Raw materials – is the basis of existence of human society. Meeting the needs of industry and population – this is the main problem of the economy. In a broad sense, these include all natural resources that are used, in a narrow – just what is the source of material production. An example of a raw resource is oil. It is used for the production of chemicals, fuels, plastics, pharmaceutical products. Another example is wood. It is used in the manufacture of many products, including furniture. In each region of the Russian Federation there is a separate forestry Department, which is engaged in protection of wood resources.
Raw materials – any products of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, all kinds of minerals, which are in their original form or have undergone changes in preparation for selling internationally. For example, oil, cotton, coal, iron ore, air, logs, sea water. About 30 % of world reserves of non-energy mineral resources are concentrated on the African continent. However, this situation had a negative impact on the development of States. This phenomenon is called the «Dutch disease». Its feature is the dependence of the economy on export of resources.
Therefore, raw materials – everything that exists in nature and it is created without effort on the part of mankind. They may require pre-treatment or not. The first group, for example, can be attributed to fresh water or air, the second – metal ores, oil and most types of energy resources. The distribution of raw materials is a serious problem, especially in terms of depletion of its reserves. The export of natural resources-the basis of many economies. Some raw materials are ubiquitous, such as sunlight and air. The rest can be found only in certain areas. Only a few types of natural resources are inexhaustible. However, reserves of most raw materials is quite limited, i.e. it can end in the foreseeable future, especially with inefficient use in production.
There are several criteria for allocation of groups of natural resources. The most common classification is split by origin, degree of processing and renewability. Considering the first criterion, we can distinguish the following two groups:
Another classification criterion may be the degree of processing. It is possible to allocate following groups:
The Eternal problem of economy is the infinity of human wants and the limited resources available. Natural raw materials for production can be classified according to renewability. On the basis of this criterion there are two groups:
The Use of raw materials has occurred, albeit at different scales, as in pre-industrial societies and today. Mining, forestry and agriculture and fishing belong to the primary sector of the economy. They supply resources to other areas where they gain added value. The wealth of the country largely depends on how effectively use mineral resources. However, the influx of money from their sales can create significant challenges associated with the emergence of inflation, causing damage to other industries («Dutch disease»), and corruption, leading to an increase in inequality of income distribution and the deceleration of economic growth.
In recent years, particularly acute problem of increased consumption by industry of natural resources. The question of exhaustion are not only national government but also international organization like the UN. Each state has a separate Agency responsible for protecting certain types of raw materials. For example, each region has a forestry Department, whose main task is the effective implementation of the rights of use of timber resources.
To save resources - wood and the mineral for future generations, it is necessary to use them correctly. It is around the issue of the depletion of raw materials to build the concept of sustainable development. The reality is balancing current and future needs. The depletion of natural resources due both to their direct production and inefficient use. For example, the deterioration of soil quality is a consequence of the extensive way of agricultural development.
In 1982 the UN developed a special Charter, whose main aim was the protection of the environment from the negative effects of human activity. It says that actions must be undertaken at all levels. This issue deals with a number of international organizations. Resource base and its protection are the subject of a separate section of biology as a scientific discipline.
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