Air, Water, Land, Forest Resource, Wildlife and Minerals

Subject: Enviroment Population and Health

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Natural resources are very large in their types and importance. Air, water, land, forest, wildlife, and minerals are important natural resources. This note provides us the information with the types and status of natural resources.
Air, Water, Land, Forest Resource, Wildlife and Minerals

Natural resources are very large in their types and importance. People use natural resources for their benefits. Each natural resource has its own importance.


Air is colorless, order less, and tasteless mixture of gases found in the earth's atmosphere. It forms a layer on the earth above land and water surface. It comprises 78 % nitrogen, 21% oxygen, 0.03% carbon dioxide, 0.1% other 4 gases and water vapor.

The importance of air are given below:

  • It helps to balance the water cycle.
  • The carbon dioxide is used by the plants to prepare their food during photosynthesis process.
  • The ozone layer of the atmosphere helps to the life of the earth by preventing the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun that enters into the earth.
  • Air is also used for energy production. The air is used to produce energy in Kagbeni of Mustang district.


It covers about seventy one percent of the earth's surface. Water is used use for drinking and other human activities, growing crops, and most in industrial used. In Nepal, people have the severe problem of drinking water practically in the urban areas. Sources of water is degrading where as the demand of water is increasing for the growing population.

The importance of water is given below:

  • Live stock management
  • Irrigation facility
  • Drinking process
  • Domestic purposes
  • Hydro-powergeneration


It is essential natural resource. The Geo- physical structure of the country varies according to the nature of rock and its structure. Soil is formed by weathering of rock and mixing of dead plants and animals. The formation of soil depends upon the climate, topography, nature of rock and biological changes. Due to this reason, soil formation may take from a few years to hundreds of years according to place.

The land feature of Nepal can be summarized as given below:

  • Mountain region: It lies in the northern part of Nepal. It occupies about thirty five percent of the total land of our country. It consists of the soil formed from sedimentary rock and it is not fully matured enough to cultivate crops. Sandy loam and silty soil are found in this region. Therefore, this region is less fertile. Plants like potatoes and barely are suitable to grow in this type of soil.
  • Hilly region : It lies between the mountain and terai region and occupies forty two percent of the total land. The soil is formed by igneous rock and sedimentary rock. The soil consists of sand and pebbles. So, it is not highly suitable for agricultural production. Silt loam soil and loam types of soil are found in this region. Soil erosion is very high due to the supply land.
  • Terai region : The structure of the land is plain in this region. It lies at the southern part of Nepal and occupies twenty three percent of the total land. The soil is alluvial, soil is fertile. Therefore, terai region is also known as the granary of Nepal.

The importance of soil is given below:

  • It gives shelter to many living creatures. House is made on land.
  • Land is the sources of food, grains and other basic needs. We grow crops and get food from them.
  • It is also the source of many resource. Major minerals are achieved from land which can be used for various purposes.
  • Wet land ecosystem of the land helps to preserve the extinct plants and animals.


Nepal has board variation of altitude from place. This is the reason that Nepal has been a land of different ecosystem and water ships. Because of the climate and topographical condition, there are diverse types of forest in our country. On the basis of physical features, climate, soil and local surrounding.

Forests can be divided into various types or groups, they are given below:

