Exploitation of natural resources

The exploitation of natural resources is the use of natural resources for economic growth,[1] sometimes with a negative connotation of accompanying environmental degradation. It started to emerge on an industrial scale in the 19th century as the extraction and processing of raw materials (such as in mining, steam power, and machinery) developed much further than it had in preindustrial areas. During the 20th century, energy consumption rapidly increased. Today, about 80% of the world’s energy consumption is sustained by the extraction of fossil fuels, which consists of oil, coal and gas.[2] Another non-renewable resource that is exploited by humans is subsoil minerals such as precious metals that are mainly used in the production of industrial commodities. Intensive agriculture is an example of a mode of production that hinders many aspects of the natural environment, for example the degradation of forests in a terrestrial ecosystem and water pollution in an aquatic ecosystem. As the world population rises and economic growth occurs, the depletion of natural resources influenced by the unsustainable extraction of raw materials becomes an increasing concern.[3]

Why resources are under pressure

  • Increase in the sophistication of technology enabling natural resources to be extracted quickly and efficiently. E.g., in the past, it could take long hours just to cut down one tree only using saws. Due to increased technology, rates of deforestation have greatly increased
  • The number of humans is increasing. According to the UN, there were 7.6 billion of us in 2017. This number is expected to rise to about 10 billion in 2050 and about 11 billion in 2100.[4]
  • Cultures of consumerism. Materialistic views lead to the mining of gold and diamonds to produce jewelry, unnecessary commodities for human life or advancement. Consumerism also leads to extraction of resources for the production of commodities necessary for human life but in amounts excessive of what is needed, because people consume more than is necessary or waste what they have.
  • Excessive demand often leads to conflicts due to intense competition. Organizations such as Global Witness and the United Nations have documented the connection.
  • Non-equitable distribution of resources.

Consequences of exploitation of resources

Natural resources are not limitless, and the following consequences can arise from the careless and excessive consumption of these resources:

Effects on local communities

The Global South

Mill Children in Macon 2
Human Resources Macon, Georgia, 1909

When a mining company enters a developing country in the global south to extract raw materials, advocating the advantages of the industry’s presence and minimizing the potential negative effects gain cooperation of the local people. Advantageous factors are primarily in economic development so services that the government could not provide such as health centers, police departments and schools can be established.[5] However, with economic development, money becomes a dominant subject of interest. This can bring about major conflicts that a local community in a developing country has never dealt with before.[6] These conflicts emerge by a change to more egocentric views among the locals influenced by consumerist values.[7]

The effects of the exploitation of natural resources in the local community of a developing country are exhibited in the impacts from the Ok Tedi Mine. After BHP, now BHP Billiton, entered into Papua New Guinea to exploit copper and gold, the economy of the indigenous peoples boomed. Although their quality of life has improved, initially disputes were common among the locals in terms of land rights and who should be getting the benefits from the mining project.[8] The consequences of the Ok Tedi environmental disaster illustrate the potential negative effects from the exploitation of natural resources. The resulting mining pollution includes toxic contamination of the natural water supply for communities along the Ok Tedi River, causing widespread killing of aquatic life. When a mining company ends a project after extracting the raw materials from an area of a developing country, the local people are left to manage with the environmental damage done to their community and the long run sustainability of the economic benefits stimulated by the mining company’s presence becomes a concern.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Cronin, Richard. (2009). "Natural Resources and the Development-Environment Dilemma." Exploiting Natural Resources. The Henry L. Stimson Centre. p. 63.
  2. ^ Planas, Florent. "The Exploitation of Natural Resources". Un An Pour La Planete. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  3. ^ McNicoll, Geoffrey (2007). "Population and Sustainability". Handbook of Sustainable Development (PDF). Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 125–39. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
  4. ^ "World Population Prospects - Population Division - United Nations". esa.un.org. Retrieved 2018-06-25.
  5. ^ Pedro, Antonio M.A. (2004). Mainstreaming Mineral Wealth in Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategies. Economic Commission for Africa. pp. 5–6. ISBN 9789211250978. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  6. ^ Pegg, Simon (2006). "Mining and poverty reduction: Transforming rhetoric into reality" (PDF). Journal of Cleaner Production. Elsevier. 14 (3–4): 376–87. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2004.06.006. ISSN 0959-6526. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  7. ^ Weber-Fahr, M.; Strongman, J.; Kunanayagam, R.; McMahon, G.; Sheldon, C. (2001). "Mining and Poverty Reduction". Noord Internationaal WB PRSP Sourcebook. pp. 4–6. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  8. ^ Bray, John (2003). "Attracting Reputable Companies to Risky Environments: Petroleum and Mining Companies". Natural Resources and Conflict: Options and Actions. World Bank Publications. pp. 287–347. Retrieved 2012-03-12.
  9. ^ Brereton, D.; Forbes, P. (2004). Monitoring the Impact of Mining on Local Communities: A Hunter Valley Case Study (PDF). CSRM. pp. 12–13.
British American Land Company

