NCERT Class 10 Science: Chapter 16: Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Download PDF of This Page (Size: 150K)

Brain Teasers!!

  • Best pH for life to survive in water?

  • What are 3 R’s?

  • Arabari forest?

  • What is rainwater harvesting?

  • What is Eutrophication

  • Importance of Forests?

Arabari forest in Bengal with sal trees

Since people used excessive fertilizers in the fields, they were carried down to the lake during rains. As many fertilizers contain phosphates and nitrates, the water body became enriched with these chemicals. These chemicals promote excessive growth of aquatic plants and the surface of water was completely covered with plants. (eutrophication) Depletion of light in the water body and insufficient availability of dissolved oxygen and nutrients resulted in the death of fish.

Living in Harmony with Nature

Sanskrit ‘Vasudhaiv kutumbakam’ that means “the entire earth is one family”. The phrase is mentioned in ‘Mahaupanishad’, that is probably a part of the ancient Indian text, Atharva Veda.

Recycling soil, air and water

Sustain and conserve environment

International laws and regulations, protection of environment

Ganga Action Plan

Ganga Action Plan. This multi-crore project came about in 1985 because the quality of the water in the Ganga was very poor. Coliform is a group of bacteria, found in human intestines, whose presence in water indicates contamination by disease-causing microorganisms. Cause for abundant coliform bacteria in the river Ganga is the disposal of unburnt corpses into water

The Ganga runs its course of over 2500 km from Gangotri in the Himalayas to Ganga Sagar in the Bay of Bengal

Largely untreated sewage is dumped into the Ganges every day. In addition, think of the pollution caused by other human activities like bathing, washing of clothes and immersion of ashes or unburnt corpses

Namami Gange Program is Integrated Conservation Mission approved as a Flagship Program in June, 2014 to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution conservation and rejuvenation of River Ganga. The National Mission for Clean Ganga is the implementation wing set up in October, 2016.

Quantify pollution and quality of water


Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle

Refuse: This means to say No to things people offer you that you don’t need. Single use plastics

Reduce: This means that you use less. Turn off unnecessary lights

Reuse: use things again and again. Plastic bottles

Repurpose: When a product can no more be used for original purpose, think carefully and use it for some other useful purpose. For example, cracked crockery, or cups with broken handles can be used to grow small plants

Recycle: Collect plastic, paper, glass and metal items and recycle these materials to make required things instead of synthesizing or extracting fresh plastic, paper, glass or metal

Meet current basic human needs and preserve resource for future generations

Economic development is linked to environmental conservation

Why Manage Resources?

Resources are not unlimited

Demand for resources is increasing at exponential rate

Management requires long term perspective – it can last for generations

Equitable distribution of resources – so that handful rich people don’t benefit

Damage to environment in process of extraction

Safe disposal of waste

Ancient Past

Our ancient literature is full of such examples where values and sensitivity of humans towards nature was glorified and the principle of sustainability was established at its best

Whatever I dig out of you, O Earth! May that have quick regeneration again; may we not damage thy vital habitat and heart – Atharvaveda

Vedic period – agriculture as economic activity; sacred forests and groves, sacred corridors and a variety of ethno-forestry practices were evolved

Continued till Post-Vedic period


Forests are ‘biodiversity hotspots’. One measure of the biodiversity of an area is the number of species found there. We get lots of product from forests.

Loss of diversity may lead to loss of ecological stability.

Forest Department of the Government which owns the land and controls the resources from forests

Tendu leaves for bidi making; paper mills – all depend on forest (also fire wood, bamboo, implements and so on)

Make sure resources were used in a sustainable manner

Thus vast tracts of forests have been converted to monocultures of pine, teak or eucalyptus – plantations are income source for forest department

Forest cleared for vegetation destroys biodiversity

Industries would consider the forest as merely a source of raw material for its factories. And huge interest-groups lobby the government for access to these raw materials at artificially low rates


The conservationists were initially taken up with large animals like lions, tigers, elephants and rhinoceros

Bishnois community living in western Rajasthan on the border of the Thar desert – conservation of wildlife is religious tenet

GoI has recently instituted an ‘Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award for Wildlife Conservation’ in the memory of Amrita Devi Bishnoi, who in 1731 sacrificed her life along with 363 others for the protection of ‘khejri’ trees in Khejrali village near Jodhpur in Rajasthan

Case Study: Great Himalayan National Park contains, within its reserved area, alpine meadows which were grazed by sheep in summer. Nomadic shepherds drove their flock up from the valleys every summer. When this national park was formed, this practice was put to an end. Now it is seen that without the regular grazing by sheep the grass first grows very tall, and then falls over preventing fresh growth

Human intervention is a major cause – deforestation, urbanization - decentralized economic growth and ecological conservation

Management of Forests

Chipko Andolan (‘Hug the Trees Movement’) - in a remote village called Reni in Garhwal in the Himalayas during the early 1970s. There was a dispute between the local villagers and a logging contractor who were allowed to fell the trees when men were absent. Women went out and prevented it from felling. Contractor had to withdraw.