  • Tropical forest : Tropical forest is in the terai belt of Nepal up to an altitude of 1000 meters from the sea level. In this belt, there is high temperature and heavy rain fall. This forest is evergreen forest and has high temperature. Sal, Sisoo, Khayar, Chap, Palas, Katus, etc. are some of the species found in this belt. Several plants useful for medicine and some are useful for painting. A variety of flowering plants have equally beautiful environment of tropical forest of Nepal. In different places of this area, thick grassy shrubs are also found.
  • Sub- tropical forest :This forest extends from 1200 m to 2000 m in the west and 1000 m to 1700 m in the east. It mainly includes the forest of southern hills of Mahabharata range and upper parts of the churia hills. Sub- tropical forest is extended in the form of belt from eastern to western Nepal. The major forest flora of this region also consist of temperate forest flora like Katus, Simal, Bamboo, Kafal and the upper part of this region also consists of temperate forest flora like Pine and Rhododendron.
  • Temperate forest: Temperate forest is found at an altitude of 1, 700 m to 3,00 m in east and at an altitude of 2000m to 3,100 m in the west. The forest is divided into two parts. Lower temperate forest (2000 to 2,700) m in the east and (1, 700 to 2,400) m in the east. Upper temperate forest (2,700 to 3,100 ) m in east and (2,400 to 3000) m meter in the east. This type of forest is extended from the east to west hill part of Mahabharata range.
  • Alpine forest : Alpine forest extends above the temperate region in the northern part of Nepal. It is also divided into lower alpine zone and upper zone. The lower alpine zone extends from 3000 to 4200 m in the western part of Nepal and up to 3000 m in the eastern Nepal. Dhupi, Salla, varieties of rhododendron and other bushy plants are the main vegetation of this region. In this region, trees are found up to a certain altitude which is also known as tree line. Around 4000 m altitude is considered as tree line in Nepal. The vegetation comprises lichen, grasses and mosses, etc.

Importance of forest is given below:

  • Forest is the shelter of wild birds and animals.
  • It includes rainfall and protects the natural environment.
  • It contributes in the conservation of soil, wildlife and water sources, etc.
  • Fruits, colors, medicinal herbs, etc. are found in the forest which adds the natural beauty.


The uncultivated plants and non- domesticated animal resources are called wildlife. Nepal is rich is rich in its biodiversity. According to project profile 1995, Nepal has got 181 species of mammals, 844 species of birds, 6356 species of butterflies, 5000 species of insects and 185 species of fishes. Reptiles like golden monitor lizard, gharal, and Asiatic rock python are also found in Nepal.

The importance of wildlife is given below:

  • Many wildlife species provide food. In some parts of the world insects are eaten as source of protein.
  • Wildlife animals are a source of beauty, joy and recreational pleasure for large number of people.
  • Wildlife helps in the development of tourism industry.
  • People get meat, eggs, milk, milk products like cheese butter, cream, etc.


The metallic or non metallic substance found on the c rust of the earth is called mineral. Mineral is an important natural resources needed in construction and decoration. Soil, coal, clay and limestone are some of the examples of non metallic minerals. Copper, aluminum, etc. are the metallic minerals. It takes thousand years to form such minerals. As they are the non renewable natural resources, special care is needed while consuming them.

The status of major of our country is given below:

  • Iron ore : It is found in Phulchowk, Rammechap, Chitwan, Makwanpur, Nuwakot and Pyuthan. It is used for constructional purposes, the cheap imported from the foreign country has made the iron of Nepal expensive and ineffective.
  • Mica: It is another type of minerals. It is found in Bajhang, Doti, Bhojpur, Lamjung, Nuwakot and Sindhuli.
  • Copper: Copper is an important mineral used for making various types of utensils. Only three types of copper mines are running in Nepal; Wapsa, Gyazi and Okhaharbot. It is found in Bhudakhola of Tanahun district, Gorkha, Illam, Makwanpur, Nuwakot, Baitadi, Baglung and Taplejung.
  • Zinc: Zinc is found in Kathmandu, Rasuwa, Nuwakot and Sindhuipalchowk.
  • Limestone: Limestone is the required raw material for cement factory. Chovar hill of Kathmandu valley and Bhainse of the Makwanpur districts are the major sources of these minerals. The former is supposed to have 15.3 megatons and the later eight megatons of limestone.

The development of mineral resources to the availability of the mineral resources. Minerals are the sources of income generation.

