The research is to assess the importance of conservation of natural resources in some selected villages in Ovia South West Local Government Area, Edo State. In this research work, a case study research design was used to collect information on conservation of natural resources by the people in six areas of Ovia South West Local Government Area, please places covered were Udo secondary school, Udo ward, College of Agriculture Iguoriakhi, Iguobazuwa Village, Iguelaho Village, Udo Village etc. Data collection was by both questionnaires and interview, data analysis was by percentages. From the research carried out the usefulness and importance of conservation of natural resources and how natural resources ensures the continuous supply of minerals for energy and foreign exchange from generation to generation. Benefits derived from conserving the natural resources are: provision of income and raw materials such as timber for industries, preservation of the endangered species of plants and animals from extinction. In all if men are environmental friendly, it will ensure healthy living of man on the surface of this plant earth.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Natural resources include the whole earth’s natural environment. A resource is anything that meets or satisfies human need or want of civilization. Early societies used wood rather easily taxed the extent of the earth’s resources turning to a new one to fill their needs when the old were used up. The renewable resources are fossils fuels, minerals etc. Man has been using these natural resources increasingly over the years to provide him with food, materials, and energy. The end result of this is the dangers of depletion of the non-renewable resources.
Renewable resources been used up faster than they are formed resulting in the pollution of the environment. If our existence on this planet is to continue, we have to conserve our natural resources (Ramalingan, et al, 1979). The term conservation came from two Latin word “Con” meaning together while “servare” means to keep or guard. Therefore, conservation literally means to keep together. Today, we think of conservation as using our natural resources wisely rather than keeping together in a status quo-situation. According to Ramalingua, et al (1979) to conserve something means to protect it and keep it in a healthy condition. In the present context conversation implies ensuring a high quality life for human by the wise use and management of natural environment. This definition has a broad scope, it thought about the protection of nature that is forest, soil, wild life etc to enrich our lives, the controlled and planned, production of useful materials, from the living environment such as crops, fisheries. The controlled use of possible idea is a corporate concept, if manipulation and decision making in regards to our natural resources but we must first know what our natural resources are and what part they play in the ecosystem. Aido Leopard (1979) a notable conservationist, pointed out that people must understand ecological process to practice conservation. The main purpose of conservation is to maintain a healthy6, functioning biosphere (part of the earth were there are living things) that will also provide us with our needs, including reservation of activities.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
The study examines the essence and importance of the environment and its resources. It is unfortunate that many people do not know the importance of the environment to mankind and it determines the existence of man and other living organisms. The reasons for the decrease in conservation of natural resources are many. They include:
- Inadequate education, about the danger of pollution.
- The improper waste disposal
- Poor wastes management
- Poor ventilation
- Improper handling of crude oil which leads to water pollution
- Indiscriminate bush burning
- Illegal timber felling
Nature provides us the basic needs like food, shelter, clothes, etc. for our survival. We use air, water, soil, minerals, coal, petroleum, animals, plants etc. in our daily life. But do you ever think, how long these precious materials of the nature will be available for our use. The growing population, rapid industrialization and urbanization have created heavy demand on all these materials. It is feared that unless proper steps are taken to conserve them in time, we will face tremendous hardship in future.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this research study is to create awareness in people on the essence and importance of the environment. Definitely people should adopt the best method of exploring the environment and care for nature and there are many benefits derived when our environment is conserved.
- Preservation of natural forest
- Preserving the beauty of life
- Wildlife presentation
- Improvement of quality of life
- Improves our revenue
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In this course of study, the following research questions are posed, if the nature resources are covered.
- Are natural resources useful to mankind?
- Does the conservation of natural resource encourage wildlife continuity?
- Does conservation preserve the beauty of nature?
- Does a healthy environment improve our quality of life?
- Does conservation ensure continuous sources of minerals for energy and foreign exchange?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This project work is designed especially to provide people particularly arose in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo state with basic or fundamental knowledge of conservation of nature resources. Information gathered from this project work if available to those people in their various places, will go a long way in solving the problem of conservation which include the nature resources. A comprehensive analysis and description of the essence of environment and its resources as provided in this project work will go a long way to inspire and educate the researcher may and other researcher who may want to carry out further research into this topic. Information available in this project work will add to the pool of already existing ideas to be used in planning developing not only biology department, Ekiadolor, Benin but also the nation at large.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The researcher has limited the scope of this study to Udo, Iguobazuwa, Iguelahor College, Nikorogba, Okomu Oil in Ovia South West Local Government. The scope is limited to farmers in rural areas and also to a few students who are into research especially those in Biology Department of College of Education, Ekiadolor, Benin. Also to timber fellers who always have influence in the forest and finally the industrialist.
However the research has some constraints which are;
Time: the time at the disposal of the researcher which is allocated for the study was a major limitation as the researcher has to combine other academic work with the study.
Finance: The finance at the disposal of the researcher in the course of the study does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the purpose of clarification, the following terms which are used in the content of the study are hereby defined.
Eco-System: Is the sum total of the biotic and abiotic components interacting in the environment.
Endangered species: Are wildlife species (animals) which are useful to man and for entertainment but are being endangered. They are being protected from extinction e.g. stripped hydrias, giraffe, whales, kites, sparrow, hawks etc.
Extinction: Is when animal’s species reptiles, birds and mammals have been hunted or killed by man which makes them go into extinction.
Non-Renewable Resources: Are those resources which cannot be replaced when the initial stock is used up examples are petroleum, coal, gold etc.
Renewable Resources: Are those resources which can be replaced when the initial stock are used up.
Pollution: Is the release or discharge of waste substance or energy into the environment by man in quantities which are harmful to him or to other things or which in some ways reduce the quality of human life.