Natural or physical environment refers to all ecological and geographical factors and forces surrounding us. We as human beings live and function within the framework of various aspects of nature such as climatic conditions, changes in weather. Natural resources, topographical conditions and so on.
Natural resources included land, water resources, forests, fisheries, marine resources, mineral resources, climate, rain fall and topography. Some of these resources are known to human beings. For example, people of a country known the size of land surface, the climate, the area under forests, topography of various regions, the discovered mines. But nature contains much more that what is known to mankind.
The discovery of new national resources can add to the natural wealth. For example, monazite sand deposits on the beaches of Kerala and Tamilnadu had been known for several decades. But these resources have become most valuable and are now called ‘rare earths’ due to advances in the science of nuclear energy. We generally refer to the known a discovered natural resources and their present uses. But the natural wealth may be materially altered with the discovery of unknown natural resources.
Some of the natural resources (e.g., land, water, forests and fisheries) are renewable others (e.g., minerals and oils) are exhaustible and can be used only one. Therefore, careful use of the exhaustible resources and maintenance off the quality of renewable resources are essential for economic and social development.