Monday, 24 October 2011

Natural Resource Management in Kenya

A natural resource is anything which occurs naturally in the earth and can be used by human beings. This resources are not man made but are gathered from the earth, and some examples are water, air, land, crude oil, natural vegetation, wild animals, hydro-electric energy, solar energy, soil, wind energy minerals and coal.
Natural resources can be classified into
  1. Renewable natural resources: Renewable natural resources can be replaced or replenished in nature at a rate higher or equal to the rate of their use. Renewable natural resources can further be divided into: Living renewable natural resources ( include animals, plants and forests) and Non living renewable resources (such as water, air, wind, sun, solar power, wind power, and biomass fuels).Read-
  1. Non renewable resources:Non renewable resources are used up faster than they are replaced in nature as they exist in fixed amounts or take too long to regenerate. Most fossil fuels like oil, coal and natural gas are non renewable natural resources and their use is unsustainable because they are formed in billions of years. Non renewable resources are the primary source of power generated in the world due to their high energy content and affordability. Conservation of non renewable resources is therefore essential to avoid depletion and promote sustainability. When natural resources are scarce, people’s quality of life goes down and competition and fights over the resources create conflicts, which undermine peace and stability.
Natural resource management is a process of managing natural resources in a systematic way in order to meet goals of producers, direct users’  and the community, which may include food security, poverty alleviation, profitability, environmental conservation and welfare of future generations. Natural resource management is important for sustainable development and it forms the basis for land management, environmental conservation and natural resource preservation. Natural resource management focuses on technical and scientific understanding of resources and their life supporting capacity, and it includes biodiversity conservation, land use planning, water management and ensuring sustainability of industries such as agriculture, tourism, and forestry. Natural resources management considers that people’s livelihoods are dependent on productivity of their landscapes. Human action and stewardship plays a critical role in maintaining health and productivity of the landscapes. In addition to managing natural systems, natural resource management involves management of stakeholders and their policies, interests, politics, economic implication and geographical boundaries; satisfying all of them is not an easy task and conflicting situations are common.
Environmental management is similar to natural resource management and is a purposeful activity, with the goal of maintaining and improving the state of environmental resources affected by human activities. Environmental resources refer to natural systems that produce goods and services of potential benefit to people. Environmental management therefore focuses on interaction between humans and environmental resources, with an aim of ensuring protection of ecosystems for use by current and future generations.Read-