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The environment consists of artificial and natural components. The natural components of the environment like air, water, land, soil, plants and animals are called natural resources. These resources are taken as gift of nature to human beings. Mankind used these natural resources for their prosperity and survival. Some resources like air, water, land, plants and animals can be regenerated by natural process but mineral resources cannot be regenerated, it has its own importance. A continuous and dynamic cyclic of natural resources is found in nature.
People get different things from the natural environment. Some natural resources available in natural environment can easily and directly used. For example solar energy, water, fruits from plants can be directly used without any processing but some of the natural resources cannot be used, they need to be processed and refined, e.g. solar energy, water tides, winds, flowing water. We obtain heat and light energy from the sun as a principal source of energy in the earth. We use flowing water to rotate dynamo and generate electricity. All these resources do not exhaust due to their use. So, they are called perpetual resources.
The natural resources that can be replenished through natural formation even after their utilization are called renewable natural resources. E.g. grass, food, plants, raw materials, etc. They die and get replaced by new vegetation. Soil formation is continuous and slow and other soil gets replaced by new soil. Water, wildlife, animals, plants, etc. are said to be renewable resources and but over exploitation of resources gets plants and animals lead to extinction.
The resources that are in fixed quantity in the nature and cannot be obtained by any natural means are non - renewable natural resources. e.g. oil, coal, diesel, petroleum, etc are in fixed amount in the earth. They cannot be regenerated once they are finished. Such natural resources should be used properly and wisely and should preserve for future.
Importance of natural resources
Natural resources are the bases of our life. We take on differences development activities by using them. Importance of natural resources is given below:
Difference between renewable and non- renewable natural resources
|Renewable Natural Resources||Non- Renewable Natural Resources|
|The natural resources which can be regenerated and renewed, are called renewable natural resources.||The natural resources which cannot be regenerated and get exhausted after overuse are called non- renewable resources.|
|Animals, plants, fresh air, fertile soil and fresh water are the examples of renewable natural resources.||Fossil fuel, natural gases, metallic minerals and non- metallic minerals are the example of non- renewable resources.|
|We can manage this sources through proper conservation of them.||We should use alternative resources for their conservation.|
The components of nature such as air, land, minerals, water, forest, etc. are known as natural resources. They are the gift of nature. All things that exist in nature are natural resources, which are not made by human. There are living and some non-living things. Land, minerals, rocks, mountains, climate, water are non-living things. All kinds of vegetation, human beings, animals, birds, insects, and microorganisms are living things. The cycle of dynamism and continuity is going on in nature which results in activities like breathing, destruction, creation, extinction and regeneration that are continuous in nature. There is continuous change in the state of the objects. Natural resources provides us suitable environment, settlement, fulfillments of desire and need of human being. Therefore, we should pay proper attention for its protection and conservation.
Natural resources are classified into three groups:
Perpetual Resources: perpetual resources is that resources which never depletes and never ends. So, they are also called unlimited resources. They do not get exhausted due to utilization. Perpetual resources quantity is maintained normally by natural phenomenon. Maximum utilization of these resources is beneficial in our life due to its limitless quantity in the nature. Tides, solar energy, winds etc. are the food examples of perpetual resources.
Renewable resources: Renewable resources can be renewed or regenerated again and again after its utilization. These types of resources are regenerated according to natural process of formation in the nature. Plants, fish of ocean, fresh air, fresh water, fertile land, and various biological resources are renewable resources.
Non-renewable resources: Non-renewable resources are those which cannot be regenerated once finished. These resources are limited in nature. Natural oil and minerals are its examples. The formation of these resources takes millions of years.
Nepal occupies 1,47,181 sq. kilometer area of land. The total land of Nepal is divided into three geographical regions: