Natural Resources

Published by: Mandira

Published Date: 11 Jan 2022

Natural Resources in Grade 9

Introduction to Natural Resources

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.

Classification of natural resources

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.

  • Renewable resources
  • Non-renewable resources

Renewable 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.

Non renewable resources

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:

  1. Sources of fresh air and water : Without air and water we cannot imagine the life. Natural environment is the sources of fresh air, water, which are necessary for all the living beings and non living beings in the earth. If these important resources are polluted, all living beings will be affected badly. Nature always seems to apply its natural process to refine and purify them.
  2. Habitat: Soil, forests, are the habitat of different animals. Human beings use soil, water, minerals, and forest resources for building houses, bridges, roads. Soil is the habitat of micro â€" organisms, insects, worms, and plants. Water is habitat for aquatic animals like fish, sea horse, crabs, mollusk, etc. Forest is the living place of wild animals, birds, deer, elephant, etc.
  3. Sources of food: The land and forest are the important natural resources which is the source of food to man, animals, birds. Man gets meat, flesh, fur, bone and skin from the some wild animals. Human beings cultivate land to get food, grains, oil, cash, crops, clothes, etc. They get different types of products such as timber, firewood, and raw materials, to make color, herbs, etc.
  4. Natural beauty: Snowy mountains, green hills, plains, lakes, river, ponds, waterfalls, animals and forest resources provide natural beauty in nation and are never failed to theft the heart of people. It helps for the development of tourism industry by attracting tourists. It leads to the economic growth of a country.
  5. Economic development: Economic development of a nation depends on the availability and utility of its natural resources. Proper use of natural resources helps in the economic development. Agriculture and industrial development depends on the availability of these resources. Natural resources help for the tourism development. Our country has such diversity and beauty in nature, e.g. mountains, hills, lakes, river, etc. which attracts the tourists. We can establish different adventure places like bungi jump, boating, rafting, rock climbing, ballooning, etc. Thus, it helps to promote tourism industry and increase revenue.
  6. Area of study and research: Nature is a vast and complex phenomenon. It is so wide that even a tiny part of it is enough for conductivity study and research programs. Many people have conducted study and research in the various part of nature. Many researchers have started about species, their nature, food and habitat and so on which has widened our scope of study.

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.

Air, Water, Land, Forest Resource, Wildlife and Minerals

Natural resources are very large in their types and importance. People use natural resources for their benefits. Each natural resource has its own importance.

Air

Air is colorless, order less, and tasteless mixture of gases found in the earth's atmosphere. It forms a layer on the earth above land and water surface. It comprises 78 % nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.03% carbon dioxide, 0.1% other 4 gases and water vapor.

The importance of air are given below:

  • It helps to balance the water cycle.
  • The ozone layer of the atmosphere helps to the life of the earth by preventing the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun that enters into the earth.
  • Air is also used for energy production. The air is used to produce energy in Kagbeni of Mustang district.

Water

It covers about seventy one percent of the earth's surface. Water is used use for drinking and other human activities, growing crops, and most in industrial used. In Nepal, people have the severe problem of drinking water practically in the urban areas. Sources of water is degrading where as the demand of water is increasing for the growing population.

The importance of water is given below:

  • Live stock management
  • Irrigation facility
  • Drinking process
  • Domestic purposes
  • Hydro-powergeneration

Land

It is essential natural resource. The Geo- physical structure of the country varies according to the nature of rock and its structure. Soil is formed by weathering of rock and mixing of dead plants and animals. The formation of soil depends upon the climate, topography, nature of rock and biological changes. Due to this reason, soil formation may take from a few years to hundreds of years according to place.

