RESOURCE CONSERVATION

Resource conservation being a wise use of any resource growing or static, we must for us, our future generation, make sure resource conservation at any cost otherwise we may find the future bleak. World communities are not only worried, they are aware of deteriorating resource base and thus they are hying to overcome any such crisis cropped up by a tentative time target of 2030 under the caption sustainable development goal (SDG). Ninth South Asia Economic Summit held in Dhaka on October 15-16, 2016 under the theme “Reimaging South Asia in 2030” organized by Centre for Policy Dialogue (CDP), Bangladesh in collaboration with IPS, RIS, SAWTEE, and SDPI. This summit stressed upon all the resource sectors including forestry where it focused upon protection, restoration, and promotion of sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainable management of forests, combating desertification, and halting reversion of land degradation and biodiversity loss. Dhaka based Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon & Bangladesh Environment Network jointly organized Special Conference on Sustainable Development Goals & Environment. Many national and international organizations are also having program for resource conservation practices in the context of ever-growing demand.

18.2.1 BIO-RESOURCE CONSERVATION

Economists say—Bio-resources are important components for progress and economic activities of a nation but in fact, bio-resources are the determinant of the very existence of our planet—the only abode for mankind.

When we talk of bio-resource, it is vast, much of it is still unknown, undiscovered and again it is living, regenerating naturally, spontaneously, yet it is in dearth for human need. In fact, the growth rate of bio-resource cannot keep pace with the growth rate of human population and so is their consumption rate. In addition to that, the lifestyle or we may say, the living standard, may not be for all, has become and gradually becoming high and so the consumption of resources naturally goes up. One point here is necessary to impress upon is that the bioresources and non-bioresources are complementary to each other. If one is in dearth, the pressure goes upon the others. So, while talking one, the other should be talked about. When the question of management comes in, it becomes obligatory to manage both in order to maintain a balance in the system of ecosystem function for delivering goods and services to the society. This management must have the concept and applications of conservation principles. Therefore, conservation practices become the gateway to achieve protection, increased growth and growth rate, sustaining the growth and ensure fulfillment of future demand or consumption. This is how sustaining development goal may be achieved. United Nations development program aims at SDGs by 2030. In view of depleting trend of resources, most countries have their own resource conservation and sustainable development program. Of all the causes of resource depletion, human population growth and their changed lifestyle appear contributing more to the cause. Degeneration of forest resources appears jeopardized the ecology and economy, which the world communities could realize late. Earth Summit becomes the warning signals for the people on earth. Since then world communities began thinking and working on environment and development. Progress does not indicate any satisfactory achievement. As water resource is also severely decreasing, the expert’s intuition is world war for water in near future. Cold war for water is already there between many countries. In fact, demand has increased so much and resource distribution is so disproportionate that the growth rate of growing resource cannot keep pace with the rate of consumption. Thus, this imbalance of all the resources leads to destroying harmony, peace, and tranquility.

To talk straightforward regarding bio-resource status all over the world, the present-day observation is that the bio-resource decreases with the increase in population and upgraded lifestyle. In fact, civilization has developed at the cost of bio-resources. Global warming, ozone layer depletion, or climate change, everything is changeable, changing. Nature itself is changing. It is dynamic. It is a natural phenomenon, a natural theory of evolution. The problem of bio-resource depletion is not the normal change, it is an enhanced rate of changes of bio-resources and so is the change of nature. This has happened and has been happening due to excess harvesting beyond the growth rate of the bio-resources and it is not the natural phenomenon. The problem lies in increased or accelerated rate of change and thus it has become a real problem creating gradually an alarming situation. These changes are directly and indirectly affecting the environment, the society, and the people’s livelihood. The population of all life forms and their diversity is also affected. Knowingly well, this adverse situation is not definitely desirable but to someone in some cases, is welcome. It happens when the adverse situation creates an opportunity for someone for making some profitable business.

