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Natural Resource Abundance, Ethnic Conflicts, and Regulatory factors for Development

by Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh
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Natural Resource Abundance, Ethnic Conflicts, and Regulatory factors for Development

Managing climate change through natural resource management is essential for sustainable development). COVID-19 has damaged global economies by increasing financial restraints and curfews, and segregation has boosted the unpredictability of economic outputs. A lack of sustainable monetary policies also remains an issue and to achieve growth within a sustainability framework, natural resources are crucial for promoting sustainable development. Coal-fired power provides 38% of global electricity generation, and 10 billion tons of carbon emissions are emitted through this energy usage, which exceeds the IPCC’s target maximum permitted emissions by 2050 to maintain global warming below 1.5 °C. Supranational authorities have called for coal-fired electricity to shrink from 38% to 9% by 2030 and 0.6% by 2050. However, China, India, and other developing countries account for 90% of planned coal capacity and 70% of existing coal capacity, although China, the largest user and producer of petroleum power, plans to reduce its overall coal-fired power generation and has the technical and financial ability to accelerate a transition to sustainable energy.
In addition, the world’s forests are decreasing at a lower rate than before. Forest areas declined from 32 percent of the total land area in 2000 to approximately 31 percent in 2020. Over the past two decades, approximately 100 million acres of forests have been lost, although this varies widely by region. Afforestation, landscape restoration, and natural expansion increased forested areas in Asia, Europe, and North America between 2000 and 2020. However, in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, forests have been converted into farming and pasture land, causing massive forest loss. This loss of natural resources is a significant issue in resource policy, with far-reaching environmental, social, and economic consequences. Natural resources, such as minerals, fossil fuels, and water, are essential for economic growth and development. However, their unsustainable use can lead to depletion, environmental degradation, and social conflicts. For instance, unsustainable extraction and usage of minerals and fossil fuels can contribute to climate change, air and water pollution, and land degradation. Moreover, the loss of natural resources can exacerbate social and economic inequalities, particularly in marginalized and vulnerable groups. Overexploitation of natural resources can lead to conflicts over land and resources, displacement, and loss of livelihood, particularly in indigenous and local communities. Therefore, promoting sustainable natural resource management practices is critical for addressing the issue of natural resource loss. Sustainable natural resource management involves balancing economic, environmental, and social objectives to ensure the long-term viability of natural resources. This can include implementing policies and regulations to promote the sustainable extraction and use of natural resources, promoting sustainable land use practices, and supporting community-based natural resource management initiatives.
Furthermore, sustainable natural resource management can contribute to sustainable economic growth and development by creating opportunities for job creation, poverty reduction, and economic diversification. It can also support the achievement of global climate goals by promoting sustainable energy production and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Addressing the loss of natural resources is crucial for promoting sustainable development, and sustainable natural resource management is essential for achieving this goal. Policymakers and practitioners must prioritize the implementation of sustainable natural resource management practices, which provide environmental, social, and economic benefits and ultimately support sustainable development.
Despite remarkable advances in the cost of renewables and in their storage and distribution, many low-income nations lack the financial and technical capabilities in natural resource management to scale up sustainable development rapidly. Thus, the management of resources and a restoration of the environmental balance is still an urgent issue for many developing countries. The developing countries selected for the empirical analysis in this study were chosen in the light of several factors related to the role of natural resources in sustainable development. First, developing countries often possess significant natural resource endowments that can play a critical role in driving economic growth and development. Second, many developing countries are characterized by ethnic diversity and often experience ethnic conflicts, which can impact resource management and allocation, as well as sustainable development outcomes. Third, institutional factors, such as regulations and policies governing natural resource management, are often weak and underdeveloped in developing countries, which can exacerbate the negative effects of ethnic conflicts and resource abundance on sustainable development.
Thus, understanding the interplay between natural resource abundance, ethnic conflicts, and regulatory factors is crucial for promoting sustainable development in developing countries. Moreover, tourism is a significant determinant of economic growth in these countries. Thus, this study also considers the possible impacts of the tourism industry on sustainable development. By focusing on this context, this study contributes to the literature on resource policy and sustainable development, providing insights and recommendations for policymakers and practitioners in this area.
A lack of financial resources is not the only issue in mitigating carbon emissions and environmental degradation in developing countries. In such contexts, conflicts between people, corporations, and legislators impede efforts to utilize the full potential of natural resources as a crucial component of sustainable development. Ethnic polarization is considered a social risk indicator that precedes social conflicts that arise in a society. When an economy has different social groups, it often leads to high social conflict. Similarly, in the case of two equally sized but distinct tribes, racial conflict is likely to be high. However, there will be tend to be less ethnic violence when there are multiple groups of equal size. In any event, a greater degree of ethnic conflict leads to poor management of natural resources. Despite the significance of ethnic polarization in developing countries, which creates significant potential barriers for managing natural resources to ensure sustainable development, it has been overlooked in the literature. In addition, the regularization and efficient implementation of environmental regulations are key to achieving sustainable development. Environmental regulations, alongside political intuitions, shape the settings that lead to sustainability.
We expect that economic growth, oil resource rents, coal resource rents, and forest resource rents contribute differently to sustainability. Regulatory quality and population aging factors in developing countries also contribute differentially to sustainable development. An abundance of natural resources can be both boon and bane for developing nations. On one hand, it can be a major source of income and investment, driving economic growth and development. However, the so-called “resource curse” can also result in poor governance, corruption, and rent-seeking, resulting in income inequality and a lack of social and environmental development. Additionally, ethnic conflicts are frequently precipitated by historical grievances, competition for resources, and political power struggles. In developing nations, such conflicts can impede sustainable development by diverting resources from productive investments, disrupting social cohesion, and causing environmental degradation. In addition, ethnic conflicts can lead to forced migration, violations of human rights, and a decline in social capital. Regularization is the establishment of rules, norms, and institutions that govern the use and management of resources and the resolution of conflicts. Regularization is essential in the context of sustainable development to promote good governance, reduce corruption, and ensure equitable resource distribution. In developing nations, effective regularization can help mitigate the negative effects of abundant natural resources and ethnic conflicts, fostering economic, social, and environmental sustainability.
(Writer can be reaches at:[email protected])

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