What is Resource? Different Types of Natural Resources

The resource is anything that fulfills human needs and wants. In this article, we will know about what is the meaning, classification, and conservation of resources for our better living. Various types of resources such as natural resources, man-made resources, and human resources. Also, we will know about various economic activities that are inter-related between nature and human activities.

What is Resource?

The resource is anything that fulfills human needs and wants. When anything is of some use it becomes valuable and All resources have value. The value can be either commercial or non-commercial.

Commercial resources have great economic value. The Non-commercial resources are very abundant in availability. As per Wikipedia, A resource is a source from which a benefit is produced and that has some utility. An item becomes a resource with time and developing technology. The benefits of resource utilization may include increased wealth, proper functioning of a system, or enhanced well-being. A resource satisfies the needs of a living organism.

In economics point of view, a resource is defined as a service or other source used to produce goods and services that meet human needs and wants. In economics, there are three categories of resources that are most necessary for human needs. These are land, labor, and capital. Land includes all natural resources used for production and the source of raw materials. Labour or human resources consists of human effort. Capital consists of human-made goods or means of production like machinery, buildings, and other infrastructure used in the production of other goods and services.

In biology and ecology, a resource is defined as a substance that is required by a living organism for normal growth, maintenance, and reproduction. The main essential resources for animals are food, water, and territory. For plants, the main resources include sunlight, nutrients, water, and a place to grow.

Types of Resources

Resources can be classified as Below:

  • Natural Resources
  • Man-made Resources
  • Human resources

Natural Resources

All resources that have been directly provided by nature are called Natural resources. The air, water, soil, minerals are natural resources. The use of any natural resource depends on the place it is available.

Classification of Natural Resources

Natural resources can be classified into different types as per origin, development, renewability, distribution, ownership, etc.

On the basis of Origin

On the basis of origin, resources can be classified as:

  • Biotic resources
  • Abiotic resources

Biotic resources: All living resources like plants, animals, and other microorganisms are known as biotic resources.

Abiotic resources: All non-living things like Land, water, air, and minerals such as gold, iron, copper, etc. are known as abiotic resources.

On the basis of Development

On the basis of development, natural resources classified as:

  • Actual resources
  • Potential resources

Actual resources: The resources that are being used and the quantity available is known. Actual resources are those resources whose location and quantity are known and we have the technology to exploit and use them.

Potential resources: The resources that are not being used in the present and its quantity and location are not known. Potential resources are the ones of which we have insufficient knowledge or we do not have the technology to exploit them at present.

On the basis of renewability

On the basis of renewability, natural resources can be classified as:

  • Renewable resources
  • Non-renewable resources

Renewable resources: The Resources once consumed can be renewed with the passage of time are called renewable resources. For example Air, Water, Sunlight.

Non-renewable Resources: The resources which are limited can be called non-renewable resources. They become exhausted after use and the time they take to replace does not match the life cycle. For example Coal, petroleum, natural gas, and other minerals.

On the basis of Distribution

On the basis of distribution, natural resources can be classified as:

  • Localized resources
  • Universal resources

Localized resources: Some resources are present in specific regions they are called localized resources. For example Minerals.

Universal resources: Some resources are present everywhere Such resources are called universal resources. For example Sunlight and air.

On the basis of Ownership

On the basis of ownership, natural resources can be classified as:

  • Individual resources
  • Community-owned resources
  • National resources
  • International Resources

Individual resources: The resources that are privately owned by individuals. For example Apartments.

Community-owned resources: The resources that can be utilized by all the members of the community or area. For example Public parks.

National resources: The resources within the political boundaries and oceanic area of a country. For example Tropical forest regions of India.

International resources: All oceanic resources found in the open ocean. Resources found in this region can be utilized only after an international agreement.

Man-made resources

The resources made by man called as man-made resources. For example Bridges, Houses, Roads. Natural resources are modified or processed by technology into man-made resources.

Human Resources

Human resources: A group of individuals who use nature to create more resources for human beings. Human beings are also natural resources. Education, health, knowledge, and skill have made human being a valuable resource. For example Doctors, Teachers, Scientists, Chartered Accountants, etc.

Conservation of Resources

For proper utilization of resources, there is a need for proper technique and skill. Resources can be utilized properly because resources are limited. The proper use of resources is called the conservation of resources. Resources are being used at a very fast rate due to the rapid increase in population. So, natural resources are depleting fast; wisely using resources can control the depleting ratios.

Development is necessary without affecting the needs of future generations. If the present needs of resources are met and the conserving of resources for the future is balanced, then we call it sustainable development.

Sustainable development can take place when;

  • The reasons for depletion are identified.
  • Wastage and excess consumption are prevented.
  • Reusable resources are recycled.
  • Pollution is prevented.
  • The environment is protected.
  • Natural vegetation and wildlife are preserved.
  • Alternative resources are used.

The easiest way to protect and conserve our resources is to follow the rules of 3R: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

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