UGC NTA NET Exam Preparation: Natural Energy Resources |Unit-9|Part-11|

 UGC NTA NET Exam Preparation: Natural Energy Resources |Unit-9|Part-11|

Natural resources are materials provided by the earth that human beings use to make more complex, utilisable products. they occur naturally which means that humans cannot produce natural resources. instead, humans use and modify natural resources in ways that are beneficial to themselves.

Classification of Natural Resources: some of the natural resources are easily available and can be classified as follows

1. Forest Resources: A forest is a natural ecosystem that has multi-species and multi-aged trees as the dominant community. About one-third of the earth's total areas is covered by forests.

forest provide various natural resources and products. Apart from it, forests play a significant role in maintaining ecological balance.

Exploitation of Forest Resources : Deforestation is only responsible for the exploitation of indigenous forest and woodlands. it has resulted in the reduction of indigenous forests to four-fifths of their pr-agricultural area.
Following are the main causes of deforestation

  • Population Explosion: It possess a great threat to the environment. vast areas of forest land are cleared to reclaim land for human settlement
  • Forest Fire: It is caused by both natural and human activities. human clearing forest for habitation, agriculture, firewood, construction of roads, etc. therefore, they fire the forest.
  • Grazing Animals: Trampling of the forest soil in the course of overgrazing by livestock has affected the porosity of soil, soil erosion and lead to desertification of the previously fertile forest area.
  • Expansion of Agriculture: Farmers cut forests to provide more land for planting crops. many small farmers clear a few acres to feed their families by cutting down trees and burning them in a process known as 'slash and burn' agriculture.
  • Timber Harvesting: Timber resource is an important asset of a country, therefore, it leads to 14% of deforestation. commercial wood is very demandable in international as well as in national markets.

2. Soil Resources: Soil is a mixture of small rock particles/debris and organic material/humus which develops on the surface of the earth and support growth of plants.

soil is a finite resource, which means its loss and degradation is not recoverable within a human life span. As a core component of land resources, agricultural development and ecological sustainability, it is the basis for food, feed, fuel and fibre production and for many critical ecosystem services. it is therefore, a highly valuable natural resource, but it is often overlooked. thus, it needs to be recognised and valued for their productive capacities as well as their contribution to food security and the maintenance of key ecosystem services.

Soil Erosion and Degradation: The destruction of the soil cover is described as soil erosion, while decrease in its fertility is soil degradation. wind and water are powerful agents of soil erosion because of their ability to remove soil and transport it. wind erosion is significant in arid and semi-arid regions. in regions with heavy rainfall an steep slopes, erosion by running water is more significant. soil erosion can be divided into three types:

1. Run-off Erosion: It is due to rills and gullies. the worst affected areas are those of chambal, betwa and ken rivers.

2. Sheet Erosion: it is the main problem in rajasthan, where sandy soil is removed by run-off process.

3. Splash Erosion: it is the problem of broad leaf dense foest in the region of Madhya pradesh, north-East and chota nagpur.

Deforestation: Cause of Soil Erosion: causes of soil erosion: it is one of the major causes or soil erosion. plants keep soils bound in locks of roots and thus, prevent erosion. soil is irrigated zones of india is becoming saline because of over-irrigation. chemical fertilizers in the absence of organic manures are also harmful to the soil fertility. unless the soil gets enough humus, chemicals harden it and reduce its fertility in the long-run.

Soil Conservation:

  • Afforestation is the process of planting trees in a barren land devoid of any trees to create a forest cover. it is an important method to conserve the soil.
  • checking overgrasing and shifting cultivation is also helpful in order to reduce soil erosion and soil conservation
  • Through contour bunding and terracing soil erosion can be minimised. in this method, the hill slopes are divided into numerous small slopes, which reduce surface run-off and soil erosion.
  • developing shelter belts of trees and agro-forestry in arid and semi-arid areas may be helpful to protect cultivable lands from encroachment by sand dunes.

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