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The exploitation of natural resources[when defined as?] started to emerge in the 19th century as natural resource extraction developed. 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.[1] Another non-renewable resource that is exploited by humans are 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.[2]

Why resources are under pressure[edit]

  • 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
  • Cultures of consumerism. Materialistic views lead to the mining of gold and diamonds to produce jewelry, unnecessary commodities for human life or advancement.
  • Non-equitable distribution of resources.

Problems arising from the exploitation of natural resources[edit]

Effects on local communities[edit]

The Global South[edit]

When a mining company enters a developing country 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.[3] 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.[4] These conflicts emerge by a change to more egocentric views among the locals influenced by consumerist values.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Planas, Florent. "The Exploitation of Natural Resources". Un An Pour La Planete. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  2. ^ McNicoll, Geoffrey (2007). "Population and Sustainability". Handbook of Sustainable Development. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 125–139. Retrieved 2012-03-13. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Pegg, Simon (2006). "Mining and poverty reduction: Transforming rhetoric into reality". Journal of Cleaner Production (Elsevier) 14 (3-4): 376–387. ISSN 0959-6526. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Brereton, D; Forbes, P. (2004). "Monitoring the Impact of Mining on Local Communities: A Hunter Valley Case Study". CSRM. pp. 12–13. 

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176 news items

Las Cruces Sun-News
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 00:05:44 -0700

Peace to the whole world, torn apart by violence linked to drug trafficking and by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources! Peace to this our Earth! May the risen Jesus bring comfort to the victims of natural disasters and make us responsible ...
Boston Globe
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 22:03:45 -0700

For starters, arcology rejects the exploitation of natural resources, promotes frugality, and has little use for cars. Stein was in Boston earlier this week for the screening of a new documentary, “The Vision of Paolo Soleri: Prophet in the Desert ...
Ottawa Citizen
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 05:56:15 -0700

These “conflict minerals” — tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold — come largely from the Great Lakes Region of sub-Saharan Africa where the violent exploitation of natural resources has fuelled one of the world's deadliest conflicts since the Second ...

Indian Express

Indian Express
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:15:22 -0700

The ruling is considered extremely significant as it will have far-reaching consequences on a wide range of sectors, particularly on discoms and natural gas, where licences for exploitation of natural resources have been granted by the government under ...
Lexology (registration)
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:00:00 -0700

Over the past year, the Chinese Government has shifted its focus towards the better exploitation of natural resources within its own borders. China now has impressive national infrastructure in place. Trade liberalisation, facilitated by domestic ...
Jakarta Post
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:52:30 -0700

However, Balthasar said that according to 2014 US environmental research, Indonesia ranked 112 out of 178 countries evaluated, showing that the widespread exploitation of natural resources had increased damage and pollution each year. To tackle the ...
The Australian
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:09:23 -0700

She depicted the day-to-day work of the ADF and the Solomon Islanders, but also explored broader issues such as colonisation and foreign exploitation of natural resources. One of de Medici's watercolours featuring an Australian soldier's helmet is on ...

The News on Sunday

The News on Sunday
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 14:53:38 -0700

Exploitation of natural resources pushes rural dwellers to the cities, where they are forced into slums, making them vulnerable to disease and other issues related to urban poverty. Arif Hasan has suggested that architects and town-planners develop a ...

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