Air, water, energy, minerals, soil, land, plants and animal wealth are the natural resources since they are all part of nature. There are three types of resources: Continuous, renewable and non-renewable. Solar energy, wind energy, gravity, tidal energy and geothermal energy are the continuous resources. Water, flora and fauna and biodiversity in general are renewable resources. Minerals, ground water, oil and gas are non-renewable resources.
Concept of Sustainability
Sustainable development meets the needs of present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Desertification, deforestation, biodiversity depletion adversely affect future generations. Sustainability is the enhancing of community resources so that the ecosystems on which ultimately depends are not damaged. Every developmental issue takes into consideration social, ecological and economic factors.
Conservation is the safeguarding, maintaining or protecting and wise management of natural resources. Biodiversity remains conserved because of traditional ecological knowledge. The practices of tribal communities have maintained soil fertility, soil moisture and water regimes.
Conservation of Water
Water consuming human activities put a great strain on our water resources. Fresh water is the ground water stored in spaces in the soil and cracks in the rocks. Collecting and using rain water which normally runs off on natural or man made catchment areas. Homes, farms, parks, forests are all components of the water shed.
Conservation of Soil
Fertile upper part of the soil is the most productive, rich in organic content with adequate moisture with a rich biodiversity. Soil erosion occurring now is the result of manmade disasters. Healthy soil is a key to sustainability. Soil health depends on its nutrient content and moisture. Animal manuring, farming with diversity, growing legumes, green manuring are the techniques used to maintain soil fertility. Contour farming, strip cropping and terracing, wind brakes, mulching are the various methods which keep the soil covered with vegetation and thus control soil erosion.
Conservation of Forests
Forests are natural ecosystems with a multi species composition. Restrained felling, control of disasters, reforestation, recycling forest produce, block and selective cutting are some of the various techniques to harvest forest trees. Biosphere reserve is the undisturbed natural area where everything is protected in its totality.
Conservation of Wildlife
Wildlife is a state of life in the wild or in its natural habitat which includes both plants and animals. Objectives are: enforcing wild life laws, manipulating wild life population, preservation and perpetuation of endangered plants and animals. Methods of conservation of wildlife are in situ and ex situ conservation.
Habitat is a physical place in the environment where a certain type of organism lives. Two types of habitats: Terrestrial and aquatic. Reforestations, reclamation of waste land, conservation of wet lands, controlling wild life trade, expansion of protected area network are the methods for habitat improvement.