Natural Resources and Pesticides

Natural resources are resources that exist without the actions of humankind. This includes all valued characteristics such as magnetic, gravitational, electrical properties and forces etc. On earth, it includes sunlight, atmosphere, water, land (includes all minerals) along with all vegetation, crops and animal life that naturally subsists upon or within the heretofore identified characteristics and substances.

Natural resources may be further classified in different ways. Natural resources are materials and components (something that can be used) that can be found within the environment. Every man-made product is composed of natural resources (at its fundamental level).

A natural resource may exist as a separate entity such as fresh water, air, and as well as a living organism such as a fish, or it may exist in an alternate form that must be processed to obtain the resource such as metal ores, rare earth metals, petroleum, and most forms of energy. There is much debate worldwide over natural resource allocations, this is particularly true during periods of increasing scarcity and shortages (depletion and overconsumption of resources) but also because the exportation of natural resources is the basis .

Resource extraction involves any activity that withdraws resources from nature. This can range in scale from the traditional use of preindustrial societies to a global industry. Extractive industries are, along with agriculture, the basis of the primary sector of the economy. Extraction produces raw material, which is then processed to add value.

Natural Resource Management

Extractive industries represent a large growing activity in many less-developed countries but the wealth generated does not always lead to sustainable and inclusive growth. Extractive industry businesses often are assumed to be interested only in maximizing their short-term value, implying that less-developed countries are vulnerable to powerful corporations. In recent years, the depletion of natural resources has become a major focus of governments.

The depletion of natural resources is caused by ' direct drivers of change' such as Mining, petroleum extraction, fishing, and forestry as well as ' indirect drivers of change' such as demography, economy, society, politics, and technology. Natural resource management is a discipline in the management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants, and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations. Hence sustainable development can be followed where there is a judicial use of resources which compromises the needs of the present generations as well as the future generations.

Pesticides

Pesticides are substances that are meant to control pests, including weeds. The term pesticide includes all of the following: herbicide, insecticides (which may include insect growth regulators, termiticides, etc.) nematicide, molluscicide, piscicide, avicide, rodenticide, bactericide, insect repellent, animal repellent, antimicrobial, fungicide, disinfectant (antimicrobial), and sanitizer. The most common of these are herbicides which account for approximately 80% of all pesticide use. Most pesticides are intended to serve as plant protection products (also known as crop protection products), which in general, protect plants from weeds, fungi, or insects.

In general, a pesticide is a chemical or biological agent (such as a virus, bacterium, or fungus) that deters, incapacitates, kills, or otherwise discourages pests. Target pests can include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, mollusks, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes (roundworms), and microbes that destroy property, cause nuisance, or spread disease, or are disease vectors. Although pesticides have benefits, some also have drawbacks, such as potential toxicity to humans and other species. Pesticide use raises a number of environmental concerns. Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species, including non-target species, air, water and soil.

Alternatives to pesticides are available and include methods of cultivation, use of biological pest controls (such as pheromones and microbial pesticides), genetic engineering, and methods of interfering with insect breeding. Application of composted yard waste has also been used as a way of controlling pests.

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