A resource is any physical, intellectual, or spiritual substance utilized to create greater life and living. As resources are very useful, we attach value to them. Resources help to produce goods so they have economic value. Natural resources like forests, mountains etc. are considered beautiful so they have aesthetic value. Gifts of nature such as water also have a legal value because it is our right to consume them. On the other hand, resources have an ethical value as well because it is our moral duty to protect and conserve them for the future generations.
Characteristics of resources
Resources have three main characteristics: utility, quantity (often in terms of availability), and use in producing other resources. However, this definition is not accepted by some, for example deep ecologists who believe that non-human elements are independent of human values.
The quantity of a resource refers to the total amount of a given raw material, rather than reserve, which is an economic term. Bottlenecks may form, making some resources unavailable, producing supply shocks. Resource prices are prone to increases as speculators add commodity value to a resource or when risk, such as from geopolitical issues, are seen as an influencing factor in relation to the security of resource supply.
Resource use and sustainable development
Many resources cannot be consumed in their original form. They have to be processed in order to change them into more usable commodities. This is known as resource development. With the rise in human numbers all over the world, the demand for resources has also increased. However, there is a difference in distribution of resources to different regions or countries. Developed countries use more resources than developing countries.