People’s Participation: In 1972, the West Bengal Forest Department recognised its failures in reviving the degraded Sal forests in the south-western districts of the state. Traditional methods of surveillance and policing had led to a ‘complete alienation of the people from the administration’, resulting in frequent clashes between forest officials and villagers. Forest and land related conflicts in the region were also a major factor in fuelling the militant peasant movements led by the Naxalites. Then in Arabari forest range of Midnapore district. Here, at the insistence of a far-seeing forest officer, A.K. Banerjee, villagers were involved in the protection of 1,272 hectares of badly degraded sal forest. In turn for protection, villagers were given employment in silviculture and 25% of final harvest and fuelwood and fodder collection on nominal fee payment. sal forests of Arabari underwent a remarkable recovery – by 1983, a previously worthless forest was valued Rs 12.5 crores.

Water for All

Basic necessity for life

Rains due to monsoons

Irrigation methods like dams, tanks and canals have been used

Basic minimum requirements for both agriculture and daily needs were met throughout the year

Regulate use of stored water; optimum cropping pattern and maintain irrigation systems

Mega-projects neglected local traditional projects

Kulhs in Himachal Pradesh – canal irrigation - during the planting season, water was first used by the village farthest away from the source of the kulh, then by villages progressively higher up. These kulhs were managed by two or three people who were paid by the villagers. After the kulhs were taken over by the Irrigation Department, most of them became defunct and there is no amicable sharing of water as before


Large dams can ensure the storage of adequate water not just for irrigation, but also for generating electricity

Indira Gandhi Canal has brought greenery to considerable areas of Rajasthan. Sugarcane and rice for people near to it and for people far off it is no water. Displacement and alkalinity are other issues.

Tehri Dam on the river Ganga

Narmada Bachao Andolan (‘Save the Narmada Movement’) about raising the height of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the river Narmada – social problem of displacement; economic problem of swallowing in large amount of money and profit generation; deforestation and loss of biological diversity

The oustees of the Tawa Dam built in the 1970s are still fighting for the benefits they were promised

Water Harvesting

The aim is to develop primary resources of land and water, to produce secondary resources of plants and animals for use in a manner which will not cause ecological imbalance

Watershed management increases the production and income of the watershed community, but mitigates droughts and floods and increases the life of the downstream dam and Reservoirs

Dr. Rajendra Singh – Tarun Bharat Sangh – Waterman of India

Khadins, tanks and nadis in Rajasthan, bandharas and tals in Maharashtra, bundhis in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, ahars and pynes in Bihar, kulhs in Himachal Pradesh, ponds in the Kandi belt of Jammu region, and eris (tanks) in Tamil Nadu, surangams in Kerala, and kattas in Karnataka are some of the ancient water harvesting

In largely level terrain, the water harvesting structures are mainly crescent shaped earthen embankments or low, straight concrete-andrubble “check dams” built across seasonally flooded gullies – hold surface water and recharge ground water

Coal and Petroleum

Higher amount of coal since industrial revolution

Coal and petroleum were formed from the degradation of bio-mass millions of years ago

Known petroleum resources will last us for about forty years and coal resources will last for another two hundred years

Since coal and petroleum have been formed from bio-mass, in addition to carbon, these contain hydrogen, nitrogen and Sulphur

When combustion takes place in insufficient air (oxygen), then carbon monoxide is formed instead of carbon dioxide. Of these products, the oxides of sulphur and nitrogen and carbon monoxide are poisonous at high concentrations and carbon dioxide is a

greenhouse gas

Public transport

Taking stairs and not lift

Using LEDs

Using Heater or extra warm clothes

Harnessing of water resources by building dams has social, economic and environmental implications. Alternatives to large dams exist.

Get unlimited access to the best preparation resource for UGC - Get detailed illustrated notes covering entire syllabus: point-by-point for high retention.

Developed by: