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Definition of Natural Resource A feature or component of the natural environment that is of value in serving human needs, e.g. soil, water, wildlife, etc. Some natural resources have an economic value (e.g. timber) while others have a 'non-economic' value (e.g. scenic beauty) 1. Types of Natural Resources Natural resources can be divided into several categories: (1) Nature’s Goods These are the traditional “extractable” resources, e.g. - Fossil fuels: oil, coal, natural gas - Metallic ores: iron, copper, silver, gold etc. - Biological supplies: timber, fisheries, wild game, natural rubber (2) Nature’s Services These are essential services provided by nature for the continued, sustainable health and well-being of our environment. These are typically considered “renewable” resources, e.g. - Soils for production - Water and the hydrology cycle - Air and purification of air - Global carbon cycle - Stratospheric ozone shield
(3) Natural Amenities These are non-essential services provided by nature; may be considered “quality-oflife” services, e.g. - Recreation - Aesthetics NATURAL RESOURCES IN KENYA 1) Mineral resources Metals
a) Gold Kenya’s gold production was artisanal and small-scale. In December 2004, Muungano Gold Prospecting Group of Kenya employed about 1,500 miners at six small-scale
gold mines in Lirhembe in the Kakamega District. Kansai Mining Corp. completed a drilling program at Migori in southwestern Kenya in the second quarter of 2004. Resources at Migori were estimated to be about 39 metric tons (t) of contained gold. AfriOre Ltd. commenced a drilling program at Masumbi on the Ndori prospect in western Kenya. International Gold Exploration AB of Sweden held Lolgorien and other properties in the western part of the country (Mining Journal, 2004; Oywa and Amadala, 2004; M.J. Njeru, Mines and Geology Department, written commun., August 7, 2003). b) Iron and Steel Kenya mined small amounts of iron ore for use in cement production. The country’s four rolling mills had a capacity of 220,000 metric tons per year (t/yr) and relied upon imported billet. Madvhani Group of Uganda was considering the reopening of Emco Steelworks and Emco Billets in Nairobi to provide a stable billet supply for its rolling mill in Uganda. These plants have increased their profitability because of the cessation of dumping of Russian and Ukrainian steel in East Africa (Metal Bulletin, 2004). c) Titanium and Zirconium Tiomin Resources Inc. of Canada held licenses for the Kilifi, Kwale, Mambrui, and Vipongo heavy mineral sands deposits. The company planned to mine at Kwale; Tiomin expected to begin the 20-month construction phase in the second quarter of 2005. During the first 6 years of the project, Tiomin was expected to produce 330,000 t/yr of ilmenite, 77,000 t/yr of rutile, and 37,000 t/yr of zircon. The expected mine life was 13 years. Capital costs were estimated to be $120 million (Tiomin Resources Inc., 2004a, b). Industrial Minerals a) Cement Kenya has three cement producers. i. Athi River Mining Ltd. (ARM) ii. Bamburi Cement Ltd iii. East African Portland Cement Co. Ltd b) Diatomite African Diatomite Industries Ltd. produce high-grade diatomite at Kariandusi and Soysambu in the Nakuru District c) Fluorspar Mined by Kenya Fluorspar Ltd in the Kerio Valley; Most of the company’s production is for export. d) Gemstones Kenya produced gemstones that included amethyst, aquamarine, cordierite, green garnet (tsavorite),ruby, sapphire, and tourmaline. Rockland Kenya Ltd., which operated the John Saul ruby mine, was the leading producer and exporter of ruby. National ruby production fell to 2,310 kg in 2003 from 3,043 kg in 2002 and 4,001 kg in 1998. Corby Ltd. and Kwirintori Mining Society planned to mine ruby in the Baringo District. In November 2004, the companies were discussing compensation with residents of Baringo (Mkawale,2004; M.J. Njeru, Mines and Geology Department, written commun., August 7, 2003). e) Salt Magadi Soda Ash Ltd. (a subsidiary of Brunner Mond Group Ltd.) extracts salt from Lake Magadi as a byproduct of the soda ash production process Soda Ash Magadi mined trona from Lake Magadi. Mining Sustainability The Government through the Department of Mines and Geology in the Ministry of
Environment Natural Resources and Wildlife has prepared a mining policy and is in the process of enacting a new mining law. The aim is to develop a comprehensive policy framework for regulating the mining sector and an appropriate legal and fiscal framework, which are in line with the current global mining trends. The proposed law once enacted, will attract, guide and encourage private investments into the sector as well as tap the country’s huge mineral potential. Under the envisaged mining law, a new mining licensing system is to be introduced to provide for among others; a simplified and harmonised licensing of mining operations, a considerably curtailed discretion on the part of the Minister in charge of mining and a greater security of tenure for mining investors. The new law also seeks to harmonize mining with the Environment Management and Coordination Act of 1999 and requires a restoration and rehabilitation of mined out areas and cushioning of local communities against adverse effects of mining.
