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Unit-2

Natural Resources and Biodiversity

Natural resources- occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by
mankind, in a natural form. Any components of the natural environment that can be utilized by human beings for their benefit are termed as natural resource. The natural resource can be a substance, an energy unit or a natural process or phenomena e.g. water, air, soil, minerals, coal, forests, crops, and wildlife are all examples of natural resources. Natural resources are derived from the environment. Some of them are essential for our survival while most are used for satisfying our wants. There are various methods of categorizing natural resources, these include source of origin, stage of development, and by their renewability, these classifications are described below1. On the basis of origin

Biotic Biotic resources are obtained from the biosphere (living and organic material), such as forests and animals, and the materials that can be obtained from them. Fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum are also included in this category because they are formed from decayed organic matter. Abiotic Abiotic resources are those that come from non-living, non-organic material. Examples of abiotic resources include land, fresh water, air and heavy metals including ores such as gold, iron, copper, silver, etc. 2. On the basis of development

Potential Resources Potential resources are those that exist in a region and may be used in the future. For example petroleum may exist in many parts of India, having sedimentary rocks but until the time it is actually drilled out and put into use, it remains a potential resource. Developed Resources are those that have been surveyed, their quantity and quality determined and are being used in present times. 3. On the basis of renewability Renewability is a very popular topic and many natural resources can be categorized as either renewable or non-renewable:

Renewable resources are ones that can be replenished naturally in a given span of time. Some of these resources, like sunlight, air, wind, etc., are continuously available and their quantity is not noticeably affected by human consumption. Though many renewable resources do not have such a rapid recovery rate, these resources are susceptible to depletion by over-use. Resources from a human use perspective are classified as renewable only so long as the rate of replenishment/recovery exceeds that of the rate of consumption. Non-renewable resources are resources that form extremely slowly. Minerals are the most common resource included in this category. By the human perspective, resources are non-renewable when their rate of consumption exceeds the rate of replenishment/recovery; a good example of this are fossil fuels, which are in this category because their rate of formation is extremely slow (potentially millions of years), meaning they are considered non-renewable. Some resources actually naturally deplete

in amount without human interference, the most notable of these being radio-active elements such as uranium, which naturally decay into heavy metals. Of these, the metallic minerals can be re-used by recycling them,[1] but coal and petroleum cannot be recycled. The major natural resources are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Energy resources Forest resources Water resources Land resources Mineral resources Food resources

Energy Resources: Sources from which energy can be obtained to provide heat, light,
and power. Sources of energy have evolved from human and animal power to fossil fuels, uranium, water power, wind, and the Sun. The principal fossil fuels are coal, lignite, peat, petroleum, and natural gas. Energy consumption is an index of advancement of a

country. It can be classified as renewable/ non-renewable, conventional/ non-conventional, traditional/ alternative.


(i) Renewable/ Non-renewable Renewable Energy- energy sources which are in-exhaustive and can be regenerated within a given span of time such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geothermal heat. Renewable energy is an alternative to fossil fuels and therefore commonly called alternative energy. Non-renewable Energy- Energy sources which are exhaustible and cannot be regenerated within a given span of time such as fossil fuel like coal, petroleum, minerals etc.

(ii)

Conventional/ Non-conventional

Conventional Sources of Energy (i) The sources of energy which have been in use for a long time, e.g., coal, petroleum, natural gas and water power. (ii) They are exhaust able except water. (iii) They cause pollution when used, as they emit smoke and ash. (iv) They are very expensive to be maintained, stored and transmitted as they are carried over long distance through transmission grid and lines. Non-Conventional Sources of Energy (i) The resources which are yet in the process of development over the past few years. It includes solar, wind, tidal, biogas, and biomass, geothermal. (ii) They are inexhaustible.

(iii) They are generally pollution free. (iv) Less expensive due to local use and easy to maintain. (iii) Traditional/ Alternative

Traditional Sources of Energy are the sources that people have been using for many years. These include coal, petroleum. Alternative Sources of Energy are energy sources that is an alternative to fossil fuel. Examples include: wind, solar, biomass, wave and tidal energy. Renewable energy sources includes solar energy, wind energy, hydropower energy, and geothermal energy. 1. Solar Energy- is the suns rays (solar radiation) that reach the earth. Solar energy can be converted into other forms of energy, such as heat and electricity. It can be used in following ways: (i) Photovoltaic (PV) Energy- is the conversion of sunlight into electricity. A solar cell or PV, is the technology used to convert solar energy directly into electrical power. A PV cell is a nonmechanical device usually made from silicon alloy. Sunlight is composed of photons, i.e. particles of solar energy. These photons contain various amounts of energy corresponding to the different wavelengths of the solar spectrum. When photons strike a photovoltaic cell, they may be reflected, pass right through, or be absorbed. Only the absorbed photons provide energy to generate electricity. The photovoltaic cell is the building block of a photovoltaic system. One cell produces 1 or 2 watts only, which isnt enough power for most applications. To increase power output, cells are electrically connected into a packaged weather-tight module. Modules can be further connected to form an array. The number of modules connected together in an array depends on the amount of power output needed. The performance of a photovoltaic array is dependent upon sunlight. Photovoltaic modules are only about 10% efficient in converting sunlight. Advantages of photovoltaic system 1. Conversion from sunlight to electricity is direct, so that bulky mechanical generator systems are unnecessary. 2. PV arrays can be installed quickly and in any size required or allowed. 3. The environmental impact is minimal, requiring no water for system coolong and generating no by-products.

