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What Does Natural Resources Mean In Geography

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Types Of Natural Resources

Utility And Value Of Resources | Class 8 – Geography | Learn With BYJU’S

Lets learn about different types of natural resources:

1. Renewable Resources: Resources that can never run out or can replenish through natural processes after a finite interval of time are said to be renewable resources. Eg. forest, wind, water and solar energy. Renewable resources can replenish themselves at the same rate at which they are used however the rate of consumption of renewable resources must also be managed to avoid the depletion of the renewable resources.

2. Non-Renewable Resources: These are finite resources or we can say that they are exhaustible resources, once they are exhausted, it will take them millions of years to form. Eg. Minerals, fossil fuels etc.

Let us now learn about the major difference between renewable resources and non-renewable resources:

Potential Developed And Stock Resources

Natural elements which are already easily available but humans are yet to discover their real power are Potential resources. For example, solar and wind energy are two natural resources, which have a high potential for human life. Though we are using it, we can use these even more in the future once we understand their true potential.

In contrast, a developed resource is that which humans have discovered and developed over a long time. Most of the water, fossil fuel, minerals, plants and animals that we use for our need today, are developed resources.

There are some resources present in nature, which have enough potential, but we do not have adequate knowledge or technology to develop it. As a result, these remain in nature as stock resources. For example, Hydrogen and Oxygen gases can be used as rich sources of energy but we still do not know how.

Learn more about Forest and Wildlife Resources in detail here.

Natural Resources Management Plans

Governments require the execution of environmental impact assessment or natural resources management plans to collect the relevant data they need. The data becomes significant to ensure the proper management of the available resources. These plans form part of each country or entitys philosophy to protect the environment where they operate.

These plans generally consist of specific reporting standards and align with the countrys natural resources management legislation. It allows the government authorities to make the necessary decisions to allow developments to proceed or not.

These environmental impact assessments require you to determine the possible outcome if you intend to develop in a specific area. For example, if you aim to develop a shopping center, the government requires some understanding of the possible impacts. The objective of these environmental impact assessments allows you to understand the types of resources available in your area. It also allows you to understand the possible risks as a result of specific developments.

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Resource Resistance And Neutral Stuff:

There is a total antagonistic relationship between resource and resistancelike light and shade. This inverse relationship is the key issue in the overall scheme of resource creation. Anything or any process that restricts substance becoming resource is called neutral stuff. Fertility of soil is resource but barrenness is resistance. Rain may be considered resource but flood is resistance. In the same manner, knowledge is a key resource while ignorance is the worst type of resistance.

In this connection, the concept of neutral stuff has been introduced by Prof. Zimmermann. Anything or substance, be it tangible or intangible, should be either resource or neutral stuff. If anything or substance does not contain function ability or utility value, it is termed neutral stuff.


A neutral stuff should not necessarily remain neutral forever. What is considered neutral stuff today may transform into resource tomorrow. Mans knowledge, wisdom and technological innovation may transform neutral stuff into precious resource, e.g., petroleum was not considered resource until 1859, because man was quite ignorant about its uses while, with the development of science and technology, it is now considered as a mainstay for harnessing energy.

The process of economic development is directly proportional with the rate of conversion of neutral stuff into resource. The advancement of modern civilization is synonymous with the transformation of neutral stuff into resource.

Faqs On Natural Resources

Natural Resources: KS2 Geography scheme of work Year 5 &  Year 6
Q.1. Define natural resources.Ans: Natural resources are materials available on the planet that can be used to keep people alive and meet their needs.They include oil, coal, natural gas, metals, stone, sand, air, sunlight, soil, and water. Natural resources may also include animals, birds, fish, and vegetation. Food, fuel, and raw materials for manufacturing are all made from natural resources. Plants and animals provide all of the food that people consume. Heat, light, and power are provided by natural resources such as coal, natural gas, and oil.
Q.2. How to conserve natural resources?Ans: Conservation of natural resources is very important as natural resources are essential for human survival. The ways to conserve natural resources are to use less water, turn off the lights when not in use, use renewable energy, reduce, reuse and recycle things, compost, and try using methods to save fuel.
Q.3. What are exhaustible natural resources?Ans: Exhaustible natural resources are those sources of energy that will deplete and exhaust after a few hundred years. For example coal, petroleum, diesel and all other fossil fuels are exhaustible natural resources.
Q.5. How can we protect natural resources?Ans: Reduce, recycle, reuse, turn off water and lights, utilise renewable energies, clean the water, pick up litter, and sow seeds to conserve natural resources, are some of the ways by which we can protect our natural resources.

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How Much Us Natural Resources Are Left

In the U.S., some resources are able to be renewed, such as crops and livestock, as well as solar and wind power. But the nonrenewable resources are finite. Experts from Stanford University have estimated the remaining fossil fuels could be used up in decades: 30 years for oil, 40 years for gas, and 70 years for coal.