Exploitation of natural resources Exploitation of natural resources is an essential condition of the human existence. Throughout history, humans have manipulated natural resources to produce the materials they needed to sustain growing human populations. This refers primarily to food production, but many other entities from the natural environment have been extracted. Often the exploitation of nature has been done in a non-sustainable way, which is causing an increasing concern, as a non-sustainable exploitation of natural resource ultimately threatens the human existence.
Impacts of exploitation of natural resources on the environment Species extinctions Land Resources: Deforestation Destruction of wetlands Desertification Soil erosion Declining oil and mineral supplies Marine Resources: Coastal degradation Overfishing Freshwater Resources: Groundwater contamination and depletion Surface water shortages Atmospheric Resources: Ozone Depletion Root Causes a. Overpopulation
With respect to the environment, many scientists would argue that there is no greater single environmental threat than the continued growth of the human population. The basis for this argument is that population affects so many environmental issues: the use of natural resources, the amount of waste that is pumped into the environment daily, the reduction of species habitat, the decimation
of species through hunting and fishing. Look at almost any environmental problem and you’re likely to find human population growth playing a part in it.
Note that overpopulation is not simply too many people, but rather, more people than the earth’s resources can support. Overpopulation may be defined as excessive population of an area to the point of overcrowding, depletion of natural resources, or environmental deterioration.
Although techniques for birth control are highly effective and well known in the more developed countries, they are unknown, unavailable, or unacceptable to those people having the most rapid rate of population growth - the ones who also live in the most precarious balance with their environment. This does not mean that the prospects for controlling population increase are poor; actually, they are better than at any time in the past. But more education is needed to encourage people to limit the size of families, and the prospects for economic and environmental betterment for those who have fewer children must be made more obvious. b. Inefficiency in resource utilisation
More than 300 million Africans still lack access to safe drinking water and 14 countries on the continent suffer from water scarcity. Out of 55 countries in the world with domestic water use below 50 litres per person per day (the minimum requirement set by the World Health Organization), 35 are in Africa. Meanwhile, Africa has seemingly abundant water resources that are not being efficiently utilised. With 17 large rivers and more than 160 major lakes, Africa only uses about 4 per cent of its total annual renewable water resources for agriculture, industry and domestic purposes. The challenge is getting water to where it is needed most, affordably and efficiently. Currently, about 50 per cent of urban water is wasted, as is 75 per cent of irrigation water. In many larger cities of Asia and Latin America the total water produced by utilities is very high, from 200–600 litres per person a day, but up to 70% is lost to leaks. c. Over consumption
Many people think that the world could be on the edge of an environmental breakdown due to the over consumption and misuse of natural resources. One recent study, 'Beyond the Limits', uses computer modelling to try to predict what the likely effects of our current life-style will be. As a basis for their research the authors took current figures on rates of growth for population, resource use and pollution. They then constructed a computer model and fed in figures for estimated levels of non-renewable resources, land available for growing, the ability of the Earth to absorb pollution, and other limiting factors. Also in the programme was information regarding the way all these factors interact, for example the time delays before effects of pollution occur. The programme was then run several times with differing conditions or 'scenarios' imposed. The Scenarios What follows is vastly simplified, but illustrates the point. In scenario 1, which assumes that everything in the world goes on as is, collapse (i.e. sudden, uncontrolled decline in population and output) occurs, largely because of loss of nonrenewable resources.
