Natural resource

Natural resources are resources that exist without any actions of humankind. This includes the sources of valued characteristics such as commercial and industrial use, aesthetic value, scientific interest and cultural value. On Earth, it includes sunlight, atmosphere, water, land, all minerals along with all vegetation, and animal life.[1][failed verification][2][3][4] Natural resources can be part of our natural heritage or protected in nature reserves.

The rainforest in Fatu-Hiva, in the Marquesas Islands, is an example of an undisturbed natural resource. Forest provides timber for humans, food, water and shelter for the flora and fauna tribes and animals. The nutrient cycle between organisms form food chains and foster a biodiversity of species.
The Carson Fall in Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia is an example of undisturbed natural resources. Waterfalls provide spring water for humans, animals and plants for survival and also habitat for marine organisms. The water current can be used to turn turbines for hydroelectric generation.
The ocean is an example of a natural resource. Ocean waves can be used to generate wave power, a renewable energy source. Ocean water is important for salt production, desalination, and providing habitat for deep-water fishes. There is biodiversity of marine species in the sea where nutrient cycles are common.
A picture of the Udachnaya pipe, an open-pit diamond mine in Siberia. An example of a non-renewable natural resource.

Particular areas (such as the rainforest in Fatu-Hiva) often feature biodiversity and geodiversity in their ecosystems. Natural resources may be classified in different ways. Natural resources are materials and components (something that can be used) that can be found within the environment. Every man-made product is composed of natural resources (at its fundamental level). A natural resource may exist as a separate entity such as fresh water, air, as well as any living organism such as a fish, or it may exist in an alternate form that must be processed to obtain the resource such as metal ores, rare-earth elements, petroleum, and most forms of energy.

There is much debate worldwide over natural-resource allocations. This is particularly true during periods of increasing scarcity and shortages (depletion and overconsumption of resources).