Rational use of natural resources The main conditions for environmental management are as follows.
- Studying the laws of nature, the functioning of geosystems (atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere) in their interconnection, ecosystems (starting from biogeocenoses and ending with the global ecological system – the biosphere) and their components in their interaction.
- The study and definition of the potential of the environment to adapt to the anthropogenic, including man-made, loads.
- The study and prediction of changes in nature under the influence of human activities.
- Development of resource-saving and environmental protection technologies.
- Development of legal, economic, organizational and other mechanisms for environmental management.
- Spatial zoning based on the distribution of natural resources and conditions, including the implementation of architectural and planning measures (for example, the organization of sanitary protection zones around enterprises, green areas in cities, etc.).
- Educating people who are ready to move from models of irrational environmental management to models of rational environmental management.
- Opportunities to invest in the creation of the above conditions for environmental management, including in basic and applied science.
The main components of the rational use of resources are as follows.
- Resource conservation, primarily in production processes, i.e. reducing their resource intensity. Resource Capacityis defined as the ratio of the amount of resources used to the amount of products produced (enterprises, enterprise groups – companies, industries, regional economies, countries). Depending on the resources used, the consumption of materials, energy intensity, capacity, metal consumption, etc. can be calculated separately.
- The most material-intensive industry is extractive. The most energy-consuming – metallurgy. The most water-intensive ones are energy, metallurgy, chemical industry, pulp and paper industry, irrigated agriculture, and public utilities. For example, an average of 18 tons of water is required to produce 1 ton of oil, 200 tons of water – 1 ton of paper, 3500 tons of water – 1 ton of synthetic fiber.
- Intensive nature management. Preference should be given not to the extensive nature of nature management, but to the intensive one — not by developing new and new resources (for example, deposits), but by extracting the necessary resource as completely as possible (as far as the best available technologies allow).
- The complex nature of the use of natural resources – natural resources must be mined once for their integrated use, and not each time to obtain one of their elements. Non-ferrous metal ores are characterized by the greatest complexity. In oil fields, the associated components are gas, sulfur, iodine, bromine, boron; in gas – sulfur, nitrogen.
- Cyclical and low-waste production — waste from some industries can be raw materials for others, the products created should allow them to be used not only for their intended purpose, but also after that, as the initial elements of a new production. For example, slags and sludge from metallurgical enterprises and waste from the pulp and paper industry can be used as sources of building materials. More attention should be paid to the recycling of natural resources, which allows saving primary raw materials and energy, reducing the amount of solid waste.
- The use of natural resources must be accompanied by their restoration or replacement. Transition from the primary use of non-renewable resources to the use of renewable ones. In an ideal nature management model, the consumption of renewable resources (water, forest, fish, etc.) should not exceed the rate of their recovery – it is necessary to live “on percentages” of natural resource growth, and the use of non-renewable resources (mineral resources) should not exceed the rate of their replacement with renewable resources (for example, it is rational to invest part of the revenues from oil production in the development of renewable energy sources).
- Preservation and improvement of the quality of natural conditions. The volumes and concentrations of pollutants entering (discharged) in the biosphere should not exceed the permissible levels at which natural ecosystems absorb and process these substances without degrading.
- The use of natural resources should be based on local natural and socio-economic conditions.
Depending on the specific situation: the availability of certain resources, the state of the environment, the profile of the enterprise, the standard of living of the population, the development of technologies, etc., these areas of environmental management are specified for practical use in the form of specific measures and actions.
Examples of natural resource conservation indicators are:
- – reduction of the area of deserts, erosion processes of anthropogenic origin;
- – an increase in the area of natural, including aquatic ecosystems, protected areas (national natural parks, reserves, reserves and other protected areas), green spaces;
- – an increase in forest area and biological species diversity;
- – stabilization and increase in the number of rare biological species;
- – reduction of water losses during its use in household needs and during transportation;
- – reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, etc.