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Managing the Earth’s Natural Resources

According to Lawanda (2019), humans must have access to a wide range of natural resources to thrive. We cannot survive without clean air, fresh food, and pure water. Natural resources are required to build and heat dwellings. For us to live and flourish, we rely on them. Plants, fish, fungus, water, soil, and minerals are all examples of natural assets. Exhaustion risk is a popular approach to think about natural resources: do they recover, and if so, how quickly? Specific resources can be replenished fast, such as trees and plants, which are considered regenerative.

Growth and capital investment are typically attributed to the use of environmental assets. There was an increase in resource use due to industrialization. There have been various instances when resource extraction has exceeded the natural regeneration rate of the resource. Endangering the well-being of those who rely on these resources while also threatening the health of ecosystems is the ultimate goal of such overexploitation (James et al., 2021). It is clear that to protect natural resources and ecosystems, we must control how they are used, and one way this may be done is via fisheries collapses.

Natural capital (which includes stocks of environmental assets, territory, and habitats) is essential to economic operations, yet it is often underestimated and mishandled. This has a significant impact on the economy and society, slashing multiple digits off a country’s yearly GDP growth rate. Natural and physical capital cannot always be substituted, and the quality of natural capital might vary quickly, which creates bottlenecks that can slow expansion (Lawanda, 2019). Sustainable renewable resources are all about ensuring the long-term viability of the stock and quality of the resources and ensuring a consistent flow of resources for an indeterminate length of time. Countries that employ non-renewable resources may achieve long-term sustainability by investing the earnings earned from these resources in other types of capital.

Two fundamental elements determine the economic value of natural resources; present revenue flows and prospective future income flows. Natural capital reserves and strategic planning have a significant role in deciding which is more critical: production costs or market demand. The actual value of natural resources can only be appreciated if present and future revenue flows are considered (Svensson et al., 2018). As natural capital is depleted, the former may be a misleading estimate of how environmental issues will contribute to economic growth in time. Renewable and non-renewable resources can be managed responsibly to provide the groundwork for long-term economic growth and poverty reduction in nations with abundant natural resources.

Cultural beliefs of natural resources are becoming essential for local resource extraction protection and utilization in and outside of parks worldwide. As a result, people prefer to concentrate on the immediate consumption of natural resources rather than on their cultural significance and worth (Zaidi et al., 2019). Conservationists need to understand better the cultural values associated with natural assets (explicitly or implicitly exploited) to protect them better.

Nature-society interactions were represented by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment’s definition of cultural ecosystem services as the recreational, aesthetic and spiritual advantages individuals get from ecosystems. However, it is plausible to assume that this element may be more relevant in circumstances where individuals have more time to appreciate a picturesque panorama or engage in nature-based activities such as hiking or fishing (James et al., 2021). Does this feature of nature-society ties matter to those who depend more on natural resources or ecosystem services to provide their livelihood? Ecosystem services that provide cultural ecosystem services—such as scenic beauty, biodiversity, and outdoor recreation space—were found to be very important for people in natural resource-dependent communities to their well-being, according to scientists and researchers who used qualitative and quantitative field research techniques to analyze how people in natural resource-dependent cultures regarded the values of various ecological systems.

Even though natural resources play an essential role economically and culturally, their utilization may lead to conflict. In many cases, community-based natural resource disputes go beyond the borders of a single area or country (Zaidi et al., 2019). Disputes over land usage might arise between local men and women, between groups fighting for ownership of woodlands, or between fishers arguing on the fishing gear they employ. Conflict may include federal agencies, local and multinational corporations, politicians and international development agencies, and non-governmental groups (NGOs) at the community level.

Disagreements may also occur at many levels of authority. Access to and control over the resources people rely on might be the most pressing problem. Alternatively, the disagreement might be over more fundamental concerns like acknowledgement, rights and identity or participation. Conflict may be as mild as misunderstandings over poorly articulated development programs or as severe as violent battles over natural resource possession, rights, and responsibility. Extracting, processing, and exploiting natural resources may generate environmental issues such as air, land, and water pollution, ecosystem disturbance or extinction, and biodiversity loss. Carbon dioxide, generated by the combustion of coal, oil, and natural gas (fossil fuels), is an important greenhouse gas that may cause a rise in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may induce global climate change (a rise in the average global temperature near Earth’s surface), according to experts.

People ought to comprehend that over-exploitation of environmental assets adversely affects the health of ecosystems and the well-being of people in order to answer the question of whether or not to extract and consume the resource for the greater good or whether it is better to leave that resource in place, unchanged, and unused (Svensson et al., 2018). It is imperative to take action, such as ensuring that green public procurement is assured, encouraging technological innovation that promotes material recycling, and embracing judgement call procedures that incorporate and respect indigenous peoples and their cultures in the face of environmental crises.

In my reflection, I favour the usage of natural resources. We can have a healthy ecosystem by adequately managing natural resources. Resource recovery ensures sustainable resource usage and regeneration. Resource recovery conserves natural resources by recovering waste materials (including paper, glass, aluminium, and steel) and recycling them or utilizing them to generate energy. Companies are increasingly creating novel recycling solutions.


James, B., Teuber, S., Miera, J., Downey, S., Henkner, J., Knopf, T., … & Scholten, T. (2021). Soils, landscapes, and cultural concepts of favour and disfavour within complex adaptive systems and ResourceCultures: human-land interactions during the Holocene. Ecology and Society26(1).

Lawanda, I. I. (2019). The importance of information access of cultural values to the principles of sustainable development in climate change. Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication.

Svensson, G., Ferro, C., Høgevold, N., Padin, C., Varela, J. C. S., & Sarstedt, M. (2018). Framing the triple bottom line approach: Direct and mediation effects between economic, social and environmental elements. Journal of cleaner production197, 972-991.

Zaidi, S. A. H., Wei, Z., Gedikli, A., Zafar, M. W., Hou, F., & Iftikhar, Y. (2019). The impact of globalization, natural resources abundance, and human capital on financial development: Evidence from thirty-one OECD countries. Resources policy64, 101476.


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