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Sustainability of Human Society and Regional Development

Class 10
May 6, 2023

Human Sustainability


Natural resources are substances or features of the environment that occur naturally (physical or biological). Natural resources, such as timber, water, fertile land, wildlife, and minerals, can be exploited and thus represent actual or potential sources of wealth that occur in their natural state.

A natural resource is considered renewable if it is replenished by natural processes at a rate comparable to the rate at which it is consumed by humans or other users. Conversely, non-renewable natural resources exist in fixed quantities or cannot be replenished on a scale comparable to their consumption.

Natural resources

Natural Resource Management

Natural resource management is the management of natural resources like land, water, soil, plants, and animals, with importance on how management affects the quality of life of current and future generations. As a result, sustainable development is founded on the wise use of resources to benefit current and future generations. Fishery, forestry, and wildlife management are major subdisciplines of natural resource management.

Natural resource management involves determining who has the right to use the resources and who does not to define the limits of the resources. Users may manage the resources in accordance with the rules governing when and how the resource is used in accordance with local conditions, or a governmental agency or other central authority may control them.


Natural resource management

Conservation of Natural Resources

Efforts must be made at all levels of society, from the international to the individual, to protect nature from further depletion due to human activity. In addition, the importance of sustainable resource use and resource protection should be incorporated into national and international legal systems.

Conservation of natural resources

What is Conservation?

Conservation is the care and protection of these resources for future generations to have access to them. It includes preserving species, genes, and ecosystems, as well as environmental processes like nutrient cycling.

While conservation and preservation aim to protect nature, they approach it differently. Conservation refers to the long-term use of nature by humans for activities such as hunting, logging, and mining, whereas preservation refers to protecting nature from human use.



Human population growth has resulted in unsustainable resource use rates, resulting in biodiversity loss on Earth. The primary causes of biodiversity loss are habitat degradation, climate change, invasive species, overexploitation, and pollution. The extinction of species is inextricably linked to declining biodiversity. Scientists believe that current extinction rates are nearly a thousand times higher than predicted by the fossil record and that we may be in the midst of a major extinction event in which 75 percent or more of all species are wiped out at once. The passenger pigeon’s extinction is a well-known example of human-caused extinction.

Some factors that affect human sustainability include agricultural efficiency, levels of conservation, and urban planning.

Sustainability entails carrying out all hopes within the constraints of available resources.

Regional Development – Sustainable Urban Management

Sustainaible urban development

It is widely acknowledged that one of the critical elements for achieving sustainable development is sustainable urbanization. Cities and urban areas now house more than half of the world’s population. This is expected to rise to more than 70% by 2050, with the developing world accounting for nearly all the growth.

Opportunities and challenges come with urbanization. Cities catalyze economic, social, cultural, technological, and political progress.

Urbanization, if properly managed and planned for, has the potential to be a driver of economic growth and industrialization. However, without a proper policy in place, urbanization may contribute to rising urban poverty, slum proliferation, regional inequalities, and the degradation of urban infrastructure and the environment.

Rapid urbanization has presented tough challenges to national and local governments in this regard, particularly in the areas of governance, urban service delivery, socio-economic capacity, planning, mobility, and the general environment.

Cities account for 60-80 percent of energy consumption, 75 percent of carbon emissions, roughly 70 percent of global GDP, and consume 70 percent of all resources despite occupying only 2% of the Earth’s land.

Furthermore, rapid urbanization strains freshwater supplies, sewage, the living environment, and public health. Cities in developing countries will face enormous pressure to provide basic services like energy, water, sanitation, housing, education, and healthcare to their growing populations. As a result, economic, social, and environmental challenges will confront city leaders.


The four components of Sustainable Urban Management are as follows:

  1. Integrated Urban Management
  2. Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST)
  3. 3R/Waste Management
  4. Disaster Management Planning

One of the key components of sustainable development is a sustainable environment. In line with the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as other international agendas and agreements, UNCRD’s Environment Unit is currently concentrating on three urban priorities – sustainable transport, 3R/circular economy, sustainable waste management, and biodiversity – that have substantial impacts on the socio-economic and bio-physical environment.

  • Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) (Transport that is environmentally friendly)
  • Circular Economy/Sustainable Waste Management/3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
  • IPLA is an SDG partnership for expanding waste management services provided by local governments.
  • Biodiversity

Sustainable Agriculture

Agricultural sustainability is described as a farm’s ability to produce food for an indefinite period without causing irreversible damage to ecosystem health.

