For his subsistence man has been dependent on nature. Which has given him resources like land, water, air, forest, minerals etc man also needed plants and animals. Utilisation of these natural resources is possible on the availability of appropriate technology. With the help of technology, furniture, clothes, machines are made of wood, cotton and metal respectively.
Thus land, water, minerals, forests and wildlife that man can transform them into more valuable goods and can utilize to promote his welfare can be termed as a natural resource.
Classification of Natural Resources
Based on origin, utility and continual utility resources may be classified in many ways;
(A) According to origin
(i) Biotic Resources:
Resources obtained from the biosphere. Example: Forest, Crops, Birds and Animal.
(ii) Abiotic Resources:
These resources are composed of non-living organic matter. Example: Land, Water, Minerals etc.
(B) According to utility
Every resource has utility. Some are used as energy, some as raw materials and some as food. Various types of natural resources are forest, water, wildlife, energy resources, fish, soil, climate, flora and fauna etc.
(C) According to continual utility
(i) Renewable resources:
These include soil, forest and wildlife. They are always available for use and can be renewed along with their exploitation. The soil itself lay be considered renewable resources. If trees are felled, forest covers may be maintained through planting new trees.
(ii) Non-renewable resources:
These include minerals, fossil fuel, water and nuclear resources. They are available in limited amount and develop over a long period. Once they are used in an unlimited way they cannot be easily replaced.
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