(ii) Solar Thermal Power Plants- uses the sun rays to heat a fluid, from which heat transfer system may be used to produce steam. The steam in turn converted into mechanical energy in a turbine and then into electricity from a generator coupled to the turbine. It

works the same as thermal power plant except in place of combustion of coal, steam from the fluid which is heated through sunlight is used.

(iii) Solar Thermal Heat- is often used for heating swimming pools, heating water used in homes, and space heating of buildings. Advantages of solar Energy: (i) It is free of cost.

(ii) Its supplies are unlimited. (iii) It does not produce air or water pollution. Disadvantages of Solar Energy: (i) It has indirect impacts on the environment.

(ii) Large solar thermal farms can harm the desert ecosystems if not managed properly. (iii) The amount of sunlight that arrives at the earths surface is not constant. It depends on the location, time of day, time of year and weather conditions. (iv) Since sun doesnt deliver much energy to a specific place at a specific time, a large surface area is required to collect the energy at a useful rate.

Gujarat has been a leader in solar power generation and contributes 2/3rd of the 900 MW of photovoltaics in the country. The State has commissioned Asias biggest solar park at Charanka village, District Patan. The park is already generating 214 MW solar power out of its total planned capacity of 500 MW.

2. Wind Energy: is the energy produced through wind. Wind is air in motion. It is caused by the uneven heating of the earths surface by the sun. Wind energy is mainly used to generate electricity. Wind is a renewable source of energy. Wind energy is harnessed through wind mill. A windmill is a machine that collect the wind kinetic energy and converts the energy into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails. Originally, windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. An important use of it is to pump water, either for land drainage or to extract groundwater. A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to produce electric power. Large wind farms consist of hundreds of individual wind turbines which are connected to the electric power transmission network. A large wind farm may consist of several hundred individual wind turbines, and cover an extended area of hundreds of square miles, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other purposes. A wind farm may also be located offshore. As of 2011, Denmark is generating

more than a quarter of its electricity from wind. Top 10 wind power countries in the

world are (according to Wikipedia):


S.No. Country 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 China United States Germany Spain India United Kingdom Italy France Canada Portugal Total Capacity end 2012 (MW) 75,564 60,007 31,332 22,796 18,421 8,445 8,144 7,196 6,200 4,525 Contribution in total energy generation (%) 3 8 16 2

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Advantages of Wind Energy 1) Wind Energy is an inexhaustible source of energy and is virtually a limitless resource. 2) Energy is generated without polluting environment. 3) This source of energy has tremendous potential to generate energy on large scale. 4) Like solar energy and hydropower, wind power taps a natural physical resource. 5) Windmill generators dont emit any emissions that can lead to acid rain or greenhouse effect. 6) Wind Energy can be used directly as mechanical energy. 7) In remote areas, wind turbines can be used as great resource to generate energy. 8) In combination with Solar Energy they can be used to provide reliable as well as steady supply of electricity. 9) Land around wind turbines can be used for other uses, e.g. Farming.

Disadvantages of Wind Energy 1) Wind energy requires expensive storage during peak production time. 2) It is unreliable energy source as winds are uncertain and unpredictable. 3) There is visual and aesthetic impact on region. 4) Requires large open areas for setting up wind farms. 5) Noise pollution problem is usually associated with wind mills. 6) Wind energy can be harnessed only in those areas where wind is strong enough and weather is windy for most parts of the year. 7) Usually places, where wind power set-up is situated, are away from the places where demand of electricity is there. Transmission from such places increases cost of electricity. 8) The average efficiency of wind turbine is very less as compared to fossil fuel power plants. We might require many wind turbines to produce similar impact. 9) It can be a threat to wildlife. Birds do get killed or injured when they fly into turbines. 10) Maintenance cost of wind turbines is high as they have mechanical parts which undergo wear and tear over the time.

