Study Material and Notes of Ch 16 Sustainable Management of Natural Resources Class 10th Science

Topics in the Chapter

• Introduction
• Need to manage our Resources
• Forests and Wild Life
• Water for all
• Coal and Petroleum
• Management of Natural Resources


1. Natural resources are the basic substances present in nature which are being utilised by the living organisms for their survival.

2. Some natural resources like water, soil, forests, wildlife, coal, petroleum, etc., should be utilised in a sustainable manner in order to conserve our environment.

3. Overexploitation of natural resources is done by the humans for the following reasons
(i) To fulfil the demands of ever-increasing human population.
(ii) Large scale industrialisation and urbanisation.
(iii) Construction of buildings and housing complexes, etc.

4. A number of laws at national and international level are enforced to safeguard our environment.
5. Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was introduced in 1985, to improve the poor water quality of the Ganga river.

6. We can adopt the 3 R’s – Reduce, Recycle and Reuse, to save our environment.
(i) Reduce involves the less use of resources.
(ii) Recycle involves recycling of used items like plastic, paper, glass, metal, etc., and convert them in to new items.
(iii) Reuse involves using things again and again.

7. The judicious use of resources will prevent wastage and conserve our natural resources.

8. The management should ensure equitable distribution of resources so that all rich and poor benefit from the development of these resources.

9. Forests are ‘biodiversity hotspots’. The loss of its biodiversity leads to a loss of ecological stability.

10. The main aim of conservation is try to preserve the biodiversity we have inherited.

11. The stakeholders of forests are the local and tribal people of the area, the Forest Department of the Government, the industrialists and the wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Each of these groups of stakeholders make use of forests in the following ways:

(i) The people who live in or around the forests are dependent on the forest products for various needs like shelter, food, transport, fuel, medicines and cattle grazing. After the British took control of the forests, these people were forced to depend on much smaller areas and forest resources started becoming overexploited to some extent.

(ii) The Forest Department of India destroyed the huge biodiversity of forests by converting them into monocultures of commercially important plants, such as pine, teak or eucalyptus. Such forests are useful for the industrial purposes and not for local needs.

(iii) Industrialists consider the forest as merely a source of raw materials for its factories. They are not interested in the sustainability of the forest in one particular area. They do not have any stake in ensuring that one particulate area should yield an optimal amount of some produce for all generations to come.

(iv) The wildlife and nature enthusiasts play an active role in conserving the forest in its pristine form.

12. The local people should be actively involved in forest management since they ensure its sustainability.

13. Government of India has recently instituted the ‘Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award’ for Wildlife Conservation in the memory of late Amrita Devi Bishnoi, who laid down her life in 1731 with 363 other people for the protection of ‘Khejri’ trees in Khejrali village near Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

14. Deforestation is mainly caused by industrialism, tourism and development projects. The forests are a vast and complex entity that offers a range of natural resources for our use.

15. There are many movements led by the local people against misuse and overexploitation of forest resources. For example:

(i) The Chipko Andolan (which originated in the Reni village of Garhwal), the villagers used to hug the forest trees and prevent their mass felling by the contactors. The local people use the forest resources without destroying the trees. The destruction of forests affects the soil quality and water sources, in addition to reduced availability of forest resources.

(ii) In 1972, the West Bengal Forest Department by actively involving the villagers in the management of the Arabari forest range, was able to revive the degraded Sal forests of the region. In return, the villagers were given employment in both siviculture and harvesting operations and allowed fuel wood and fodder collection on payment of a nominal fee. By, 1983, a previously worthless forest was valued 12.5 crores.

16. All these movements provide evidence that by involving local people we can ensure the protection and sustainability of forests.

17. Water is a basic necessity as we need it for fulfilling all our needs.

18. Rains in India are largely due to monsoons which is available only for a few months of the year.

19. Irrigation methods like dams, tanks and canals have been used in various parts of India since ancient times. The management of all these water resources was carried out locally and optimally,
according to the agricultural and daily needs of the local people.

20. Large dams serve dual purpose of irrigation and electricity generation. The canal systems leading from these dams can transfer large amounts of water to great distances, e.g., the Indira Gandhi Canal in Rajasthan.

21. The mismanagement of large dams and canal systems leads to unequal distribution of water and its benefits. Therefore, building large dams brings about several social, economic and environmental problems.

22. The construction of several dams like Tehri dam and Tawa dam displaced several poor tribals and peasants without satisfactory rehabilitation or compensation.

23. Watershed management emphasises scientific soil and water conservation in order to increase the biomass production with an aim to conserve the ecosystem. It not only increases the production and income but also mitigates droughts and floods.

24. Restoring the ancient water harvesting systems has recharged ground water levels and is a viable option to the large scale water storage projects.
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