Sustainable Management of Natural Resources
Human wellbeing and development is heavily dependent on the state of the natural environment. Natural resources are used to power our social and economic development and we rely heavily on different types of ‘ecosystem services in order to ensure the planet carried on to be healthy such as clear water, air, raw materials and food. This is also important for disease regulation as well as creating space for recreation.
While this is the case, the natural ecosystems of the world are under immense and increasing pressure to expand and provide sustainable supply of fuel, fiber and food among other commodities while making provisions for services that are related to clean water, air and biodiversity. Some of the areas that can be focused on to ensure natural resources are sustainably managed include:
- Economic and ecological interrelationships in management of ecosystems
- Assessment of ecosystem services
- Behavior and management of resource managers
- Bio-energy, climate change and carbon sequestration
- Optimal multi-use management of natural resources like forests and parks
Sustainable management of natural resources deals with management of how natural landscapes and people interact. It helps bring together water management, biodiversity conservation, water management and future sustainability of industries such as mining, agriculture, forestry, tourism and fisheries. It also recognized people and their livelihoods are dependent on productivity and health of our landscapes and the actions they take as stewards of the land are critical in maintaining the productivity and health of natural resources.
Sustainability emphasis is traced back to the earliest attempts at understanding the ecological environment of North American rangelands during the late 19th century. The analysis coalesced during the 20th century with the recognition preservationist conservation strategies hadn’t been effective in alteration of the declining natural resources.
A much integrated approach was later implemented that recognized intertwined cultural, political, social and economic aspects of natural resource management. The New South Wells government in 2005 published a Standard for Quality Natural Resource Management with the goal of improving the consistency of practice based on adaptive management approach.
In the US, effective areas of natural resource management include wildlife management which is associated with rangeland and ecotourism management. In Australia, water sharing like catchment management and Murray Darling Basin Plan are some of the most significant management projects. The management of natural resources can be grouped in accordance to the right and type of stakeholder such as state property, private property, common property, hybrid and non-property (open access).
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