Pakistan Studies

Natural Resources and their Importance

Natural resources have a huge significance in the economic development of any nation. In this article, I will discuss Pakistan’s natural resources and their importance in a tabular form.

What are the natural resources?

Natural resources are very important for the economic development of any country. The countries with natural resources can be among the world’s developed nations only if they use their natural resources intelligently and effectively.

What is the importance of natural resources in economic development? 

Like many countries, Pakistan is also blessed with an abundance of natural resources such as minerals, energy, and forests. Making wise and intelligent use of these resources can help Pakistan become one of the world’s economically strong nations.

The table given below mentions and defines different types of natural resources found in Pakistan. It also illustrates the uses of these resources.

Types of resources




Mineral Resources Mineral resources are natural substances obtained from under the surface of the earth (Though they may not be far away).
  • Gypsum
  • Copper
  • Rock Salt
  • Limestone
  • Iron

Industries use mineral resources as raw materials in the manufacture of technology used in different sectors of the economy. For example, gypsum is an important raw material in cement making, copper is electric wires and electronic devices, limestone in dyes, cement making, paints, etc. Similarly, Iron acts as a raw material for steel making which has further use in transport and other fields of economy.


Energy/power Resources Energy resources/power resources are used to obtain energy to fulfill different energy needs.


  • Petroleum
  • Natural Gas
  • Coal
  • Hydel

Some of the examples of energy resources along with their uses are as follows;

  1. Petroleum is the crude oil drilled from beneath the earth and processed in Oil refineries to make different goods called petroleum products, e.g., petrol, diesel, kerosene oil, etc.
  2. Diesel and Petrol are used as fuel for transportation, in the generation of electricity.
  3. Natural Gas: People use natural gas as fuel for vehicles and also for cooking and heating purposes at home. Industries use it as a source of power in the manufacture of goods.
  4. Coal: Used for cooking and heating. It can be used to convert into gas and generate electricity from this gas.
  5. Hydel: Hydel refers to water as a resource to produce electricity. The use of waterfall in rivers helps generate electricity by setting up hydropower stations on rivers or dams.
Forests Forests are extensive, continuous areas of land dominated by trees.

Types of forest

  • Coniferous
  • Alpine
  • Tropical Thorn Forest
  • Sub-Tropical Scrub Forest
  • Riverine Forest
  • Mangroves
  • Irrigated Forest.

The importance of forests concerning Pakistan is discussed with help of examples as given below:

Sources of fule wood

Forests such as mangroves and alpines act as the main source of firewood in coastal and highland areas respectively where there is no supply of natural gas.

Source of timber

Forest provides timber. Alpine trees act as a source of wood used in making furniture and boxes. Likewise, the Riverine forest also provides timber for making furniture and agricultural implements. In coastal areas, people make use of mangroves for making furniture and roof of their cottages.

Protection of Environment

Forests protect the environment as they conserve soil and help in checking floods. They also act as a habitat for good breeding and conserving birds and other wildlife.  Additionally, they provide scenic beauty thus attracting tourists and provide a source of income for local people. For example, Mangroves provide breeding grounds for marine life, i.e. fish, shrimps. Livestock such as camels feeds on the leaves of mangroves. They also protect coastlines from damage done by erosion, storm, and wave action. Moreover. they act as a hindrance against the intensity of earthquakes and consequent tsunamis by absorbing shock waves.

Source of vegetation

Forests are used for grazing purposes and as sources of nutrition for different animals. For example, the fallen leaves of mangroves provide nutrition for marine life.

Uses of Irrigated forests

Irrigated forest refers to such forests that are planted and watered by man. They are also important sources of timber and firewood. Along with a multitude of other important uses, they also provide shade when planted linearly.


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