3. Hydropower Energy- Flowing water creates energy that can be captured and turned into electricity. This is called hydroelectric power or hydropower. The most common type of hydroelectric power plant uses a dam on a river to store water in a reservoir. Water released from the reservoir flows through a turbine, spinning it, which in turn activates a generator to produce electricity. Advantages of Dams

Dams generate electricity. It helps in irrigation. Fuel is not burned so there is minimal pollution. Water to run the power plant is provided free by nature. Hydropower plays a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions Relatively low operations and maintenance costs The technology is reliable and proven over time It's renewable - rainfall renews the water in the reservoir, so the fuel is almost always there. It generates employment. It helps in production of inland fisheries. It is used for recreation purposes. Disadvantages of Dams

High investment costs Hydrology dependent (precipitation) Inundation of land and wildlife habitat Loss or modification of fish habitat Fish entrainment or passage restriction Changes in reservoir and stream water quality Displacement of local populations Big dams increase the risk of earthquake because the huge amount of standing water puts enormous pressure on land.

But hydroelectric power doesn't necessarily require a large dam. Some hydroelectric power plants just use a small canal to channel the river water through a turbine. Hydropower is the most important and widely-used renewable source of energy. Hydropower represents 19% of total electricity production. China is the largest producer of hydroelectricity, followed by Canada, Brazil, and the United States. India is blessed with immense amount of hydro-electric potential and ranks 5th in terms of exploitable hydro-potential on global scenario. The present installed capacity as on 30-06-2011 is approximately 37,367.4 MW which is 21.53% of total Electricity Generation in India. The public sector has a predominant share of 97% in this sector. National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC), Northeast Electric Power Company (NEEPCO), Satluj jal vidyut nigam (SJVNL), Tehri Hydro Development Corporation, NTPC-Hydro are a few public sector companies engaged in development of Hydroelectric Power in India. 4. Geothermal Energy- The word geothermal comes from the greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat). Geothermal energy is heat from within the earth. The steam and hot water produced inside the earth can be used to heat buildings or generate electricity. Geothermal energy is a renewable energy source because the water is replenished by rainfall and the heat is continuously produced inside the earth.

Temperature hotter than the suns surface are continuously produced inside the earth by the slow decay of radioactive particles. Most geothermal reservoirs are deep underground with no visible clues showing above ground. Geothermal energy can be on the surface in the form of volcanoes, hot springs, geysers. Naturally occurring large areas of hydrothermal resources (resources where ground water trapped in porous rock is heated up by magma) are called geothermal reservoirs. Current worldwide installed capacity is 10,715 megawatts (MW), with the largest capacity in the United States (3,086 MW), Philippines, and Indonesia. Uses of Geothermal Energy 1. Direct use- hot springs are used for bathing, cooking and heating. 2. Geothermal Power Plants- use hydrothermal resources which have two common ingredients water and heat. They require high temperature (300-700 degree Fahrenheit) These resources can be used by drilling wells into the earth and piping the steam or hot water to the surface.

Advantages It can be extracted without burning a fossil fuel such as coal, gas, or oil. Geothermal fields produce only about one-sixth of the carbon dioxide that a relatively clean natural-gas-fueled power plant produces. Binary plants release essentially no emissions. Unlike solar and wind energy, geothermal energy is always available, 365 days a year. It's also relatively inexpensive; savings from direct use can be as much as 80 percent over fossil fuels.

Disadvantages Disposal of some geothermal fluids, which may contain low levels of toxic materials. Although geothermal sites are capable of providing heat for many decades, eventually specific locations may cool down. Sometimes hydrogen sulfide gas is released, a gas that smells like rotten egg at low concentrations.

Forest resources- forest are one of the most important natural resources on this earth.
These forests not only produce innumerable material goods, but also provide several environmental services which are essential for life. Forest is derived from latin word foris meaning out of door.

Forests are central to all human life because they provide a diverse range of resources: they store carbon, aid in regulating the planetary climate, purify water and mitigate natural hazards such as floods. Forests also contain roughly 90 percent of the world's terrestrial biodiversity. India is one of the 12 mega biodiverse regions of the world. Indian forests types include tropical evergreens, tropical deciduous, swamps, mangroves, sub-tropical, montane, scrub, sub-alpine and alpine forests. These forests support a variety of ecosystems with diverse flora and fauna. There are three major types of forests according to latitude: 1. Tropical- They are characterised by the greatest diversity of species. They occur near the equator, within the area bounded by latitudes 23.5oN to 23.5o S. Only two seasons are present i.e. rainy and dry. The length of daylight is 12 hours and varies little. The average temperature is 20-25oC and varies little throughout the year. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with annual rainfall more than 200 cm. Soil is nutrient poor and acidic. Canopy is multilayered and continuous, allowing little light penetration. Flora is highly diverse. In one square kilometer it may contain as many as 100 different tree species. Trees are 25-35 m tall. More than half of tropical forests have already been destroyed.

