Seven types of resource management are: (1) Forest resource management (2) Water resource management (3) Mineral resource management (4) Land resource management (5) Energy resource management (6) Wildlife management (7) Agriculture resource management.
According to Remade (1984), a resource is a form of energy and or matter which is essential for the functioning of living organisms (population and ecosystem). In other words any part of the environment such as land, water, air, minerals, forest, wild life etc. that the man can utilise to promote his welfare may be regarded as resources.
The increasing human population, rapid industrialization, unplanned urbanization, steady technological growth etc. exert tremendous pressure on the existing natural resources. If these over exploitations continue unchecked, with in a very short span of time, many of the non-renewable resources will be exhausted.
So, it is the need of the hour to evolve suitable methods for efficient management of these resources so that the human beings can get continuous supply of required materials without the fear of their complete exhaustion.
Resource management involves sustainable socioeconomic development of human society through purposive and judicious utilization of natural resources and to maintain environmental quality. In terms of conservation, resource management is a set of practices pertaining to maintaining a balance in the natural environment.
Let us discuss the various segments of resource management.
1. Forest Resource Management:
Besides providing wood, timber, food, leaves etc., forest provide a number of invisible environmental benefits. These include release of oxygen, preparation of leaf protein, control of soil erosion, operation of hydrologic cycle, and carbon dioxide, cycle control of humidity, control of wind flow, providing shelter to birds, squirrels and insets, control of air pollution, mitigation of green house effect etc. Forests also safeguard the economy from flood, drought and natural calamities.
In view of the vital importance of forests in maintaining ecological stability and preserving biophysical system of the environment. The Government has revised the old forest policy of 1952 in 1988.
The main objectives of new national forest policy are:
(i) To maintain ecological stability by maintaining appropriate measures of environment protection, conservation and restoration.
(ii) To preserve the natural traditions by conserving the remaining natural forests as well as to conserve their vast original sources for benefiting the future generation.
(iii) To meet the basic requirements of the rural people and the tribal people for their firewood, fodder and small timbers for building purposes.
Conservation of forests can be possible by adopting the following techniques:
1. Since forest is a renewable resource, it can be conserved through intensive plantation by afforestation arid social forestry.
2. The available forests should be protected by taking necessary steps.
3. Steps should be taken to prevent the occurrence of forest fire.
4. The use of fuel woods should be discouraged and it should be replaced and promoted by the use of biogas plants and smoke less solar Chula.
5. There should be intensive and extensive social forestry programmes with the active involvement of the people.
6. Adequate afforestation programmes should be encouraged in the wastelands and hill slopes.
7. The indiscriminate felling of trees and shifting cultivation should be strictly banned.
8. Protection of wild life should be ensured through strict enforcement of wildlife conservation act and declaring more forests as reserve forest.
9. The community forestry and agro forestry should be promoted.
10. There should be more number of National parks, Sanctuaries and Biodiversity reserves to conserve flora and fauna.
11. The plants like Acacia, Eucalptus and Leucaena should be grown on wastelands and degraded lands which will provide fuel woods.
12. There should be incentives from Government side to make the maximum involvement of tribals for the proper management of forest resources.
2. Water Resources Management:
Water is indispensable for the sustenance of life on earth. It is highly essential for drinking, cooking, washing, irrigation, industrial uses, generation of power, navigation, recreation etc. In order to meet the increasing demand of population growth, water is over utilized and polluted.
The pollution of water is due to dumping of sewage, fertilizers, pesticides etc. So, to provide safe water to all the living organisms, water resource management is highly essential. The management of water means making the best use of water resources available for human benefit. The processes not only prevent its depletion and degradation but also take appropriate steps for its development in view of the present and future need.
The following conservation methods should adopted for proper water management.
1. Awareness should be created among the people regarding the importance of water and its unnecessary wastage.
2. Steps should be taken for the harvesting and storage of roof top rain water.
3. The village ponds should be revived or rehabilitated.
4. There should be controlling measures to check flood and improper use of river water.
5. The leakage of water through pipes and taps should be checked.
6. Qualitative degradation should be avoided.
7. For the conservation of water resources, there should be reclamation of waste water, storage of ground water transfer of surplus water:
8. Steps should be taken to check pollution of water resources.
9. The waste water or effluents from different industries should be recycled after suitable treatments for the benefits of humanity.
10. There should be adequate afforestation programmes. Through afforestation, the plants bind the soil and the soil binds water.
11. There should be long-range forecasting of rain.
12. There should be national and state level water harvesting perspective plants.
There are some central and state organisations with specific aspects of water resources management.
Some important organisations are:
(1) Central Water Commission for surface water,
(2) Central ground water board,
(3) Central and state pollution control boards,
(4) Central Public Health and Environment etc.
3. Mineral Resource Management:
Minerals are non-renewal resources obtained from earth crust by the process of mining. Coupled with population explosion rapid industrialization and technological growth, have put tremendous pressure on mineral resources.
So it is highly essential to take necessary steps for the conservation and management of mineral resources. The conservation of mineral does not mean preservation of minerals underground to be used by future generation but it suggests efforts to utilise minerals in best possible way to satisfy the needs of industries and human begins.
