Anything in the environment ‘which can be used’ is called a ‘natural resource’. Some of our important natural resources are: Forests and Wildlife, Water, Coal and Petroleum. A system of the use of natural resources in such a way as to avoid their wastage and to use them most effective way, is called management of natural resources.
The natural resources are a ‘tool’ of (or advancement) for human beings but it should be ‘sustainable development’. Which meets the current basic human needs and also preserves the resources for the needs future generations, is called sustainable development.
And to protect the environment from harm or is said to ‘conserve’ the environment. In this chapter we will describe how to use our natural resources so as to achieve sustainable development as well as to conserve our environment.
Why do we need to manage Our Resources?
All the things which we use (or consume) such as food, clothes, furniture, fuels, vehicles, water, etc., obtained from the resources on this earth. We need to manage our natural resources because of the reasons:
1. The resources of the earth are limited:
Because of the rapid increase in human population, the demand for resources is increasing day by day. The proper management can ensure that the natural resources are used judiciously so that they fulfill the needs of present generation and also last for the generations to come.
2. The proper management of natural resources takes into consideration long-term perspective (or view) and prevents their exploitation to the hilt for short-term gains.
3. The proper management can ensure equitable distribution of natural resources so that all the people can benefit from the development of these resources.
4. The proper management will take into consideration the damage caused to the environment during the ‘extraction’ or ‘use’ of the natural resources and find ways and means to minimise this damage. For example, if some forest trees have to be cut for various purposes, then the damage to the environment can be minimised by planting new saplings in place of cut down trees.