So, in scenario 2, it is assumed that there are much larger quantities of nonrenewable resources. In scenario 2, the primary factor causing collapse are not resources running out, but pollution, which massively decreases land fertility. So, in scenario 3 it is assumed that pollution abatement technology makes a successful decrease in pollution levels; but this time population grows until it is too high to be fed. In scenario 4 technologies to increase land yield of food is assumed however land erosion causes a collapse. And so on... The only scenario in which collapse does not occur is one in which there are: Limits to both material production and population, and
Technologies increasing efficiency of resource use, decreasing pollution, controlling erosion and increasing land yields. While scientists can never predict exactly what will happen in the future, they can usefully show us the likely consequences of our actions and the general direction in which the planet is heading. We can then draw conclusions and take actions based on their findings. d. Poverty
Conventional thinking on poverty and environment includes assumptions that are increasingly being called into question: Poverty needs to be eradicated in developing countries before they can turn their attention to environmental protection; and Poverty and environment are linked in a "downward spiral" in which poor people forced to overuse environmental resources for their daily survival are further impoverished by the degradation of these resources. Population growth and economic change are also seen to contribute to this process. In addition, many of the environmental problems that have been identified in the international arena as the world’s most pressing are not those that affect poor people in developing countries most severely. For example, lack of sanitation and clean water (rather than issues that preoccupy developed countries, such as ozone depletion and global warming) – are arguably the worst environmental problems in the developing world. Many donors and policy-makers (especially since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, UNCED) have begun to embrace more localized, community-based approaches to natural resource management and sustainable development. This approach is informed by an understanding that the various groups in a society often experience environmental problems in very different ways. They are also advocating an alternative, approach to understanding the relationship between poverty and the environment, which shifts the emphasis from questions of resource availability to those of access, control and management. This means increasingly searching for ways in which policy interventions can achieve objectives to promote poverty eradication and sound environmental management, thus creating "win-win" situations for poor people and the environments in which they live.
Ineffective Structures (Human Institutions, Regulations and Attitudes)
Considering the potential of new technology and the accompanying advances in science, it is possible to foresee a world in which a relatively stable human population can live at a high level of material affluence, with wild nature continuing to exist in abundance and relatively undisturbed lands available for human enjoyment. But this optimistic point of view is not supported by existing world conditions. Because knowledge now available is more than adequate to solve most of the world's major environmental problems, the problems are not those of science and technology but of the arrangements and functioning of human institutions and of the attitudes of individuals. Thus, while research in science continues in all the universities and other schools of the world, tropical forests and coral reefs are being devastated in ways that suggest that the science of these natural objects are still unknown. Although the techniques for managing livestock have reached a high level of sophistication, overexploitation continues around most of the world's major pasturelands, deserts and oceans, and animals die of hunger, people suffer from deprivation, and the deserts spread. Obviously, the knowledge available does not reach or influence the behaviour of most of the people on our planet. A key point is the failure of most societies to exercise adequate controls over land, water, and other resource use. Effective means for controlling land use do not exist in most countries; laws and regulations that permit governments to exercise such control, when existent, often cannot be enforced because of strong public resentment and resistance. Although it is essential that lands and all other resources be used with a view to preserving their future productivity, this view often conflicts with present needs or demands of the resource users. The solution to this conflict is not within the scope of science or technology; instead, it is a question of attitudes and values and these are more difficult to change than laws or regulations. For many people an environmental crisis of this complexity and scope is not only the result of certain economic, political, and social factors. It is also a moral crisis which, in order to be addressed, will require broader philosophical and religious understandings of ourselves as creatures of nature, embedded in life cycles and dependent on ecosystems. Religions may need to be re-examined in light of the current environmental crisis. This is because religions help to shape our attitudes toward nature in both conscious and unconscious ways. Religions provide basic interpretive stories of who we are, what nature is, where we have come from, and where we are going. Religions also suggest how we should treat other humans and how we should relate to nature. These values make up the ethical orientation of a society.
Water Sustainability Special water programmes involved in water resources conservation, dam construction, water rights research, flood control and land reclamation. Some of the major water projects that continued to be developed jointly by the government and donors include the Community Management of Water Resources. In its efforts to provide clean water to the public, the Government in collaboration with other stakeholders continued with the maintenance of Water Purification Points (WPP) and drilling of boreholes across the country A total of 47 boreholes were drilled during the 2003/2004 financial year. Rift Valley province had the highest number of drilled boreholes followed by Eastern as shown in the table. The number of water purification points has not changed in the last five years.
Fisheries Sustainability Fish continues to play an important role not only as a source of food and income for local fishing communities but also for the export market. The Government has directly put in place a task force to develop a comprehensive fisheries policy that will guide the sector towards the MDGs. It will also take cognizance of all environmental issues and within the framework of the Economic Recovery Strategy paper. The tonnage of freshwater fish landed increased by 15.2 per cent from 121,366 tonnes in 2002 to 139,811 tonnes in 2003. The downward trend, which has been witnessed since 1999 has been reversed due to, increases in fish landed in Lake Jipe, Lake Naivasha, Tana River dams and Lake Victoria with respective increases of 23.1 per cent, 15.8 per cent, 18.3 per cent and 15.7 per cent. Lake Victoria continued to dominate by contributing 94.8 per cent of all the freshwater fish landed in 2003. Lake Baringo, for a second year running was under a ban on fishing imposed by the Department of Fisheries as a conservation measure.