Some important measures to conserve the mineral resources are as follows:
1 .Suitable methodology of mining should be selected for the extraction of maximum possible amount of minerals.
2. The methodology selected should be ecofriendly.
There should be optimum and economical use of the mineral.
4. All the associated element with the mineral should be recovered as by-products.
5. The scraps should be used and reused after suitable treatments.
6. The rare and costly mineral should be replaced by others which are easily available and cheaper.
4. Land Resource Management:
Soil is a very important natural resource for all living organisms. All the nutrient requirements of plants are obtained from the top layer of the soil. Due to over exploitation of top soil by the processes like deforestation, overgrazing, unplanned urbanization etc., the fertile soil is lost either by water or by air.
Since soil is precious for the existence of living organisms, it is highly essential to check the loss of soil by adopting suitable conservation mechanisms.
Some important soil conservation mechanisms are as follows:
1. The soil should be protected from the impact of rain drops by giving a vegetation cover throughout the year.
2. Steps should be taken to prevent water from concentrating and passing through the slopes.
3. The momentum of water flow should be slow down by adopting various scientific techniques.
4. The wind velocity should be minimised by massive afforestation and social forestry.
5. In order to avoid direct contact in between soil and different eroding agents, the top soil should be covered by soil biner like grasses.
6. The vegetation cover should be protected against reckless destruction by local people.
7. Since repeated cultivation of land is prone to soil erosion, some agricultural lands should be reclaimed for forestry pasture or horticulture for a certain period of time.
5. Energy Resource Management:
Out of the two types of energy, nonrenewable sources are under high stress because of high energy demand of increased population in their multifarious activities. The scarcity of fuel wood, coal petroleum, natural gases etc., at the present rate of exploitation, has posed serious problem of total elimination in near future.
Some important causes of energy crisis are as follows:
(i) Anthropogenic activities requiring massive energy input.
(ii) Rapid depletion of fossil fuels.
(iii) Economic constraints to develop conventional energy source.
(iv) Lack of seriousness towards energy consumption.
(v) Unplanned exploitation of energy resulting in serious environmental damage.
In view of the above facts, the need of conservation of energy has assumed greater significance.
Some energy conservation methodologies are outlined below:
1. There should be use of biogas and solar energy instead of conventional energy sources like fire wood, coal etc.
2. The use of alternative sources of energy like hydel energy, wind energy, tidal energy etc. should be encouraged by adopting suitable technology.
3. The unplanned and improper exploitation of energy should be checked or controlled.
4. Methodologies should be developed for the harnessing higher and higher amount of renewable energy.
6. Wildlife Management:
According to ecologists, all the naturally occurring animals (fauna) and plants (flora) are considered as wildlife. Several factors account for the extinction of wildlife.
Some important factors are:
(i) Loss of natural habitats due to unplanned urbanization, industrialization and expanding agriculture.
(ii) Rapid growth of population leading to demand for food milk, meat, skin etc.
(iii) Killing of animals due to hunting as a pleasure or recreation.
(iv) Over grazing of domestic animals.
(v) Export of important species.
In order to maintain ecological balance and preservation of the living organisms on the earth, the wildlife conservation is highly essential. The conservation of wildlife means sound preservation, management and rational use of wild life.
Some important methods of conservation of wildlife may be outlined as follows:
1. The endangered species should be protected through the creation of wildlife sanctuaries, reserved forests, national parks, biosphere reserves etc.
2. The extensive hunting, fishing, trapping etc. should be banned.
3. The rare species having small population should be allowed to live under protected environment.
4. There should be restriction on export of rare animal and plant species and their products.
5. The threatened species can be protected, through habitat management by ensuring food, water, shelter etc.
6. In order to protect the rare species from diseases, there should be proper sanitation measures.
7. There should be strict laws to check extensive hunting.
7. Agriculture Resource Management:
Agriculture plays an important role for the existence of human beings because it provides food, raw materials for clothes etc. In order to meet the requirements of increased population, a number of steps have been taken to increase crop productivity and to store the agricultural products in a proper manner. It is estimated that two fold increase in crop productivity results in tenfold increase in the amount of fertilizers, pesticides, etc. which are released to environment causing pollution.
In addition to pollution, another problem faced in agriculture management is safe storage of agricultural products. As per statistics, about 10°/° of food grains produced in India is lost every year due to defective and inadequate methods of storing.
So for agricultural resource management, importance should be given to both increases in productivity without pollution and proper storage.
For an increase in productivity without pollution, the following points should be considered:
1. The fertility of the soil should be increased by using bio fertilizers.
2. The farmers should adopt improved methods of agriculture instead of conventional practices.
3. The farmers should select high yielding and disease resistant varieties.
4. Bio insecticides and bio herbicides should be used to check weeds and pests.
5. The farmers should adopt mixed cropping as far as practicable.
For the safe storage of agricultural products, the-following points should be considered:
1. The containers in which the products are preserved should be clean and dry.
2. The container should be kept at dry, cool and well ventilated space.
3. The storage site should be away from rats and insects.
4. The containers should be perfectly closed to protect from dust, moisture and insects.
5. The storage container material should not be toxic to food grains.