The importance of mineral resources is given below:

  • Minerals help to bloom the economy of the country. The mineral like gold, iron, and petroleum can be exported to foreign currency can be obtained.
  • Minerals are used for constructional purposes. The iron rods, the utensils and some furniture are made by utilizing these natural resources.
  • Minerals are used for aesthetic purpose. The minerals like gold, silver and diamond enhance the beauty of a person.
  • The minerals like marble, slate and other are also used to decorate the house.
Things to remember
  • Air, water, land, forest, wildlife, and minerals are important natural resources.
  • The land feature of Nepal is divided into hill, mountain and terai.
  • There are three types of forest tropical, sub-tropical, alpine, and temperate forest.
  • It includes every relationship which established among the people.
  • There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
  • It is a network of social relationships which cannot see or touched.
  • common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.
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Questions and Answers
The components of nature such as land, water, minerals, air, forest, wildlife, climate etc. which are not made by human are natural resources.
Two examples of intangible resources are:
  • Solar energy from sun
  • Air

Resources, which can be regenerated out are called renewable resources

Natural resources which cannot be regenerated if finished once are called non- renewable resources.

The percentage composition of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are:

  1. Oxygen - 21%
  2. Carbon dioxide - 0.03%
The water that exists in the outer part of the earth surface of the land is called surface water. For example, river, streams, lakes oceans etc.
Different types of forest are listed below:
  • Tropical forest
  • Subtropical forest
  • Temperate forest
  • Alpine forest
Natural resources are classified into three groups. They are as follows:
  • Perpetual resources
  • Renewable resources
  • Non-renewable resources
Three perpetual resources are:
  • Solar energy from sun
  • Wind energy
  • Energy of flowing water and tides, etc.
Tropical forest is found at an altitude of 1000 to 1200 m above from the sea level.
Subtropical forest is found at an altitude of 1200 to 2000 m from the sea level of the western part of Nepal but 1000 to 1700 m in eastern part.
Gold is found in the sand of various rivers like Kaligandaki, Marsyangdi, Budhigandaki and Sunkoshi.
Geographical survey and exploration of minerals in a scientific way was started from 2024 B.S. in Nepal.
In Nepal, 100 species of reptiles and 635 species of butterflies are found.
Non-renewable resources should be used more carefully because these are available in limited amount and cannot be regenerated.
Two alternatives of fuel energy are:
  • Solar energy from sun
  • Electricity generated from water resources.
Tropical forest is found in the Terai, Chure region and in the low altitude of Mahabharata hills.
844 Species of birds are found in Nepal.
The concept that natural resources should be kept in the existing state without disturbing their quality and quantity is called absolute conservation.

The features of absolute conservation are:

  1. It encompasses the quality and quantity without declination.
  2. It is useful for rare animals and endangered species.
Relative conservation approach is not always possible because for this people should follow the ways of protecting, regenerating the resources along with consumption.
Use of natural resources, maintaining their quality and quantity with an aim to conserve it for future generation is known as conservational use of natural resources.
The importance of natural resources are:
  • Shelter: The availability of resources like land, water, forest etc. is the main settlement place of living being. These resources provide shelter for different creatures. We live on land; aquatic animals live in water and wild animals in forest.
  • Natural beauty: Natural beauty maintains the beauty of the country. Natural resources like mountain, lakes, rivers, streams, gorges, wild animals, vegetation are the natural beauty in our country.
  • Sources of food stuff: Land and forest are very important natural resources. Human beings produce food grains, oil, cash crops, clothes, etc. by cultivating in land and far making shelter timber, wood, colors, herbs are collected from forest.
  • Economic development: Human beings get forest products, minerals, animal products, etc. form natural resources. Proper mobilization of natural resources helps in the economic development of the country.
The importances of natural resources are:
  • Fresh air and water
  • Shelter
  • Sources of foodstuff
  • Natural beauty
  • Tourism development
  • Economic development
  • Balance of eco-system and environment
  • Study and research area
The major importance of air are as follows:
  • It helps in respiratory process of the living creatures.
  • It helps to separate the seeds and crops after its harvesting.
  • It helps to balance the environment, ecosystem and air cycle.
  • It helps to move cloud in the atmosphere
  • It helps to change the season in the environment.
  • It helps to run the windmill along with increases in the national incomes.
Name of gases