Production systems, as well as the policies and institutions that support global food security, are becoming increasingly inadequate.

While strengthening global food security, sustainable agriculture must cultivate healthy ecosystems and support sustainable land, water, and natural resources management.

Agriculture should meet the requirements of current and future generations for its products and services while guaranteeing profitability, environmental health, and social and economic equity to be sustainable.

The global transition to sustainable food and agriculture will necessitate significant improvements in resource efficiency, environmental protection, and system resilience.

Sustainable agriculture necessitates a global governance system that prioritizes food security concerns in trade regimes and trade policies and revisiting agricultural policies to promote local and regional agricultural markets.

Sustainable agriculture


Persistently high levels of hunger and malnutrition and unsustainable human activity on the Earth’s carrying capacity pose a major challenge for agriculture. Agriculture will need to produce 60% more food globally to meet the growing food demand of over nine billion people who will exist by 2050, as well as the expected dietary changes.

At the same time, roughly one-third of all food produced – 1.3 billion tonnes per year – is lost or wasted globally, resulting in enormous financial and environmental costs.

Key challenges

The current rate of agricultural productivity growth is unsustainable due to the negative effects on natural resources and the environment. One-third of farmland has been degraded, up to 75% of crop genetic diversity has been lost, and 22% of animal breeds are endangered. Over the last decade, mIn addition, more than half of fish stocks are fully exploited, and approximately 13 million hectares of forest per year have been converted to other land uses.

The primary challenges are increasing scarcity and rapid degradation of natural resources at a time when demand for food, feed, fiber, and agricultural goods and services (including crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries, and aquaculture) is increasing rapidly.

Some of the fastest population growth is expected in agriculturally dependent areas with high rates of food insecurity. However, additional factors, many of which are interconnected, complicate the situation:

  • Natural resource competition will continue to heat up. This could be due to urbanization, competition among agricultural sectors, agricultural expansion at the expense of forests, industrial use of water, or recreational use of land. This is causing traditional users to be denied access to resources and markets in many places.
  • While a major contributor to climate change, agriculture is also a victim of its consequences. Climate change reduces the resilience of production systems and contributes to the depletion of natural resources. The rise in temperature, altered precipitation regimes, and extreme weather events are all expected to become much more severe in the future.
  • Increased movement of people and goods, environmental changes, and changes in production practices all contribute to the emergence of new threats from diseases (such as highly pathogenic avian influenza) or invasive species (such as tephritid fruit flies), which can have an impact on food safety, human health, and the effectiveness and sustainability of production systems. Threats are exacerbated by insufficient policies and technical capacities, which can jeopardize entire food chains; the policy agenda and production and resource conservation mechanisms are largely disjointed. There is no clear, integrated ecosystem and/or landscape management.

Sustainable agriculture

What Should be done?

The challenges as mentioned above give rise to five key principles to guide the strategic development of new approaches and the transition to sustainability:

  • Principle 1: Improving resource efficiency is critical to sustainable agriculture.
  • Principle 2: Sustainable development necessitates direct action to conserve, protect, and improve natural resources.
  • Principle 3: Agriculture is unsustainable if it does not protect and improve rural livelihoods and social well-being.
  • Principle 4: Sustainable agriculture must improve people’s, communities, and ecosystems’ resilience, particularly to climate change and market volatility.
  • Principle 5: Good governance is necessary for the long-term viability of both natural and human systems.

Sustainability must be viewed as a process rather than a single point to be reached to deal with the rapid pace of change and increased uncertainty. This, in turn, necessitates the creation of technical, policy, governance, and financing frameworks to assist agricultural producers and resource managers engaged in a dynamic innovation process. Specifically:

Policies and institutions are required to incentivize the adoption of sustainable practices to impose regulations and costs for actions that deplete or degrade natural resources and facilitate access to the necessary knowledge and resources.

Sustainable agricultural practices must make full use of technology, research, and development while incorporating much more local knowledge than in the past. This will necessitate new and stronger collaborations between technical and investment-oriented organizations.

Evidence-based agricultural sector planning and management necessitate appropriate statistics, geospatial information and maps, qualitative information, and knowledge. Furthermore, the analysis should focus on both production systems and the underlying natural and socio-economic resources; challenges related to natural resource stocks and utilization rates frequently transcend national boundaries.

International governance mechanisms and processes must support sustainable growth (and equitable benefit sharing) in all agricultural sectors while protecting natural resources and discouraging security damage.

Human Sustainability


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