OVEREXPLOITATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES

What are the consequences of the overexploitation of natural resources?

#environmental sustainability #nature #renewable energy

Natural resources are those that the planet offers without the need for human intervention. They are essential our survival, but if they are consumed at a faster rate than their natural regeneration, as is currently the case, they can be exhausted. Then, we review the consequences and possible solutions to this problem.

Human beings are depleting the planets natural resources.#RRSSHuman beings are depleting the planet's natural resources.

WHAT ARE NATURAL RESOURCES

There are two types of natural resources: renewable and non-renewable. The former are inexhaustible, like solar radiation, or their renewal is relatively rapid, as is the case with biomass. Non-renewable resources are those that exist in nature in a limited way because their regeneration involves the passage of many years, such as minerals and fossil fuels — oil, natural gas and coal —.

Human beings are depleting the planet's natural resources and standards of living will begin to decline by 2030 unless immediate action is taken. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) warns that the current overexploitation of natural resources is generating an enormous deficit, as 20% more than can be regenerated is consumed each year and this percentage is growing steadily.

Thus, if we continue at this rate, we would need 2.5 planets to supply ourselves in 2050, according to the WWF itself. In turn, this organization shows that the world's population of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined by 58 % between 1970 and 2012 due to human activities and predicts that by 2020 this percentage will soar to 67%.

CONSEQUENCES OF THE OVEREXPLOITATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES

The uncontrolled consumption of natural resources has significant effects:

 Environmental

The disappearance of habitats essential for flora and fauna and, therefore, the extinction of species. There are some 30 million different animal and plant species in the world, and of these, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says that, currently, more than 31,000 species are threatened with extinction.

 Economic

33% of the world's soils are moderately to highly degraded, according to a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). If the erosion of fertile soil continues at the same rate, agricultural commodity prices will inevitably soar.

 For Health

If we do not take care of the forests there will be fewer CO2 Nota sinks and therefore more air pollution. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nine out of ten people worldwide breathe air with high levels of pollutants and seven million people die each year air pollution.

SOLUTIONS TO THE OVEREXPLOITATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES

The future, as stated in the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, poses a double challenge to human beings: conserving the many forms and functions of nature and creating an equitable home for people on a finite planet. If we want to reverse this situation, we need, among other things, to:

Conserve natural capital

  • Restore degraded ecosystems and their services.
  • Halt the loss of priority habitats.
  • Significantly expand the global network of protected areas.

Improve production systems

  • Significantly reduce the objects, materials and resources used in the development of human life and the volume of waste in production systems.
  • Manage resources in a sustainable manner.
  • Promote the production of renewable energy.
IBERDROLA

Measures to curb

the overexploitation of natural resources

LAWS AND POLICIES

Develop legislation
to regulate the
exploitation of natural,
resources and establish
environmental impact
assessment
as an
essential requirement
for entire projects
Support sustainable development and
environmental protection initiatives
Commit to
renewable
and non-polluting
energies
Promote environmental
care
to maintain
ecosystem health

AWARENESS-RAISING

Encourage the use
of public transport
and bicycles
Foster a culture of
recycling:
reduce,
reuse and recycle
Promote environmental
education
in schools
Promote
agriculture and
ecological tourism

RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION

Use water and electricity responsibly
Buy fewer unnecessary products
Avoid non-biodegradable products
Choose to buy local or organic products

 

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Measures to stop the overexploitation of natural resources [PDF]

Consume more responsibly

Reorient financial flows

  • Place a value on nature and natural resources.
  • Take responsibility for environmental and social costs.
  • Support and reward companies that promote conservation, sustainable resource management and innovation in their activities.