Thursday, May 17, 2012

Overexploitation of natural resources – Definition and meaning

Overexploitation of natural resources occurs because of unsustainable harvesting of nature's valuable resources such as water, land, plants and animals.

Overexploitation of natural resources is closely connected with biodiversity because it could lead to extinction of many species. Throughout the history certain animal species have been so heavily hunted that they became extinct in relatively short period (dodo, moa birds).

Overfishing is also one of the negative examples. Many coastal fisheries have already become overexploited and many more will follow without the sustainable management of fisheries.

Water is the most precious resource on our planet and yet the number of depleted aquifers continues to grow and water will soon become very scarce in many parts of the world unless we do something about it.  Industry, agriculture, energy production – all these activities require huge quantities of water which leads to overexploitation of water resources in many parts of the world.

Deforestation is also one form of overexploiting, especially in situations where cleared area will not be used for reforestation purposes but rather for new farms or livestock grazing. Many developing countries still use wood for heating and cooking purposes which often leads to uncontrolled clearance of forest areas.

It also has to be said that humans aren't always the direct cause of overexploitation. For instance, introduced invasive species can overexploit their new habitats, leading to decline and extinction of many native species.

Human population increase is the main reason for currently ongoing overexploitation of natural resources. More people equals to more harvested resources and this is why it's very difficult to achieve adequate natural resource management, particularly in developing world.

The interaction between humans and nature seems to be always going against the nature. Human civilization still hasn't figured out that going against the nature actually means going against ourselves and our future wellbeing.

We mustn't be greedy, in fact, we need to think about our children and grandchildren and what will happen to them if we continue this aggressive approach towards the nature. Sustainable management of nature's most valuable resources is the only way to ensure decent life for our future generations.

1 comment:

  1. This article needs to be read by everyone!