2. Temperate- they occur in eastern North America, northeastern Asia and western and central Europe. Well defined seasons with a distinct winter. Temperature varies between -30oC to 30oC. Precipitation is distributed evenly throughout the year and is between 75-150 cm annually. Soil is fertile, enriched with decaying litter. Canopy is moderately dense and allows light to penetrate. Flora is characterised by 3-4 tree species per square kilometre. Trees are distinguished by broad leaves that are lost annually. Only scattered remnants of original temperate forests remain.

3. Boreal or Taiga- It represent the largest terrestrial biome. Occurring between 50 and 60 degrees north latitudes. It is found in the broad belt of Eurasia and North America, two thirds in Siberia with the rest in Scandinavia, Alaska and Canada. Temperatures are very low (-54oC to 21oC). Precipitation is primarily in the form of snow, 40-100 cm annually. Soil is thin, nutrient poor and acidic. Canopy permits low light penetration. Flora consists mostly of cold- tolerant evergreen conifers with needle like leaves such as pine, fur and spruce.

Uses of Forest

Forests are vital to the ecological functioning of the planet, producing 60% of the net productivity of all terrestrial ecosystems. They also form the habitat for a large portion of the earths plant and animal species, providing the basis for the biodiversity which is essential for the biospheres future. The diverse functions of forests can be stated as follows (i) Productive Functions - The forest provide fuel for warmth and cooking, and materials for shelter, tools and transport. One acre of forest provides over 6 tons of oxygen per year. Without forest we would have less oxygen. Some species have shown great importance in the medical field. Forests are the major carbon sink. They use a process called photosynthesis during which they take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. (ii) Protective functions- forests protect our waters and manage our climate. When it rains in the forests, the leaves allow the water to slowly drip to the ground. Without trees the rain pours hard on the unprotected soil. The dirt washes into streams, muddying the water. This is unhealthy for the fish and can cause flooding and soil erosion. Also without trees the moisture in the air evaporates quickly, changing the climate of nearby forests. Plant cover, root systems, and the quality of topsoil enable good infiltration and water retention. Forests also play a role as landscape and recreation areas. (iii) Regulative Functions- forest regulates temperature, humidity, precipitation, shape soil environment and different hydrological cycles. Deforestation- is the permanent destruction of indigenous forests and woodlands. It is the complete cleaning of tree formation and their replacement by using land for other purpose. According to Forest Survey of India Report (2011), forest cover of India is 21.05%. Factors causing deforestation 1. Natural- forest fire, soil erosion, drought 2. Economical- agriculture (growing food needs), establishment of heavy industries, development projects, urbanization (population growth) 3. Traditional- shifting cultivation, grazing, fuel, Forest conservation must be carried out because of the following benefits associated:
The proper balance of atmospheric carbon dioxide is maintained by the trees which

in turn help control the greenhouse effect.


Forests are a source of various products that have economic values of there own.

For example: timber, gum, raisins etc.


There are varieties of plants that are of medicinal values and as such conservation of

the species becomes essential.


Forests also provide shelter for wildlife and bird species. So in order to support

them forest conservation is again essential.


Many plant species of economic and medicinal importance are becoming

endangered, so for their preservation forest conservation must be practiced.


Forests, above all maintains a proper balance in the nature by preventing extreme

conditions like drought, flood, landslide etc. So forest conservation becomes significant.

Forest conservation also helps protect and preserve various endangered animal

and bird species. Chipko Movement: This is one of the measures that were undertaken for the conservation of forest. Since the early 1970s, as deforestation started threatening not only the ecology but the livelihood of the people in a variety of ways, they then became more interested and involved in conservation of forest. The Chipko Movement then came into place which local women under the leadership of Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Sunderlal Bahuguna. They decided to fight the government and their vested interests to save trees. The movement has spread and now has become an ecological movement leading to similar actions in other forest areas. The movement proved to be a success, it slowed down the process of deforestation, increased ecological awareness.

Sustainable forest management A definition of Sustainable Forest Management was developed by the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE), and has since been adopted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It defines sustainable forest management as: The use of forests and forest lands in a way, and at a rate, that maintains their biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to fulfill, now and in the future, relevant ecological, economic and social functions, at local, national, and global levels, and that does not cause damage to other ecosystems. In simpler terms, the concept can be described as the attainment of balance balance between society's increasing demands for forest products and benefits, and the preservation of forest health and diversity. This balance is critical to the survival of forests, and to the prosperity of forest-dependent communities. For forest managers, sustainably managing a particular forest tract means determining, in a tangible way, how to use it today to ensure similar benefits, health and productivity in the future. Forest managers must assess and integrate a wide array of sometimes conflicting factors commercial and non-commercial values, environmental considerations, community needs,[2] even global impact to produce sound forest plans. In most cases, forest managers develop their forest plans in consultation with citizens, businesses, organizations and other interested parties in and around the forest tract being managed. The tools and visualization have been recently evolving for better management practices.[3] Because forests and societies are in constant flux, the desired outcome of sustainable forest management is not a fixed one. What constitutes a sustainably managed forest will change over time as values held by the public change. Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 India had a forest conservation Act in 1927, forest related legislations after independence came about as late as 1980 with the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. The act was inacted with a view to conserve forests and to check indiscriminate dereservation and diversion of forest land to non-forest purposes. The objectives of the act are 1. Protection and conservation of forests.

