Written By Shivansh Srivistava (Grade 10)
“If conservation of natural resources goes wrong then nothing else can go right”. -M. S Swaminathan.”
As the imposition of nationwide lockdown trammel our movement and confines us within the four walls, Mother nature unlocks her bondages inflicted by her sons. The cold zephyr asserts its freedom, the serene rivers restore their sanctity and the mystically imbibed rain droplets aromatize the soil. The human race now retrospects in the past, survives the present and anticipates a better future. As the world heads towards the restoration of new normal it will be daunted task for all global powers to acrostically face the new environmental challenges as the devasted economy’s upliftment will create a furthermore demand for exploitation of the remaining resources. Ironically, the world itself is knowing that failing in resource conservation can jeopardize the ecological balance, thus inviting another predicament.
The global powers are also bewildered that are they equipped with apt ideas to face the new ecological challenges.
A Global Forest Assessment report by Food and Agricultural Organization claims that the African continent leads in a decline of forest cover due to overexploitation within (2010-2019) with a loss of 934 billion hectares of forest land, followed by South America. Furthermore, the corals and the marine life of Hawaiian Islands are declining rapidly at a rate of 70-90% per annum because of an annual increase in average sea levels due to global warming and increased ocean temperature by 1.5-2 degree centigrade. At pinnacle to reckless exploitation of natural resources for appeasement of industrial, domestic needs of escalating population-level it’s futile to talk about the conservation norms as we are quite acquainted with it. So instead of crying over the spilt milk lets address the agenda of how to redefine the usage of natural resources in the post-pandemic era. Can we mitigate environmental issues with more efficiency? If so, then how? Here are a few ideas which I think could help out.
Firstly, there should be “sustainable development” policies in all our further deliberations with natural resources. Already we have wiped out a humongous amount of them and now there should be proper utilization of the remaining. For instance, the natives of the Manipur vicinity have discarded the usage of plastics almost completely and have switched to bamboo made tiffin boxes and bottles which had been growing abundantly there. Even the tourists have been unofficially banned from plastic usage. This has not only reduced the daily expenses of the daily waged labourer but also made the villages “self-subservient” and eco-friendly. These tiffin boxes are quite sustainable and can last up to 3 years without ill effects on health standards. Thus, the Manipur natives have set an excellent example for many other such approaches to sustainability. It will bridge the demand-supply gap and provide more time for replenishment of natural resources.
Secondly, we must develop a more “entrepreneurial approach” for “optimization” of our left resources. To achieve this, 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) should be incorporated. In India, only 1.5% of electronic wastes and only 30% of domestic wastes are properly recycled and the rest goes for improper disposal causing soil or air pollution. The 3R policy would not only help us to counter the resources crunch but will also provide relief to the economy from the import ruckus. Thus, a step towards “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat” by Recycling would lead to many small-scale industrial developments as more entrepreneurs will get a platform for their ideas. Like Mr Gaurav Jalan also known as packman of India, his company supplies lakhs of packing bags to Flipkart, Amazon, etc. industries which are made by recycling the plastic wastes, tissue papers and other domestic wastes. These domestic industries will avail us with eco-friendly products which are easily accessible at cheap rates and might indirectly encourage rural development too. Similarly, Rajagopalan Vasudevan of Thiagarajan College of Engineering developed a method of utilizing plastic wastes to make roads which require 5 years no maintenance, are waterproof, more tolerant to water seepage and other climatic factors and has more vehicle carrying capacity than usual roads which usually require extensive raw materials and causes a greater amount of pollution during construction. To be succinct honing the entrepreneurial skills not only would increase more production for 1.2 billion population of India but will also ramp up the cheap and affordable lifestyle aspects.
At last, the practice of “judicious usage” of any resources should be inculcated and this can only be done by self-practice. In Mumbai, 900million litres of water is wasted every day either due to theft or leakage issues. Similarly, 3billion units of electrical power are wasted in India in some way or the other. These practices should be ousted from our lifestyle as we all know that the cost of these services is at the stake of natural resources. Its high time when we should realize that it is nature’s benevolent and motherly care that we exist and hence we should be more courteous towards it. Flaws in policies execution concerning the environment should be checked soon and the world should accost post-pandemic ecological challenges with intellectual stratagems. As the pandemic wraps up, in our new normal conservation and innovation should go in parity with each other. As humanity and nature both start from scratch, it will be an onus upon us to habilitate a “Green Normal”. So, “Sustainability, Optimum utility and Sensitivity to nature” can be the silver bullet to redefine the utility and our priorities with nature.
“If humanity is a bicycle then nature and humans’ dealings with it are the paddles, puerile exploitation of resources are brakes and the discernible climatic perils are the warning bells with our future’s harvest on the carrier”
Featured Image Courtesy – 2.bp