The land feature of Nepal can be summarized as given below:

  • Mountain region: It lies in the northern part of Nepal. It occupies about thirty five percent of the total land of our country. It consists of the soil formed from sedimentary rock and it is not fully matured enough to cultivate crops. Sandy loam and silty soil are found in this region. Therefore, this region is less fertile. Plants like potatoes and barely are suitable to grow in this type of soil.
  • Hilly region : It lies between the mountain and terai region and occupies forty two percent of the total land. The soil is formed by igneous rock and sedimentary rock. The soil consists of sand and pebbles. So, it is not highly suitable for agricultural production. Silt loam soil and loam types of soil are found in this region. Soil erosion is very high due to the supply land.
  • Terai region : The structure of the land is plain in this region. It lies at the southern part of Nepal and occupies twenty three percent of the total land. The soil is alluvial, soil is fertile. Therefore, terai region is also known as the granary of Nepal.

The importance of soil is given below:

  • It gives shelter to many living creatures. House is made on land.
  • Land is the sources of food, grains and other basic needs. We grow crops and get food from them.
  • It is also the source of many resource. Major minerals are achieved from land which can be used for various purposes.
  • Wet land ecosystem of the land helps to preserve the extinct plants and animals.

Forest

Nepal has board variation of altitude from place. This is the reason that Nepal has been a land of different ecosystem and water ships. Because of the climate and topographical condition, there are diverse types of forest in our country. On the basis of physical features, climate, soil and local surrounding.

Forests can be divided into various types or groups, they are given below:

  • Tropical forest : Tropical forest is in the terai belt of Nepal up to an altitude of 1000 meters from the sea level. In this belt, there is high temperature and heavy rain fall. This forest is evergreen forest and has high temperature. Sal, Sisoo, Khayar, Chap, Palas, Katus, etc. are some of the species found in this belt. Several plants useful for medicine and some are useful for painting. A variety of flowering plants have equally beautiful environment of tropical forest of Nepal. In different places of this area, thick grassy shrubs are also found.
  • Sub- tropical forest :This forest extends from 1200 m to 2000 m in the west and 1000 m to 1700 m in the east. It mainly includes the forest of southern hills of Mahabharata range and upper parts of the churia hills. Sub- tropical forest is extended in the form of belt from eastern to western Nepal. The major forest flora of this region also consist of temperate forest flora like Katus, Simal, Bamboo, Kafal and the upper part of this region also consists of temperate forest flora like Pine and Rhododendron.
  • Temperate forest: Temperate forest is found at an altitude of 1, 700 m to 3,00 m in east and at an altitude of 2000m to 3,100 m in the west. The forest is divided into two parts. Lower temperate forest (2000 to 2,700) m in the east and (1, 700 to 2,400) m in the east. Upper temperate forest (2,700 to 3,100 ) m in east and (2,400 to 3000) m meter in the east. This type of forest is extended from the east to west hill part of Mahabharata range.
  • Alpine forest : Alpine forest extends above the temperate region in the northern part of Nepal. It is also divided into lower alpine zone and upper zone. The lower alpine zone extends from 3000 to 4200 m in the western part of Nepal and up to 3000 m in the eastern Nepal. Dhupi, Salla, varieties of rhododendron and other bushy plants are the main vegetation of this region. In this region, trees are found up to a certain altitude which is also known as tree line. Around 4000 m altitude is considered as tree line in Nepal. The vegetation comprises lichen, grasses and mosses, etc.

Importance of forest is given below:

  • Forest is the shelter of wild birds and animals.
  • It includes rainfall and protects the natural environment.
  • It contributes in the conservation of soil, wildlife and water sources, etc.
  • Fruits, colors, medicinal herbs, etc. are found in the forest which adds the natural beauty.

Wildlife

The uncultivated plants and non- domesticated animal resources are called wildlife. Nepal is rich is rich in its biodiversity. According to project profile 1995, Nepal has got 181 species of mammals, 844 species of birds, 6356 species of butterflies, 5000 species of insects and 185 species of fishes. Reptiles like golden monitor lizard, gharal, and Asiatic rock python are also found in Nepal.

