Natural resources include all those materials which can be utilized by man to his advantage. The basic needs of life include air, water, sunlight, minerals and habitat. All these are of cosmic origin and are not created by man and therefore, are called natural resources. The natural resources occur in all the three divisions of biosphere (lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere)
TYPES OF NATURAL RESOURCES:
(a) Inexhaustible Resources: The resources which are not likely to be exhausted are called inexhaustible resources.
E.g. Air, clay, sand, water and solar energy.
These are not likely to be exhausted by human use.
(b) Inexhaustible Resources: The natural resources which are present in limited amount are bound to get exhausted if not properly managed are called exhaustible. The exhaustible resources may be renewable and non- renewable.
(i) Renewable Resources: These include resources which can be regenerated even if partially destroyed.
e.g. plants and animal resources, water and certain soil types, minerals and gases (CO2, O2) are renewable.
Some of these materials are constantly renewed in nature, others can be reclaimed or purified and used again and again. All types of resources require management and conservation.
(ii) Non-renewable Resources: The non-renewable resources once used, are lost forever as they are not restored.
E.g Natural gas, coal, petroleum, mineral oils, metals, minerals and stones.
These materials were created millions of years ago under the earth's surface. These materials will never be created once finished.
Importance of Natural Resources:
The natural resources play an important role in our lives. The importance of natural resources in our lives can be viewed from the following points:
(i) The most important use of land to man is that it provides space for work. All activities of man take place on land whether it is agriculture, transport, industry, housing,