Nitrogen 78
Oxygen 21
Carbondioxide 0.03
Argon 0.93
Other gases 0.04
Total 100
The importance of water resources are:
  • For irrigation in agricultural activities.
  • For the balance of ecosystem in environment.
  • For the development of hydropower.
  • For industrial development.
  • For economic development.
The forest of Nepal can be divided onto four categories:
  • Tropical forest
  • Subtropical forest
  • Temperate forest
  • Alpine forest
Tropical forest: Tropical forest is situated in the southern part of Nepal at the altitude of 100 to 200 m from sea level. Tropical forest is found in the Terai, chovar region and in the low altitude of Mahabharata Hills. This area is very hot so rainfall occurs very high due to this natural environment, plants and evergreen. The main trees of this forest are sal, sissau, khayar, chanp, simal, palas, bamboo, jamun etc.
Subtropical forest: Subtropical forest is found at an altitude of 1200 to 2000 m from the sea level on the western part of Nepal. It is located in the Southern part of Mahabharata range and upper part of Chure. It is extended as belt from east to west. Sal, Sissu, Simal, Salla, Kans, Bamboo etc are found in this forest.
Temperate forest is divided into two groups: Lower forest and upper temperate forest. The lower forest is found at an altitude of 2000 to 2700 m in the west and 1700 to 2400 m in the east. The upper forest is found at an altitude of 2700 to 3100 m in the western part and mid western part and 2400 to 2800 m in the eastern part. The plants are coniferous in shape because of cold climate in this region. This type of forest extends from east to west hilly part of Mahabharata region. The main trees of this region are Timur, Chiraito, Panchaule, Jatamasi etc. The trees in this forest are covered with mosses. The forest products of this forest can be used for making papers, color and paints attractive furniture, medicine, etc.
There are three sources of water:
  • Rain water
  • Surface water
  • Underground water
The importance of water resources are:
  • For irrigation in agricultural activities
  • Development of hydroelectricity
  • Balance of ecosystem in environment
  • Settlement of aquatic animals
  • Domestic requirements
  • Industrial development
  • Economic development
The creatures that live in the forest are known as wildlife. Nepal is rich in animals because of geographical feature and varied climate. A number of wild lives are found in Nepal due to rich biodiversity. The number of animals and birds are being depleted day by day due to lack of conservation activities. So, for the conservation of wildlife various national parks are wildlife reserves should be established. There are various NGOs and INGOs working for the conservation of wildlife. People from various places come to these national parks to know different species of animals, their habitat. Some of them come for trekking in jungle as an adventure. There are various activities done with the animals like elephant ride, elephant bath, jungle Safari, Sports like elephant polo attracts numbers of people and tourists. People enjoy and get satisfaction by watching the wildlife. Aldo, there are some wildlife reserve like Dhorpatan in Nepal which allows hunting. Hence, every activities related to wildlife attracts tourists and thus foster tourism development.
The importance of forest resources are:
  • Sources of firewood, timber, bushes, grass, herbs, etc.
  • Sources of greeneries and oxygen.
  • Helps in industrial development.
  • Availability if infrastructure.
  • Establishment of National Parks, conservation areas, wildlife reserve, garden, etc.
  • Shelter for wild animals and birds.
  • Balance of ecosystem and environment.
  • Natural beauty.
  • Control of the natural calamities like landslide, soil erosion, etc.
  • Economic development
  • Study and research are.
The valuable treasures which are found in the crust of the earth are called mineral. Metallic and non-metallic things, fuel, gases etc are some of the minerals.
The importances of mineral resources are:
  • Helps in economical development.
  • Minerals, such as gold, silver, diamond are used for aesthetic purpose.
  • Petroleum products are used as source of fuel.
  • Helps in development of infrastructure.
  • Helps in decoration of housing and building.
  • Essential to run the industries.
  • Can be used for study and researches purpose
Minerals found in Nepal are:
  • Copper: It is used in making pots and electrical wires.
  • Limestone: Limestone extracted from limestone deposited, it is used in current factors.
  • Talc stone: This is used in construction and cosmetics.
  • State: Slates are used in decoration houses and making roof of the house.
  • Nickel: it is used for making high quality steel.
The importance of mineral resources on the economic and social development of the country are:
  • Minerals such as gold, silver, diamond etc are used for aesthetic purpose.
  • Minerals like marble, slate etc are use to decorate houses.
  • Import and export business of minerals develops the economy of the country.
