Renewable and non-renewable natural resources and ecosystem amenities are part of the real capital of the countries. They are natural wealth from which other forms of wealth are made. If these natural resources use ideal they contribute towards fiscal revenue, income, and poverty reduction. Sectors related to natural resources use provide jobs and are often the basis of livelihoods in poorer communities. Owing to this fundamental importance of natural resources, they must be managed sustainably. To manage these natural resources in sustainable ways the role of government was fundamental. Government plays an essential role in putting into place policies that ensure that resources contribute to the long-term economic development of nations, and not only to short-term revenue generation (OECD, 2011).
According to Uddin et al 2022, “Natural resources such air, land, water, wildlife, plants, and soil provide us with our basic needs i.e. food, energy, healthy and enjoyment. When these natural resources are in a proper way, they provide us with the benefits of reducing flooding, improving air quality, and supplying materials for the construction of shelter and improving food security.” As Uddin et al 2022 discussion “the pandemic’s impact on food security has been induced primarily by reducing income. The World Bank estimates that the global economy shrank by 5% in 2020, with the most significant burden borne by poor people. Although impacts varied along the value chains, food supply chains were disrupted by labor restrictions and falling demands.” (Uddin et al, 2022).
Africa is well capable of land and natural resources, including farmland, rangelands, forests, wildlife, minerals, and others, yet its people remain among the poorest in the world because most African natural resource-related policies failed to integrate environmental and social concerns, thereby exacerbating inequalities, poverty and environmental degradation (UNECA, 2017). Though Africa has been a ground for experimentation on land reforms since the colonial period, the changes in land use patterns have, in turn, resulted in increased soil erosion, land degradation, overgrazing, and deteriorating rangelands, deforestation, as well as land and resource-related conflicts (UNECA, 2017).
To have meaningful and sustainable development policies not only take into account economic concerns, but social and environmental concerns as well, furthermore, policies should embody holistic, broad-based, and participatory approaches, to promote ownership and engender action by all, and for all (UNECA, 2017).
According to Dejene A. 2003, “In Ethiopia’s natural resources, such as land, water, forests, and trees are the foundation of any economic development, food security and other basic necessities of its people but unwise uses of natural resources and policy neglect over a long period have created an increasing stress on our natural and environmental resources and decline in human welfare.” (Dejene A, 2003). Understanding the dynamics associated with different types of land rights is crucial to any land reform efforts, particularly in identifying the most suitable types of reform processes for the undertaken natural resource conservation activities . In many developing countries including Ethiopia, land has been measured as an important economic and social asset where the status and regard of people are determined also land is one form of property that is a subject of ownership or another form of use rights determine by policy (UNECA, 2017).
Materials and Methods
The methodology used for this work involves a review of significant reliable journals and research papers on the benefits of the optimum use of natural resources. Secondary data sources such as published and unpublished articles, different written materials, such as the MSC thesis, developmental research, and educational documents were used to write this review.
The Benefits of Optimum Use of Water Resources
Water resource utilization benefits refer to the economic and social benefits that accrue from using unit water resources [10,11] and reflect the input-output relationship of those resources [12,13]. Improvements in AWUE mean greater economic output from fewer water resources and less pollution to the water environment through increased economic growth [14,15]. Improving AWUE helps to increase agricultural economic benefits and use water resources more effectively, thereby reducing pollution to the water environment by agricultural production. AWUE is an important topic in academic research and a practical problem that should concern many government departments and social organizations. Analyzing the spatial differences between different cities and regions as well as the factors affecting AWUE will provide a reference for the efficient management of agricultural water resources and the formulation and implementation of appropriate management policies.
The Benefits of Optimum use of Forest Resources
Forests are environmental goods that provide many other goods and services to human beings and natural systems, such as wood, food, feed, fiber, and aesthetic value and regulate the hydrologically and carbon dioxide cycle (Zerga, 2015). Different benefits obtained from the optimum uses of forests are discussed in different research and articles listed below.
Forests provide multiple benefits to us. They contribute shade, block the wind, prevent soil erosion attract birds, and make the air clean. Forest clean water and make our surroundings more beautiful with their greenery.
In the winter, we look for ways to avoid the cold wind from bellowing, and in summer, we enjoy the shade under the trees. The shade from the foliage of leaves from the forest protects the ground rays of the sun.
The Benefits of Optimum Use of Wildlife
Now a day in Ethiopia, the economic benefit of wildlife is focused on animal use as a source of food and income. Individuals and groups of people fished and sold meat to feed people. They trapped fish and processed the food and harvested trees for shelter. As the economic benefits of wildlife move away from natural harvest, one shift is to outdoor recreational activities. Visiting and fishing are two major sources of economic revenues generating a cash flow in the wildlife. Different national parks and lakes of Ethiopia provide, individuals spend money on hunting and fishing activities that include the sales of licenses, leases, supplies, and guide services. Any activity involving the taking of animal wildlife is in a state’s published regulations, such as the Bale National parks, Semen mountains national parks, Arsi Mountains National parks, and Wildlife Outdoor Annual Official Hunting and Fishing Regulations.
The advantages of wildlife species are not limited to the monetary value generated. Plants and wildlife extracts are sources of medicine for an estimated 80% of the world’s population. Understanding the role a species plays in the environment helps scientists understand the evolution and function of life.
