(Sample Material) Gist of IIPA Journal: Managing Natural Resources for disaster Reduction A.K. Kaushik and Rituraj

(Sample Material) Gist of Important Articles from IIPA Journal

Topic: Managing Natural Resources for disaster Reduction A.K. Kaushik and Rituraj

Management Strategies

Management or conservation of natural resources means the rational utilization of environment to provide the highest sustainable quality of living for mankind. Conservation of resources is essential for the survival of man. Because life depends on air, water, soil, rocks, forests and water bodies, the ultimate purpose of conservation is to maintain all these in a healthy operating condition. Conservation of resources has, therefore, economic, aesthetic, and scientific value particularly leading to reduction of disasters for mankind.

Certain conservation practices have been developed and adopted from the earliest times of human civilization. Some species of animals were protected by religious taboos; Religious sanctions prevented the destruction of forests, groves, sacred rocks, and mountains. Early civilisations developed good techniques of terracing to prevent soil erosion on hillsides and to make more effective use of water for irrigation. As civilisations progressed and developed, human experiences led to increasingly sound land use practices and protection of wild animals and forests. The agricultural landscapes in India, Japan and China-especially in the hilly areas-reflect the great skill in conservation of soil resources, Irrigated land In the Nile Valley, Alluvial soils in the Great Plains of India and the lava soils in Maharashtra have been kept fertile and productive over thousands of year by the sustained and skilled efforts of men.

The recent history of conservation of natural resources has been’ marked by a great expansion of government role in protecting the environment and, by a growth of public interest in conservation. For the management or conservation of resources and or a much more integrated approach to environmental problems, many countries have established ministries. The principal resources that need conservation and suitable management are soil, water, forest, wildlife (birds, fish, and animals), power resources, metallic and non-metallic minerals, recreational resources, and the life of the people.

Management of Soil

Soi1s are the main basis of support for most of the terrestrial, lives and are important source of nutrients for marine as well as fresh water lives, the composition, physical and chemical properties of soils varies from place to place, depending upon the factors like rocks and minerals from which they are derived, local climate, animals’ and plants live in on them, Soils are essential for human beings for growing crops, fodder, timber etc. It is therefore, important that they should not be allowed to wash or blow-away more rapidly than they can be regenerated, their fertility should not be exhausted, and their physical structures should remain suited to continued production of desired plant materials. The objective of soil management is, therefore, to keep soil in place and in a state favourable to its highest productive capacity.

There are number of physical and cultural factors responsible for depletion and erosion of soils like steeps slopes, rainfall, wind, snowfall and human activities like deforestation, overgrazing, and unscientific cultivation, etc. once the fertile portion of the earth surfaces is lost, it is very difficult to replace it. In extreme cases, soil erosion leads to the formation of deep gullies that cut into the soil and them spread and grow until all the soil is removed from the sloping ground. To check soil erosion and to improve soil fertility, various methods have been practiced in different parts of the world. Some of the important method of soil conservation are to control excessive grazing, rotations of crops, cultivation of short duration cover crops, control of shifting cultivations and to restore gully plugging.

Soil erosion on sloping ground and landslides can be prevented by terracing on steep slopes or by contour cultivation on gentle slopes. To prevent wind erosion shelterbelts of trees are to be planted to break the force of the wind. Ploughing of land at right angles to the direction of wind further serves to prevent wind erosion.

Although measures to stop soil erosion are now widely used in the developed countries developing and the underdeveloped countries of the world are still facing the problems related to soil erosions. Problems related to soil erosion are particularly severe in the tropics, where heavy rainfall and steep sloping ground favour the rapid loss of soil exposed by agriculture and around the edges of the world deserts. Well planned- .programmes for soil management undertaken by a government and concerned agencies can help a long way in solving the problems related to soil management .

Management of Water and Air

Man-requires water for a variety of purposes. All over the world need for water is growing steadily for drinking, for domestic animals, plants, irrigation, industries. Transportation cleaning, sewage disposal, and for the generation of electricity conservation and management is therefore, essential for the survival of the human race, plants and animal life. The requisites or a good water supply should be’ free from mud: smell chemical impurities and infectious bacteria. Most of the ‘governments and local governments are trying to provide good quality of water to their people, but there is still much left to be done in the rural areas of Afro-Asian and Latin American countries.

Generally pesticides, weedicides and chemical fertilizers particularly nitrates along with sewage discharge and house hold detergents go to winking water, as are sun the water becomes toxic. This can be managed if all-sewage discharge of a city or a town is drained in a river, which has passed the town or City. In case there-is no river- near a town then the sewage may be discharged in a nearby lake or pond. This type of management may decrease oxygen contents of water due to which fishes and vegetation of rivers may die. Hence, the purification of sewage through the technique of “Mutual beneficial relationship of A large and Bacteria in sewage in oxidation tanks” should be done before its contents enter a river.

The Scientists concern about the quality of air is a relatively recent development. Air pollution results from a variety of causes not all of which are man responsibility. Dust storms in the desert areas and smoke from forests and grasslands contribute to chemical and particulate population of the air; Air pollution or urban atmosphere is noticeable and causes greater public reaction. The task of removing air pollution, although difficult, is no insurmountable. A part from government it is the duty of each of us to minimize air pollution.

The toxicity of the air can be managed through the technique of exhaust system’s Catalytic Converter. Inside of the converter, oxides of nitrogen are converted to nitrogen and oxygen arid carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons into carbon dioxide and water by passing exhaust gases over a catalyst like platinum and palladium, while outside air is added to provide oxygen to remove carbon mono oxide and hydrocarbons from the exhaust by oxidation process.

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