A resource, in broad sense, refers to anything that enables an individual or an organisation to work effectively. It can be money or it can be the employees of an organisation. The higher the availability of resource more is the value addition. All the natural elements that help us to sustain ourselves in this world are our resources. Some resources have immense economic value while others do not. Many resources have cultural and artistic value too. In today’s technology-driven era, even biological wastes can be converted into efficient resources. Fossil fuel is a great example of this.
Types of Resources
All resources can be broadly categorized into types- natural resources and man-made resources. They again are of various types. Following are the different types of resources and their significance:
1. Natural Resources
All things and resources that are naturally abundant are referred to as natural resource. These can again be classified into:
a. Biotic and Abiotic Resources
Biotic and abiotic resources refer to the living and non-living forms available in nature. Humans, plants and animals fall in the first category while rocks, metals and stones are of second type. These can be renewable and non-renewable also.
Those resources which can renew themselves and are abundant in nature are renewable sources such as wind, sunlight etc.
Those which are available in nature in limited quantity and are not able to renew themselves are non-renewable resources. Minerals and fossil fuels are such example. They take millions of years to form and pose a chance to be exhausted.
b. Potential, Developed and Stock Resources
There are some resources which are available naturally and quite easily too. But till date the full potential of these resources have not been identified by the human being. Such resources are identified as potential resources. In today’s times, these resources are being utilised by the mankind to some extent but there are more to discover. The true potential is yet to be explored. Solar and wind power are two such potential resources.
There are some resources that we, the human beings, have fully explored and use them extensively. These resources are developed over the time and their full potential is already put to use. Such resources are referred to as developed resources. Fossil fuel is an excellent example of this resource. Minerals and water are also members of this category. Capacities and abilities that we extract from plants and animals for our use till date are also developed resources.
Lastly, the stock resources- there are other resources available in the nature, which have immense potential to exhibit once they are put to utilisation. But the problem is that there is lack of technology which will be adequate for the utilisation of these resources. This hinders the process of putting these resources to use and they are left as stock resources in the nature. It is a known fact that both hydrogen and oxygen can be used for high energy production. But how to do that is a question that is still unanswered by the scientists.
2. Manmade Resources
These refer to resources that are produced by humans from already available natural things. These then functions as value addition elements. These resources are renewable in most cases. Wood, cement, sand, etc are naturally available resources. Man takes them and applies techniques to make buildings or bridges and roads and so on. These are the manmade resources. The technology that is developed almost every day utilising the marvels of science and other natural resources is also a manmade resource. Being renewable, the buildings or other developments can be broken down and rebuilt for numerous times.
3. Human Resource
The skills and intelligence humans possess, are put to use to make the new man-made resources. Thus, human beings themselves are also rendered as a valuable resource. The knowledge of taking natural resources and developing new valuable resources make for human resource. Stronger human resource ensures efficient growth and development.
Conservation of Resource
Any resource is largely dependent on their availability. Thus the conservation of these resources is necessary. Saving water and trees or forest is the primary step of resource conservation. Opting for renewable sources like solar and wind power instead of fossil fuels is a wise option.
Controlled utilisation of the resources would lead to retention of the same. We will be able to use them for longer period and leave some in store for the future generations too. Sustainable development should be concentrated upon.
Use of resources should be balanced so that the stock is ever exhausted. Utilisation and development of these resources will be such that environment is left unharmed. Then only we can attain sustainability. Our beloved planet earth can remain resourceful only if we are cautious about utilising its resources in a responsible manner.