Man’s environment is a boon as it provides gifts such as water, forests, land, air soil, etc. These gifts are natural resources as man has utilized them for meeting his various needs. Utilization of the resources depends upon – (a) availability of resources, (b) technological and cultural factors, (c) transport and communication, and (d) economic or cost factor.
The value of natural resources increases when we convert them into useful products, for example- (i) Land: Man uses land for agriculture, grazing, mining, industries, transport, etc. The vast Siberian low land achieved importance only when it was used for agriculture industries, etc.
(ii) Water Resources:
Man uses it for increasing the agricultural produce, i.e., (irrigation), generates hydroelectricity, for obtaining fish and uses the rivers and oceans for transport.
With advanced technology humans have explored and utilized minerals like iron, copper, etc. Industrialization uses the resources like coal and petroleum for energy and mobility. Low grade ores acquire value with advanced technology.
A large number of products are obtained from the forests, e.g., lac, resin, rubber, gum, wood, timber, etc.
Thus man has created wealth from the gifts of nature for his own comfort and progress. The utilization of the natural resources must be properly planned so that the nation and the world progresses and the resources do not get depleted.