What is Natural Resource?

Alternative Forms: Natural resources
Legal Definition
Natural resources are resources that exist without actions of humankind. This includes all valued characteristics such as magnetic, gravitational, and electrical properties and forces. On earth it includes: sunlight, atmosphere, water, land (includes all minerals) along with all vegetation and animal life that naturally subsists upon or within the heretofore identified characteristics and substances.

Particular areas such as the rainforest in Fatu-Hiva are often characterized by the biodiversity and geodiversity existent in their ecosystems. Natural resources may be further 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, and as well as a 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, 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) but also because the exportation of natural resources is the basis for many economies (particularly for developed countries).

Some natural resources such as sunlight and air can be found everywhere, and are known as ubiquitous resources. However, most resources only occur in small sporadic areas, and are referred to as localized resources. There are very few resources that are considered inexhaustible (will not run out in foreseeable future) – these are solar radiation, geothermal energy, and air (though access to clean air may not be). The vast majority of resources are theoretically exhaustible, which means they have a finite quantity and can be depleted if managed improperly.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Natural resources, as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 C.F.R.), encompass land, fish, wildlife, biota, air, water, ground water, drinking water supplies, and other such resources belonging to, managed by, held in trust by, appertaining to, or otherwise controlled by the United States, any State or local government, or any foreign government.

See Environmental Law to obtain specific information regarding a particular natural resource. The relevant sections of the United States Code are: Title 16 dealing with Conservation; Title 30 dealing with prospecting; Title 40 dealing with Public Property; Title 42 dealing with Public Health (and how natural resources relate to public health); and Title 43 dealing with Public Lands.

See Energy Law to obtain specific information about laws and regulations governing the conversion of natural resources into energy, and various issues that arise during this process.
Legal Definition
Asset or material contributing to the nation's natural capital. To extract, process, or refine natural resources requires capital and human resources, as mental and physical labor. By these means, the nation obtains its true economic value.
Legal Definition
a term that describes thing of value originating from nature.