2. To ensure judicious use of forest products. Forest conservation must be carried out because of the following benefits associated:
The proper balance of atmospheric carbon dioxide is maintained by the trees which

in turn help control the greenhouse effect.


Forests are a source of various products that have economic values of there own.

For example: timber, gum, raisins etc.


There are varieties of plants that are of medicinal values and as such conservation of

the species becomes essential.


Forests also provide shelter for wildlife and bird species. So in order to support

them forest conservation is again essential.


Many plant species of economic and medicinal importance are becoming

endangered, so for their preservation forest conservation must be practiced.


Forests, above all maintains a proper balance in the nature by preventing extreme

conditions like drought, flood, landslide etc. So forest conservation becomes significant.
Forest conservation also helps protect and preserve various endangered animal

and bird species. Chipko Movement: This is one of the measures that were undertaken for the conservation of forest. Since the early 1970s, as deforestation started threatening not only the ecology but the livelihood of the people in a variety of ways, they then became more interested and involved in conservation of forest. The Chipko Movement then came into place which local women under the leadership of Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Sunderlal Bahuguna. They decided to fight the government and their vested interests to save trees. The movement has spread and now has become an ecological movement leading to similar actions in other forest areas. The movement proved to be a success, it slowed down the process of deforestation, increased ecological awareness.

Environment (Conservation) Act, 1986 In response to the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment at Stockholm, India enacted The Environment (Conservation) Act, 1986 and the corresponding Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986. This is the general enactment that empowers Central Government to prevent, control and abate environmental pollution. The objectives of the act are 1. Protection and improvement of the environment. 2. Prevention of hazards to all living creatures and property. 3. Maintenance of harmonious relationship between humans and their environment. Wildlife Protection Act (1972) India is a signatory to the convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. The Government of India enacted Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972 with the objective of effectively protecting the wild life of this country and to control poaching,

smuggling and illegal trade in wildlife and its derivatives. The Act was amended in January 2003 and punishment and penalty for offences under the Act have been made more stringent. The Ministry has proposed further amendments in the law by introducing more rigid measures to strengthen the Act. The objective is to provide protection to the listed endangered flora and fauna and ecologically important protected areas. The objectives of the act are 1. To maintain essential ecological processes and life supporting systems 2. To preserve biodiversity 3. To ensure a continuous use of species, i.e. protection and conservation of wildlife.

Water Resources- Various water resources like oceans, seas river, pond etc. In water resources write about the hydrosphere. Uses of water like in dams (advantages and disadvantages). Recycling of water in the environment through hydrological cycle (discuss). Use notes from first unit. Rainwater Harvesting- is the method of utilizing rainwater for domestic and agricultural use by capturing and storing the rainwater above the ground or recharge the underground for its later use. It is essential because Surface water is inadequate to meet our demand and we have to depend on groundwater. Due to rapid urbanization, infiltration of rainwater into the subsoil has decreased drastically and recharging of groundwater has diminished. Rainwater harvesting has the following objectives To reduce run-off loss To avoid flooding of roads To meet the increasing demand of water To raise the water table by recharging groundwater To reduce groundwater contamination To supplement groundwater supplies during lean season Prevents soil erosion and flooding especially in urban areas The following methods are adopted for modern and traditional harvesting: Storage of rainwater on surface for future use by constructing pits, dug-well, lagoons, trench or check-dams. Recharge to groundwater uses pits, trenches, dug wells, recharge wells, recharge shafts, lateral shafts with borewells.

Components of Rainwater Harvesting systems have the following 5 basic components: 1. Catchment : the surface from which rainwater is collected for storage. This could be a rooftop, a paved flooring surface or a landscaped area. Catchment area is the area of that surface, usually calculated in square metres. 2. Gutters and Downtake pipes: lead the water from the catchment surface to the storage tank 3. Filters and first flush devices: remove grit, leaves and dirt that the rainwater may transport from the catchment, before the water enters the storage tank. When it rains after a long gap, the rooftops are usually very dirty and the rainwater also carries with it a lot of dissolved air pollutants. A first flush device diverts the water from the first rain so that it does not enter the storage tank. 4. Storage tanks: These can be above the ground or below the ground. 5. Delivery systems: Piping systems that convey the stored rainwater till the point of end-use. It is not recommended to use harvested rainwater for drinking, cooking and dishwashing unless water quality issues are verified and necessary treatment or purification systems installed.

