NCERT Notes for Class 8 | NCERT Quiz | NCERT Standard 8 - Social Science

Chapter 1 :  Resources

Resources : Anything that can be used to satisfy a need is a resource. Resources are generally classified into natural, human made and human. 

Natural Resources : Natural Resources are drawn from Nature and used without much modification. The air we breathe, the water in our rivers and lakes, the soils, minerals are all natural resources. Many of these resources are free gifts of nature and can be used directly.On the basis of their development and use resources can be classified into two groups, actual resources and potential resources. 

Actual Resources : Actual resources are those  resources whose quantity is known. These resources are being used in the present. The rich deposits of coal in Ruhr region of Germany and petroleum in the West Asia, the dark soils of the Deccan plateau in Maharashtra are all actual resources. 

Potential Resources : Potential resources are those whose entire quantity  may not be known and these are not being used at present. These resources could be used in the future. The level of technology we have at present may not be advanced enough to easily utilise these resources. The uranium found in Ladakh is an example of potential resource that could be used in the future. High speed winds were a potential resource two hundred years ago. Today they are an actual resource and wind farms generate energy using windmills. 

Abiotic and Biotic resources : Based on their  origin, resources can be abiotic or biotic. Abiotic resources are non-living while biotic resources are living. Soils, rocks and minerals are abiotic but plants and animals are biotic resources. 

Renewable and Non-renewable Resources : Natural resources can be broadly categorised into renewable and non-renewable resources. Renewable resources are those which get renewed or replenished quickly. Some of these are unlimited and are not affected by human activities, such as solar and wind energy. Water seems to be an unlimited renewable resource. But shortage and drying up of natural water sources is a major problem in many parts of the world today.Non-renewable resources are those which have a limited stock. Once the stocks are exhausted it may take thousands of years to be renewed or replenished. Since this period is much more than human life spans, such resources are considered non-renewable. Coal, petroleum and natural gas are some examples. 

Human Resource Development : People can make the best use of nature to create more resources when they have the knowledge, skill and the technology to do so. That is why human beings are a special resource. People are human resources. Education and health help in making people a valuable resource. Improving the quality of people’s skills so that they are able to create more resources is known as human resource development. 

Sustainable Development : Using resources carefully and giving them time to get renewed is called resource conservation. Balancing the need to use resources and also conserve them for the future is called  sustainable development. 

How to conserve our resources : The future of our planet and its people is linked with our ability to maintain and preserve the life support system that nature provides. Therefore it is our duty to ensure that.

• all uses of renewable resources are sustainable
• the diversity of life on the earth is conserved
• the damage to natural environmental system is minimised. 

Ecological footprint : The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems. It is a standardized measure of demand for natural capital that may be contrasted with the planet's ecological capacity to regenerate.  For 2006, humanity's total ecological footprint was estimated at 1.4 planet Earths – in other words, humanity uses ecological services 1.4 times as fast as Earth can renew them. 

Global hectare :   The global hectare (gha) is a measurement of biocapacity of the entire earth - one global hectare is a measurement of the average biocapacity of all hectare measurements of any biologically productive areas on the planet. If you take the sum of the world's biocapacity, then divide it by the number hectares on the Earth's surface, you get the biocapacity of one average earth hectare. When the term 'global hectare per person' is used, it refers to the amount of biologically productive land and water available per person on the planet. e.g. In 2005 there were 13.4 billion hectares of biologically productive land and water available and 6.5 billion people on the planet. This is an average of 2.1 global hectares per person. Since the world's population is growing rapidly, this number is rapidly decreasing.