The resources that are derived from the natural environment are known as natural resources. Starting from rivers to mountains, stones to minerals, our Mother Earth is abundant with rich resources that have helped a long way for the man made developments. The human race could not have probably thrived without the use of these natural resources.
It’s surprising but true that every man made product is made up of natural resources to some extent. The natural resources can be classified under various heads depending on their type, source of origin, developing stages and renewability. Below given is more information on different types of natural resources –
From Source of Origin
The biotic resources are derived from organic and living material. The materials that are obtained from animals and forests can be said as the biotic natural resources. Some of these are the fossil fuels – coal, and petroleum, which originates from the decayed organic matter.
The resources that can be derived from non-living and non-organic materials are known as abiotic resources. Some of the justifying examples are air, fresh water, land, and heavy metals (copper, gold, iron, silver, etc.).
From Developing Stages
The resources that already exist in a region in abundance and used in future catering to the developmental needs are known as potential resources. For instance, if a country has petroleum deposits on the sedimentary rocks, it can be termed as a potential resource until mechanical drilling is done out of the rock and utilised.
The resources which have already been scrutinized, recognised, surveyed, and are used presently after measuring their quantity and quality are known as actual resources. However, development of these resources depends on the technological inputs.
These are sectional parts of the actual resource that has the probabilities of being developed in the future with the help of technology.
The resource that has been surveyed and still cannot be used due to lack of technology is known as stock resources; one such example is hydrogen.
From Renewability Aspect
Renewable Natural Resources
The resources that can be replenished are known as renewable natural resources. Some examples are air, sunlight, and wind. These resources are continuously available and the quality does not get reduced due to human consumption. One demerit is that renewable resources cannot be rapidly recovered and are vulnerable to complete exhaustion if overused.
Non-Renewable Natural Resources
The formation of these resources takes place slowly and also does not form naturally in the environment. These are known to be non-renewable because the rate of human consumption is usually exceeding the rate of creation or recovery. The common examples are minerals and fossil fuels.
However, apart from these classifications, natural resources are also classified into types like Forest resources, Aquatic / Marine resources, Hydro geological resources, Animal resources, Microbial resources, Human resources, Atmospheric resources, Crop resources, Geological resources, Edaphic resources, Wildlife resources and others. The most common natural resources in use are wind, soil, water, minerals and vegetation.