Management of Natural Resources Notes for Class 10 Science
Important Terms & Concepts
Natural Resource: It is the stock of the nature such as air, water, soil, minerals, coal, petroleum, forest and wildlife that are useful to mankind in many ways.
Need to manage natural resources:
• Natural resources are limited
• To meet the need of future generation
• Everyone from society needs to be benefitted.
• Waste generally from exploaration of natural
Pollution: It is defined as the undesirable change in physical, chemical or biological characteristics of our soil, air or water, which harmfully affect human lives or the lives or the lives of other species.
Ganga Action Plan: It is a massive multi-crore project launched in 1985, which has been undertaken to clean the excess pollution from the river Ganga.
Coliform: It is a group of gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria that are found in human intestine. Their presence in water is an indicator of contamination by disease-causing microorganism’s indication faecal pollution.
Examples: It includes Escherichia coli and Salmonella.
Pollution of the Ganga:
• Largely untreated sewage such as garbage and excreta are dumped into the Ganga.
• Pollution is also caused by other human activities like bathing, washing and immersion of ashes or unburnt corpses.
• Industries also contribute in Ganga’s pollution by loading chemical effluents and make the water toxic, killing aquatic organisms.
pH of Water: pH stands for ‘potential of hydrogen.’ It is the negative logarithm (base 10) of the hydrogen ion concentration in moles per litre. A pH below 7 indicates an acidic solution and above 7 indicates an alkaline solution.
Pollutant: It is the substance that causes a harmful change in the environment, thereby producing adverse effects on living organisms. Some of the common pollutants include pesticides, industrial wastes and emissions, exhaust fumes from vehicles and sewage.
Sustainable Development: It is the development which can be maintained for a long time without damage to the environment.
• The objective of sustainable development is to provide the economic well-being to the present and the future generations and to maintain a healthy environment and life support system.
• In encourages forms of growth that meet current basic human needs, thus sustainable development implies a change in all aspects of life.
• It depends upon the willingness of the people to change their perceptions of the socio-economic environmental conditions and use of natural resources.
Three R’s to Save the Environment: We can reduce pressure on the environment by applying the maxim of ‘Reduce, Recycle and Reuse’ in our lives.
Reduce: This means ‘to use less’.
• By switching off unnecessary lights and fans to save electricity.
• By repairing leaky taps to save water.
• By not wasting food.
Recycle: This means to collect plastic, paper, glass and metal items and recycle these materials to make required things.
• In order to recycle, firstly segregation of waste is necessary so that materials that can be recycled are not dumped along with other wastes.
Reuse: This means ‘to use things again and again’.
• The used envelopes can be reversed and used again instead of throwing away.
• The plastic bottles of food items like jam or pickle can be used for storing things in the kitchen.
Biodiversity: It is the existence of a wide variety of species of plants, animals and microorganisms in a natural habitat within a particular environment or of genetic variation within a species.
• Biodiversity of an area is the number of species or range of different life forms found there.
• Forests are ‘biodiversity hotspots’.
Wildlife: It means all those naturally occurring animals, plants and their species which are not cultivated, domesticated and tamed.
Conservation: It is the sensible use of the earth’s natural resources in order to avoid excessive degradation and betterment of the environment. It includes — the search for alternative food and fuel supplies when these are endangered, and awareness of the dangers of pollution and the maintenance and preservation of natural habitats and its biodiversity.
Conservation of Forests: It includes the following methods—
Afforestation: It is the practice of transforming an area into forest, usually when trees have not grown there and involves three types of forestry programmes.
I) Social Forestry: It involves raising of trees for fire wood, fodder, timber, etc. for the benefits of rural and tribal community.
II) Agro-Forestry: It is and absolute commercial forestry developed to fulfill the need of various forest based industries. It is done of the fallow land or free-grazing lands.
III) Urban Forestry: It involves growing of ornamental trees along roads, vacant lands and common parts of urban areas.
Practices for Conservation and Protection of Environment
• Conservation means ‘to keep safe’ whereas preservation means ‘to maintain the environment as it is’.
• Various practices which can help in conserving and protecting our environment are as follows:
I) The practice of crop rotation helps in conserving soil.
II) Judicious use of fertilises proper irrigation and drainage help in the conservation of soil.
III) The treatment of sewage prevents pollution of water bodies and helps in conserving fish and other aquatic life.
IV) National parks and wildlife sanctuaries should be established throughout the country in order to protect and conserve wild animals, birds and plant species.
V) New trees should be planted in place of those cut for various purposes, which will protect the earth from excessive heating.
VI) Harvesting of rainwater helps in the conservation of groundwater.
VII) Composting of solid organic waste for biogas and manure.
Steps for Conservation of Wildlife:
I) Laws should be imposed to ban poaching or capturing of any animal or bird belonging to an endangered species.
