Resources: Meaning, Definition and Types

A resource has been defined as a source of supply or support generally held in reserve. Some of the fine examples of a natural resource are water, air, sunlight, soil, forests, wildlife, minerals, etc.

1. Types of resources

In general, there are three major types of resources that have been categorized on the basis of the following list of parameters.

  • Abundance
  • Availability
  • Origin
  • Life content

Well, on the basis of the first and second parameters that are abundance and availability, the resources have been grouped into two categories viz.

  1. In-Exhaustible Resources: Those resources which are present in unlimited quantity in nature are called inexhaustible resources. Such resources can be used again and again and are not likely to be exhausted by human activities. Few examples of inexhaustible natural resources are sunlight, air, etc.
  2. Exhaustible Resources: Those resources which are present in limited quantity in nature are called exhaustible resources. Such resources cannot be used again and again and are likely to be exhausted are coal, petroleum, etc. Exhaustible resources are further divided into two resources:
    • Renewable Resources: Those resources which are being continuously consumed by man but can be renewed E.g., water, soil, forests, etc.
    • Non-Renewable Resources: Those resources which are being continuously consumed by man and cannot be renewed. E.g., fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, etc.

On the basis of life content, the resources can be grouped into three categories:

  1.  Biotic: They are the living resources of the environment. E.g., plants, animals, etc.
  2. Abiotic: They are the non-living resources of the environment. E.g., air, water, etc.
  3.  In- Organic: These elements include calcium, phosphorus, etc.

Based on the origin parameter, resources can be grouped into two categories:

  1.  Natural Resources:
    • Those resources which are available with nature.
    • Those resources, the development of which depends upon human resources.
    • Those resources are essential for the development of the economy of a country.
    • Examples are Land, Water, Air, Minerals, etc.

2. Man-made Resources:

  • Those resources have been made by human beings.
  • Those resources which are products of man’s knowledge.
  • These are essential for the development of natural resources.
  • Examples are Machines, Buildings, Dams, Bridges, etc.

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