The importance of wildlife is given below:

  • Many wildlife species provide food. In some parts of the world insects are eaten as source of protein.
  • Wildlife animals are a source of beauty, joy and recreational pleasure for large number of people.
  • Wildlife helps in the development of tourism industry.
  • People get meat, eggs, milk, milk products like cheese butter, cream, etc.

Minerals

The metallic or non metallic substance found on the c rust of the earth is called mineral. Mineral is an important natural resources needed in construction and decoration. Soil, coal, clay and limestone are some of the examples of non metallic minerals. Copper, aluminum, etc. are the metallic minerals. It takes thousand years to form such minerals. As they are the non renewable natural resources, special care is needed while consuming them.

The status of major of our country is given below:

  • Iron ore : It is found in Phulchowk, Rammechap, Chitwan, Makwanpur, Nuwakot and Pyuthan. It is used for constructional purposes, the cheap imported from the foreign country has made the iron of Nepal expensive and ineffective.
  • Mica: It is another type of minerals. It is found in Bajhang, Doti, Bhojpur, Lamjung, Nuwakot and Sindhuli.
  • Copper: Copper is an important mineral used for making various types of utensils. Only three types of copper mines are running in Nepal; Wapsa, Gyazi and Okhaharbot. It is found in Bhudakhola of Tanahun district, Gorkha, Illam, Makwanpur, Nuwakot, Baitadi, Baglung and Taplejung.
  • Zinc: Zinc is found in Kathmandu, Rasuwa, Nuwakot and Sindhuipalchowk.
  • Limestone: Limestone is the required raw material for cement factory. Chovar hill of Kathmandu valley and Bhainse of the Makwanpur districts are the major sources of these minerals. T

The importance of mineral resources is given below:

  • Minerals help to bloom the economy of the country. The mineral like gold, iron, and petroleum can be exported to foreign currency can be obtained.
  • Minerals are used for constructional purposes. The iron rods, the utensils and some furniture are made by utilizing these natural resources.
  • Minerals are used for aesthetic purpose. The minerals like gold, silver and diamond enhance the beauty of a person.

Interrelationship Between Natural Resources and Human Beings

Earth is a habitat of human beings and other living things. Human gets all types of resources from the environment. As one of superior most creatures of the earth due to intelligence, human has a great possibility of wise use of natural resources and creating a balance in the ecosystem. Therefore, human is very closely interrelated and dependent on natural resources.

The interrelationship between human and natural resources are given below:

  • Air and Human
  • Water and Human
  • Land and Human
  • Forest and Human beings 
  • Minerals and Human

Air and Human

Air is a significant factor which protects the life of human. Human cannot survive only for a minute without air. They takes breathe for 22,000 times per day in normal condition and gets sixteen kilogram oxygen from the atmosphere. Thus, air is a very important factor among the natural resources. If methane, nitrogen and carbon dioxide are mixed in air, it causes air pollution. It makes human ill. The fresh air protects the life of human. Thus, there is close relationship between man and air.

Water and Human 

Water is another significant resource for the survival of living beings. Human uses water for drinking cleaning, cooking food and irrigation of agricultural land. In absence of water, plants cannot grow and human are deprived of food from plants. It also acts as an important metabolite of our body and forms seventy percent of our body mass. Therefore it is very much essential to conserve water resources by controlling the possible causes of pollution.

Land and Human 

Land is that part of the earth over which we live. Plants and vegetation develop on land. Natural resources like minerals are found in land. Land is formed of solid, rock and liquid materials in the shape of a ball. It occupies 13 part of the total land of the earth and it is also called lithosphere. Soil is formed out of the broken grains of rock which is caused by physical, chemical and biological process. Thus, land is such a control point which keeps us safe, provides food, shelter, and gives fresh water to drink. It provides and maintains the balance in the nature. Therefore, there is a close relationship between human beings and land.