The British American Land Company ("BALC") was formed in 1832 and promoted by John Galt, Edward Ellice and others to acquire and manage the development of almost 1,100,000 acres (1,719 sq mi; 4,452 km2) of Crown land and other lands in the Eastern Townships of Lower Canada, in order to encourage the immigration of British subjects to the region. In comparison to the Canada Company, a similar enterprise in Upper Canada that thrived through collaboration with the local government, the BALC indulged in land speculation, made immigration a secondary priority, and struggled throughout its existence.

Economic geography of the United Kingdom

The economic geography of the United Kingdom reflects its high position in the current economic league tables, as well as reflecting its long history as a trading nation and as an imperial power. This in turn was built on exploitation of natural resources such as coal and iron ore.

Much has changed since Bevan's speech (below) in 1945, with the coalfields largely deserted and the Empire relinquished. With its dominant position gone, the UK economic geography is increasingly shaped by the one constant: it is a trading nation.


Exploitation may refer to:

Exploitation of natural resources

Exploitation of labour

Exploitation fiction

Exploitation film

Exploitation (film), a 2012 film

Sexual slavery

Gotthilf Hempel

Gotthilf Hempel (born March 8, 1929) is a retired German marine biologist and oceanographer.

Hempel studied biology and geology at the universities of Mainz and Heidelberg[1]. In 1952 he gained his Ph.D. with a study on the energetics of grasshopper jumps[2] from Heidelberg University. He then went on to work as a scientific assistant at various research institutes in Wilhelmshaven, Helgoland, and Hamburg, where he habilitated with a thesis on the ecology of fry in 1963[3]. Four years later, he became a professor at the University of Kiel at the Institute of Marine Sciences (Institut für Meereskunde Kiel), where he remained director of the Department of Fisheries Biology for the next 14 years and served as Acting Director of the institute from 1972 to 1976. In 1981, he helped found the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven whereupon he became the institution's first director. In the same year, he also became director of the Institute for Polar Ecology at the University of Kiel. In Bremerhaven, he initiated the construction of the polar research vessel PFS Polarstern. In 1992, he became the first director of the then newly founded Center for Marine Tropical Ecology at the University of Bremen. Hempel retired in 1994.

He has been interested and active in research politics throughout his career. From 1963 to 1967 he worked for UNESCO and the FAO and from 1990 to 1996 he was a member of the Wissenschaftsrat, the scientific advisory committee of Germany. He has been and is an active proponent of scientific collaboration and education initiatives in underdeveloped countries, and has advocated a more sustainable exploitation of natural resources. Hempel is the editor of the journal Polar Biology, and he has also published several books. He has had more than 70 doctoral candidates, notably Daniel Pauly. From his time spent researching oceanological topics he has managed to spend over 1000 days aboard research vessels.

He became a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1989. He was awarded the German Order of Merit (Grosses Verdienstkreuz) in 1993.

Hanoi University of Mining and Geology

Hanoi University of Mining and Geology (HUMG, Vietnamese: Trường Đại học Mỏ - Địa chất Hà Nội) is a university in the Bắc Từ Liêm district of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It trains technical experts in exploration and exploitation of natural resources; in protection of mining and the geological environment; and to be a center for research and technology transfer in geology, oil and gas, surveying, and mining. Higher education is also provided in theoretical sciences, information technology and economics and business administration.

HUMG has three campuses: Hanoi (main campus), Quảng Ninh, and Vũng Tàu.

International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict

The International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict is observed annually on November 6. The International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict was established on November 5, 2001 by the United Nations General Assembly, during Kofi Atta Annan's tenure as Secretary-General. Of this observance Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has since written, "We must use all of the tools at our disposal, from dialogue and mediation to preventive diplomacy, to keep the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources from fueling and financing armed conflict and destabilizing the fragile foundations of peace." Various calendars found on the World Wide Web reference November 6th in abbreviated fashion as 'World Day to Protect the Environment in War'.