II) The natural habitats of wild animals and birds should be preserved by establishing National Parks, Sanctuaries and Biosphere reserves throughout the country.
III) The Government Department should conduct periodic surveys of National Parks, Sanctuaries and Biosphere Reserves to have knowledge of all the species of wild animals and birds.
IV) More attention should be given to conserve the endangered species of wild animals and birds to prevent their extinction.
V) Unauthorized cutting of forest trees should be stopped.
Stakeholders of Forests: The conservation of forests depend on its forest resources of its various stakeholders, who are as follows:
I) People who live in and around forests depend on forest produce, for various aspects of their life.
• The local people need large quantities of firewood, small timber and thatch. Bamboo is used to make slats for huts and baskets for collecting and storing food.
• Implements for agriculture fishing and hunting are largely made of wood.
• People collect fruits, nuts and medicines form forests, their cattle also graze in forest.
II) Forest Department of the Government owns the land and controls the forest resources.
• People develop practices to ensure that forest resources are used in a sustainable manner.
• The forest resources became over-exploited after the British took control of the forest.
• Forest department of independent India then owned the land and control the resources of the forest but local needs such as herbs, fruits and fodder are ignored.
• Monoculture of pine, teak or eucalyptus have been started which destroys the biodiversity of the area.
• Industries consider the forest as a source of raw material for its factories.
• These industries are not interested for the sustainability of the forest in one area as they go to a different area after cutting down all trees in one area.
IV) Wildlife and Nature Enthusiasts
• They are not dependent on the forest but conserve nature and take part in its management.
• Conservationists started with conserving large animals but are now preserving biodiversity as a whole.
• The local people, for instance the Bishnoi community in Rajasthan worked for conservation of forest and wildlife as a religious act. Thus, management of forest resources has to take into account the interests of various stakeholders.
Traditional Use of Forest: An example:
• Alpine grasslands in Himalayas were grazed by sheeps in summer.
• Nomadic shepherds drove their flock every summer in this area.
• But when the Great Himalayan National Park was formed this practice was put to an end. This resulted in tall grasses, preventing fresh growth.
Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award: In 1731 Amrita Devi Bishnoi sacrificed her life along with 363 persons for the protection of ‘Khejri’ trees in Khejrali village near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. In her memory Government of India has recently instituted this award for ‘Wild life Conservation’.
Causes of Damage to Forests:
I) Local people damages forests to fulfill their daily needs.
II) Deforestation caused by industrial needs.
III) Deforestation caused by development projects like building roads or dams.
IV) By tourists or in making arrangements for tourists.
Economic Growth and Ecological Conservation:
• Forest resources should be used in an environmentally and developmentally sound manner.
• The benefit of controlled exploitation of resources goes to the people and the environment is also preserved.
• If the exploitation is too high, economic and social development will be faster but the environment will further deteriorate.
• We should use natural resources cautiously so that economic growth and ecological conservation goes hand in hand.
• During 1970, in Reni village of Garhwal a contractor was allowed to cut trees in a forest near the village.
• When the contractor’s workers went to the forest to cut trees the women of the village hug the tree trunks to prevent the workers from cutting trees.
• Chipko means ‘hug’ and the movement started by the villagers by hugging trees are called the ‘Chipko Andolan’.
People Participation in Forest Management. An Example:
• The Sal forests of Midnapore district in West Bengal got reduced alarmingly in 1792.
• Surveillance and policing to protect the forest resulted frequent clash between forest officials and the villagers.
• The department then changed its strategy and in Arabari forest, villagers were involved in protection of the badly damaged Sal forest.
• In return, villagers were given employment and were allowed to collect firewood and fodder at nominal fee.
• By 1983, the Arabari forest showed a remarkable recovery.
• Rain in India is due to monsoon.
• Failure to sustain underground water has resulted due to loss of vegetative cover, development of water demanding crop and pollution from industrial effluent.
• Small dams, canals and tanks were used for irrigation purpose and to fulfill the basic minimum needs.
• Large dams and canals were made by British as well as our own government.
• Due to the mega projects, local irrigation methods got neglected and the local people lost control over management of local water sources.
Management of Water Resources: It includes:
I) Integrated water-shed plan for drinking, irrigation and industrial uses.
II) Flood control.
III) Transfer of surplus water to water deficit basins by inter-linking of rivers.
IV) Hydrogeological survey to identify over-exploited areas.
V) Artificial recharging of the groundwater.
VI) Mass awareness programmes through public or private agencies.
Dams: They are massive barriers built across rivers and streams to confine and utilise the flow of water for human purposes such as irrigation and generation of electricity.
• Large dams can also ensure the storage of adequate water.
• Canal system leading from dams transfer large quantity of water to great distances, e.g., Indira Gandhi Canal of Rajasthan brought greenery to considerable areas.
