Natural resources are essential for our survival. Agricultural land provides us with food; a sufficient supply of clean and potable water sustains life; and raw material of various kinds is needed for shelter.
Natural resources are required not only for meeting our basic needs, but also for fulfilling our aspirations for a better quality of life, for higher standards of living, for comfort and ease, and for economic and social well-being.
Every society depends on natural resources like biogenic and mineral raw materials, on energy sources like fossil fuels and solar and wind energy, and on clean water.
The environmental media and ecosystems are also understood as being natural resources, with their biodiversity, the different functions of their land areas, and their services. They constitute the essential elements that keep our economy functioning and guarantee an increase in the well-being of mankind.