All the natural things found in nature that are directly or indirectly useful to human beings or from which man fulfills his needs are called natural resources. Human beings make their life simpler and better by using these resources. Natural resources include soil, climate, topography, water deposits, vegetation, mineral matter, etc.
“A resource can be anything that satisfies the needs of human desires. “- James Fisher
“Elements called natural environment can become resources only when humans not only understand their utility but also use them.” – Zimmerman
“Natural resources are those resources that are provided by nature and are useful to humans.” – V. C. Macnal
Classification of natural resources
The Classification of Natural Resources can be done on the following grounds:
1. On the Basis of Origin
On the basis of origin, natural resources can be divided into two classes, bio and abiotic or, inorganic.
. Biotic or Bioresources
All living resources found in nature are called bioresources. Such as humans, flora, and other useful animals.
. Abiotic or Inorganic Resources
All non-living natural resources are called resources and resources. Such as rivers, mountains, land, air, water, etc.
2. On the Basis of Endowment
On the basis of endowment, natural resources can be divided into renewable and non-renewable.
Renewable Natural Resources
All those resources which can be regenerated or made new by physical, chemical, or mechanical processes are called renewable resources. Such as wind energy, water energy, solar energy, etc.
Non-renewable Natural Resources
The resources which once used cannot be reused and are called non-renewable resources. Fossil fuels such as coal, petrol, diesel, etc. are the prime examples of this type of resource which can be used only once.
3. On the Basis of Ownership
On the basis of ownership, natural resources can be divided into 4 groups called individual, community, national and international.
Personal Natural Resources
Natural resources that are owned in private hands are called individual natural resources. Such as – individual plots, ponds, gardens, etc.
Community Natural Resources
Natural resources that are owned by all the members of a community collectively are called community natural resources. Such as public parks, pastures, playgrounds, etc.
National Natural Resources
All-natural resources found within the borders of a country are called national resources. All mineral matter, water resources, forest resources, land within political boundaries, and ocean areas up to 12 miles and found in them. Resources are national resources. The national government has the right to acquire personal resources for the general public. Under this right, the government acquires the required land and builds roads, canals, rail lines, etc.
Those resources which cannot be used without the consent of international institutions are called international resources. Such as open oceanic resources beyond 200 nautical miles from the shoreline.
4. Based on the Level of Development
Depending on the level of development, natural resources can be divided into groups called potential, developed, reserves, and accumulated funds.
Natural resources that are not currently used but may be used in the future are called potential natural resources. As such, there is a huge potential for wind and solar energy resources in different parts of the country, but they have not been developed properly yet.
Such resources which are in full development and have been discovered for use in terms of quality and quantity are called developed resources. Like minerals and fossil fuels discovered in different parts of the country.
Resources available in nature that can meet human needs but are still out of human reach due to lack of appropriate technology are resources. For example, hydrogen gas can be a suitable alternative fuel for the future. But due to a lack of technical knowledge, it is not being used right now.
Accumulated Natural Resources
Actually, the Consolidated Fund is also a part of the repository but it is a repository that is being used or is going to be used on a limited scale on the basis of technical knowledge available at the present time. For example, the water of rivers is being used to generate electricity on a limited scale. Similarly, mountains, dams built on rivers, water, forests, etc. are such accumulated funds that can be used in the future.