Sustainable development means using resources wisely without damaging the environment and keeping in mind the need of future generations. Indiscriminate use of resources leads to:
- A rapid depletion of resources
- An economic divide in the society,
- Environmental and ecological problems like pollution, land degradation, global warming and ozone layer depletion.
The first Earth Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in June 1992 where leaders from over 100 countries signed the Declaration on Global Climatic Change and Biological Diversity, approved the global forest principles and adopted Agenda 21.
Agenda 21 aims to prevent environmental damage and fight poverty and diseases through global cooperation. It also aims to encourage local governments to form their own Agenda 21 based on local issues.
The resources in a country are not distributed uniformly across all its regions. The mere presence of resources is not enough for the development of a region.
Resource planning involves:
- The identification and inventory of resources
- Planning with the appropriate technology, skilled human resources, setting up of suitable institutions for the implementation of resource development plans, and equitable distribution of available resources for sustained economic development
- Matching these with national development plans
The different activities involved in resource planning are:
- Identifying and estimating the resources available by surveying and mapping
- Evolving technology, skilled personnel and institutions to implement resource development plans
- Continuously monitoring and guiding resource development plans to match the overall national development goals.
The availability of resources is limited. Irresponsible and over-use of resources can lead to several social, economic and environmental problems. We must plan for the future and start conserving our resources at all levels.