NATURAL RESOURCE DEPLETION
NATURAL RESOURCE DEPLETION
As man is believed to have evolved through series of stages to attain his present state of being as the most outstanding being and the manager of the global environment, so does our environment. However, the transformations that have occurred in human life is a real inverse of the transformation that the environment has undergone, actually, human transformation is a gradual process and can take centuries to be accomplished while the environment under the same process can take few seconds to be transformed into a state less than its name “environment.” Humanity progresses to greatness while the environment regresses to scantiness. It is therefore clear than nothing but human being is the problem causer to the environment, actually the environment at the contemporary times exists at the mercy of man. The environmental natural capacity is compromised and can hardly support life and perform other basic roles without the backup from the built environment.
Overview of natural resource depletion
My community just like other regions suffers extreme environmental catastrophes; the synergistic environmental impacts that prevail in my community at present are as a result of natural resource depletion.
Depletion of the natural environmental resources in my community began shortly after I had gained an insight as a grown person, there was a massive forest cover with a wide range of wild animals in it, there were also few water sources a dam that had been serving the community over the years, land and vegetation were intact, air was cool and fresh and agricultural production was high.
However, the serenity of the environment could not be sustained for more than a decade when people began by cutting down trees, this was gradual but intense since people cut them without replacement, eventually the land was free of trees, the lands were cultivated and interrelation of environmental problems followed.
At present, the environment suffers degradation and most of the tree and animal species are becoming extinct, there is massive loss of biodiversity and life in general is becoming more complex as a result of environmental changes characterized by food and water shortages, adverse weather patterns, soil erosion, contamination of land remaining water sources among other series of environmental issues. Considering the overall changing and increasing human needs, definitely more harm will still to be caused to the community environment.
Effects of human activities to the community and the biosphere in relation to natural resource depletion
My community largely practices agriculture particularly farming, it is done both for commercial and subsistence purposes.
To meet their diverse needs, farmers resort to use advance and sophisticated farming techniques which include the use of farming machineries, farm inputs like inorganic fertilizers, pesticides and
herbicides, irrigation and some people also use greenhouses in farming. Extensive farming has brought about wrangles regarding land ownership since some farmers trespass to others’ lands by use of forged documents to claim those lands.
Within the environmental context, lands have depreciated their production value since without inorganic fertilizers, there would be unsubstantial yields. High amounts of water are also being harvested from the water sources especially from the dam to irrigate crops, increased land clearance has made the game animals move away while some killed, use of machinery has led to the destruction of soil structure and thus, during heavy rains, the soils and inorganic appliances get washed away into the water sources thereby causing siltation and eutrophication respectively in those water sources.
Finally, the extensive use of farm chemicals contaminates the air which then makes people inhale impure air. Extensive farming demands a lot of resource input; therefore, farmers in turn resort to overuse the available natural resources to meet their farming needs which ultimately result to overall environmental degradation.
Subsequently, there is rapid population growth with leads to increased environmental use and changes, increased demand for subsistence, increased production and consumption rates, competition for need satisfaction and also overuse, misuse and mismanagement of the scarce natural resources.
Increase in population has triggered wrangles among people due to resource competition and need to protect their resource base. In regard to the biosphere, high population compromises the ability on the natural environment to support life; people overharvest or exploit natural resources faster and more intensively than the rate at which the resources can produce and reproduce themselves to provide for the big human number, thus, the resources are perpetually in their limited state and will diminish as the population continues to grow, more resource depletion is still projected to prevail.
In addition, there is high level of pollution by both domestic and agricultural wastes; poor waste management alongside lack of environmental awareness make some people dispose their wastes
irresponsibly which include disposing them on the open lands and close to the water bodies.
Environmental pollution has undermined the quality of life in the community; using unsafe water for domestic uses especially for drinking has heightened the prevalence of water-borne diseases which has killed a number of people. Pollution has therefore has made it difficult for the natural environment to constantly provide and support people’s healthy and safe lives.
Due to prevalent pollution, people tend to acquire and use unpolluted resources which then result to overuse and wastage of these resources after use and subsequently leading to their exhaustion.
The interaction of biotic and abiotic environmental components and their effects to organism’s diversity.
The community encompasses mixed activities at the domestic and socio-economic levels which affect the environmental components in a varied number of ways.
To begin with, farm appliances and domestic wastes when deposited into the water bodies, they alter the purity of the water, they may therefore serve as nutrient supplements that may then induce and facilitate the growth of other water plants. This is evident since the dam and other community’s major water bodies presently have different plants growing in them and aquatic animals seem to have also increased in number possibly because of increased food supply by the plants which also serve as shelter for protection.
However, this interaction has greatly affected fish that were initially in the water bodies since the change in the water PH must have impaired their survival and therefore died,
similarly, the water animals must have fed on them thereby reducing their numbers.
Similarly, the use of machineries and farm input has greatly affected the soil organism, chemical from the herbicides, pesticides and inorganic fertilizers as well as use of heavy loads in farming killed the microorganisms which also contributed to the overall degradation of the soil.
Clearing of vegetation led to the destruction of animals’ habitats; these animals depended entirely of the vegetation for habitation and food, but when the destruction of their habitats began they had no option but to flee away however, some animals were killed for food while others like snakes, jackals, mongoose and hyenas among other were killed. This interplay made almost all the animals to relocate to other regions leaving behind a few.
Finally, change in atmospheric conditions as a result of increased temperatures and low air circulation due to greenhouse effects and deforestation respectively made certain bird species for instance, roseate spoonbills, tinamous, herons, sparrows and a few others flee
away. The environment presently has few bird species, other species could not withstand the environmental degradation hence relocated. Energy and material flow in relation to resource depletion.
Before the advancements in agricultural practices, food production was not in surplus as now, use of advance farming techniques has greatly enhances food production for both local use and commerce. Actually, despite certain negative impacts brought about by extensive farming to both environment and the community, food production has been substantial similar to cash flow. Farmers generate a lot of money when they sell their farm products.
In addition, there is imbalance in energy flow between plants and animals, the most dominant vegetation are farmed crops which no all animals feed on, the available vegetation are scarce and while the animals are more, this results to competition, hence survival for the fittest, this survival technique is mostly encountered during the drought when the vegetation go dry thereby forcing the animals to starve or relocated to other distant regions with food resources.
Actions that can be taken to diminish the resource depletion
The community members should treat natural resource as an environmental disaster that have both actual and potential adverse impacts to them and to the environment, thus there is need for them to integrate viable measures towards combating this menace. These measures may include;
Those with environment knowledge should take the initiative of creating general awareness to the entire community regarding the benefits of conserving the environment; this also integrates educating the farmers on the best farming practices to use, actually farmers should embrace organic more than inorganic farming so as to sustain the ability of the soil in supporting crop growth and production.
The community should develop joint means of managing wastes; the community should connect the public authorities who deal with waste management, this body should schedule specific days when to collect wastes from the community,
this program would help in enhancing the overall community’s hygiene and sanitation which is important in fostering healthy and quality lives within the community.
The community should embrace economic diversity other than depending heavily on farming; this may help reduce the pressure exerted on land and water resources. Economic diversification will also promote the use of other underused or disused resources so as to rationalize resource use.
Harris, F. (2015). Global environmental issues. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Leigh, D., & Olters, J.-P. (2013). Natural-resource depletion, habit formation, and sustainable fiscal policy: Lessons from Gabon. Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund.
Miller, G. T., & Spoolman, S. (2012). Living in the environment: Concepts, connections, and solutions. Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole.
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