Nature has provided bountiful resources surrounding us for the sustenance of a better life. Thus, any part of our natural environment, Such as land, water, air, minerals, forest, grassland, wildlife, fish or even human being that can be utilized to promote the welfare of mankind, may be considered as Natural Resources. These resources along with human resources and capital play a crucial role in the expansion of national output which ultimately drives towards economic development.
Hence, the existence or the absence of favorable natural resources can facilitate or retard the process of economic development.
What are Natural Resources
Natural resources include land, forests, wildlife resources, fisheries, water resources, energy resources, marine resources, and mineral resources. These resources are usually known to man. But, nature possesses more in its bosom which is still undiscovered; for example, the vast resources of Solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal energy are yet to be fully discovered and utilized. The man is required to develop scientific techniques for their proper utilization.
Out of all those natural resources, some are an exhaustible or nonrenewable type such as minerals and oil which can be used only one time. Once exhausted, they are depleted completely. But some others, like land, water, fisheries and forests are renewable or non-renewable in nature. If proper care is taken, they can be utilized endlessly.
Steps to Utilize Natural Resources
Hence, sustainable development depends almost on the careful utilization of natural resources and maintenance of the quality of renewable resources is needed. For that, certain objectives should be followed:
- Conversion of renewable resources and economic use of exhaustible resources for sustainable development.
- Multipurpose use for resources.
- Much emphasis should be given on the development of nonconventional energy resources.
- Economic use of resources to achieve minimum waste.
- Environmental impact assessment for new projects.
- The balance of nature should not be disturbed through the exploitation of natural resources.
The land area of Bangladesh is 3 crore 38 lakh 34 thousand acres. Out of this area, the cultivable land area is 2 crore 1 lakh 57 thousand acres, while the population is 16 crore. So, efforts should be taken to increase cultivable area.
Forests are an important source of renewable natural resources that contribute substantially to economic development. They provide raw materials to a number of important industries, namely, matchboxes, paper, newsprint, rayon, furniture, construction materials etc. But there is only 17% forest area compared to the total area of Bangladesh. FAO shows it is only 10% area. But it is compulsory to have 25% forest area of a country. So, we should improve this poor condition and facilitate our development.
Proper forest policy has to be taken by the government and us all the people should help and be aware of this matter.
Bangladesh is a land of hope for mineral resources. We have huge natural resources. We have huge gas, coal, and etc. Recently, we have gained another huge source of mineral resources in the Bay of Bengal. It will boost economy. So, the government should take a proper plan.
However, Natural resources are classified into three categories
- Renewable resources that can be replenished through natural cycle’s like-fish, forests, crops, woods leather, water soil & etc.
- Non-Renewable resources that can’t be replenished through a natural process. This is also of two types-
- Recyclable which can be collected after use and can be recycled.
- Non – Recyclable
- Unaltered resources that are used outside the human body and gathering of which leaves them unaltered e.g. wildlife.
The progress of human depends upon the exploitation of different natural resources. The utilization of soil, water, coal, electricity, oil, gas and nuclear energy is very important for the environmental development. Govt. cannot go single handed in this matter. Our all concerted efforts will go a long way to utilize our natural resources and ensure economic development.