Here is an essay on ‘Natural Resources’ for class 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Natural Resources’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on Natural Resources
- Essay on the Introduction to Natural Resources
- Essay on the Types of Natural Resources
- Essay on the Causes of Depletion of Resources
- Essay on the Conservation of Natural Resources
1. Essay on the Introduction to Natural Resources:
Our nature is bountiful. It has variety of plants, animals, minerals, fuels, water, soil etc. on which man is dependent for his daily needs and luxuries. All such substances used by man for sustenance and welfare are called resources.
Man is dependent on plants and animals. Plants and animals in turn are dependent on natural substances like air, water, soil, minerals etc. All such resources existing in nature are called natural resources.
Energy from Sun:
The sun is the main source of energy for the earth. Green plants use this energy to prepare food for all other organisms on this earth by the process of photosynthesis. Thus, green plants convert solar energy into chemical energy which is stored in plants. Animals also get their energy from plants. Therefore, all living organisms directly or indirectly depend upon the sun as the source of their energy.
Man Requires more Resources:
The man appeared on this earth only about a million years ago. In the beginning, his needs were few because his culture, knowledge and other faculties were not fully developed. Then, he gradually started gaining superiority over other organisms by virtue of his intelligence.
Man has mastered the art of fulfilling some of his basic needs by artificial methods. He soon learnt the art of controlling and modifying the environment for his comforts. With the advancement in science and technology; his standard of living, his needs gradually started increasing. He made tools to fight and hunt wild animals. He learnt techniques of cultivation and started growing food for himself.
He also started domesticating useful animals for milk, wool, meat, eggs etc. He cleared forest to make houses, cities, industries, roads, bridges, dams, agricultural fields etc. The greatest achievement in the progress of man was the development of languages and the methods of transport and communications. With these developments, which other organisms could not develop, man started utilizing natural resources much more than other animals for his advantages and welfare.
2. Essay on the Types of Natural Resources:
Natural resources are of two types:
(A) Renewable natural resources.
(B) Non-renewable natural resources.
(A) Renewable Natural Resources:
Renewable resources are those which are regenerated through natural-cycles. For example, oxygen in the air is regenerated through photosynthesis by the plants and fresh water is renewed through the water- cycle.
Therefore, air and water are renewable resources. Sun, plants, animals, wind and soil are other renewable resources. There are chances that these renewable natural resources may exhaust after some time. This is because of the limited availability of substances in nature.
(i) Water as a Renewable Natural Resource:
Water is a renewable natural resource and vital for all life. There is no substitute for water. Man uses water not only for drinking but also for a number of other activities like bathing, cooking, washing, irrigation, power generation and also as a means of transportation.
Our water requirement is fulfilled entirely by nature. We get water through rainfall and from oceans, rivers, canals and wells. Whenever the water-cycle in nature is disrupted, the ecological-balance in nature is disturbed.
Water is often wasted during its use. The rivers and canals near the big cities get polluted due to industrial wastes or sewage which is thrown into them. Indiscriminate felling of plants by man to satisfy his greed has also upset the water-cycle in nature. This has resulted in water shortage. Water is renewable only if it is protected against wastage, pollution and if a thick cover of forest plants is maintained.
(ii) Soil as a Renewable Natural Resource:
Soil is also a renewable natural resource. Man depends on agriculture for food, clothing, medicine and many other necessities. Land is also being used for industrialization and urbanization. We know that the surface of the earth is limited and so is its soil.
Random and excessive cutting down of trees, quarrying for minerals and ores followed by heavy rains leads to washing away of the rich top soil necessary for plants. It may even lead to landslides causing great damage to man.
Growing crop after crop of the same type without replenishing the nutrients that are used-up results in the land becoming useless for cultivation after a few years. If plants do not grow on the land, soil tends to be washed away by rain or wind causing soil erosion.
It is clear that land is good for agricultural purposes when it is fertile and land is fertile when it is covered with or surrounded by trees. For agricultural purposes, man has altered the texture and fertility of large tracts of fertile land and made the land unfit for cultivation and finally converted them into desert areas.
