What is the meaning and role of Resource Futures?
The future availability of resources becomes important in a global pressurized environment. Our resources experience constant threats of extinctions and therefore we need to plan our resource futures. Some key elements relate to planet earth include water, air, land/soil, biodiversity for example plant or animal life, energy for example oil, natural gas and other mineral elements.
Many times societies spend time identifying a specific problem without addressing the issues identified. Subsequently, the earth quickly experiences diverse problems for example shortages of food resources. To prevent this from happening, we need to look at Resource Futures and plan proactively. Another key challenge we experience in our modern society relates to funding. We need capital to secure our Resource Futures. The funding we mostly receive from diverse government, non-government and private sector entities.
Companies that follow a specific sustainable development plan normally include a budget section. An allocated budget allows them to plan forwardly and dedicate a certain amount for future use. Depending on the company industry, they may allocate funds to the third party. Alternatively, they will undertake environmental conservation actions themselves.
Other examples of the upkeep of Resource Futures involve the development of integrated management plans. These plans allow different sectors to work together and find solutions. It supports key stakeholders to sponsor different initiatives, for example, water conservation programs. These water protection ideas focus on protecting communities against possible flooding. It also entails the management of water quality and the sustainable distribution of water to humans, animals, and plant life.
Different aspects resulted in the need for governments, organizations, and communities to stand together and plan our Resource Futures.
Why do we need Resource Futures?
Resource Futures form a critical portion of our lives and ensure survival for future generations. Diverse reasons exist why we need to re-look our approach to reach a sustainable future. Some reasons entail the following:
- Constant demand by increased emerging markets to use resources. We need Future Resources to stay economically sustainable.
- Continuous demand to use the land for food production purposes. It is our responsibility to ensure the availability of land for forthcoming generations to maintain food growth.
- Globally communities rely on the use of gas and oil as part of their energy resources. Different countries continue to disagree about access to these reserves. Our current generations, governments, and entities allocate significant time to protect these materials from extinction.
- Because of climate change, our weather patterns transform and subsequently, humankind struggles to maintain sustainable harvests. If farmers struggle to maintain good harvests, it results in a global food crisis. We need to plan now and identify alternative methods of food production.
- Political instability impact significantly on humankind’s ability to protect resources for the future. Different interventions by key role players on global and national levels aim to prevent any conflict from happening. If it happens, it reduces the possibility to maintain resources for future generations.
What is the current status of our Resource Futures?
Our resources futures experience significant changes and we may struggle to gain future access. Some key elements highlighted during many studies include the following:
- Some of our minerals for example fossils, iron ore, and coal may experience continued demands until 2030.
- The demand for coal and palm increased significantly.
- Consumer trades and resources agreements increased significantly, especially with the following countries:
- Some key trade agreements impact on the Resource Futures and subsequently demands the following resources increased:
- Iron Ore
- Future availability of natural resources at affordable costs may present a problem if not investigated. Different role players, in this case, relate to factors for example transportation methods, accessibility of resources, costs to provide water or energy or support to poor communities.
- A decline in political will impact on humankind’s ability to ensure stable Resource Futures for humankind. If governments comprise limited interest to investigate, develop or implement conservation plans, all humankind suffers.
- Some conservation specific issues we deal with that impact significantly on the manner we reach Resource Futures relate to:
- Weak governance procedures
- Poor quality of land and soils
- Lower mineral grades
How do we reach Resource Futures in a Global World?
To ensure we reach Resource Futures globally we need to shift our natural resources thinking. It means a shift in production, accepting complex thinking methods and planning focusing on protecting our environment.
To ensure the conservation of Resource Futures, key steps play a role. Some of these actions include the following:
- The execution of the environmental impact assessment to determine land-use fluctuations
- Increased care for climate-sensitive areas
- Implementation of continuous innovation and identification of ways to protect the environment
- Globally key role-players need to deal with diverse threats to the natural environment and political playing fields. To address this matter global leaders, need to display sensitivity regarding the power shifts. The management of power strategies and access to resources for the future becomes critical.
- Globally corporate institutions require an overview to understand the meaning of Resource Futures and the role they play. The position of capital plays an intrinsic part in managing and securing resources for future use.
- Some other key aspects related to the role technology plays. Current generations need to plan for future events that may impact on next-generation resources. For example, if technology comprises the ability to produce food differently, we should look into it now. Alternative ways of using energy resources, for example, changed into a popular discussion point.
- Investing in the current millennial group and equip them to manage the natural resources needed for future generations.
- Reduce the exploitation of currently available resources and focus on protecting them for future use.
Implement strict governing rules at sensitive environmental areas, for example, the arctic. These areas deem controversial and require additional care. Prevention of exploitation in these geographical locations requires critical thinking. It became necessary to invest in continuous development and scientific thinking to allow for continuous innovation. Scientists need capital to proceed with their experiments.
The fact that our natural resources became significantly fragile impacted on the manner we approach conservation methods. Meaning globally we reached a stage where one natural disaster impacts on the livelihoods of all people. Humankind continues to internationally rely on each other. Meaning we do not live in silo’s anymore but our actions impact other communities. For this reason, if we experience a food shortage in one area it economically impacts on other countries.
To ensure the future security of our natural resources, we must focus on finding alternative methods. For example, we must aim to replace protein resources inclusive of red meat with other options. Alternate thinking allows humankind to ensure the protection and availability of Future Resources as well as our survival.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are Resource Futures?
Resource Futures entails firstly the types of resources next generations may have access to. Besides, it would entail the conservation methods of resources to ensure they available. The availability of these resources for future generations form a critical part of our conservation responsibilities. We experience a global threat to keep our resources from becoming limited or extinct. We, therefore, require scientific input to guide us in the identification of new resources. Alternate resources ensure the survival of humankind.
What types of Resources Futures do we have?
Future Resources include water, air, land, soil, biodiversity, wildlife, ecosystems, energy, for example, oil or natural gas. Other mineral resources for example coal, iron ore or natural gas.
Who is responsible to look after Future Resources?
Diverse stakeholders play a role to maintain the future of natural resources. They include governmental and non-governmental organizations, corporate entities, local communities, individuals, scientists or conservationists.
What are the major threats to our Resources Futures?
Major threats to our Resource Futures include food insecurity, war, unsustainable land management practices, a decline in political will, insufficient funds, change in economic circumstances, climate change and extreme weather patterns.
- California Natural Resources Agency, 2010, The Future of Natural Resource Management, White Paper, PP. 1 -10.
- World Economic Forum, 2014, Future Availability of Natural Resources, World Scenario Series, PP. 1-56.