Who Should Own Natural Resources?

WhoShould Own Natural Resources?

Inall sovereign states, the government is the legal administrator ofthe natural resources. The state government has a responsibility ofexploiting their natural resources in respect to their developmentaland environmental policies. Besides, the international principles ofnatural resources ownership hold the government accountable forensuring that the exploitation process of natural resources do notcause does not result into environment destruction in the nationaljurisdiction beyond its limits1.

Sovereign states are obligated by international laws to exploit naturalresources, in both local and internal regions, in a sustainable,safe, and rational approach such that would contribute to the growthof their citizens. The exploitation approach should also respectindigenous people’s rights, with respect to environmentalconservation and sustainable resources. The state is supposed toconsider the requirements of future generations when evaluating therate of using natural resources. The government has control overindustries, individuals, and capitalists responsible of exploitingthe natural resources. The significance of overall authority is thatit enables it to enhance protection and preservation naturalenvironment, especially in respect with desirable management ofearth’s flora and fauna, climate system management, and biologicaldiversity are the main concern for many humans2.

Thegovernment acts as the owner of collective resources, which everycitizen has a right of ownership. This implies that every citizen ina sovereign state owns the natural resources. Individual ownership ofnatural resources is disadvantageous because only a few people willenjoy the wealth benefits that come from the resources. In addition,natural resources can be a major source of conflict if individualsown them. For example, the vast affluence of natural minerals inmany African countries has led to constant bloody conflicts andpolitical instability as different groups fight for control of theresources3.

Astate government also ensures maximum protection of the environment.The exploitation should be conducted using a human-friendly approach.Capitalist institutions would maximize generating high profitswithout focusing on providing proper environmental care4.Additional reasons the government should manage the natural resourcesinclude:

  • Ensures equity among stakeholders and the wealth generated is dedicated to poverty eradication of everyone across the nation

  • It is a neutral party in the provision of common but differentiated responsibilities

  • Ascertains good governance

  • Facilitates public participation and access to justice and information

  • Ensures proper approach to natural resources, ecosystems, and human health

References

ThePrinciples of International Law Related to Sustainable Development,The http://cisdl.org/tribunals/overview/principles/1.html

Alao,Abiodun. 2007. Naturalresources and conflict in Africa the tragedy of endowment.Rochester, NY: Univ. of Rochester Press.

1 The Principles of International Law Related to Sustainable Development, The http://cisdl.org/tribunals/overview/principles/1.html p. 1

2 The Principles of International Law Related to Sustainable Development, The http://cisdl.org/tribunals/overview/principles/1.html p.1

3 Alao, Abiodun. 2007. Natural resources and conflict in Africa the tragedy of endowment. Rochester, NY: Univ. of Rochester Press. P. 36

4 Alao, Abiodun. 2007. Natural resources and conflict in Africa the tragedy of endowment. Rochester, NY: Univ. of Rochester Press. P. 51