People and Environment Notes (UGC NET Paper 1 Free Study Material)

People and Environment Notes (UGC NET Paper 1) 

Natural resources

A resource can be defined as any material that can be transformed into a more valuable and useful product or service. They are or may become of potential economic interest due to their inherent properties.

Reserve are that part of a resource which has been fully evaluated and is formed coomercially viable to work on the considereation of mining, metallurgical, economic, marketing ,legal, environmental , social and governmental factors.

Types of Natural Resource

On the basis of their abundance and availability Natural resources are of two types :

1. Renewable resources

2. Non renewable resource


1. Renewable resource

Resources that have the inherent capacity to reapper, or replenish tnemselves by quick recycling, reproduction and replacement within a reasonable time and maintain themselves are called renewable resource.

Examples : soil, water, living organisms, forest, oxygen, solar energy.

2. Non-renewable resources

Resources that lack the ability for recycling and replacement are called non- renewable resources.

Example : ores of copper, aluminium, mercury and other methals, deposits if ferticlizer nutrients such as phosphate rock and potassium, Minerals that are used in their natural states such as asbestos, clay, mica etc., fossile fuels like coal petroleum oil, natural gas, Uranium used for generating power in nuclear reactor.

Biotic and Abiotic resources

Based on their origin natural resources are of following two tyeps:

1. Biotic resources

2. Abiotic resource


1. Biotic resources

Biotic resources have originated from some living organism or have life.

Examples : Livestock, fisheries, flora, fauna and humans, coal, petroleum etc.

2. Abiotic resoures

Abiotic resources are or non-living origin.

Examples : Minerals, rocks, water etc.

Forest Resources

Forest are one of the world’s most abundant resources. “Chandogya Upanishad” says “ water is the essence of earth and plants are essence of water”. It is estimated that forests covered 1/5th of the earth’s entire surface in year 1980. Forests account for 75% of the gross primary productivity of the Earth’s biosphere, and contain 80% of the Earth’s plant biomass. India has a forest cover area of only 19.0 % .Forest area  accounts for 23% of the total geographical area and forest cover 19 percent. . As per state of Forest Report 1999, the total forest cover of India is 637,293 sq. km.


The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), 1992 defines deforestation as, land degradation in arid, semi-arid and sub humid areas resulting from various factors including climatic variations and human activites.

The main causes of deforestation are:

  1. Fuel wood consumption
  2. Agriculture
  3. Industrial development
  4. Overgrazing
  5. Developmental projects
  6. Shifting cultivation
  7. Fires
  8. Acid rains
  9. Resin tapping

Consequences of Deforestation

  1. Soil erosion
  2. Floods
  3. Silting of reservoirs and agricultural lands
  4. Decreases of recharge to ground water
  5. Desertification
  6. Harm to fisheries
  7. Habitat loss of wildlife
  8. Extinction of some species
  9. Local and global climate changes
  10. Global warming
  11. Danger for the survival of local communities

Chipko Movement, India

The Chipko Movement or Chipko Andolan was primarily a forest conservation movement in India that began in 1973 and went on to become a rallying point for many future environmental movements all over the world it created a precedent for starting of non-violent protest in India. The first Chipko action took place spontaneously in April 1973 and over the next five years spread to may districts of the Hill areas of Uttar Pradesh. The Chipko protests in U.P. achieved a major victory in 1980 with a 15 year ban on green felling in the Himalayan forests of that state by order of India’s then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Since then the movement spread to Himach Pradesh in north, Karnataka in south, Rajasthan in west , Bihar in east  and to the VIndyas in Central India. Prominent Chipko figure ares : Sunderlal Bahuguna (He alos coined the Chipko slogan : ‘ecology is permanent economy”), Chandi Prasad Bhatt, Dhoom Singh Negi (who alongwith Bachna Devi first saved trees by hugging them and also coined slogan : ‘ What do the forests bear? Soil, water and pure air.’), Ghanasyam Ratauri , the Chipko poet, Indu Tikekar.

Appiko Movement

In Karnataka, the Chipko Movement is known as Appiko Movement because appiko is the local term for ‘hugging’.  In September 1983, led by Panduranga Hegde,[1] men, women and children of Salkani “hugged the trees” in Kalase forest. (The local term for “hugging” in Kannada is appiko.)

The Green Belt Movement

Dr. Wnagari Maathai started thee Green Belt Movement ( GBM) in 1977 as a grassroots tree planting programme to address the challenges of deforestation. Soil erosion and lack of water. Now, GBM is one of the most prominent women’s civil society organisations, based in Kenya. Th GBM advocates for human rights, supports good governance and protects the environment through peaceful democratic change. In 2004, Dr, Wangari Maathai became the first African women and the first environmentalist to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

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