Land resources- land is a finite and valuable resource upon which we depend for our food, fiber and fuel wood, the basic amenities of life. Land is home to many unique plants and animals. They have developed here over millions of years in isolation. The surface layer of the land is called soil. Soil is the foundation for plant life on land. It is continuously regenerated by natural process, though at a very slow rate. It takes thousands of years for rocks to weather into soils, and hundreds of years for rich organic matter to build up. Our welfare depends, to a large extent, on our soil and climate. Entire civilizations can rise and fall depending on their soil quality.
Soil is formed over time as a consequence of climatic, mineral and biological processes. The rock from which soil is formed is called parent material. The main types are: aeolian, glacial till, glacial

outwash, alluvium, lacustrine parent material and residual parent material, or bedrock. A variety of mechanisms contribute to soil formation, including siltation, erosion, overpressure and lakebed succession. A specific example of the evolution of soils in prehistoric lake beds is in the Makgadikgadi Pans of the Kalahari Desert, where change in an ancient river course led to millennia of salinity buildup and formation of calcretes and silcretes. Gravity, wind and water can wear away the soil surface and move soil far from where it was formed. This process is called erosion. Soil erosion is defined as the movement of soil components from one place to another. Soil erosion results in the loss of fertility because it is the top soil layer which is fertile. 1. Soil erosion is basically of two types based upon the cause of erosion: Normal erosion- caused by gradual removal of top soil by natural processes which bring equilibrium between physical, biological and hydrological activities and maintain a natural balance between erosion and renewal. Accelerated erosion- caused by anthropogenic activities and the rate of erosion is much faster than the rate of formation of soil. Overgrazing, deforestation and mining are some important activities causing accelerated erosion. 2. On the basis of types of agents: Climatic agents- water and wind are the climatic agents of soil erosion in the form of torrential rains, rapid flow of water along slopes, run-off, wave action and melting and movement of snow. Biotic agents- excessive grazing, mining and deforestation are the major biotic agents responsible for soil erosion.

Soil conservation is a set of management strategies for prevention of soil being eroded from the Earths surface or becoming chemically altered by overuse, acidification, salinization or other chemicalsoil contamination. It can be done by 1. Conservational till farming- leaves at least 30% of crop residue on the soil surface, or at

least 1,000 lb/ac (1,100 kg/ha) of small grain residue on the surface during the critical soil erosion period. This slows water movement, which reduces the amount of soil erosion. Conservation tillage also benefits farmers by reducing fuel consumption and soil compaction. By reducing the number of times the farmer travels over the field, farmers realize significant savings in fuel and labor.
2. Contour farming- is ploughing across a slope following its elevation. The practice of tilling sloped land along lines of consistent elevation in order to conserve rainwater and to reduce soil losses from surface erosion. These objectives are achieved by means of furrows, crop rows, and wheel tracks across slopes, all of which act as reservoirs to catch and retain rainwater, thus permitting increased infiltration and more uniform distribution of the water.

3. Windbreaks- Windbreaks are created by planting sufficiently dense rows of trees at

the windward exposure of an agricultural field subject to wind erosion.


4. Terracing- a terrace is a piece of sloped plane that has been cut into a series of successively receding flat surfaces or platforms, which resemble steps, for the purposes of more effective farming. This type of landscaping, therefore, is called terracing. 5. Strip Cropping- alternate strips of closely sown crops such as hay or wheat with strips of

row crops such as soyabean, cotton, corn.


6. Alley Cropping crops are planted between rows of hedges of nitrogen fixing plants the

roots of which enrich the soils.


Land degradation is the temporary or permanent lowering of the productive capacity of land.It covers various forms of soil degradation , adverse human impacts on water resources, deforestation and lowering of the productive capacity of rangelands. Causes of Land Degradation 1. Soil erosion by water and wind Water erosion covers all forms of soil erosion by water, including sheet and gullying. Wind erosion is loss of soil by wind occurring primarily in dry regions. 2. Soil fertility decline- deterioration in soil physical, chemical and biological properties. The main processes involved in decline in fertility is Lowering of soil organic matter, associated with decline in soil biological activity. Degradation of soils physical properties as brought about by reduced organic matter. Adverse changes in soil nutrient resources, including reduction in availability of the major nutrients

3. Water logging- when the water table of the groundwater is too high that it stops oxygen from getting into the soil. It causes lowering in land productivity through the rise in groundwater close to the soil surface. 4. Salinisation- soil degradation brought about by the increase of salts in the soil. Human activities that occur mainly through incorrect planning and management of irrigation schemes. 5. Lowering of water table- over consumption of groundwater for irrigation, urbanisation and industrial use causes lowering of the water table. 6. Deforestation- problems of soil erosion and soil infertility increases.

