Exploring the Significance of Natural Resources
‘Heal the world,
Make it a better place.
For you and for me and the entire human race.’
When Michael Jackson penned down these infamous song lyrics years ago, it is impossible to imagine that he didn’t have Natural Resources on his mind.
What are Natural Resources? You might ask. That’s a fair question. As the name suggests, Natural Resources are normally found in nature itself. They are naturally occurring substances that are beneficial to man.
Let’s dive deeper, by taking a look at the various kinds of Natural Resources.
Types of Natural Resources
Here are the types of natural resources that our abundant earth provides.
These vital resources are either always available, like Water and Air, or can be recovered in a reasonable amount of time, like Vegetative Lands.
Note: Animals can also be portrayed as renewable resources, since they can produce young ones that replace the older animals.
Renewable resources are broadly classified into two types:
- Organic Renewable Resources. These resources originate from living things like Trees and Animals.
- Inorganic Renewable Resources. These resources originate from non-living things. Examples are Water, Sunlight and Air.
Simply put, these are the natural resources that, when finished, cannot be supplanted again. That is why creatures that are on the brink of annihilation, are viewed as non-renewable resources.
Non-renewable resources, like their renewable counterparts, are divided into two categories.
- Materials that come from living things. For example, Petroleum Products.
- Materials that come from nonliving things. For example, Rocks and Soil.
The Most Important Natural Resources
Now that you have sufficient answers to the question, ‘What are Natural Resources?’, here’s a look at the most important of those precious resources.
- Air. Air is essential for all creatures to exist on this planet.
- Water. You might know that 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered with water. But did you know that only 2 percent of it is water that we can drink (Freshwater?)
- Forests. We need to stop cutting trees, if we are to get an abundant supply of clean air. Indeed, air is essential for Life itself!
- Soil. There’s more than meets the eye, when it comes to soil we nonchalantly trudge on, every now and then. Plants would not grow without it.
- Iron. We wouldn’t have all our powerful vehicles and structures, without this important mineral.
The Importance of Natural Resources
We all have a rough idea of the Benefits of Natural Resources. However, do we have a complete knowledge of the Importance of Natural Resources?
Presenting a list of Benefits of Natural Resources, that will show you just how much they contribute to an enhanced Quality of Living.
Food, Shelter, Clothing
All human beings need sources of food and water, to survive. Resources like forests provide us with things like fruits from trees, and meat from the animals that live there.
Natural resources like lakes, are essential for providing us with Clean Drinking Water, without which none of us would be able to survive. Moreover, without natural resources like wood or metal ores, we wouldn’t be able to build houses. Neither would we be able to make tools like axes that are used for hunting.
Solar Panels depend on sunlight in order to generate electricity. Needless to say, without the Sun there would not be any sunlight. The very fact that solar energy makes for a renewable natural resource, makes for a huge benefit for mankind.
Cool Fact: An hour of sunlight supplies enough electricity for every human on Earth, for an entire year!
An Important Source of Medicines
All of us have taken some sort of medicine at some point or the other in our lives. Medicines like Antipyretics (the drugs used to bring a fever down) are derived from plants. Yet other drugs like Morphine, come from the Opium Poppy.
Cool Fact: Medicines like Antibiotics and Anesthetics, were first discovered in bacteria that was found on plants.
They Provide Employment to Millions
Industries like Agriculture, Manufacturing and Energy Production, all rely heavily on natural resources. It is in the availability of these very resources that has a direct impact on the employment of millions of people across the globe.
Construction companies serve as a prime example of the many industries that benefit from the use of natural resources. For instance, they need resources like Sand and Wood, to build houses. When it comes to agricultural companies, they need the vital resource of Land, in order to plant crops.
They Contribute to Economic Growth
A large number of countries export natural resources in order to generate foreign exchange earnings. They can use these earnings in order to import food and other essential goods, for the most basic needs of their populace.
The extraction of natural resources also gives a great boost to the economies of many developing nations. That is why you will see that in many developing countries, several people migrate from rural areas, to find work near urban centers. All so that they can feed their families back home!
They are an Important part of our Culture and Identity
The importance of natural resources extends well beyond their practical benefits. In some cultures, natural resources are even part of their spiritual beliefs. For example, the Aboriginal people in Australia believe that their land is a gift from their ancestors, and it is their responsibility to take care of it.
Natural resources have also been used by many cultures to do things like the following:
- Building houses from raw materials found in nature.
- Making pottery from clay found on land.
- Making weapons from rocks.
- Making clothes from animal skins.
At EuroKids we believe that empathy is a trait that should be inculcated in children for all living things. To do that, they must first start caring for the world they live in. We encourage you to help them understand just how important natural resources are. After all, they are the future generation that will take care of our Planet Earth.