Forest and Human beings 

Human depends on plants and other animals for his nutrient supply. Plants have capacity to convert radiant energy of the sun into chemical energy by photosynthesis, so a nutritional chain is established in the nature from plants to animals and then to human beings. Human uses various forest resources like timber, medicinal herbs, plants, animal's materials for his livelihood. Human collects fodders and firewood from the forests. A plant also plays a significant role to maintain a balance in the amount gases of the air.

Minerals and Human

The things available free under the earth are called minerals. Copper, tin, lead, magnetite, limestone, natural gas, marble are some minerals. Mankind should be able to make the best use them wisely to increase the national wealth. Minerals help in accelerating the economic development of the country. Truck, jeep, car, motorcycle, train, airplanes, car, motor, etc are run by the petroleum which is found under the ground as mineral.

Wildlife and Human 

Animals are important natural resources. Many domestic animals act as sources of food for human. Wildlife provides beauty in the nature and promotes tourism which directly benefits man by providing employment opportunities. On the other hand, survival of animals depends on human activities. Activities like forest fire, poaching, deforestation depletes the wildlife and their species may reach at the verge of extinction.

Conservation of Natural Resources

Human beings maintain their life by using natural resources. These sources are to be mobilized properly and rationally. Conservation of natural resources is to be done by mankind realizing the dependence on the natural resources and living beings and their interrelationship with environment.

Principles of Natural Resource Conservation

Natural resources maintains a balanced environment on the earth by their natural process of regeneration. Micro-organisms, plants and animals create a favorable environment for their survival and continue their race for an infinite period of time. There are two principles of conservation of natural resources.

Absolute conservation

Conservation of natural resources needs to be viewed with the conservation and utilization of natural resources. Absolute conservation encompasses the quantity and quality of natural resources such as air, water, land, forest, animal, minerals, without their declination. Absolute conservation is the thinking that natural resources should be used without their utilization. Human beings including other living-beings use natural resources, which cannot be stopped. 

Major objectives of absolute conservation of natural resources are:

  • To work with nature
  • To stop work against nature
  • To interfere with non-human species only to meet basic needs
  • To stop wasting the resources
  • To protect environment from degradation while using the nature

Relative conservation

This approach of natural resources conservation emphasizes on the need of integration of conservation program while using the resources. Re-use, recycling and minimum use of the non-renewable resources like fuel, coal and minerals help in their conservation. Plant resources can conserve by making a certain provision of their utilization in limited quantity.

Conversational Use of Natural Resources

Natural resources are essential in every step of our life. We can not imagine even a second of life in the absence of these resources. The way that we exploit these resources along with conservation is its proper utilization. Conversational use of natural resources refers to the utilization of natural resources refers to the utilization of natural resources in such a way that includes the consumption as well as conservation, with the purpose of achieving the principle of sustainability. We should clearly understand the type, status and nature of the resources. 

  • Maximum use of perpetual resources.
  • Maximum production of renewable resources.
  • Minimum utilization of non-renewable resources.
  • Re-use and Recycle of non-renewable resources.

This concept is based on the principle of sustainable development which means to prolong the effects of development to the distant future. It helps preserve the flora and fauna.

Re-use

Re-use means using use the things for the next time. In re-use, the form of the resources is not changed. These are again to supply the drinks. Re-use helps conserve the natural resources in two ways. On the one hand it helps reduce the use of raw materials and on the other hand, it helps one reduce environmental pollution.

Re-cycling

Recycling is the process of making the resources able to be used after some alteration in the structure of the resources. Re-cycling includes re-melting, recollecting and reprocessing as well. The metallic utensils and plastics are re-cycled.

Impact of Human Activities on Natural Resources

Human beings depend upon the natural resources of the universe for their development activities. If they use the natural resources without their development activities. If they use the natural resources without considering their conservation, they can create a situation of imbalance in environment. Some of the important points of impact made on natural resources by human activities are explained below:

  • Scarcity of Water
  • Environmental pollution
  • Depletion of wildlife
  • Deforestation
  • Degradation in Eco-system
  • Depletion of pasture land
  • Floods, Landslides and Soil Erosion
  • Declining of ecosystem

 Scarcity of Water

Water is a renewable nature resource. water is needed for various activities of human beings, like drinking, irrigation, industry, navigation, electricity production, etc. Water scarcity leads to the degradation of vegetation which in turn increases natural disasters like soil erosion, landslides and flood.