Mineral Resources
Mineral resources are defined as elements, chemical compounds, minerals or rock concentrated in a form that can be extracted to obtain a sustainability commodity. Minerals are the naturally occurring inorganic, crystalline solid having a definite chemical composition and characteristic physical properties. These are the natural resources which cannot be renewed. They are present in the organisms as an organic and inorganic molecule and ions. The calcium, phosphorous, sodium, chlorine and sulphur are the major minerals in the animals. The minor minerals in the animals are iron, copper, cobalt, zinc, fluorine and selenium. The minerals in the plants are divided into the macro and micro nutrients. The macro nutrients consist of calcium, magnesium, sulphur and iron. The micro nutrients consist of manganese, cobalt, zinc and chlorine. The minerals are present everywhere in the world. Their distribution varies from one country to the other. They are non equal in the distribution. India is rich in coal, manganese, iron, chromites and mica. It is deficient in the gold, silver, nickel etc. In the North America there is an abundance of molybdenum but it is deficient in the tin, manganese. However these deficient metals are found in abundance in the Indonesia and Malaysia. The gold and uranium occurs in good abundance at the South Africa but it has a deficiency of silver and iron. Effects of mineral extraction1. Land degradation 2. Surface and groundwater water pollution due to the release of harmful trace elements Such as cobalt, cadmium, lead by leaching. 3. Adverse effect on the growth of vegetation. 4. Defacing of landscape. 5. Subsidence of land. 6. Loss of fauna and flora, finally resulting in deforestation. 7. Air pollution due to emission of harmful gases. 8. Adverse effects on biological environment directly or indirectly by mining.

9. Physical changes in the land, water, soil and air associated with mining. 10. Rehabilitation problem of local inhabitant especially tribal people. 11. Occupational health hazard.

Resettlement and Rehabilitation Issuesthe difficulty in resettlement and rehabilitation is not only about the village people losing their houses, but they are also deprived of the land and natural resources that constituted their economic survival base. The natural resources are nonformal sources of income which are neither recognized nor documented, and hence never compensated for. Though villagers are economically benefited but are socially degraded due to Mining Induced Displacement and Resettlement. Mining induced displacement leaves their scars on project affected population.

Waste Land Reclamation Method


Reclaiming lands that have been laid waste in an extraction or industrial process is "wasteland reclamation." Strip-mining coal produces wastelands. Using chemicals in an industrial process, then dumping the used chemicals either on the land or into a stream creates wastelands or releasing chemicals into the air in an industrial process can create waste lands.
Reclamation: Some of the measures used to reclaim these waste lands are the following: (i) These lands can be brought under cultivation by using abundant water and fertilizers.

(ii) Afforestation and agronomical practices are adopted to conserve the soil. So that they can be used for agriculture (iii) Contour bunds are constructed affording safe disposal of water of the catchment areas. (iv) These lands are also used for settlement of landless agricultural workers.

Food Resources- food is any substance usually composed of carbohydrates, fats,


proteins and water that can be eaten or drunk by an animal or human for nutrition or pleasure.

Food Revolution in India- An increase in food production, especially in underdeveloped


and developing nations, through the introduction of high-yield crop varieties and application of modern agricultural techniques. The introduction of high-yielding varieties of seeds and the increased use of chemical fertilizers and irrigation are known collectively as the Green Revolution, which provided the increase in production needed to make India self-sufficient in food grains, thus improving agriculture in India.

Measures Adopted in Green Revolution[edit]


Use of high yielding varieties (HYV) of seeds

Irrigation Use of insecticides and pesticides Consolidation of holdings Land reforms Improved rural infrastructure Supply of agricultural credit Use of (chemical) fertilizers Use of Sprinklers or Drip Irrigation

Impacts of Green Revolution


Positive Impacts
1. Increase in production / yield. 2. Advantage to farmers: this includes their economic situation improving, even small and marginal farmers (although they were late in joining) getting better yield, control on many insects and pests, mechanizing improved working conditions. 3. Better land use by employing two and three crop pattern. 4. Better scientific methods applied as per requirement of farms. 5. New seeds have been developed with better yield and disease fighting capability. 6. Good earning by farmers. 7. Improves country's economic development.

Negative Impacts
1. Degradation of land: Due to change in land use pattern and employing two and three crop rotation every year land quality has gone down and yield has suffered.Also due to heavy chemical fertilizer inputs land has become hard and carbon material has gone down. 2. Weeds have increased: Due to heavy crop rotation pattern we do not give rest to land nor we have time to employ proper weed removal system which has increased weeds. 3. Pest infestation has gone up: Pests which we used to control by bio degradable methods have become resistant to many pesticides and now these chemical pesticides have become non effective. 4. Loss of Bio Diversity: Due to heavy use of chemical pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers, we have lost many birds and friendly insects and this is a big loss in long term. 5. Chemicals in water: These chemicals which we have been using in our farms go down and contaminate ground water which effect ours and our children's health. 6. Excess use of fertilizers have made the soil infertile. 7. Overuse of chemical fertilizers may affect human's health.

