Conservation of Resources and Sustainable Development

Conservation of Resources and Sustainable Development | Geography


  • Nature is generous in providing a variety of resources to the people.
  • Humans in modern civilization with advanced development in science and technology, utilize these resources beyond permissible limits.
  • It has lead to environmental degradation. In response to it, humans have been forced to think of conservation and preservation of all kinds of resources.
  • Resources are valuable and are mandatory for life. The existence and purity of one resource reflect the status of the other and finally the human beings.
  • Therefore proper management techniques should be adopted for retaining the uniqueness of these natural resources.
  • Conservation of resources means a judicious and planned use of natural resources so that the different resources are also leftover to the benefit of future generations.
  • Preservation is to protect the resources without using it for a longer duration.
  • Conservation of land resources
  • Soil is the most important land resources as it provides room for all human activities.
  • In Tamil Nadu, soil erosion by wind is very common in Kambam valley, parts of Thirunelveli, Thuthukudi and Ramanathapuram.
  • Soil erosion by river flow and deforestation occur along the hill slopes of the Western Ghats.
  • Several soil erosion control schemes have been successfully implemented by the Tamil Nadu government.
  • Tamil Nadu Agricultural Department has set up soil testing laboratories at village level to help farmers with the scientific assessment of soil quality and treating method.
  • Every district has a soil research station to help the farmers in assessing the fertility of the soils.
  • Soil conservation is done in two ways; namely restoring soil fertility and preventing soil erosion.
  • A soil health card is issued to the farmers to monitor the soil status.
  • There are also 16 mobile soil testing laboratories to serve the villages in Tamil Nadu.
Conservation Preservation
Afforestation is one method to conserve forest Declaring an area as a reserve forest is preservation.
Drip irrigation is one method of conservation of water Percolation tank is a technique for preserving underground water
Seasonal shearing of the fur of animals is one of the methods of conservation Reproduction of endangered animals in captivity is the preservation
Protecting animals is their habitats is also conservation Delimiting an area for biosphere reserve is the preservation


Conservation of Forests and Wildlife in Tamil Nadu

  • Tamil Nadu has 17% of its land area under forest cover.
  • Forests are rain harvesters, rechargers of soil moisture, reservoirs for underground water, habitats for a variety of fauna and flora and stabilizers of environment.
  • For a constant supply of forest products in a region at least one- third of the area should be under forests.
  • Many afforestation programmes are carried out in Tamil Nadu by both governmental and non – governmental organizations.
  • The trees are planted along the roadsides, railway tracks, river banks and catchment areas under social forestry schemes.
  • The vacant lands available in villages are brought under community forest schemes.
  • A comprehensive programme to retain the ecological balance and maintain the biodiversity has been undertaken as Peoples Participatory Programme in selected areas.
  • There are 13 Bird sanctuaries 5 National Parks 7 Wildlife Sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu.
  • Birds from arctic region visit the sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu every year during the winter season for breeding.
  • Like the Project Tiger, Project Elephant has been launched by the Government to save elephants from extinction.
Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Ramanathapuram District
Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary Ramanathapuram District
Melaselvanur – Kilaselvanur Bird Sanctuary Ramanathapuram District
Gulf of Mannar Marine Nation Park Ramanathapuram District
Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary Ariyalur District
Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary (Largest Reserve) Thirunelveli District
Kalakkad Wildlife Sanctuary Tiger Reserve Thirunelveli District
Mundanthurai Sanctuary Thirunelveli District
Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary Nagapattinam District
Pulicate Lake Bird Sanctuary Thiruvallur District
Udaymarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary Thiruvallur District
Vaduvoor Bird Sanctuary Nagapattinam District
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary Kancheepuram District
Vellode Bird Sanctuary Erode District
Sathyamangalam Sanctuary Erode District
Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary Sivagangai District
Mudumalai National Park Nilgiris District
Mukurthi National Park Nilgiris District
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary Nilgiris District
Guindy National Park Chennai District
Palani Hills National Park Dindigul District
Grizzled Squirrel wildlife sanctuary Virudhunagar District
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary Coimbatore District
Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary Kanyakumari District


Birds of Tamil Nadu

  • The following are the list of birds that are native to Tamil Nadu
  • Spot-billed Pelicans, Cormorants, Egrets, Grey heron, Stork, White Ibis Common Spoonbills Flamingos Teals, Gulls, Terns, Plovers and Stilts Little Cormorant, Darter, Indian Reef Heron, White-necked stork, Black-headed Munia, White-breasted Kingfisher, Spotted Dove, Pintail Ducks, Darter Asian Openbill Stork Black-headed Munia, spotted Dove, Pintail Ducks, Darter Asian Openbill stork and Night Herons. Apart from these, migratory birds such as Garganey, Teals, Shovellers also can be seen in the state.