Forest being one of the most service-oriented bioresource, it is important to have a brief picture of global forest status for our action for overcoming the adverse situation. State of the World’s Forests area in 2016 as estimated in 2005 was to be around 30% of the planet’s land area just under 40 million km2. This corresponds to an average 0.62 ha (6200 nr) per capita. Average forest area in Bangladesh is 0.053 ha per capita while in India, it is 0.58. Bioresource status in those countries is severely vulnerable. Based upon 228 countries, about half of the world forests are in America, one fourth in Europe and less than 20% in Asia. The largest forest areas are in Russian Federation, Brazil, Canada, USA, and China. Of all these five, Russia alone has 20%. Loss of forest from the planet was 130,000 km2 per year during 1990-2005. Of course, efforts were made to regenerate the empty space by planting. Once the virgin forest is lost, it becomes difficult to recover them even by manual replanting. Therefore, the achievement is far behind the expectation. The net loss during that period was 89,000 km2 per year. During the period of 2000 and 2005, the estimated loss was 73,000 km2, per year equivalent to 200 km2 per day. This loss of forests means loss of bioresources in addition to huge mined abiotic resources also. The trend of urbanization, industrialization, and civilization and the trend of bioresource depletion are intimately correlated. The disappearing and or depletion of the forests appear clearly the loss of bioresources. Further, the population growth and human activities are directly responsible for bioresources depletion. The more is the human activities, the more is the exploitation of natural resources. As result of more exploitation, the concept of sustainability of basic resources gets no importance and thus become unsustainable and the ecosystem of our environment becomes jeopardized.

Bioresource under such world trend of exploitation is naturally becomes an unavoidable necessity of the day but the quantity needs to be rationed. This act may help build up a reasonable justification of growth and consumption. In fact, this idea is not being conceived and thus the bioresources have reached a stage of vulnerability. This trend in the Asian region is likely to be in a horrible state where forest lie only 20% as against world average of 30%. Being an Asian country, Bangladesh is struggling hard to protect, to preserve her remnant forest resources but the trend of depletion of forest disheartening. When the world trend of forest resource depletion is likely to continue and the bioresource of countries like Bangladesh with huge population growth will naturally be at stake. This situation developed due to lack of conservation practices for forest resource or it may be for other resources.

18.2.1.1 NATURAL RESOURCES, FOREST, FISHERIES, AGRICULTURE, BIODIVERSITY

It is understood that people at one tune were not really aware of the adverse impact of unregulated harvesting and using natural resources terrestrial and aquatic for meeting their ever increasing demand. Many of the countries today, cannot afford, though well aware of, but to use their natural resources under economic pressure. As a result, environmental deterioration like depletion of resources, pollution of air, water, soil and loss of productivity were going in the process over a long period of time. People aware of the science of natural resources have began to feel the pinch of what worse was going to happen with the natural resources. Salute to them for their initiative and endeavor for organizing a gathering of world leaders and scientists what it was termed Earth summit. Earth summit has taken step to awaken us from our carelessness about environmental degradation.

Universally accepted issue is our vulnerable nature and natural resources. Globally, people are worried for destruction of natural resources as and when they find shortage of necessary resources. Thus gradually they are becoming aware of the resource management for overcoming this world wide alarming situation. The Earth Summit in Rio held in 1992 was the awakening alarm for the mankind on earth. Since then, many countries are now to some extent aware and trying their best to protect, improve and make wise use of these natural resources. But this effort is yet to gain momentum in their activities. Many countries like Bangladesh at lower elevation is much more vulnerable to climate change impact. It is important that all trans-boundary issues are handled by the world communities for the sake of global interest. Many of the less developed countries are more vulnerable but unfortunately, cannot afford to accept challenge and combat adverse impact of climate change.

Environmental hazard, air, water, soil pollution are gradually becoming poisonous to human health but many countries are still continuing their uses of environment—unfriendly nonrenewable natural resources (NNRs). The adverse impact of all such uses are to be naturally shared by all the countries but to redress the adverse effect, the responsible incumbents are in many cases reluctant to share the cost of investment. Because of lack of knowledge about resource behaviors and necessary conservation technology, the conservation practice for resource protection, saving growth augment and built up were not introduced in the resource management plan.

18.2.1.2 MICROBIAL RESOURCES

It has a special emphasis on the utilization of biotechnology as a core technology to increase the value of commercial products, such as food and feed products, enzyme products, drug and bioactive compounds and bio control products. A wonderful world of micro-organisms is playing a vital role in delivering goods and services to mankind. There are many already discovered and yet there are many to discover. This resource management needs special knowledge for correct conservation practices.

