on Natural Resources:
Natural resources are a set of objects of animate and inanimate components of the surrounding environment that people use for meeting their material and cultural needs. Natural resources are classified according to different criteria: belonging to the different components of nature (mineral, climate, forests, water, etc.), renewable and non-renewable, inexhaustible, etc. Natural resources include solar energy, atmosphere, hydrosphere, ground vegetation, soil, wildlife, landscape and minerals.
Since the 1970s, the concept evolves and tends to include the resources necessary or useful to any organization or ecosystem, as well as to all socio-economic sectors. Thus, the surfaces of available bioproductive land (a component of agricultural sector), the quality of the water or air, the appearance of landscapes, biodiversity are other aspects of the natural resources concept.
Vulnerability or low availability or low renewability of resources characterize some non-renewable resources (e.g., oil), as opposed to renewable resources (e.g., biomass) that are not inexhaustible. As humanity extends demographically and in terms of the ecological footprint, there is strong need for sustainable resources management.
The concept of natural resource (expressed in this particular form) seems to be relatively recent. It has also evolved since the 1970s accompaned by advances in scientific knowledge and technical progress (diversity has become a new resource for genetic engineering, enhanced by biological patents being, however, a great source for discussion on ethical reasons and ecotechnological risk).
The first natural resources include useful biomass and raw materials, as well as forms of energy useful for men and especially to agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and to industry (firewood, animal traction, windmills and water, and finally nuclear and fossil fuels).
For example, from antiquity to the industrial era, salt had a great value, not because it was rare mineral, but because it was vital to the health (it was used to preserve food by salting), and inaccessible far from the sea, it was subject to significant taxes. Oil then had much less value.
These values ??were reversed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when fossil fuels have become vital to the industry, fisheries, and agriculture, but also for the construction, transportation and many services. And if coltan has value both for the Europeans, Americans and other technologically advanced countries, but also for some underdeveloped regions of Africa, it is because market relations have come into contact.
In the late twentieth century with the emergence and rapid spread of the concept of sustainable development, in reaction to the degradation and depletion or disappearance of many of the natural resources, the concept of ecological function and ecological service has expanded the resource natural to useful or essential resources not only to humans but also to entire ecosystems.
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