Sustaining Agricultural Practices and Concept of Organic Farming


Sustainable agriculture is the act of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It has been defined as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will last over the long term:

Satisfy human food and fiber needs


Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends Make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls Sustain the economic viability of farm operations Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.

Concept of organic farming organic farming is a system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic inputs (such as fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, feed additives etc) and to the maximum extent feasible rely upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, off-farm organic waste, mineral grade rock additives and biological system of nutrient mobilization and plant protection. The concept of organic farming is based on following principles: Nature is the best role model for farming, since it does not use any inputs nor demand unreasonable quantities of water. The entire system is based on intimate understanding of nature's ways. The system does not believe in mining of the soil of its nutrients and do not degrade it in any way for today's needs. The soil in this system is a living entity The soil's living population of microbes and other organisms are significant contributors to its fertility on a sustained basis and must be protected and nurtured at all cost. The total environment of the soil, from soil structure to soil cover is more important. In today's terminology it is a method of farming system which primarily aims at cultivating the land and raising crops in such a way, as to keep the soil alive and in good health by use of organic wastes (crop, animal and farm wastes, aquatic wastes) and other biological materials along with beneficial microbes (biofertilizers) to release nutrients to crops for increased sustainable production in an eco-friendly pollution free environment. Food Adulteration and Malpractices Food adulteration is defined as a process by which the quality or the nature of a food is reduced through: 1. The addition of a foreign or an inferior substance

2. The removal of a vital element Food adulteration is a growing problem in India, with rampant instances of adulteration of even essential food items such as milk, ghee and spices. It may endanger health. It can be intentional and unintentional. Misbranding is another malpractice where manufacturers, in a bid to popularize their products and boost profits, package their products in a way that they resemble an existing popular product. Making false promises on the product package or on advertisements also amount to misbranding. To avoid such malpractice, consumers must be aware of their rights and understand the provisions of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, that has strict punishments for offenders. Lack of awareness amongst consumers is a major contributor to this growing problem. Services/ Products Quality parameters ISO- The International Organization for Standardization known as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on 23 February 1947, the organization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. It is headquartered in Geneva,Switzerland. It was one of the first organizations granted general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. ISI- is a certification mark for industrial products in India. The mark certifies that a product conforms to the Indian Standard,mentioned as ISI on top of the mark, developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the national standards body of India. The ISI mark is by far the most recognized certification mark in the Indian subcontinent. The name ISI is an abbreviation of Indian Standards Institute, the former name of the Bureau of Indian Standards. The ISI mark is mandatory for certain products to be sold in India, like many of the electrical appliances viz; switches, electric motors, wiring cables, heaters, kitchen appliances etc., and other products like portland cement, LPG valves, LPG cylinders, automotive tyres etc. But in the case of most other products it is voluntary. BIS- The Bureau of Indian Standards is the national Standards Body of India working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India. It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 which came into effect on 23 December 1986. The Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS is ex-officio President (Emaad Amin) of the BIS.

AGMARK is a certification mark employed on agricultural products in India, assuring that they conform to a set of standards approved by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection,

an agency of the Government of India. The present AGMARK standards cover quality guidelines for 205 different commodities spanning a variety of Pulses,Cereals, Essential Oils, Vegetable Oils, Fruits & Vegetables, and semi-processed products like Vermicelli. The term agmark was coined by joining the words 'Ag' to mean agriculture and 'mark' for a certification mark. The entire system of Agmark, including the name, was created by Archibald Macdonald Livingstone, Agricultural and Marketing Advisor to the Government of India, from 1934 to 1941. He was supported by a staff of several hundred. The system was designed to benefit local growers throughout India who were, in the absence of a certification as to quality, exposed to receiving less for their produce from dealers than its true worth.

Biome- A biome is a large geographical area of distinctive plant and animal groups, which
are adapted to that particular environment. The climate and geography of a region determines what type of biome can exist in that region. Major biomes include deserts, forests, grasslands, tundra, and several types of aquatic environments. Each biome consists of many ecosystems whose communities have adapted to the small differences in climate and the environment inside the biome.

Habitat- is the place where an organism lives in nature. Niche-is the term describing the way of life of species. It is the functional role of a species in
its community not just where it lives and what it eats but also who eats it, where it lives, how much of resources it uses.

Homeostasis-is the tendency of a biological system to resist any change to remain in a


state of equilibrium.