How can natural resources be managed sustainably? Cost of resource use to ecosystems a) Environmental cost of extraction of raw materials: - disruption to environment, pollution b) Environmental cost of transformation of raw materials into useable end product: pollution c) Environmental cost of disposal after use: - waste, pollution 2
Category Ecosystem Preservation
Action Management Strategies for conservation of Sustainable harvesting of wild biodiversity and the genetic plant and animal species, resource Protected areas, national parks, wildlife reserves, gene banks Conservation strategies and International organizations e.g. legislation UNEP, IUCN, WWF, CITES Local environmental organizations e.g. NEPA, JET, JCDT, EFJ Family planning, improved health and education, national policies
Strategies for managing population growth
Strategies for managing the Planning, environmental urban and rural environments improvement, community participation
Strategies for overcoming world inequalities
Improved trade and aid conditions, governmental and non-governmental aid, food aid
Land Resources Management
Managing tourism Strategies for soil conservation
National Parks, ecotourism Tree planting, terracing, contouring, windbreaks, community participation
Sustainable forest management techniques
Agroforestry, mixed tree planting, reforestation, sustainable harvesting of hardwoods, fuel/fire wood planting
Alternatives to deforestation
more efficient use of timber, recycling (paper/timber), alternative materials to timber; alternative materials for “yam sticks”
Constraints in Resource Management 1. To date, resources have been exploited under customary systems and have appeared to be limitless. In the new context of resource depletion and population pressures, new attitudes need to be developed, to allow for sustainable use of our natural resources. While problems and issues are well recognised and there is some increase in community concern over sustainable resource use in many countries, in most cases, unfortunately, there is no perceived need to address the problems and issues involved and no sense of urgency to find and implement solutions. The values of natural resource stocks are not quantified in economic terms. At the grassroots community level, many resources are still perceived as “free” and “without limit.” There is a lack of public awareness, of the potential scarcity of the resources involved. Partly resulting from this lack of knowledge or awareness, and hence lack of pressure, resources are being liquidated for immediate economic gain rather than being managed sustainably. 3. A second and difficult constraint in developing and maintaining sustainable natural resource management techniques is the limitation of manpower to enforce environmental laws and regulations. 4. Lack of funding to tackle unsustainability.
5. Financial and social pressures. Population concentration and economic pressures may make resource management more difficult. 11 Possible Actions for Natural Resource Management Management is not about the provision of a ready-made list of solutions. Rather it is about the creation of a framework or environment, which enables the assessment of issues. This requires close consultation with the local population, and the development (and continual revision or improvement) of effective strategies and plans to maintain the balance between resource usage and conservation. The practice of sustainable resource management should take place mostly at the local community level by those using the resources, rather than by officials who may have little or no direct involvement with the community. Often local communities have not been involved or consulted in the resource planning process. In future, opportunities must be provided for local or village communities to develop/acquire knowledge and appreciation of the benefits of conserving and managing resources, and to evaluate for themselves the relative costs and benefits of different uses.
The most important factor determining whether individuals or communities will manage natural resources sustainably is whether or not they perceive that it is in their interest to do so. This also applies to landowners, who should also be closely involved in discussions on more sustainable management. · (1) Means of Implementing Actions Involving resource owners
Action both at national and regional level is essential to involve those who have a stake in resources, in the research, planning, and management process. Actions could involve the following: · Ensuring that local communities, are well represented in national planning bodies or at least kept informed of, and invited to contribute to the planning process · Seeking comments and inputs from local communities on draft strategies and programmes · Creating a mechanism by which communities can assess their own performance and share experience and knowledge with others (2) Raising awareness and promoting knowledge
Programmes need to be implemented and maintained to fully inform communities about the value of resources. Actions could involve the following: · Utilising the media to promote awareness of benefits and costs, using professional communicators sensitive to local communities · Integrating environmental education into school curricula- especially primary schools (3) · Institutional Arrangements National Leadership
Sustainable management of natural resources is essentially a local and national responsibility, since the issues and actions to be taken are addressed in each country. Commitment of the wider community to national programmes is granted only when the government uses resources sustainably and applies good governance. Good governance implies that actions and initiatives are made known in advance to the general public, that different social groups be represented at national and local decision-making. If government bodies are perceived as wasteful or irresponsible in their use of the resources, communities will naturally adopt a similar attitude.
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