must be prevented. Herbivores not only destroy grasslands but also eat up the lower branches of trees.

4. Protection from diseases and pests:

Serious diseases of forest trees like rust, smut, wilt and mosaic are caused by microbes like fungi, bacteria and viruses. In addition, many insects and pests damage forest trees. Diseases and pests can be controlled by removing infected trees, spraying pesticides and growing disease and pest-resistant varieties of forest trees.

5. Preventing forest fires:

Man-made forest fires are believed to have caused extinction of several species in the past. Callousness of local people may cause irreparable damage to forests. People must refrain from lighting bonfire of even lighting a match in forests.

Conservation of Wildlife:

Wild animals like deer, wild bear, tiger, leopard and many game birds are killed by poachers. Hides of tiger and leopard fetch high prices in the market. Expensive purses bags and belts are made from the skin of snakes, crocodiles and snow leopard. The indiscriminate killing of animals has resulted in large-scale reduction of wildlife resources. An effort must be made to conserve wildlife. It can be conserved in the following ways:

1. Habitat conservation:

Most plants and animals are closely associated with their habitat. They can survive only in a specific kind of environment. Hence, to conserve wildlife it is essential to conserve their habitat. For example, the golden headed Tamarin, native of Brazilian rain forests is no longer found in the wild state because its natural habitat has been destroyed. Migratory birds and animals are also greatly affected by destruction of habitat because disturbance at any point on their migratory routes affects them.

2. Hunting regulations:

The Wildlife Protection Act passed by the Indian government in1972 prohibits the killing of lion, tiger, Indian rhino, swamp deer and Indian elephant. It also bans the export of rhino horns, skins of tigers, panthers, snakes and crocodiles and elephant tusks.

3. Establishment of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries:

Under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, national parks and sanctuaries would be created to protect and preserve wildlife. A national park is area where activities like forestry, grazing or cultivation are not permitted. India has more than 80 national parks that spread over nearly 1% of the country’s geographical area.

In a sanctuary, wild animals are protected while other operations like harvesting of timber, etc., can be carried out as long as they do not harm the animals. There are more than 400 sanctuaries in India covering 3.2% of India’s total geographical area.

Some famous national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are:

i. Corbett National Park (Uttaranchal)

ii. Kaziranga National Park (Assam)

iii. Hazaribagh National Park (Jharkhand)

iv. Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary (Rajasthan)

v. Manas Tiger Sanctuary (Assam)

4. Efforts by international organizations:

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) established in 1948 and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) established in 1962 are working towards conservation of wildlife and natural environment.

Conservation of Air:

Air is essential for life. We need pure and fresh air to breathe. However, many harmful and unwanted substances are being added to air every day. Contamination of air by harmful substances is called air pollution. Automobile fuels and industries are the major sources of air pollution.

We should conserve air by reducing air pollution. Some steps to conserve air are:

1. By planting more trees: Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen by the process of photosynthesis.

2. By using alternative sources of energy like biogas, solar energy and wind energy which do not release harmful gases into air.

3. Automobiles should have catalytic converters which convert harmful exhaust gases – carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide into harmless carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water.

4. By installing tall chimneys in houses and factories.

5. Factories and thermal plants should have electrostatic precipitators which render the smoke harmless.