18.2.1.3 AGRICULTURE

Forests and trees support sustainable agriculture. They stabilize soils, improve soil fertility level, regulate water flows, protect upland watershed, control soil erosion, and river bed sedimentation, regulate wind and sunlight, sequestrate atmospheric carbon dioxide and provide a habitat for pollinators and the natural predators of agricultural pests. They also contribute to the food security of hundreds of millions of people. The agriculture practices provide an absolute supply sources of food and fanners power and income. Besides, biologically diversified animals of herbivorous habit are solely dependent upon bioresources as food. Agriculture remains the major driver of deforestation globally. In the context of climate change, we need to see agriculture, forestry, horticulture, sericulture, apiculture, aquaculture by their weighted value and thereby a reasonable formulation of land use policy compatible to bioresource conservation policy and practice be achieved. Based on ecology and economy, the resource conservation policy and practice are likely to deliver environment-friendly goods and services.

18.2.1.4 DIVERSIFIED BIORESOURCES

Our planet supports roughly between 3 and 30 million species of plant systems, annuals, fungi, single celled bacteria, and protozoans. They are interdependent, intricately linked in birth, death, and renewal. Human beings are just one small part of the vibrant component of the biological systems on the earth but human beings are the vital and key biological system and put tremendous amount of pressure on species and the environment and ecosystem functions. It interacts with and depends on the nonliving components of the planet such as atmosphere, oceans, freshwaters, rocks, and soils. Humanity depends totally on this community of life, the biosphere of which human populations are integral part. Of this, total biological systems, only about 1.4 million species have been identified and named so far. Little more than half the named species are insects which normally dominate terrestrial and fresh water communities worldwide. Biological balance and eco-system functions are largely governed by insect population. Pollination by insects is a great contribution to the success of agricultural sustainable yield. Predator insects are another group biologically control the harmful insects indirectly augment agriproduction. Many birds predate insect and protect crop while others feed upon crop. There are hundred and one of such example that ensures more or less biological balance. Because of wanton pressure over population some of the species get extinction. To my mind, it seems hardly few countries can manage well vastness of this diversified huge resources of biological species. Under some circumstances, some selective one may be tried in farming, captive breeding, rearing, and domesticated. This approach of resource conservation practice is the time need when we are all scared of rapid extinction of many species. (Prof. S. Kannaiyan, FNAAS, Email: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it ).

18.2.2 NONRENEWABLE RESOURCES—MINERALS, OIL, GAS, COAL, PEAT, AND SO ON

Many developed countries in the world are leading their modem way of living because they have achieved industrialization through utilization of natural resources—both biotic and abiotic. Their rich lifestyle is possibly by their unrestricted use of NNRs—fossil fuels, metals, and nonmetallic minerals—many of which are imported by some. These resources are subject to the geological limitations of a finite planet. Therefore, it would not be unwise to say that life style there in those developed countries is not granted sustainable. When this NNR base is depleted or exhausted, maintaining rich life style by many may become not only difficult, it may not be a surprise to face painful living. Some developed countries use 95% of their NNRs as raw material inputs to the economy each year. There is a record in 2006 that a countiy used over more than 6.00 billion tons of newly mined NNRs.

As life style is dependent upon both NNRs and renewable natural resources (RNRs), efficient management and utilization of both is necessary. They are complementary to each other i.e abundance of one release pressure upon other and on the contrary, scarcity of one creates pressure upon other one.

This is what has already been happening with many developed countries even. The less developed natural resource poor countries are more or less always remain naturally under pressure and need bound to over exploit bioresources. The access to the bioresources is also easy as they are open property. The developed countries at their dwindling trend of NNRs, are gradually becoming aware of this depleting situation of NNRs and therefore worried for their life style likely to be fallen down. The NNRs were used to be procured at cheaper rate and thus the cost of production was naturally more competitive and profitable. Obviously they were more inclined toward NNRs against the RNRs require costly intensive management. The cost of management of RNRs is much higher. Japan is bearing 66% land area under forests yet is highly dependent upon natural resource imports. They do import wood, wood products and huge import of coal for generating thermal power. This import policy of Japan appears wise enough not only to preserves her own natural resources, it ameliorates the environment and ecosystem functions in one hand and on the other hand, creates an unique opportunity in future of making profitable international timber trade and business.

Fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal and metals, and non-metallic minerals are the key sources of industrial revolution. Now the efforts around the world to reduce the use of coal have led some regions to switch to natural gas. Clean coal technology is still expensive but will be popular if it becomes cheaper.

Coal use in the world is still increasing though lot of arguments against the use is there. Some 659,645,000 to 7,238,208,000 ST of coal use has increased during the last 4 years and that is 15.6. The Environmentalists are very vocal against coal use. They understand well about harmful effect of coal burning. It tells upon health of most living being including human being. If coal use is banned, what would be the alternative to coal is a big question. Baiming coal burning will cause depletion of bioresources which in turn reduce carbon sequestration and oxygen release into the atmosphere. The environmentalist should look into both sides of the coin and raise their voice according to the weighted value of use and no use of coal. The wise policy decision may come out thr ough weighted value of the use and no use of coal in a particular area.

One thing here is very important to realize is that the very existence of the planet is dependent upon plant kingdom, that is, bioresource. Of course, symbiosis of biotic and abiotic resources ameliorates the total environment and in fact abiotic resource plays a great supplementary role in the delivery of goods and services through ecosystem functions. As we all know that NNRs are on the way of exhaustion, the world will depend absolutely upon bioresources. If it happens so, what would be the fate of the planet and the living being including human being?

Here, I may suggest that rich country may ban on use of coal upon them but not for the industry—poor countries. The industry poor country may be allowed to use coal for building up necessary industries and becomes weighted parallel with the rich countries. Then the application of ban for use of coal may be imposed for all worldwide. Resource conservation practices should be equally useful for all of us.

18.2.3 HERITAGE SITE CONSERVATION—FOREST RESOURCES LIKE SUNDARBANS WORLD HERITAGE SITE

A World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as of special cultural or physical significance.

Conservation of world heritage site is as important as any other resources. The resource yield is as usefiil as any other useful resources. Two thirds of the world mangrove forests are replaced by urbanization, industrialization. The rest one third still exist under population pressure and they are on their way to exhaustion and extinction.

The Sundarbans mangrove forest, though not the highest area among the other mangrove rich countries, the Sundarbans of Bangladesh is one of the largest such forests in the world (140,000 ha), lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meglma rivers on the Bay of Bengal. It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site. Conservation practice must yield primarily the benefit to the people but the world- renowned mangrove forest/littoral forest at the coastal area has got special charm, special fascination for people of home and abroad. The sea breeze, plenty of pure oxygen, vastness of ever green forests, the royal Bengal tiger, the spotted deer and their friend monkey, the crawling red crab, birds are all visible special eye catching fascination. At time, culling of some deer, removal of some trees on silvicultural principle may be done for hygienic ground. This Conservation practice of heritage part is likely to yield more goods and services both tangible and intangible.

18.2.4 TALENT CONSERVATION

Talent conservation is nothing new. Intelligence boys and girls doing well in the school examination or otherwise are normally taken care by school teachers, guardian’s neighbors, friends and known well-wishers. They desire that the intelligent boys and girls should obtain their highest academic degree and stay with them for rendering sendee to their people. Similarly, the countiy does also try to provide them within the country their befitting job. Sometimes it may so happen that the talented boys and girls are not provided their due facilities or opportunities, try to migrate other countries in search of better facilities. It may also so happen that the country cannot afford to extend necessary facilities, the talented one may migrate elsewhere leaving behind mother land. Sometimes the talented one being allured, left the country ignoring their responsibility toward the country. Sometimes some country may control the migration of the talent by imposing constitutional law. This undesirable migration is termed as brain drainage of a country and it is considered sad and loss of national interest.

Sometimes the talent is exported or it may be said lending for good mission. This one is beneficial to the nation. It is not a loss rather it is a gain to the nation as well. So, the country should accept this concept of talent conservation. A wise talent conservation practice may be adopted as a national talent conservation policy. In this policy guide lines, talent resource may be build up through a training program. This approach may be a commercial venture where plenty of unemployed adult are roaming. This is what is being practiced in many countries but the process needs to be upgraded to the international standard. Talent being a resource, its conservation practice may yield sustainable resource for the nation.

 
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