 Environmental pollution

 The major resources of the earth like air, water and land get polluted due to human activities. Industries are established mainly to produce valuable goods like cloths, food items, beverages, cement, bricks, etc. But, these industries are also major sources of pollution for air water and land resources and the environmental pollution is caused.

Depletion of wildlife

People are destroying forest for the purpose of timber, firewood and agriculture. Beside, forest is also used for the house settlement zone. The habitat of valuable animals like rhinoceros, tiger, bear, leopard, wild cow, yak, etc. is endangered.

Deforestation

Forest is not only important to get valuable forest products but also important to maintain ecological balance. Due to extreme poverty most of the people depend on forest resources for their survival. People collect firewood, timbers, folder, etc from the forest which depletes the forest resources. Landslides, floods, climatic variations such as excessive rainfall, drought, etc are also the consequences of deforestation.

Degradation in Eco-system

Problems like depletion of forests, floods, landslides, extreme utilization of land are started to be observed due to various activities of people. Pollution caused by industrial works degrades the status of land, water and vegetation. Natural status of the earth has started to destroy due to these reasons.

Depletion of pasture land

The pasture land for animals has been depleting due to various types of development activities. Overgrazing of pasture land results in the problems like soil, landslides, deforestation etc.

 Floods, Landslides and Soil Erosion

The activities of man cause floods, landslides and soil erosion. Destruction of forest, excess use of land, cultivation of sloppy land, excess grazing, etc. have supported flood, landslides and soil erosion. Destruction of forest, excess use of land, landslides and soil erosion. It causes imbalance in the environment of hills and Terai.

8. Declining of ecosystem

A functional system operating in the environment by the interaction of living beings with their non-living environment is called ecosystem. When the resources like air, water and land get polluted then it affects the survival of plants and animals.

Conservation of Natural Resources

Human beings are the most prominent utilize and destroyer of natural resources. At the same time, he is the most thoughtful among the living beings. Therefore, it is their duty and responsibility to manage and conserve natural resources.

Conservation programmers

Forest conservation soil conservation, wildlife conservation, watershed conservation and solid waste management are the examples of natural resource conservation. Various national and international agencies have involved in such activities

  • Government agency
  • National and International Agencies
  • Non-government agencies
  • Educational Institutions
  • Inclusion in world heritage list
  • Legal Provision

 Government agency

Different ministries of the Government of Nepal like, the ministry of forest and soil conservation, ministry of science and environment, ministry of Water resource, ministry of education and sports and the program under-taken by different agencies under it, have helped in the conservation, community forest program, reserve protected area, etc. are established under the ministry of forest and soil conservation, which also helps in the conservation of natural resources.

 National and International Agencies

Different national and international agencies have been working for the conservation of natural resources. Nepal Nature Conservation Fund has conducted various programmes like environment education, sustainable development program, resource conservation etc in the Annapurna conservation area.

Non-government agencies

Various programmes for conservation and protection of natural resources and environment on national and local level are carried out by the non-government agencies.

 Educational Institutions

Various aspects of natural resource conservation and environmental management have been included in the curricula of school education. Environment education is imparted through informal educational programmes.

Inclusion in world heritage list

Chitwan National Park and Sagarmatha National Park are including in the list of World Heritage. National Parks are making effort for protection and promotion especially.

 Legal Provision

Various acts, directives and guidelines have been effective in the conservation and management of natural resources. The forest act 2049 B.S National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029 B.S, land and Watershed conservation Act 2053 B.S., has been highly effective to control pollution and integrate environment conservation programme in development activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Menu