Sustainable development is the strategic development of structures that seek to meet the needs of present and future generations through effective management and maintenance of the resources in the environment.
The main aim of sustainable development is to ensure that the present environmental needs of humans do not encroach on those that the future generations would also need and use. It is bent on sustaining thus 'maintaining' or 'preserving' the bio-resources that we have now so that the future generations would also have them in ample supply. An "unsustainable situation" occurs when natural capital (the sum total of nature's resources) is used up faster than it can be replenished or replaced. Sustainability requires that human activity only uses nature's resources at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally.
Sustainable development is essential and relevant to the preservation and sustenance of our rich resources in nature. Some of the reasons and relevance of sustainable development are discussed below.
i. To preserve and have enough resources for future
It is very important to sustain the resources in the environment to ensure that they will not be in short supply in the future. If the resources in the environment are not sustained, we and the future generations would not have them in abundant supply to meet the challenges confronting the world.
ii. To sustain the survival of the industry
The natural resources from the environment are a bank supply of raw materials to the numerous industries of the world. Their livelihood and survival of these industries largely depend on these raw materials obtained from the environment. It is these raw materials that are used in the production of several products for the usage and benefit of members of the society. If these natural resources were to be in extinction, it would result in the collapse of these industries.
iii. To prevent depletion of the resources
The resources in the environment are prevented from permanently dying out if the measures for sustaining them are developed. Sustainable development helps the natural resources to be in constant supply.
iv. Prevent global warming
Sustenance of the natural resources in the environment prevents global warming. Global warming is an increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere especially a sustained increase that causes climatic changes in the environment. This usually results in warm and hot climates that extinct several plants and animal species making activities in life quite unbearable. If the resources in the environment are maintained, this problem would be curbed.
v. Prevent deforestation and bushfires
Sustainable development dictates that fallen down trees and plants must be replaced through reforestation. The opposite is deforestation which is the depletion of the plant resources in the environment which results most often in bushfires. The burning of the forest causes most of the natural resources to fade out of the environment.
vi. Encourage self-reliance
The preservation of them in the environment helps a country to rely on itself without resorting to the help from other countries. For example, if a country had preserved all of its natural resources such as timber, gold, rubber, etc., she would not need to rely on any countries' help. Unfortunately today, many countries import raw materials from other countries to feed their local industries. If every country of the world is able to maintain her natural resources, it would encourage self-reliance and our world would be a better place worth living.
vii. Help the youth develop their artistic talents and acquire employable skills to reduce poverty.
The youth have been given natural talents by God and they are able to develop these talents by exploring the resources in the environment to produce functional items which can be sold to earn money and reduce poverty in the country. Interesting compositions of scenes are made with raffia, seeds, plywood, shells etc. They can be bought and used as wall hangings. The truth is that if these resources were not available, the talents of the youth would have remained hidden and unexplored resulting in extreme poverty.
These discussed points underscore the need to implement measures for sustainable development of the natural resources in our environment.