Resources and Development- Types steps and conservation

Resources and Development: Everything available in our environment which can be used to satisfy our needs provided. It is technological accessible, economically feasible and culturally acceptable can be termed as ‘resource’.

The process of transformation of things available in our environment involves an interactive relationship between Nature technology and institutions. Human being interact with nature through technology and create institutions to accelerate their economic development of resources. 

Types of resources and Development

Resources functions of human activities. Human beings themselves are essential component of resources. They transform material available in our environment into the sources and use them. These resources and development can be classified in the following ways:-

  • (a) on the basis of origin: biotic and abiotic
  • (b) on the basis of exhaustibility: renewable and nonrenewable
  • (c) on the basis of ownership: individual, community, National and international
  • (d) on the basis of status of development: potential, developed, stock and reserves.
Resources and Development

(a) On the basis of origin

1. Biotic resources

These are obtained from biosphere and have life. For example: human beings flora and fauna fisheries etc.

2. Abiotic resources

All those things which are composed of non living things are called abiotic resources. For example: rocks and metals. 

(b) on the basis of exhaustibility

1. Renewable resources

The resources which can be renewed or reproduced by physical, chemical and mechanical processes are known as renewable or replenishable resources. For example: solar and wind energy, water, forest and wildlife etc.

2. Non renewable resources

These occur over a very long geological time for example minerals and fossil fuels. These resources take millions of years in their formation some of the resources like metals are recyclable and some like fossil fuels cannot be recycled and get exhausted with their use.

(c) on the basis of ownership

1. Individual resources

These are also owned  privately by individuals. Many farmers own land which is allotted to them by government against the payment of revenue.

In villages there are people with land ownership but there are many who are landless.Urban people own plots, houses and other property plantation pasture lands , water in Wells etc. are some of the examples of resources ownership by individuals.

2. Community owned resources

There are develpment of resources which are accessible to all the members of community, village commons- ground, ponds, public park, picnic spots, playgrounds in urban areas are the factor accessible to all the people living there.

3. National resources

Old resources belong to the nation. The country has legal powers to acquire even private property for public good.

You might have seen roads, canals, Railways being constructed on fields owned by some individuals.Urban development authorities get empowered by the government to acquire land.

All the minerals, water resources, forests, wildlife, land within the political boundaries and oceanic area upto 12 nautical miles (22.2km) from the  cost t termed as territorial water and resources there in belong to the nation.

4. International resources

There are international institutions which regulate some resources.The oceanic resources beyond 200 nautical miles of the exclusive economic zone belong to open and no individual country can utilise these without the concurrence of international institutions.

d) on the basis of status of development

1. Potential resources

Resources which are found in a region but have not utilised for example the western part of India particularly Rajasthan and Gujarat have enormous potential for the development of wind and solar energy but so far this have not be developed properly.

2. Developed resources

Resources which are surveyed and their quality and quantity have been determined for utilisation. The development of resources depends on technology and level of their feasibility.

3. Stock

Materials in the Environment  which have the potential to satisfy human needs but human beings do not have the appropriate technology to access. These are included among stock for example water is a compound of two gases hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen can be used as a rich source of energy but we do not have advanced technology know how to use it for this purpose and it can be considered as stock.

4. Reserve

Reserves are the subsets of the stock which can be put into use with the help of existing technical ‘know how’ but their use has not been started. This can be used for meeting future requirement.River water can be used for generating hydroelectric power but presently it is being utilised only to a limited extent.Thus the water in the dams, forest etc. is a reserve which can be used in the future.

Development of Resources

Resources are vital for human survival as well as for maintaining the quality of life. It was believed that resources are free gifts of nature. As a result, human beings used them indiscriminately and this has led to the following major problems.

1. Depletion of resources for satisfying the greed of a few individuals.

2. Accumulation of resources in few hands. which, in turn, divided the society into two segments i.e. haves and have nots or rich and poor.

3. Indiscriminate exploitation of resources has led to global ecological crises such as, global warming, ozone layer depletion, environmental pollution and land degradation.

An equitable distribution of resources has become essential for a sustained quality of life and global peace. If the present trend of resource depletion by a few individuals and countries continues, the future of our planet is in danger.

Therefore, resource planning is essential for sustainable existence of all forms of life. Sustainable existence is a component of sustainable development. Resources and Development is essential part of economic growth.

Resources Planning

Planning is the widely accepted strategy for judicious use of resources. It has importance in a country like India, which has enormous diversity in the availability of resources. There are regions which are rich in certain types of resources but are deficient in some other resources.

There are some regions which can be considered self sufficient in terms of the availability of resources and there are some regions which have acute shortage of some vital resources. For example, the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are rich in minerals and coal deposits. Arunachal Pradesh has abundance of water resources but lacks in infrastructural development. The state of Rajasthan is very well endowed with solar and wind energy but lacks in water resources.

The cold desert of Ladakh is relatively isolated from the rest of the country. It has very rich cultural heritage but it is deficient in water, infrastructure and some vital minerals. This calls for balanced resource planning at the national, state, regional and local levels.

Resource Planning in India

Resource planning is a complex process which involves:

(i) identification and inventory of resources across the regions of the country. This involves surveying. mapping and qualitative and quantitative estimation and measurement of the resources.

(ii) Evolving a planning structure endowed with appropriate technology, skill and institutional set up for implementing resource development plans.

(iii) Matching the resource development plans with overall national development plans.