The Thar Desert, for example, is entirely a man-made desert. At one time it was so thick with forest that Emperor Akbar went hunting there. Soil is a renewable resource only if it is protected from erosion and if suitable amount of organic matter is added to it from time to time. Barren soil cannot renew itself as it remains exposed to natural forces which cause erosion.
(iii) Forest as a Renewable Natural Resource:
Forests are one of the most useful renewable resources. They are our national wealth. They provide the best habitat for various kinds of wild animals. Forests are a must for the survival of animals. They purify air, control pollution to some extent, regulate the climate, control floods, prevent soil erosion and maintain soil fertility.
We also get numerous useful products like wood, rubber, gum, resin, honey, bee wax, medicinal plants, bamboo, lac, timber etc. from plants. One of the most important uses of forest is that it helps in maintaining the ecological-balance of a place.
Deforestation, over-grazing, forest fires, and several pests and diseases have destroyed our forests. Forests are renewable resource only if man takes care to replant the trees which he cuts down.
(iv) Wildlife as a Renewable Natural Resource:
Deforestation and indiscriminate hunting has led to a depletion of wildlife. Wildlife includes all plants and animals that are not domesticated, but in strict sense, they are the undomesticated animals specially mammals, reptiles, birds and fishes which are generally hunted. Wildlife is very important. Killing of one species may cause considerable disturbance in the food-chain and food-web and thus may upset other species. In the long term, these changes may also affect man.
Snakes, for example, are feared by most and are therefore killed indiscriminately. All snakes are, however, not poisonous. They play a key role in the balance of nature by acting as predators of rats and mice. Killing a large number of snakes leads to an increase in the population of rats and mice. Rats, in turn, damage crops and eat-up stored grain. Ultimately, this affects man.
Due to over-exploitation of forests, many plants and animals have become extinct. The Cheetah, the Sikkim stag, the Mountain quail, the Pink headed duck etc., are example of wild animals which have become extinct in India in recent times. Some species of cranes, bustards, partridges, pigeons, doves, hornbills, Kashmir stag, swamp-deer etc. have either become exceedingly scarce or are threatened with extinction.
Wildlife is renewable only if indiscriminate hunting and deforestation is prevented. Hence, it is clear from the above that most of the renewable resources are exhaustible and care needs to be taken about their utilization.
(B) Non-Renewable Natural Resources:
Non-renewable resources are those which are not replaced in the environment after their utilization. Metals, coal, natural gas, minerals etc. are non-renewable resources. Man has to be very careful in using these resources so that he may obtain the maximum benefit from them. This is because these resources are limited in quantity and are not renewable.
3. Essay on the Causes of Depletion of Resources:
The main causes of depletion of resources are as follows:
The demand for natural resources is increasing as the human population is increasing at a tremendous rate.
More and more cities and towns are coming up for providing shelter and other basic necessities for the ever increasing population. This has resulted in the depletion of some resources.
Several new industries are being established in rural as well as urban areas to generate employment and to produce consumer articles for daily use. This has resulted in over-exploitation of our natural resources.
Deforestation means large scale cutting down of forests. The depletion of forests has also reduced the other renewable resources like soil, water and wildlife.
(v) Mining and Quarrying:
Unscientific mining and quarrying for the extraction of minerals and ores have also depleted resources.
Over-grazing by cattle in general and sheep and goat in particular increase soil erosion.
(vii) Intensive Agriculture:
Repeated growing of the same crop year-after-year and excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides reduces soil productivity and makes the soil sick.
Pollution of environment, rivers, ponds, dams and oceans by insecticides and waste products of the industries have depleted wildlife.
(ix) Forest Fires:
Forest fires not only destroy vegetation but also wildlife.
(x) Plant Pests:
Some bacteria, fungi, viruses, insects, pests and diseases cause great damage to the forests and other field crops.
Many species of plants and animals have become extinct due to indiscriminate hunting.
Pollution of air, water and soil is also depleting natural resources to a great extent.
(xiii) Soil Erosion:
Carrying away of top soil, which is rich with nutrients, by water or wind is called soil erosion. This causes damage to soil as well as plants.
(xiv) Natural Forces:
Natural forces such as landslides, earthquakes, floods, ice and snow also cause damage to plants, animals, soil, water etc.
