Environment is the totality of our surroundings. Both man and the resources he depends on are all found in the environment. Our environment is made up of both physical and social surroundings.

Types of environment

  • Physical environment
  • Social environment
  1. The physical environment refers to the things that surrounds us, it is made up of both natural and man-made objects around us that we can see, feel and touch.
  2. The Natural Environment: These are things provided by nature e.g. mountains, hills, rivers, lakes, island, temperature, wind, cloud, valleys, etc.

Man Made Things: There are things that are made by man e.g. houses, motor cars, bridges, road, furniture, electricity etc.


Features of the physical and social environment

  • Weather: This is the atmospheric condition of a place at a particular time which changes daily.
  • Highland and lowland: Highlands are parts of the earth’s surface which is high above the ground level. Lowlands are areas below sea level.
  • Plains: Plains are level grounds and they may be undulating in nature.
  • Mountains: These are high lands which are 600m above sea level and have steep slopes.
  • Plateaux: High land with flat tops. A Plateau has a very gentle sloping which makes it different from a mountain.
  • Valley: Land laying between two hills or mountain usually with a river flowing through.
  • Delta: An area of land at a river with many rivers cutting through and flowing into the sea.
  • Oceans: Great mass of salt water that covers most of the earth’s surface.


Rivers/vegetation and their importance

Rivers are wide natural streams of water that flows into lakes, bigger streams or into the sea. E.g. rivers Kaduna, Sokoto, Niger, Benue, Osun, Ogun, etc.


Importance of river to man

  • For domestic and industrial use
  • For irrigation farming
  • For navigation (transportation)
  • Generation of H.E.P
  • Fishing/Exploitation of mineral resources.
  • Dam construction.



Vegetation is the plant cover of a place which could be natural or man-made. Natural vegetation refers to plants that grows on the surface of the land by nature e.g. forest, grasses, tree, etc. Man-made vegetation is cultivated by man for food and to get income, e.g. growing of cocoa, banana, cassava, apple, etc. it is also called cultural vegetation. Natural vegetation in Nigeria includes these six vegetation.

  1. Sudan
  2. Sahel
  3. Savannah
  4. Mangrove
  5. Rainforest


Importance of vegetation to man

  • Provision of pulp used in making paper
  • It prevents erosion
  • It provides foreign exchange
  • Raw materials for industries
  • Provides employment/wood for fuel/food
  • Shelter for animals.



  • Define environment
  • Describe the two types of environment stating their features.

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