Environmental resources are useful things (both living and non-living) occurring naturally within a particular geographical location that is of benefit to man, animals and plants. Any useful thing we can find in water, atmosphere, vegetation and land are all examples of environmental resources.
Environmental resources, therefore, refer to resources within the environment that are useful to man. In other words, these are materials or substances and other forces like the wind that are useful to man.
Types of environmental resources:
There are five main environmental resources:
These are those elements such as water, sunlight, wind and gases (nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide) which are of benefit to man, animals and plants.
These refer to any useful material (living or non-living) inside the water that is of benefit to man, animals and plants. Water resources are some of the most important environmental resources to man. The sources of water include oceans, rivers, lakes, rain, springs, reservoirs, wells and boreholes.
These resources include all the resources one can get from the forest and savanna for the benefit of man, animals and plants. Vegetation resources include timber, roots, leaves, barks of trees, latex, fruits, fibre, firewood, wild animals, etc.
All resources of the environment are usually organized by man for optimum use. The ability of man to make the best use of these resources depends on his level of education, technology and culture.
Mineral resources are non-renewable resources. Once they are exhausted, they cannot be replaced. Mineral resources are grouped into the followings: Mineral fuel (petroleum, coal and natural gas), Ferrous and non-ferrous metals (iron, copper, tin, aluminium, lead and zinc), Industrial metal (mercury, graphite, limestone), and Ornamental minerals (gold, diamond, silver).