Animals of Tamil Nadu

  • Tiger, elephant, Nilgiri tahr hare, squirrel, dugong, sea turtles dolphin, chital blackbuck, grizzled giant squirrel, flying squirrel, tree shrew, panther, sloth bear, wild boar, dhole, Nilgiri languor and lion-tailed Macaque are the common animals of Tamil Nadu.
  • Appiko movement synonymous to chipko movement started in Karnataka and spread over forests of the Eastern Ghats in Tamil Nadu.
  • This is a comprehensive people’s participatory movement.
  • It aims at saving the remains of tropical wet evergreen forests in the Western Ghats.
  • It is initiated to restore the denuded forest areas to propagate the rational use of forest products and to relieve the pressure created on forest resources.
  • The popular slogan for this movement is “to save, to grow, and to use rationally” Alternative energy sources have been popularized among the villages which have reduced firewood consumption to nearly 40% in Southern India.
  • The UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) was established in 1977 to promote an interdisciplinary approach in research, training and communication in ecosystem conservation and rational use of natural resources. This resulted in forming 553 biosphere reserves in 107 countries of the world.

Biosphere Reserves

  • Biosphere reserves are a series of protected areas linked through a global network intended, to demonstrate the relationship between conservation and development. It consists of;
  • An inner core area which is well protected
  • A buffer zone with facilities for education training research
  • An outer transition area for tourism and recreation
  • Tamil Nadu has three such Biospheres in Nilgiris, Gulf of Mannar and Agastiyamalai
  • The notable governmental and non-governmental organizations that are actively engaged in conserving medicinal plants of Tamil Nadu are
  • FRLHT (Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health and Traditions)
  • Tamil Nadu Forest Department
  • DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency)
  • Tamil Nadu Forest Department has initiated two methods to conserve medicinal plants in the forests with the help of non – governmental organizations.
  • As a part of it, Medicinal Plants Conservation Areas (MPCA) have been identified to protect the endangered species of plants.

There are 11 MPCAs in Tamil Nadu in the following Places

    • Alagarkoil
    • Kodaikanal
    • Kolli Hills
    • Kurumbaram
    • Kuttralam
    • Mundanthurai
    • Ambasamudhram
    • Pechiparai
    • Thaniparai
    • Thenmalai
    • Top slip
  • Medicinal Plants Development Area (MPDA) is yet another method which aims at restoring degraded forests by raising the native plants with community participation.

There are eight such MPDA (Medicinal Plants Development Area) As in Tamil Nadu. They are

    • Attur
    • Chengalpattu
    • Coimbatore
    • Dharmapuri
    • Doddabetta
    • Madurai
    • Salem
    • Vellore

Wetland Conservation

  • Areas of marshy land not exceeding 6 m depth with or without permanent water, is classified as wetlands.
  • A wetland has a prominent role in groundwater recharge.
  • A wetland area directly or indirectly supports many people and is a salient caretaker of the entire region.

Tamil Nadu has such wetland areas in the following places

  • Point calimere
  • Kazhuveli in Villupuram
  • Pallikaranai in Chennai
  • Muthupet
  • Pitchavarm
  • Ramanathapuram district
  • Government has taken steps to restore these regions realizing the immense benefit they provide for the entire surroundings.

Conservation of Water

  • Water is the basis for life. It is essential to conserve water and to protect water from being polluted.
  • Watershed management is the comprehensive method to conserve water not only during heavy rains when rivers and tanks are overflowing but also during the dry season when they are devoid of water.
  • Linking rivers which have surplus water with rivers in deficit areas is a wise suggestion to manage the twin problems of flood and drought.

Common practices of conservation of water

  • Wastage of water should be avoided
  • Rainwater harvesting methods and construction of small check dams to arrest water from runoff and to store water for groundwater recharge.
  • Recycling of water wherever possible.
  • Grow more trees. Trees act as a sponge in absorbing excess water and recharge the underground water reserve.

Conservation of Energy

  • The energy produced by conventional resources is definite to be exhausted in future.
  • Therefore every country is trying to trap energy from renewable resources like energy from winds, waves, biogases and biofuels.
  • Under the scheme Bio – Gas Development Programme Tamil Nadu has installed 1,285 Bio – Gas plants up to march 2008.
  • Tamil Nadu Government is a pioneer in biofuel production. It is one among the nine states to use 5% ethanol-blended fuels for vehicles since 2003.
  • The state Forest Department, Government of Tamil Nadu has established Karanja based biodiesel esterification plants at three locations.
  • These plants are based on the TNAU model developed at Hosur and Thuthukudi Forest Division.
  • Esterification is the general name for a chemical reaction in which two reactants form an ester as the reaction product.
  • Ester is used in the fragrance and flavour industry for their pleasant fruity odour.
  • Seeds at Jatropha plant is used in the production of biofuel.
  • Other seeds used in the production of biofuels are neem, Karani and pungam.
  • Any developmental programme aiming at the development of a place should meet the need of the present generation without compromising the right of the future generations to do so.
  • This is known as Sustainable Development.
  • Conservation and preservation are not only for natural regions and resources but also for the large built-up areas in cities.
  • Eco – friendly building materials and technique stare emerging in the market in order to conserve and preserve our natural resources without sacrificing our comforts.
  • It is very important to realize that nature’s gift in the form of resources should go to the hands of next-generation with minimum damage.

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