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Classification of Natural Resources

10 Importance of Natural Resources

There is numerous importance of natural resources and we’ve carefully listed a number of them here with clear explanation.

We had said earlier in another article; that natural resources are necessary for the survival and sustenance of life on earth. Imagine the earth bare. Or rather coming into our planet and finding nothing. No air, water, soil, rocks, plants, animals, sun, wind, oceans, minerals, trees, forests, etc.

What could man have done? Where could man have started creating these things from? This is how important these resources are. They form the basis for the further development of other resources and services.In reality, there is no country without natural resources. Resources can be owned individually by countries or shared among countries.

Natural resources such as coal, crude oil, rubber, certain floral and fauna species, minerals are indigenous to countries where they are found. They cannot be shared among neighboring countries.

However, resources such as air are shared because the activities in a country can have an effect on the air quality of a neighboring country.

In as much as natural resources are important and form the basis for further development, they have to be managed for maximum benefits. Although difficult to believe, it is a fact that the wealth and development of an area do not lie in the abundance of her resources. Rather, the ability of her citizens to harness and properly manage her resources.

This is clear in developing and developed countries. Most developing countries such as Nigeria and Congo are very rich in natural resources. Yet, on the other hand, countries such as Singapore are said to be impoverished in natural resources yet, are developed.

Furthermore, countries such as Saudi Arabia have successfully developed themselves through their natural resources.

To understand the subject matter better, you should care to learn about the classification of natural resources under which every natural resource both known and unknown are classified.

Let us look at some of the numerous awesome benefits of natural resources.

Importance of Natural Resources

Here is a list of the top 10 importance of natural resources:

  • Natural Capital
  • Energy Supply
  • Food
  • Raw Materials for Industries
  • Medical Value
  • The basis for Further Scientific Studies
  • Shelter
  • Employment Opportunities
  • National Development
  • Ecosystem Services

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Natural Capital

The term ‘natural capital’ was first used in 1973 by E.F. Schumacher in his book titled Small Is Beautiful,  and was developed further by Herman DalyRobert Costanza, and other founders of the science of ecological economics.

According to the World Forum on Natural Capital, natural capital is the world’s stock of natural resources. They are assets such as soils, waters, air, and all living organisms. They are assets that provide us with free materials and essential services.

Source of Energy

‘Source of energy’ is one of the most popular importance of natural resources; natural resources such as solar radiation, wind, geothermal heat, water, tides, fossil fuels, petroleum, natural, and many more are used in generating energy.

Source of Food

Humans, animals, and plants depend solely on natural resources for food. These food sources are plants, aquatic organisms, and other animals. All classes of food nutrients needed by man are provided by nature.

Source of Raw Materials for Industries

Every industry in the world depends on natural resources for the acquisition of raw materials; a popular example is the petroleum industry that derives its raw material (crude oil) from reservoirs of long deposited fossils, another example is the textile industry, construction industry, power sector, and food industries utilize natural resources such as hide and skin; natural fibers; minerals; solar radiation; plants, and animals for production.  

Medicinal Value

Herbs are used in their raw or modified forms in the medical field to cure ailments and diseases, over 80 percent of the world’s population depends on plants for medicine.


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Products extracted from fungi, bacteria, plants, and viruses are used as vaccines against certain diseases. Titanium, an element found in ores in the earth’s crust is used in prosthetics.  

Also Read: Top 12 Most Endangered Animals in Africa

Serves as Basis for Further Scientific Studies

The existence of natural resources in the environment has inspired and still inspires so many enthusiastic scientists to go into further study and make products that have benefited the whole of mankind and sometimes the world at large. 
This includes petroleum; turned into a popular source of energy through scientific research, cotton; which now serves as the most popular raw material for cloth production, with all these values; the importance of natural resources can’t be over-emphasized.

Shelter

Timber from trees, cement from limestone, sand, and gravel, mud bamboo sticks, metals from ores are all materials used for the construction of shelter, which is all derived from the earth’s stock of resources. 

Employment Opportunities

Stages involved in the development of natural resources from raw form to finished products account for well over 80 percent of the total workforce in the world.


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For instance, crude oil exploration and processing involve the following processes; site mapping, the discovery of deposits, test drilling and drilling, tank constructions, and pipe laying, refinery building, maintenance, and refining; all to name but a few, which provides millions of jobs globally.

National Development

 For countries that properly manage their natural resources, these resources have contributed greatly to their Gross Domestic Product. Sadly, it is ironic that countries with the most abundant resources are underdeveloped.  
This can be attributed to the high levels of corruption, extortion, and poor governance that accompany resource wealth. 
In order to abate corruption and improve resources among resource-rich countries, Lawson-Remer argues that there is a need to improve cooperation among three groups: “capital-exporting countries, international financial institutions, and private sector companies.

Ecosystem Services

Ecosystem services are benefits derived from nature and the environment and contribute much to the importance of natural resources in the environment.
 
These services include supporting services (e.g water cycle, nutrient cycle, soil formation, and photosynthesis); regulatory services (e.g pollination, climate regulation, and water purification); cultural services (e.g aesthetics), and provision services (e.g food, water, and shelter). Natural resources contribute to these services. Oceans as a natural resource are part of the hydrology cycle which is an ecosystem supporting services.

Conclusion

In this article we have listed the most popular importance of natural resources, however, there are other importance of natural resources not listed in this article, maybe we talk about them in the next article, click the bell at the bottom right side of your screen to get notified then.

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