By: Leo Asuquo
The risk of violence of the allocation of shared resources is acute where the resources are scares due to insatiable global demand. This comes at the time that this resources or it’s availability are diminishing, in general the developing world witnesses violent conflicts related to environment scarcities. Within the lifetime of our children and grand children, these environmental scarcities may cause widespread social disorder and violence including war, revolution, ethnic violence, riots and coups that topples government. The main aim of this paper is to give prognoses to policymakers to help preserve and sustain natural resources.
IMPERATIVE STEPS TO SUSTAIN AND PRESERVE NATURAL RESOURCES
(1 ) SUSTAINABLE USE OF PLANT AND ANIMAL RESOURCES: (i) Traditional woodland management system: These woodlands include many species in semi natural communities that will die out if we do not continue to manage them in a traditional manner. Most woodland is managed in two traditional systems as wood postures or coppice. Over centuries the more palatable species such as hazel have been lost. The future of many of this woodland depends on regeneration by the control of grazing pressure. Conserving woodlands help to retain the rich plant and animal communities of the primary forest, which are now rare. (ii) Hedgerows: Many people consider that hedgerows have high value to wildlife conservation. It undoubtedly conserves many species of animals which act as predators of many plants pests. They reduce wind speeds, providing important areas of livestock shelter in their lee and helping to reduce soil erosion. It also gives shelter to beneficial polluting insects. Plants with only localized dispersal mechanism may also benefit from these hedgerows corridors.
(2) WASTE MANAGEMENT AND RECYCLING: Human societies generate large amount of waste. Many wastes contain valuable materials that can be reclaimed and re-used, reducing the need to exploit new supplies of resources. Reclamation and recycling of scrap metals rather than mining new materials is an obvious example; it also reduces the total volume of waste requiring disposal. Much municipal waste is biodegradable. During this process methane, a highly flammable and important green house is produced. Using designed recovery systems the methane can be collected and use for generating electricity.
(3) HOLISTIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL APPROACH TO NEW SOURCES OF ENERGY: Sugar beet widely grown in northern Europe could similarly be processed for fuel alcohol. Fuel alcohol is potentially a cleaner source of energy than fossils fuel since it is sulfur free. New and renewable sources of energy come in many forms which include solar, wind, hydro, biomass technology, geothermal sources and other present, with almost limitless potentials if we can find suitable ways to harness them.
(4) CONSERVATION AGENCIES: (i) Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) Recent examples include an ozone monitoring project sponsored by Volvo. The flora and fauna preservation society is an international voluntary agency based in Britain which specializes in work promoting species conservation and protection. Much more widely known and based in Britain is the World Wide Fund (WWF) for nature which raises large sum of money in support of species and habitat conservation and also active on the international scene. (b) Statutory conservation organization: The national park commissions should be established in different countries to persuade, cajole and advice local authorities on the need to conserve and preserve our natural resources. Other significant statutory organizations are the forestry commissions and national rivers authority, the forestry is a statutory body responsible for timber production while the national river authority should be charged with the responsibility for water quality and conservation where this is related to matters of water abstraction, flood control and similar issues.
(5) DEVELOPING HOLISTIC RESPONSE INITIATIVES TO OVER POPULATION GROWTH: The shrinking of natural resources on a massive scale seems to stem in part from the rapid growth of the earth’s population. Many years of high growth means that as the population keep expanding, natural resources keep diminishing in order to satisfy their basic needs. What makes it more problematic is that population grows faster in the area with no abundant natural resources. The world population conference held in Cairo 1994 emphasized raising women’s status as the key to reducing birth-rate. Large population place more pressure on environmental systems and make exploitation of natural resources more. High population contributes to resources sharing conflicts within a society.
Nature was created to be exploited by man to make life better and enjoyable, therefore over exploitation is an evil that is injurious both to the exploited and the exploiter. With the steps highlighted above it’s necessary to be adopted to help sustain and conserve our natural resources for the future generation unborn.
This commentary by Leo Asuquo from Calabar, Nigeria, was a finalist of the 2016 Nextgen Essay Contest.