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The recent concerns about the environment and natural resources have arisen because of the increasing awareness of the finite nature. What appeared as to be plentiful earlier, clean water and air, fuel energy, land for food, forests and trees are becoming increasingly scarce. Not just roads and buildings, but all the things we use or consume – food, clothes, books, toys, furniture, tools and vehicles – are obtained from resources on this earth. The only thing we get from outside is energy which we receive from the Sun. Even this energy is processed by living organisms and various physical and chemical processes on the earth before we make use of it. Energy is required for the evolution of life forms on earth. We obtain energy from different sources. The natural resources that we use today are the prime source of energy for day-to-day activities of humans, without which we would still be lurking around in the Stone Age. This work will emphasizes why there is a need to manage and conserve our natural resources. Why do we need to use our resources carefully? Because these are not unlimited and with the human population increasing at a tremendous rate due to improvement in health-care, the demand for all resources is increasing at an exponential rate. The management of natural resources requires a long-term perspective so that these will last for the generations to come and will not merely be exploited to the hilt for short term gains. This management should also ensure equitable distribution of resources so that all, and not just a handful of rich and powerful people, benefit from the development of these resources. Population increase, resource use conflicts, unsustainable use and harvesting of resources, technological development, climate change, and political despair have all put more pressure on natural resources leading to land degradation and poverty. To achieve a flourishing situation, we need to transform our mindset advocating incorporated and holistic strategies in managing our natural resources.

This book ‘Natural Resources Management’ covers studies of natural resources exploration, evaluation and exploitation, including environmental and risk-related aspects on a wide variety of resources including minerals, coal, hydrocarbon, geothermal, water, and vegetation. It presents a variety of sustainable strategies and/or approaches including use of GIS and Remote Sensing technologies, decision support system models, involvement of stakeholders in major decisions regarding use of natural resources, community level initiatives, and use of surveillance and monitoring mechanisms.