List of environmental issues

This is an alphabetical list of environmental issues, harmful aspects of human activity on the biophysical environment. They are loosely divided into causes, effects and mitigation, noting that effects are interconnected and can cause new effects.

Malawi–Mozambique relations

Malawi–Mozambique relations refers to the current and historical relationship between the countries of Malawi and Mozambique. As Malawi shares a large border with Mozambique, much of the substance of their foreign relations pertain to the border separating the two nations. Both of the sovereign states have amicably agreed that lacustrine borders on Lake Malawi remain the largest priority between the two countries, as the exploitation of natural resources within the waters of Lake Malawi remain an issue the two countries continue to resolve. The moment considered an act of generosity and sympathy within the two countries relations is when, during the Mozambique Civil War, Malawi housed over one million Mozambican refugees between 1985 and 1995. After this gesture, Malawian relations with Mozambique crumbled under the tenure of Bingu wa Mutharika, notoriously reaching a nadir when Malawian police launched a raid into Mozambique's territory.

Ministry of Environment (Lithuania)

The Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublikos aplinkos ministerija) oversees the environment and natural resources in Lithuania. Its mission is:

To implement the principle of sustainable development;

To set preconditions for rational utilization, protection and restoration of natural resources;

To ensure provision of information about the state of environment and its forecasts to the public;

To create conditions for the development of construction business and the provision of residents with housing;

To ensure a proper environmental quality, taking into account the norms and standards of the European Union.The Environment Protection Department, accountable to the Supreme Council – Reconstituent Seimas, was established to oversee environment protection and exploitation of natural resources after Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. In 1996, the Department was reorganized into Ministry of Environmental Protection. In 1998, after the merger with Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, it was renamed to Ministry of Environment. Thus it became responsible for construction, territorial planning, and housing. The Ministry has numerous divisions and subordinate institutions responsible for protected areas, environment protection, geological survey, forestry, metrology, meteorology services, and marine research. The Ministry also runs the Tadas Ivanauskas Zoological Museum.

Ministry of Land and Resources of the People's Republic of China

The Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) of the People's Republic of China is a dissolved ministry under the jurisdiction of the State Council of China. It was formally responsible for the regulation, management, preservation and exploitation of natural resources, such as land, mines and oceans.

On March 10, 1998, the 9th National People's Congress passed the "Reform Plan of the Ministries of the State Council". According to the plan, Ministry of Geology & Mineral Resources, State Administration of National Land, State Oceanic Administration, and State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping merged to form the Ministry of Land and Resources. The State Administration of National Oceans and the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping have remained existing as departments under the jurisdiction of the newly formed Ministry.

In March 2018, the 13th National People’s Congress announced that the newly formed Ministry of Natural Resources shall replace the functions of the Ministry of Land & Resources, State Oceanic Administration and the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping.


Mittelafrika (German: [ˈmɪtl̩ˌʔaːfʁika], "Middle Africa") is the name created for a geostrategic region in central and east Africa. Much like Mitteleuropa, it articulated Germany's foreign policy aim, prior to World War I, of bringing the region under German domination. The difference being that Mittelafrika would presumably be an agglomeration of German colonies in Africa, while Mitteleuropa was conceptualised as a geostrategic buffer zone between Germany and Russia to be filled with puppet states.

German strategic thinking was that if the region between the colonies of German East Africa (Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanganyika (Tanzania minus the island of Zanzibar)), German South-West Africa (Namibia minus Walvis Bay), and Cameroon could be annexed, a contiguous entity could be created covering the breadth of the African continent from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. Given the richness in natural resources of the Congo Basin alone, this region would accrue considerable wealth to the colonising power through the exploitation of natural resources, as well as contributing to another German aim of economic self-sufficiency.

The concept dates back to the 1890s, when then Chancellor of Germany, Leo von Caprivi, gained the Caprivi Strip in the Heligoland–Zanzibar Treaty. This addition to German South-West Africa attached the colony to the Zambezi River. British and German imperialists competed over the region which now comprises Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. Cecil Rhodes, on behalf of the British, successfully colonised the latter region (named Rhodesia, after Rhodes). Germany also discussed with Britain for them to press their ally, Portugal, to cede the colonies of Angola and Mozambique to them. The British however, had preferential trade agreements with Portugal, who was a trusted ally, and though plans for an eventual partition of the Portuguese colonies were drawn, Britain would thus see its colonial position in Africa severely weakened in case they were applied, since the Germans could then effectively threaten their Cairo to Cape lines of communication. These plans were arguably made only to be used only as a last resort to appease Germany in case she threatened to disrupt the balance of power in Europe. However, since German foreign policy interests were in subsequent years mainly directed at gaining mastery in Europe itself, and not in Africa, they were eventually shelved. Indeed, as it is likely that German concepts of a "Mittelafrika" were designed to put pressure on Britain to tolerate growing German dominance in the European continent, and not the other way around, colonial concessions would never placate the German Empire, as surely British politicians came to realise at the time.

