(economically referred to as
naturally within environments
that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural
form. A natural resource
is often characterized by amounts of
existent in various
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
On the basis of origin, resources may be divided into:
- Biotic - Biotic resources are obtained from the
biosphere, such as forests and their
products, animals, birds and their products, fish and other marine organisms. Mineral fuels such as coal and petroleum are also included in this category
because they formed from decayed organic matter.
- Abiotic - Abiotic resources comprise of non-living
things. Examples include land, water, air and
ores such as gold, iron, copper, silver
Considering their stage of development, natural resources may be
referred to in the following ways:
- Potential Resources - Potential resources are those
that exist in a region and may be used in the future. For example,
petroleum may exist in many parts of
India, having sedimentary rocks but until the time it is actually
drilled out and put into use, it remains a potential resource.
- Actual Resources are those that have been surveyed,
their quantity and quality determined and are being used in present
times. The development of an actual resource, such as wood processing depends upon the technology
available and the cost involved. That part of the actual resource
that can be developed profitably with available technology is
called a reserve.
With respect to renewability, natural resources can be categorized
- 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 fossils 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
Some examples of natural resources include the following:
- Agriculture—agronomy is the science and technology of using
plants for food, fuel, feed, and fiber.
- Air, wind and atmosphere
- Coal, fossil
fuels, rock and mineral resources
- Range and pasture
- Water, ponds, oceans, lakes, groundwater and rivers
Natural resource management
is a discipline in the
management of natural resources
such as land, water
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
, 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
Natural resource management specifically focuses on a scientific
and technical understanding of resources and ecology
and the life-supporting capacity of those
In recent years, the depletion of natural resources and attempts to
move to sustainable
have been a major focus of development agencies
. This is of
particular concern in rainforest
which hold most of the Earth's natural biodiversity - irreplaceable
genetic natural capital. Conservation
of natural resources is the
major focus of natural
the ecology movement
, and green politics
. Some view this depletion as a
major source of social unrest and conflicts in developing
forestry are generally considered natural-resource industries.
is considered a man-made
resource. Theodore Roosevelt
well-known conservationist and former United States president, was
opposed to unregulated natural resource extraction. The term is
defined by the United
States Geological Survey
as "The Nation's natural resources
include its minerals, energy, land, water, and biota."
scientific study of the nature and status of Earth's biodiversity
with the aim of protecting species
, and ecosystems from excessive
rates of extinction
. It is an
interdisciplinary subject drawing on sciences, economics, and the
practice of natural resource
. The term conservation biology was
introduced as the title of a conference held University of
California at San Diego in La Jolla, California in 1978 organized by
biologists Bruce Wilcox and Michael Soulé.
practice that seeks
, protect and
areas for wild plants
, and prevent their extinction
or reduction in range
. It is a priority of many groups that
cannot be easily characterized in terms of any one ideology
- United States Department of Agriculture - Natural
Resources Conservation Service Retrieved May 2009.
- M. E. Soulé and B. A. Wilcox. 1980. Conservation Biology: An
Evolutionary-Ecological Perspective. Sinauer Associatess.
- M. E. Soule. (1986). What is conservation Biology? BioScience,
35(11): 727-734 
- Hunter, M. L. (1996). Fundamentals of Conservation Biology.
Blackwell Science Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts., ISBN
- Groom, M.J., Meffe, G.K. and Carroll, C.R. (2006) Principles of
Conservation Biology (3rd ed.). Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA.