Natural environment

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(PD) Photo: Alan Liefting
Devils Punchbowl, New Zealand

The natural environment, commonly referred to simply as the environment, is a term that encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region of Earth.

Terminology and concept

The concept of the natural environment can be broken down into a few key components:

The natural environment is contrasted with the built environment, which comprises the areas of Earth that are strongly influenced by humans.