Germany's aspirations in Mittelafrika were incorporated into Germany's aims in World War I insofar as Germany expected to be able to gain the Belgian Congo if it were to defeat Belgium in Europe. The full realisation of Mittelafrika depended on a German victory in World War I in the European theatre, where Britain would be forced to negotiate and cede its colonies in Rhodesia to Germany when faced with a German-dominated Europe across the English Channel. In the course of the actual war, German aspirations in Mittelafrika were never matched by events in the African theatre. The German colonies were at very different levels of defence and troop strength when the war began in Europe, and were not in a position to fight a war due to a lack of material.

Pravir Chandra Bhanj Deo

Pravir, King of Bastar (Pravir Chandra Bhanj Dev 25 June 1929 – 25 March 1966) was the first Oriya ruler and 20th Maharaja of Bastar state who was shot in 1966 for championing the cause of his subjects. He fought for rights of the tribal people. He represented Jagdalpur Vidhan Sabha constituency of undivided Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly by winning General election of 1957.He was the last Kakatiya ruler of Bastar. He was born on 25 June 1929 and was educated at Rajkumar College, Raipur. He succeeded to throne on 28 October 1936. He was married to Rajkumari Shubhraj Kumari of Patan, Rajasthan daughter of Raj Rishi Rao Saheb Udaya Singhji and Rani Trilokya Raj Lakshmi of Patan on 4th July 1961.

He was immensely popular among his people, as he took up the cause of the local tribal, and provided political leadership against exploitation of natural resources of the region, and corruption in land reforms. On 25 March 1966 he was killed in police firing at the steps of his own palace at Jagdalpur along with many of the royal court. Officially the death toll was twelve including the king and wounded were twenty; the police had fired sixty one rounds.


Reichskommissariat (English: Reich Commissariat) is the German designation for a type of administrative entity headed by a government official known as a Reichskommissar (English: Reich Commissioner). Although many different such offices existed primarily throughout the Imperial German and Nazi periods in a number of different fields (ranging from public infrastructure and spatial planning to ethnic cleansing) it is most commonly used to refer to the quasi-colonial administrative territorial entity established by Nazi Germany in several occupied countries during World War II. While officially located outside the German Reich in a legal sense, these entities were directly controlled by their supreme civil authorities (the Reichskommissars), who ruled their assigned territories as German governors on behalf of and as direct representatives of Adolf Hitler.The introduction of these territorial administrations served a number of purposes. Those established or planned to be established in Western and Northern Europe were in general envisioned as the transitional phases for the future incorporation of various Germanic countries outside pre-war Germany into an expanded Nazi state. Their eastern counterparts served primarily colonialist and imperialist purposes, as sources of future Lebensraum for German settlement and the exploitation of natural resources.Another contrast was the level of administrative overhaul implemented in these two types. As in most other territories conquered by the Germans, local administrators and bureaucrats were pressured to continue their regular day-to-day operations (especially at the middle and lower levels) albeit under German oversight. Throughout the war the Reichskommissariate in Western and Northern Europe simply retained the previously existing administrative structure however, while in the eastern ones completely new such structures were introduced.All of these entities were nonetheless intended for eventual integration into a Greater Germanic Reich (German: Großgermanisches Reich) encompassing the general area of Europe stretching from the North Sea to the Ural mountains, for which Germany was to form the basis.

Rewilding Institute

The Rewilding Institute is an organization concerned with the integration of traditional wildlife and wildlands conservation to advance landscape-scale conservation. It was founded by environmental activist Dave Foreman.The Rewilding Institute's mission is to work toward the survival and flourishing of large carnivores in North America by promoting the establishment of suitable habitats in the wilderness, which are permanently interconnected as to allow their natural movement. They believe that humans and large carnivores can and should co-exist in North America. They wish to undo the damage done by over-hunting, over-logging, and exploitation of natural resources. Through continent-scale conservation efforts, they hope to prevent further extinctions of large predators, and to restore them to their function of maintaining the ecological balance of animal life in the wild. They have proposed reestablishing wild populations of wolves in interconnected, protected habitats, so that they can resume their ecological role. As part of their program, they have worked to get wildlife crossings included in interstate highway projects.

