Natural Resources

Natural resources (economically referred to as land or raw materials) occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural form.
Natural resources are derived from the environment. Many of them are essential for our survival while others are used for satisfying our wants. Natural resources may be further classified in different ways.

With respect to renewability, natural resources can be categorized as follows:
  • Renewable resources are ones that can be replenished or reproduced easily. Some of them, like sunlight, air, wind, etc., are continuously available and their quantity is not affected by human consumption. Many renewable resources can be depleted by human use, but may also be replenished, thus maintaining a flow. Some of these, like agricultural crops, take a short time for renewal; others, like water, take a comparatively longer time, while still others, like forests, take even longer.
  • Non-renewable resources are formed over very long geological periods. Minerals and fossil fuels are included in this category. Since their rate of formation is extremely slow, they cannot be replenished once they get depleted. Of these, the metallic minerals can be re-used by recycling them. But coal and petroleum cannot be recycled.

Natural Resource Management

Natural resource management is a discipline in the management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations. Natural resource management is interrelated with the concept of sustainable development, a principle that forms a basis for land management and environmental governance throughout the world.
In contrast to the policy emphases of urban planning and the broader concept of environmental management, Natural resource management specifically focuses on a scientific and technical understanding of resources and ecology and the life-supporting capacity of those resources.

Resources are the backbone of every economy. In using resources and transforming them, capital stocks are built up which add to the wealth of present and future generations. However, the dimensions of our current resource use are such that the chances of future generations to have access to their fair share of scarce resources are endangered. Moreover, the consequences of our resource use in terms of impacts on the environment may induce serious damages that go beyond the carrying capacity of the environment. These effects risk being aggravated once the developing world has taken up growth and resource use similar to the industrialised countries.

Depletion

In recent years, the depletion of natural resources and attempts to move to sustainable development have been a major focus of development agencies. This is of particular concern in rainforest regions, which hold most of the Earth's natural biodiversity - irreplaceable genetic natural capital.

Conservation of natural resources is the major focus of natural capitalism, environmentalism, the ecology movement, and green politics. Some view this depletion as a major source of social unrest and conflicts in developing nations.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development has been defined as balancing the fulfillment of human needs with the protection of the natural environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but in the indefinite future.

Preserve Natural Resources for today and tommorow


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