  • Minerals are essential to run industries which ultimately fosters the economic development of the country.
  • Minerals are essential for the constructional purposes and helps in development of infrastructure.
There is wide variation in altitude of land of Nepal. That's why Nepal has become the land of difficult ecosystems and water sheds. Because of the geographical variation, there are different types of natural forests in our country. In the southern plain and mid terai region there is tropical forest and vegetation. In the mid halls and Himalayan region, we find the sub tropical forests and vegetation. Forest is one of the various natural resources. About 29% of the land is covered by the bushes and herbs where the bushy area is the defrosted area. About 11.8% is covered by the grassland. Forests are classified into different groups on the basis of physical feature, climate, soil, local surroundings, etc. They are tropical forest, subtropical forest, temperate forest and Alpine forest.
Natural resources like hills, mountains, birds, lakes, waterfalls, forests, etc. decorates the nature very beautifully. The beauty and diversity of natural resources attract everyone. People can have the pleasure of these aspects of nature. So, the people from various countries travel various places to observe the beauty of nature. Due to this reason, tourists are attracted toward it. A number of students, researchers, visitors are attracted to see and visit the natural resources for this different kinds of conservation area, wildlife resources national parks can be established. They are the main tourism sectors to attract them as people come for different kinds of adventures like jungle safari, elephant riding, hunting, trekking etc. Thus, natural resources help to develop tourism industry.
Land is one of the most important natural resources. Geographical structure of every country is different because of nature, structure and quality of rocks. It affects the condition and structure of land. Soil is formed from weathering of rocks, decomposition of dead and decaying creatures and from other physical and chemical process. The soil formation process depends on the climate, geographical feature, time, original rocks; biological activities etc. land is main settlement of all terrestrial animals and human beings. Our settlement is impossible in the absence of land. People use land for making their houses and planting food crops. They produce grains, fruits and vegetables from the land. Land is only place where road, building, parks etc. are constructed. Utilizing land properly, human beings can uplift their living standard.
Water is the main constituent of human body. It occupies about 65% of the total body weight. One third of the earth surface is covered by water. Water is one essential natural resource for all living beings. Water is used in various ways in human life from birth to death. Water is used for drinking, cooking food, cleaning, irrigating land etc. In the absence of water human beings cannot even get food grains in a regular interval of time, the weather becomes dry. As a result, the temperature rises. If it is too dry, it becomes unfavorable environment to all living beings including human beings. Different human activities pollute water which adversely affects their health. So, it is necessary to pay proper attention on cleanliness of water resources.
Minerals are the valuable treasures which are found in the crust of the earth. Metallic and nonmetallic things, fuel, gases etc. are some of the minerals. Minerals are one of the important natural resources. Minerals like copper, iron, gold, coal, etc. are found under the land. Minerals are not equally distributed in all countries. Those countries, which have lots of mineral, can develop their economy easily by utilizing them. Various industries for example: copper based industries can be established where people can get employment. As the result, people can uplift their living standard. Human beings can make different kinds of materials from metals and a country can gain economic benefits. Minerals like gold, silver are used for aesthetic purpose. Minerals are used in construction and decoration of house and building. Minerals act as source of fuel which is used for variety of purpose.

Wildlife is the creatures that live in the forest. There are different types of geographical situations, climate, and temperature in Nepal. A number of wild lives are found in Nepal due to the rich biodiversity in here. According to record of Biodiversity project profile, prepared in 1995 AD, about 5160 species of Angiosperms, 181 species of mammals, 844 species of birds,635 species of butterflies, 5000 species of insects and 185 species of fishes are found in Nepal. Reptilians like Gharial crocodile, golden monitor lizard and Asiatic rock python are found in Nepal. There are different types of snakes in the river s of Nepal. But the numbers of animals and birds are being depleted day by day due to lack of conservation activities, illegal hunting activities increment of pollution, natural disasters etc.


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