Sverre Holmsen

Sverre Holmsen (1906–1992) was a Swedish author born in Transvaal, South Africa and brought up in Norway and Sweden. He became a Swedish citizen 1912.

In 1945 he married the artist and writer Agda Göthlin (1920–1975). He was previously married to Margit Holm in 1928. Since 1922 he travelled and worked all around the world and was an avid supporter of global unity.

The main part of his books draws inspiration from Polynesia. Sverre Holmsen lived in Tahiti for several years. He very much admired the people in the Pacific region, along with their habits, history and culture.

Sverre Holmsen was also an early environmentalist. In the main part of his works he points out the dangers of modern ways of living. Even in his earliest works he expressed critical views about technical development and the exploitation of natural resources.

In a similar way he was also advocating democracy and Human rights.

17 of his books have been published in Swedish language and have been translated to 12 languages.

He is the older brother of Egil Holmsen, Swedish film director, screenwriter, journalist, author and actor.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1323

United Nations Security Council resolution 1323, adopted unanimously on 13 October 2000, after recalling resolutions 1291 (2000), 1304 (2000) and 1316 (2000) on situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) until 15 December 2000.The Security Council deplored the continuation of hostilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the lack of co-operation with the United Nations and lack of progress towards a national dialogue. It expressed concern at the consequences of the conflict on the humanitarian and human rights situation in the country, including the illegal exploitation of natural resources. Speaking during the meeting, members of the Council said that progress had to be made with respect to previous resolutions on the conflict within two months, with threats to terminate MONUC.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1499

United Nations Security Council resolution 1499, adopted unanimously on 13 August 2003, after recalling previous resolutions on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including resolutions 1457 (2003) and 1493 (2003), the Council extended the mandate of a panel investigating the plundering of natural resources in the country until 31 October 2003.The Security Council welcomed the establishment of a transitional national government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but noted that illegal exploitation of the country's natural resources continued to take place, particularly in the east. It recognised that the exchange of information and attempts to resolve issues would assist in the transparency of the panel's work, highlight the issue of the exploitation of natural resources and the connections with arms trafficking.

The Secretary-General Kofi Annan was requested to extend the investigative panel's mandate until 31 October 2003, when it would be due to report its findings. The resolution reiterated the Council's demand that all relevant states immediately end the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The panel was instructed to provide information to the concerned governments in order for them to take appropriate action.The investigative panel named individuals and companies implicated in illegal activities and which further measures would be taken.

Wanze Eduards

Wanze Eduards is a Saramaka leader from the Republic of Suriname. He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2009, jointly with Hugo Jabini, for their efforts to protect their traditional land against logging companies, by bringing the case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and further to the Inter-American Court. Their efforts resulted in a landmark ruling regarding the right of tribal and indigenous people in the Americas to control the exploitation of natural resources in their territories.

Where I Was From

Where I Was From is a 2003 collection of essays by Joan Didion. It concerns the history and culture of California, where Didion was born and spent much of her life. Where I Was From combines aspects of historical writing, journalism, and memoir to present a history of California as well as Didion's own experiences in that state. The book attempts to understand the differences between California's factual history and its perceived reputation. According to Didion, "This book represents an exploration into my own confusions about the place and the way in which I grew up ... misapprehensions and misunderstandings so much a part of who I became that I can still to this day confront them only obliquely." Where I Was From is also in parts a retrospective on Didion's work, examining how these "confusions" affected books such as Run, River.Diane Johnson summarizes the apparent hypocrisies of California culture that Didion discusses in the book:

Like all California children, Didion had been fed the old stories of California history, but when she eventually came to think about them, she could see they didn't 'add up.' The disjunction between myth and reality was too large, the basic paradoxes of the California psyche too obvious: mistrust of government while feeding at the troughs of public works and agricultural subsidies; unchecked commercial exploitation of natural resources in the very footsteps of John Muir; the decline of education from a place near the top of the nation to somewhere near that of Mississippi; apathy, increasing rates of crime, and crime's related social problems.

In The New York Times Book Review, novelist and critic Thomas Mallon wrote, "The more penetrating and idiosyncratic moments of 'Where I Was From' are the work of someone who can still be very much herself, someone who is even now, arguably, a great American writer."Some sections of Where I Was From appeared previously in The New York Review of Books, Esquire, and The New Yorker.


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