Natural Resources Found In The Us

Kimberly Amadeo is an expert on U.S. and world economies and investing, with over 20 years of experience in economic analysis and business strategy. She is the President of the economic website World Money Watch. As a writer for The Balance, Kimberly provides insight on the state of the present-day economy, as well as past events that have had a lasting impact.

The Balance / Hilary Allison

Natural resources are materials from the earth that people use to meet their needs. The United States has an unusual abundance of six natural resources: a large landmass, two expansive coastlines, a wide swath of fertile land, abundant fresh water, huge reserves of oil and coal, and a diverse population.

Learn more about these natural resources and how they boost the U.S. economy.

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Dynamic Concept Of Resource:

Prof. Hamilton said:

It is technology which gives value to the neutral stuffs which it processes and as the useful arts advance the gifts of nature are remade. With technology on the march, the emphasis of value shifts from the natural to the processed good.

So, resource creation process is not static, it is dynamic in nature. The thing or substance considered as neutral stuff today may be converted into precious resource tomorrow. Since the beginning of civilization, Paleolithic man started devoting his limited knowledge to convert neutral stuff into resource for his own requirement.

With the passage of time, with increasing knowledge, man was able to harness more resource from same amount of stuff. Bowman has rightly remarked: The moment we give them human association they are as changeful as humanity itself.

With the increasing need, man frantically explored all possibilities or avenues to expand resource base from his existing stock. So, resource creation is a continuous and need-based operation. At the present era, when the world is passing through acute energy crisis, man is exploring possibilities to produce energy from all sources solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy etc.

Previously ocean current was never considered as resource but, now, man is able to convert this force into energy. So, the concept of resource is dynamic and resource study is a dynamic science.

How Are Resources Distributed And Why

Definitions in the Field: Natural Resources

Resource distribution refers to the geographic occurrence or spatial arrangement of resources on earth. In other words, where resources are located. Any particular place may be rich in the resources people desire and poor in others.

Low latitudes receive more of the sun’s energy and much precipitation, while higher latitudes receive less of the sun’s energy and too little precipitation. The temperate deciduous forest biome provides a more moderate climate, along with fertile soil, timber, and abundant wildlife. The plains offer flat landscapes and fertile soil for growing crops, while steep mountains and dry deserts are more challenging. Metallic minerals are most abundant in areas with strong tectonic activity, while fossil fuels are found in rocks formed by deposition .

These are just a few of the differences in the environment that result from different natural conditions. As a result, resources are distributed unevenly across the globe.

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Reading A Resource Map

Students read a natural resource map and use a chart to determine the origins of goods that people use.


1. Talk about natural resources we commonly use.

Explain that when students drink a glass of water, they are using a natural resource. Natural resources are things found in nature that people use. Have students look around their classroom for other goods that come from natural resources. Ask: Where do our books and writing paper come from? Point to plastic items or clothing made of synthetic fibers, such as fleece or polyester. Ask: Where does this come from?

2. Read aloud the poem in the Resources Poetry handout.

Engage students in the topic of natural resources by reading aloud the poem Where Does It Come From? on the provided handout as students follow along. Read the poem aloud a second time, and have students raise their hands after each verse if they can identify a natural resource in the line. List the resources on the board as students name them.

3. Explore the United States Resources map.

  • What resources does the map show for our state?
  • What resource is Texas rich in?
  • Why is fish such a big resource in California?
  • What other resources do you know of that come from your state that are not included here?
  • How is a resource map helpful?

4. Examine the chart of natural resources.

  • Which of these resources might be used in building a home?
  • In painting a home?
  • In heating a home?
  • What is electricity used for?

What Is A Natural Resources Management Plan

A natural resources management plan provides a detailed document explaining the method in which these attributes require management. The management plan guides the entity or party who use natural resources for a variety of purposes. The plan normally includes your objectives, location, resource assessment, recommendations, schedule, and additional information.

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Natural Resources And Sustainability

Continuously we experience threats to our natural resources as a result of pollution. Pollution comes in the form of different formats for example:

  • Noise pollution
  • Radioactive contamination

The impacts on natural resources create significant concerns and prevent us from living sustainably. Pollution normally happens when diverse industries impact the earths resources. For example as a result of an oil spill, chemicals spill in water resources, deforestation, and increase of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide or ozone in the earths atmosphere.

The increased impacts on natural resources subsequently created different catastrophic events for example:

  • Continuous floods

To allow for the management of diverse natural resources the global approach involves the implementation of a sustainable development management approach. Natural resources form a critical part of the administration method and subsequently, each country comprises different standards. These benchmarks allow the government authorities to manage them according to the classification discussed earlier on. Some of these examples include:

  • Climate change standards
  • Pollution standards
  • Assessment and Management of Environmental Risks and Impacts

How Resources Support The Economy

Sustainability meaning

Natural resources are one of the four factors of production that are necessary for an economy to begin producing goods. The other three are capital, entrepreneurship, and labor. Capital is the machinery, equipment, and chemicals used in production. Entrepreneurship is the drive to develop an idea into a business. Labor is the workforce.

In a market economy, these components provide the supply that meets the demand from consumers.

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Land For Farming And Agriculture

Unlike Australia and Canada, the United States had temperate climates combined with fertile soil. The early settlers found rich soil on the Great Plains. This is a more than 290,000-square-mile area between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.

The Plains was a huge basin sculpted out by glaciers during the Great Ice Age. As a result, mountain streams from the Rockies deposited layers of sediment. These streams then cut through the sediment to create plateaus. These large flat areas were untouched by erosion. That created thick sod and productive agriculture.

But the Great Plains is semi-arid, experiencing periodic droughts. The Plains became the breadbasket of the world only after irrigation was put into place. The water came from streams fed by the Rockies.

What Is A Renewable Resource

A renewable resource is a resource that can be replenished naturally over time. As a result, it is sustainable despite its consumption by humankind.

Renewable resources are considered especially important for their potential to replace non-renewable, or finite, resources in the production of energy. Additionally, renewable resources can offer cleaner energy solutions than those provided by non-renewable resources such as coal and fossil fuels.

Examples of renewable resources include the sun, wind, water, the earth’s heat , and biomass.

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Conservation Of Natural Resources

Conservation of natural resources is very important as natural resources are essential for human survival, yet not all natural resources are renewable. The tremendous increase in climate change is due to human activity, particularly the usage of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels. By conserving our natural resources, we can have a more positive impact on our natural environment. There are several ways to conserve natural resources in our very own home, such as:

  • Use less water Taking shorter showers and turning off the taps when not in use can reduce water wastage.
  • Turn off the lights During the day or when not required, turn off any electronic device. Additionally, LED light bulbs can be used as they consume very less power.
  • Walking, using bicycles and sharing vehicles for long distances help in saving fuel.
  • Use renewable energy Using solar panels, wind energy, and hydro energy can significantly reduce our dependence and cut back on resource depletion over time.
  • Use the three Rs Reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Compost Composting vegetable and fruit scraps act as useful materials to enrich the soil. Composting helps in attracting beneficial organisms that cut down on the need for pesticides or harmful chemicals.
  • Avoid using plastics as they are non-biodegradable waste and increase environmental pollution at a much faster rate.

Functional Theory Of Resources:

Conservation of Natural Resources | Class 8 – Geography | Learn with BYJU’S

Resources were defined as means of attaining given ends, i.e., individual wants and social objectives. Means take their meaning from the ends which they serve. As ends change, means must change also. This statement of Zimmermann clearly states that resource creation is a function of space and time. With increasing knowledge, function of resource may enhance.

A primitive man may not be able to harness resource from a substance but a supra-animal modern man may, by his scientific Midas touch, transform such simple substance into a precious resource. To a man of animal level resistance plays a very dominant rolewhere nature poses obstacle for resource creationbut, to a modern Man, knowledge plays a key role to convert neutral stuff into resource.


The tropical Africa is well endowed with huge water resources. Due to backward economy and technological drawbacks, inhabitants of that region cannot convert it into energy. On the contrary, the Japanese were able to produce huge energy from far less water resources. This is because of scientific knowledge, expertise and greater economic development.

The advancement of civilization is the product of expansion of human information base. Information about mineralscoal, petroleum, iron ore, copper etc., about agriculture HYV seeds, pesticides, insecticides etc., about manufacturing industrythe invention of steam engines, boilers, turbines, converters etc., were possible with the increasing scientific knowledge.

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Distribution Of Natural Resources

Different regions have access to different renewable or nonrenewable natural resources such as freshwater, fossil fuels, fertile soil, or timber based on their geographic location and past geologic processes. Access, or the lack thereof, contributes to a placeâs economic development, political relationships, and culture. For example, the Great Plains region of the United States is known for its abundance of fertile soil. As a result, its main industry is agriculture. Corn, soybeans, and wheat are globally exported from this region and serve as the main economy. On the other side of the spectrum, the desert southwestern region of the United States depends on the Central Arizona Project canals to transport water from the Colorado River in order to support agriculture and urban areas. Arizonaâs right to use water from this river stems from the Colorado Compact, an agreement established in 1922.

Use these materials to explore the interconnected nature of resources and their distribution.


Environment And Natural Resources

Our faculty and students have ongoing research to understand ecological and earth surface processes to improve the ways in which natural resources are managed. Our research advances solution-driven science to maintain the integrity of natural systems while providing the goods and services society desires.

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