The diversity of plant and animal life is responsible for detoxifying poisonous substances and breaking down organic wastes. They have the potential to control crop pests and disease carriers. More importantly, they make up the vast gene pool for future evolutionary processes. It must be understood that the diversity of plant and animal life includes all bacteria, fungi, and insects that dominate and aid in the functioning of natural ecosystems.
Something with aesthetic value is pleasing to the eye, such as watching different animals in the park or zoo and enjoying. Wild plants and animals have this aesthetic value. They are a source of admiration, happiness, curiosity, and pleasure for many people. People enjoy watching plants and animals in their natural habitats. Aesthetic and recreation value of wildlife overlap. Often the aesthetic value is the motivation for recreational activities. A person sees an aesthetically pleasing landscape or experiences the joy of seeing wild animals in their natural habitat. There is a desire to capture the moment on film. Photography becomes a recreational activity that results from the aesthetic value of the landscape. Ecotourism is capable of generating larger revenues for Third World countries, such as Africa, than hunting.
Ecology is the relationship of all living things with their environment. All organisms that live in the same area make up a biotic community. A biotic community is a collection of plants and animals that live in the same environment. Each organism in a community is dependent on the other organisms. The management of one type of wildlife is therefore important for the maintenance of the others. Small fish, frogs, and birds eat the insects. Large fish then eat the frogs and small fish. Plants such as cattails and water lilies provide food, shelter, and nesting sites for various animals and insects. Each type of wildlife is ecologically important. Many of the insects and animals will disappear if there were no cattails or water lilies. If the insects disappear, there is a severe drop in the food supply for the frogs and fish. The use of one resource in an ecosystem affects all the other resources in that area. The removal of trees from a forest will affect the lives of the forest animals. With fewer trees, the animals would have less shelter and food which could easily cause the animal population to decrease. It is also necessary to examine the importance of an insect population. The destruction of insect populations with insecticides can decrease or prevent the pollination of plants. Without pollination, plants are unable to reproduce. The result would be a shortage of food for the animals in the community. Failure to properly manage a deer population could result in overgrazing. This problem would affect the regeneration of shrubs and trees and reduce the growth rate of the forest. This example illustrates the dependency each form of wildlife, plant, and animal has on the others. Each form of wildlife is important to the others in its community. Each is also important to the organisms in other communities. Each biotic community is relatively self-sustaining, yet linked to other communities. What takes place on a farm will affect the farm pond, the forest, and even the ocean. Whenever a farmer uses harmful pesticides on crops, rainfall can wash the chemicals into streams and damage aquatic life. In a similar manner, the processes of one community affect the processes of another. In order to maintain a balanced wildlife system, it is important to manage and maintain each part of the system.
In general, the optimum utilization of wildlife provides the following benefits.
- Wildlife maintains balance ecosystems
- Provides healthier ecosystems-health ecosystems have a lot of diversity.
- Wildlife provides nutrients to humans- everything we eat comes from either animals or plants originally. Without a variety of food sources, our nutrition suffers. Protecting wildlife and natural habitats strengthens food security around the world. We can also improve nutrition by returning to more wild food sources and diversifying our diets.
- Provides medicine for peoples-human being had always turned to nature for medicine. Protecting wildlife and their habitats mean fewer disease that affects humans-The preservation of wildlife and where they live is important for human health.
- People depend on wildlife for their livelihoods-For many people, wildlife is their main source of income.
- Wildlife has cultural significance- The impact wildlife has on culture can’t be ignored. The presence of animals and plants has always influenced things like religious beliefs and food. In many indigenous groups, sage is a vital herb for religious ceremonies. For followers of Hinduism, elephants and cows are sacred symbols.
- Wildlife is important for the economy Wildlife conservation areas and preserved natural habitats attract visitors from all over the world and play a great role in GDP contribution.
- Protecting wildlife creates more jobs- Speaking of the economy; wildlife preservation also creates more jobs. Being around wildlife and nature is good for mental health- People who live close to natural environments and wildlife are found to be more active, emotionally strong, and physically healthier.
- OECD (2011). The Economic Significance of Natural Resources: Key Points for Reformers in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.
- Dejene A. Integrated natural resources management to enhance food security, environment, and natural resources: the case for community-based approaches in Ethiopia (Working Paper No. 16). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2003; p: 58.
- Zerga B.(2015). The land resource uses, and ownership in Ethiopia: past, present, and future. Int J Sci Res Eng Technol. 2016; 2:17-24.
- UNECA. Sustainable development report on Africa managing land-based resources for sustainable development. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. 2017; p: 172.
- Liu, K.; Xue, Y.; Lan, Y.; Fu, Y. Agricultural Water Utilization Efficiency in China Evaluation, Spatial Differences, and Related Factors. Water. 2022.
- Abadiko H. 2018. Land, Forest, Wild Life, Biodiversity, Water and Soil Resources of Ethiopia and Their Problems
- “Economic Benefits of Wildlife Habitat.” [Online]. Available: http:www.conservationfund.org conservationgreenwaywildecon.html (2001) Miller, G. Tyler, Jr. Living in the Environment. Belmont, CA: Wad
- Emmaline H. (2022). 10 Reasons Why Wildlife Is Important