(xv) Sewage and Town Refuse:
Improper disposal or treatment of sewage and town refuse also disturbs the ecological-balance in nature.
(xvi) Dams & Canals:
Construction of dams, canals and other water reservoirs also causes depletion of resources.
4. Essay on the Conservation of Natural Resources:
1. Conservation of Renewable Natural Resources:
Man’s progress in the present days in this world is directly dependent on renewable natural resources. If we wish to make steady progress, we should conserve natural resources so that they last longer for human welfare. It is, therefore, necessary that natural resources are used judiciously.
Conservation is defined as the judicious and wise use of natural resources without wasting them and replacing them whenever possible. Thus, these resources can be utilized without causing any ecological- imbalance. We should use only what is necessary.
(A) Conservation of Soil:
The conservation of land or soil is known as soil conservation.
It is done by:
(i) Prevention of Soil Erosion:
Soil erosion can be prevented by the following methods:-
(a) Trees should not be cut down unless absolutely necessary. Only a few trees should be cut down at one time and whenever possible trees should be planted (afforestation). Plants like bamboos and other suitable species should be planted. These plants help as soil binders by not allowing top soil to run down with the flow of water. The roots of these plants hold the soil firmly together.
(b) Trees should be planted in rows. Trees planted in rows act as wind-breakers. They break the force and speed of a strong wind and prevent it from carrying away the fertile top soil and help to prevent wind erosion.
(c) In agricultural fields, there should be proper irrigation and drainage system so that top soil is not washed away with the flow of water.
(d) On slope of hills, contour-farming or terrace-farming should be practiced to prevent direct loss of top soil, due to water running down the slopes.
(e) Agricultural land should not be left unused for a long time to prevent wind erosion. Cultivation of crops should be a regular feature.
(ii) Preservation of Soil Fertility:
Soil fertility can be preserved by the following methods:
(a) The same crop should not be grown year after year. This results in the depletion of essential elements of a particular type in the soil. Different crop should be sown in different seasons. The practice of crop-rotation should be followed. It consists of growing a pulse crop or a leguminous crop alternately with any other crop. This is because the root nodules of leguminous plants contain the bacteria rhizobium which has the capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen.
(b) Green manure or synthetic fertilizers should be added to the soil to replace-what is taken up by plants as nutrients.
(c) Agriculture Development Officer or Gram Sevak should be consulted for the type of fertilizer to be used for different crops.
(B) Conservation of Water:
There are two main methods for conservation of water:-
(i) Maintenance of the Water-Cycle:
(a) Healthy forests are essential for facilitating rainfall in various regions. Therefore, the water-cycle will depend on the preservation and planting of trees.
(b) The water in swamps, marshes, tanks and lakes must be carefully guarded. Wetland areas should not be filled with mud and reclaimed as land as they play an important role in the water-cycle.
(ii) Prevention of Water Pollution:
(a) Industrialists should be advised not to empty their industrial wastes directly into lakes and rivers. If at all the waste is to be poured into running waters or lakes, the waste material should be treated and filtered out.
(b) Ship and oil tankers should not dump their oil in the oceans.
(c) The organic wastes from cities (sewage) should not be allowed to pollute the surrounding water. Special sewage plants should be made to bring about oxidation of sewage. Finally, the water free of sewage should be released into rivers or lakes.
2. Conservation of Non-Renewable Natural Resources:
Since non-renewable resources cannot be replaced once they are exhausted, we should use these as sparingly as possible. Among these the important ones are minerals, coal and oil. Alternatively, we should search for such sources of power generation which will not be exhausted i.e. wind and solar energy.
Industries which recover and recycle waste materials should be encouraged because they play a major role in conserving natural resources. Wasteful use of resources should be discouraged.
After recognizing the impact of human interference causing changes in the environment, every citizen should try to conserve the natural resources and the natural environment. Only then can man hope to lead a heal their life in future.
“This universe is the creation of the Supreme Power, meant for the benefit, of all His creations, Individual species, must, therefore, learn to enjoy, its benefits, by forming a part of the system, in close relation, with other species. Let not anyone species, encroach upon the others rights.”