India has made concerted efforts for achieving the goals of resource planning right from the First Five Year Plan launched after Independence.

The availability of resources and development is a necessary condition for the development of any region. but mere availability of resources in the absence of corresponding changes in technology and institutions may hinder development. There are many regions in our country that are rich in resources but these are included in economically backward regions. On the contrary there are some regions which have a poor resource base but they are economically developed.

The history of colonisation reveals that rich resources in colonies were the main attractions for the foreign invaders. It was primarily the higher level of technological resources and development of the colonising countries that helped them to exploit resources of other regions and establish their supremacy over the colonies.

Therefore resources can contribute to development only when they are accompanied by appropriate technological development and institutional changes. India has experienced all this in different phases of colonisation. Therefore, in India, development. in general, and resource development in particular does not only involve the availability of resources, but also the technology, quality of human resources and the historical experiences of the people.

Conservation of Resources and Development:

Resources are vital for any developmental activity. But irrational consumption and over utilisation of resources may lead to socio-economic and environmental problems. To overcome these problems, resource conservation at various levels is important.

This had been the main concern of the leaders and thinkers in the past. For example, Gandhiji was very apt in voicing his concern about resource conservation in these words: “There is enough for everybody’s need and not for any body’s greed.” He placed the greedy and selfish individuals and exploitative nature of modern technology as the root cause for resource depletion at the global level. He was against mass production and wanted to replace it with the production by the masses.

Land Resources

We live on land, we perform our economic activities on land and we use it in different ways. Thus, land is a natural resource of utmost importance. Development of resources supports natural vegetation, wild life, human life, economic activities, transport and communication systems. However, land is an asset of a finite magnitude, therefore, it is important to use the available land for various purposes with careful planning.

Land Resources
Land Resources

India has land under a variety of relief features, namely: mountains, plateaus, plains and Islands. About 43 per cent of the land area is plain, which provides facilities for agriculture and industry. Mountains account for 30 per cent of the total surface area of the country and ensure perennial flow of some rivers, provide facilities for tourism and ecological aspects. About 27 per cent of the area of the country is the plateau region. It possesses rich reserves of minerals, fossil fuels and forests.

Land Utilisation

Land resources are used for following purposes:

  1. Forests
  2. Land not available for cultivation

(a) Barren and waste land

(b) Land put to non-agricultural uses, e.g. buildings, roads, factories, etc.

  1. Other uncultivated land (excluding fallow land)

(a) Permanent pastures and grazing land.

(b) Land under miscellaneous tree crops groves (not included in net sown area).

(c) Cultruable waste land (left uncultivated for more than 5 agricultural years).

  1. Fallow lands

(a) Current fallow-(left without cultivation for one or less than one agricultural year).
(b) Other than current fallow-(left uncultivated for the past 1 to agricultural years).

  1. Net sown area

Area sown more than once in an agricultural year plus net sown area is known as gross cropped area.

Land use pattern in India

The use of land is determined both by physical factors such as topography, climate, soil types as well as human factors such as population density, technological capability and culture and traditions etc.

Total geographical area of India is 3.28 million sq km. Land use data, however, is available only for 93 per cent of the total geographical area because the land use reporting for most of the north-east states except Assam has not been done fully. Moreover, some areas of Jammu and Kashmir occupied by Pakistan and China have also not been surveyed.

The land under permanent pasture has also decreased. How are we able to feed our huge cattle population on this pasture land and what are the consequences of it? Most of the other than the current fallow lands are either of poor quality or the cost of cultivation of such land is very high. Hence, these lands are cultivated once or twice in about two to three years and if these are included in the net sown area then the percentage of NSA in India comes to about 54 per cent of the total reporting area.

The pattern of net sown area varies greatly from one state to another. It is over 80 per cent of the total area in Punjab and Haryana and less than 10 per cent in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Andaman Nicobar Islands.

Forest area in the country is far lower than the desired 33 per cent of geographical area, as it was outlined in the National Forest Policy (1952). It was considered essential for maintenance of the ecological balance. The livelihood of millions of people who live on the fringes of these forests depends upon it.

A part of the land is termed as waste land and land put to other non-agricultural uses. Waste land includes rocky, arid and desert areas and land put to other non-agricultural uses includes settlements, roads, railways, industry etc. Continuous use of land over a long period of time without taking appropriate measures to conserve and manage it, has resulted in land degradation. This, in turn, has serious repercussions on society and the environment.

Land Degradation and Conservation Measures

We have shared our land with the past generations and will have to do so with the future generations too. Ninety-five per cent of our basic needs for food, shelter and clothing are obtained from land. Human activities have not only brought about degradation of land but have also aggravated the pace of natural forces to cause damage to land.

Some human activities such as deforestation, over grazing, mining and quarrying too have contributed significantly in land degradation.

Mining sites are abandoned after excavation work is complete leaving deep scars and traces of over-burdening. In states like Jharkhand. Chhattisgarh. Madhya Pradesh and Odisha deforestation due to mining have caused severe land degradation. In states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra overgrazing is one of the main reasons for land degradation. In the states of Punjab, Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh, over irrigation is responsible for land degradation due to water logging leading to increase in salinity and alkalinity in the soil.

The mineral processing like grinding of limestone for cement industry and calcite and soapstone for ceramic industry generate huge quantity of dust in the atmosphere. It retards the process of infiltration of water into the soil after it settles down on the land. In recent years, industrial effluents as waste have become a major source of land and water pollution in many parts of the country.

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