Resource: Anything which has some utility for us is called a resource. Some resources have economic value, while some do not. For example, milk has economic value, but a beautiful landscape has no economic value. But both are important because both satisfy some human needs.
Time and technology are two important factors which can change a substance into resources. For example, petroleum was not a resource before people learnt to use it.
Resources are usually classified into three types, viz. natural, human made and human resources.
Natural Resource: Resources which are obtained from nature are called natural resources. Some of the natural resources can be used directly, while for using some others we need the help of some technologies.
Natural resources can be classified on the basis of their level of development and use, origin, stock and distribution.
When a natural resource undergoes drastic change by human intervention, it becomes human-made resource. For example, iron ore is processed to make steel and hence steel is a man-made resource. Buildings, bridges, railways, machines, etc. are examples of human-made resources. Technology is also a human-made resource.
People are the human resources. Education and health improve the quality of human resources. Improving the quality of people's skills to enable them to create more resources is called human resource development.
Most of the natural resources are limited in stock. Even some of the renewable resources can become scarce if they are not used judiciously. We are already facing shortage of water at many places because of excessive exploitation of water. Scientists predict that coal and petroleum are going to be exhausted in the near future. Hence, it is important to conserve the natural resources. Conservation not only secures our life but also the life of future generations. Making a balance between our need and conservation of resources is called sustainable development. We should follow the three Rs of conservation for sustainable development.
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