Trees are a natural resource. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Natural Resources:Types of Natural Resources

  • Natural resources are defined as materials or substances occurring in nature which can be exploited for economic gain.
  • Examples are soil, water, mineral, forests and wild life which can be used to improve the wealth of the country.
  • It is important to ensure that the natural resources continue to benefit the generations of mankind to come.
  • Natural resources can be put into two broad categories: renewable and non-renewable resources.
  • A renewable resource is one that can be replaced by natural processes or good management so that it is never used up.
  • It can be reused or increased for example, water, forests and fisheries.
  • A non-renewable resource is that which cannot be replaced.
  • It can be used up or exhausted, for example minerals.
  • Trees are a renewable resources in that they can be replanted whereas minerals are non-renewable because once mined the quantities underground cannot be replaced.
  • Technological advancements such as recycling has blurred the line between renewable and non-renewable resources
  • A resources is anything which is of value to people.
  • Resources range from tangible objects like minerals or timber to things with creative values for example space.
  • Resources are dynamic that is, their usefulness varies from time to time and from place to place depending on changes in human wants.
  • Reserve is the unused part of the total resources which can be exploited economically in relation to the available technology.
  • Improvement in technology increases the size of the reserve.
  • Increased demand and use may reduce the size of the reserve.

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page