Issue: Contributions of land to human life - Non-living materials from the land
This is an issue under the Land theme of the Data Reporting System.
The land contributes many necessities to human life but extracting those contributions can exert pressures on the land environment. Environmental degradation resulting from these and other pressures could ultimately erode the land’s capacity to supply these necessities. In the shorter term, the additional effort needed to increase or even to just sustain contributions at current levels in the face of environmental degradation could exert even greater and more damaging long-term pressure on the environment.
To have the full story, it is therefore important to track not only what is happening to the pressures, the resulting condition of the land and the societal responses but also what is happening to the contributions. If the contributions can be maintained or increased while responses are undertaken to ensure that environmental pressures are reduced and environmental condition maintained or improved, then the contributions from the land can become environmentally sustainable.
Energy from land-based, non-living sources (fossil fuels and uranium) is an important contribution of the land to human life. Modern human life and human settlements are highly dependent on fossil fuels, especially petrol and other oil products, coal-based electricity and natural gas. The extraction, production and use of these fuels places a range of pressures on the land, including: environmental damage resulting from extraction activities (mining); pollution and greenhouse emissions released in the production/refinement process; and greenhouse emissions and pollutions from their ultimate use by consumers.
Other non-living materials from land-based are important contributions of the land to human life. Modern human life and human settlements are highly dependent on metals and other minerals. The extraction, production and use of these materials places a range of pressures (see mining) on the land, including: environmental damage resulting from extraction activities, pollution of soil and water and greenhouse emissions released in the production/refinement process. Further pressures can arise from their ultimate disposal.
- LD-11 Total energy value of land-based energy fuels from non-living sources produced in Australia
The energy value that the land is currently contributing to human life is one way of tracking the contributions of land-based materials derived from non-living sources to human life. (For biofuels, see Land: Contributions to human life: Living materials from the land . For energy from marine sources, see Coasts and Oceans: Contributions to human life: Non-living material (materials and energy fuels)
The indicator includes both exported and domestically consumed energy, since the exported products contribute to national income.
- LD-12 Quantity and dollar value of raw materials from non-living terrestrial sources
The weights and aggregated dollar value of non-living materials that the land is currently contributing to human life is one way of tracking the extent of these contributions. Aggregated weight of these materials is not a useful indicator because the different uses, usefulness and relative value of these commodities by weight differs vastly (eg gold vis a vis salt).
The indicator includes both exported and domestically consumed materials, since the exported materials contribute to national income.
- HS-48 Material Flows in Human Settlements
Material flows analysis provides insights into the movement of non-living materials from terrestrial sources.
- Land - Land condition- Land cover
- Land - Land condition- Soil stability and quality
- Land - Land condition- Condition of terrestrial species and ecological communities
- Land - Direct pressure of human activities on the land- Soil loss and loss of soil quality
- Land - Direct pressure of human activities on the land- Land clearing
- Land - Direct pressure of human activities on the land- Pollution to and from the land
- Biodiversity - Landscapes- Ecosystem diversity
- Biodiversity - Pressures on biodiversity- Land clearing
- Biodiversity - Species, habitats and ecological communities- Conservation status of species and ecological communities
- Coasts and Oceans - Contributions of the coasts and oceans to human life- Non-living material (materials and energy fuels)
- Human Settlements - Services provided by the environment to human settlements- Minerals (including non-renewable energy sources)
Links to another web site
Links to data in the DRS
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