16. Sustainable Management of Natural Resources | Class 10 CBSE | Web Notes | Part 1: Introduction


Economic development is linked to environmental conservation. Thus sustainable development implies a change in all aspects of life.

Overexploitation of natural resources leads to various environmental problems. E.g. Ganga Action Plan (1985) came about due to the very poor water quality in the Ganga. Presence of Coliform bacteria, (found in human intestines) in water indicates contamination.

Reasons for Pollution of the Ganga

·   Garbage, sewage and excreta from a hundred towns and cities in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar & West Bengal.

·   Human activities like bathing, washing of clothes and immersion of ashes or unburnt corpses.

·   Chemical effluents from industries.

Namami Gange Programme: An Integrated Conservation Mission approved by the Union Government in June, 2014. It has 2 objectives: (i) effective abatement of pollution (ii) conservation and rejuvenation of River Ganga.

National Mission for Clean Ganga: An implementation wing set up in October, 2016.

The five R’s to save the environment

1.  Refuse: This means to say No to unwanted things.

Refuse products that harm the environment. Avoid single-use plastic carry bags.

2.  Reduce: This means that use less. E.g. switch off unnecessary lights & fans to save electricity, repair leaky taps to save water. Do not waste food.

3.  Reuse: Use things again and again. E.g. Reverse used envelopes to use again. Plastic bottles can be used to store things. This is better than recycling because recycling process uses some energy.

4.  Repurpose: If a product can no more be used for the original purpose, use it for some other purpose. E.g. cracked crockery, or cups with broken handles can be used to grow plants and as feeding vessels for birds.

5.  Recycle: Collect plastic, paper, glass & metal items and recycle them to make things instead of making fresh one.  To recycle, wastes need to segregate so that the recyclable material is not dumped with other wastes.


Resources except solar energy are obtained from earth. But these are not unlimited. With the increase of human population, the demand for resources also increases.

Importance of management of natural resources:

o  For sustainable use of resources for the next generation.

o  To ensure equitable distribution of resources.

o  Safe disposal of waste. E.g. mining causes pollution because of the large amount of slag.

Principles of conservation and sustainable management were well established in the pre-historic India. E.g. cultural landscape such as sacred forests and groves, sacred corridors and ethno-forestry practices.

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