Natural Resources of Asia

Asia is a large continent with rich natural resources. Extractive activities play important roles in many countries in Asia. The utilization of Asia's natural resources has depended to a large extent, on the development of both economy and technology. Here we're going to discuss natural resources of Asia from different aspects, including mineral resources, forests and grasslands, water resources, and marine fishery.


Mineral Resources

There are many types of minerals in Asia, with large reserves, which mainly include petroleum, coal, iron, tin, tungsten, antimony, copper, lead, zinc, manganese, nickel, molybdenum, magnesium, chromium, gold, silver, rock salt, sulfur, gems, etc. Among them, the reserves of petroleum, magnesium, iron, tin, etc. rank first in all continents.

In Asia, the largest coal producers are China and Russia (Siberia), followed by India, Kazakhstan, North Korea, South Korea, and Japan. Meanwhile, the Arab countries of Southwest Asia collectively are the principal producers of petroleum in the world. The major Middle Eastern mines are in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, Kuwait, Oman, and Iraq. Russia (Siberia) is also one of the major petroleum producers in Asia, along with China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In addition, Russia (Siberia) is also the largest producer of natural gas in the world and the largest supplier of natural gas to Europe.


Forests and Grasslands

In Asia, the total forest area accounts for about 13% of the world's total forest area. More than 2/3 of the timber forest has been developed and utilized, and there are certain developments in man-made afforestation. The total area of grasslands in Asia accounts for about 15% of the total area of grasslands in the world.

The Asian part of Russia, the northeast of China, and the north of North Korea are coniferous forests with extensive distribution in the world. They have abundant reserves and many precious timber species. South China and Southwest China, the southern slope of the Japanese mountains, and the southern slope of the Himalayas are particularly rich in plants. In addition to common broad-leaved tree species, there are palms, cycads, cedars, and metasequoias.

What's more, tropical forests in Southeast Asia, known for their constant and abundant plant communities, occupy an essential position in the world's forests. The main tree species are Dipterocarpaceae, as well as "living fossils" such as dendritic fern, ginkgo, cycad.


Water Resources

The hydropower resources that can be developed in Asian countries are estimated to generate 2.6 trillion kWh of electricity each year, accounting for 27% of the world's exploitable hydropower resources.

Asia is the continent with the largest collection of major rivers in the world. There are as many as 58 rivers over 1,000 kilometers in length, of which 5 are over 4,000 kilometers (Yangtze, Yellow, Mekong, Irtysh (Obi) and Heilongjiang). Most of the rivers in Asia originate from the central mountains and inject into the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Arctic Ocean. The longest river is the Yangtze River, followed by the Ob River with the Irtysh River as the source. The Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world, and Baikal Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Asia.

Natural Resources of Asia
Baikal Lake


Marine Fishery

Asia is the most crucial region for fishery and aquaculture production in the world. The area of coastal fisheries in Asia accounts for about 40% of the total area of coastal fisheries in the world. Asia is rich in salmon, trout, cod, bonito, mackerel, small yellow croaker, large yellow croaker, octopus, squid, sardine, tuna, mackerel, and whale, etc.

Famous fishing grounds include Zhoushan Islands, Taiwan Island, Xisha Islands, Hokkaido Island, Kyushu Island, and other islands near the sea, as well as the Okhotsk Sea. Additionally, the area of China's coastal fishing grounds accounts for nearly 1/4 of the total area of the world's coastal fishing grounds.

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