Purposes for Building a Dam
I) Generation of electricity
III) Control flooding which either stops or slows the amount of water in the river.
Criticism about Large Dams
I) Social Problems as they displace large number of farmers and tribals.
II) Economic Problems as they consume huge amount of public money without proportionate benefit.
III) Environment Problems as they cause deforestation and loss of biological diversity.
Mismanagement of Water Distribution: Due to mismanagement in distribution of water, the benefit of constructing a dam goes to few people only. For example—people close to the source grow water intensive crop like sugarcane and rice while people farther downstream do not get any water. This resulted in discontentment among the people who have been displaced by building of dam.
Watershed Management: It means scientific conservation of soil and water to increase the biomass production.
• Watershed management not only increases the production and income of the watershed community but also overcomes drought and flood.
• It increases the life of downstream dams and reservoirs.
Water Harvesting: it means capturing rainwater where it falls or capturing the run off in a local area for reuse.
Techniques of Water Harvesting: Water harvesting techniques are mainly location specific.
• Due to own control of the local population, over exploitation of the local water resources is reduced.
• Some of the water harvesting techniques are—
I) Capturing of run off from roof tops.
II) Capturing of run off from local catchment.
III) Capturing seasonal flood water from local streams.
Benefits of Water Harvesting
I) Provide drinking water.
II) Provide irrigation water.
III) Increase in groundwater resources.
IV) Reduces storm water discharge, urban flood and overloading of sewage treatment plants.
Advantages of Groundwater
I) It does not evaporate.
II) It spreads out to recharge wells.
III) It provides moisture for vegetation.
IV) It does not provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
V) It is relatively protected from contamination by human and animal waste.
Traditional Water Harvesting System
• The water harvesting structures in a largely level terrain are mainly crescent-shaped earthen embankments or low, straight concrete and rubble built across seasonal flooded areas.
• Monsoon rains fill ponds behind the structures.
• The large structure hold water throughout the year while most dry up after monsoon.
• The main purpose of this system is to recharge the groundwater and not to hold surface water.
Examples: 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 Jammu, eris (tanks) in Tamil Nadu, surangams in Kerela and kattas in Karnataka.
Fossil Fuels: These fuels are obtained from the remains of plants and animals, which got buried beneath the earth millions of years ago, changed into coal, petroleum and natural gas due to excessive heat and high pressure inside the earth.
Coal: It contains chiefly carbon and its compounds. Besides this, it also contains nitrogen, sulphur and hydrogen.
Petroleum: ‘Petro’ means rocks and ‘oleum’ means oil, petroleum is therefore, the oil found in rocks.
• It is a complex mixture of solid, liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons.
• It also contains small amounts of other compounds of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sulphur.
• Large reservoirs of petroleum have been preserved by nature for millions of years between porous rocks beneath the earth.
Non-renewable Energy Sources: These are energy sources which cannot be replaced easily when they get exhausted and are also called conventional sources of energy. They are used traditionally for many years and take millions of years to form. Example—Fossil fuels.
Formation of Coal: Coal is formed from vegetable matter which got buried under the earth 300 million years ago. Due to high pressure and temperature inside the earth, this vegetable matter changed into coal, that is why, coal is called fossil fuel.
Formation of Petroleum: It is formed by the decay of very small (tiny) marine animals and plants buried under the earth about 400 million years ago. Due to excess heat and pressure it changed into oil called petroleum. It is a fossil fuel.
Conservation of Coal and Petroleum: It means more efficient use with regard to economic, social or environmental cost and benefits which result in attainment of higher efficiencies in energy use, minimization of wastage and protection of the environment.
• The need of the hour is to conserve coal and petroleum by its judicious use and substituting it by other resources wherever feasible.
• Conservation of coal and petroleum is a joint responsibility of the industries, citizens and government where each one has significant role to play.
Necessity of Judicious Use of Coal and Petroleum: The fossil fuels, coal and petroleum get exhausted and their combustion pollutes out environment, so a judicious use of these resources is necessary.
• When combustion takes place, oxides of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur are formed.
• Carbon monoxide is formed instead of carbon dioxide if there is insufficient air.
• The oxides of sulphur, nitrogen and carbon monoxide are poisonous at high concentrations.
• Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which leads to global warming.
Uses of Fossil Fuels
Coal: Thermal power plants and steam engines.
Petroleum: Petroleum products like petrol and diesel are used as means of transport for motor vehicles and ships.
Other products like kerosene and LPG are used for cooking purpose.
Management of Fossil Fuels: The natural gas is a good alternative to fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. The use of alternative source of non-conventional energy such as solar energy, wind energy, biomass energy, etc. should be promoted to save the reserves of fossil fuels. Biogas can also be used for various purposes.