Natural Resources

Land, Soil, Water, Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources of Class 8

Resources derived from the nature and used by humans are called Natural resources such as land, soil, water, plants, wildlife, mineral and power resources.


Land is an important resource. It provides for more than 95 percent of human food requirement, greater part of clothing and housing and all needs of wood for both fuel and construction. Plain 43% Net Sown Area (NSA) 54% of Plain Mountains 30% Plateau 27%


  1. Land covers only about 30% of the total area of the earth's surface.
  2. About 90% of the world's population occupies roughly 30% of its land area.
  3. Remaining 70% is either sparsely inhabited by 10% of population or is uninhabited.
  4. Sparsely populated areas mostly include the deserts and grasslands of Asia and Africa, tropical forests of South America, Africa and Southeast Asia and Polar areas
  5. Antarctica is uninhabited, except for temporary occupation by few scientists conducting research.
  6. The subtropical and mid latitude zones are occupied by approximately 66% of world population because of availability of arable land.


Physical factors such as topography, soil, and climate, availability of water and mineral resources determine the probable use of land, for example fertile plains are used as croplands, occurrence of mineral deposits favours mining, in densely populated areas land is used for other human requirement like buildings, houses, roads, rails etc.

Land use pattern of few countries of the world

land use patterns

The above table shows -

  • India has a very high percentage of arable land, but the forest cover is quite low. 57% of the total land falls under croplands and 22% under forest. Land use pattern in India
  1. Croplands -57°%
  2. Pasture - 4%
  3. Forest - 22%
  4. Other uses - 17%
  • Some couniries like Austraiia and U.K. have high percentage of pasture lands.
  • Japan has 67% of land under forests.

Lard use can also be divided on the basis of private land and community land. Private land is owned by individuals whereas, community land is owned by the community for common uses like collection of fodder. fruits, nuts or medicinal herbs. These community lands are also called common property resources. 

People and their demands are ever-growing but the availability of land is limited. The quality of land also differs from place to place. People started encroaching the common lands to build up commercial areas, housing complexes in the urban areas and to expand the agricultural land in the rural areas. Today the vast changes in the land use pattern also reflect the cultural changes in our society. Land degradation, landslides, soil erosion, desertification are the major threats to the environment because of the expansion of agriculture and constructional activities.


Growing population and their ever-growing demand has led to a large scale destruction of forest cover and arable land and has created a fear of losing this natural resource. The same piece of land has to be distributed among various uses i.e. construction of buildings, roads, railways, and grazing grounds.

So land use must be planned properly to provide best results. Careless use of iand may create serious problems such as - shortage of croplands, soil erosion Therefore, the present rate of degradation of land resources must be checked. Afforestation, land reclamation, regulated use of chemical pesticide and fertilizers and checks on overgrazing are some of the common methods used to conserve land.

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