Significant headlines have been made recently and over the last fifty years or so regarding environmental conservation. The topic is a growing concern and point of contention among many people. It is important, however, for everyone to understand what conservation truly means and why it is necessary for both the future of the planet and many species, including humans. The Basic Definition The basic principle of conservation is preserving the environment (both as it exists now and by restorative efforts) into the future. It is simply necessary to protect the planet’s natural resources for the benefit of humans, and most people believe humans are at least somewhat responsible for protecting other species on this planet too. This is not just for species that have some practical benefit for humankind but also because they have a right to exist as well. The History Of The Concept Human understanding of the natural world and the importance of conservation have grown over time and will continue to expand with new knowledge that is discovered. Humans mostly lived very closely with the natural world until the industrial revolution largely drove people from more agrarian lifestyles into cities. As more resources were lost or polluted due to industry, people became more and more concerned by what was being lost. The first national park actually was established in Mongolia in 1778 – the United States followed over a century later with the creation of the National Park System which initially had the primary purpose of preserving special wilderness areas for human pleasure and enlightenment. The modern environmental movement dates back to the 1960s, where influential writers such as Rachel Carson and the scientific community began to understand the importance of conserving ecosystems. Other Aspects Of Conservation Conservation is not just about preserving other species, Earth’s ecosystems and natural resources. There are other areas of conservation that are just as important. For example, archeological conservation is important for the preservation and knowledge of human art, history and evolution. Conservation also reaches over into other fields such as law, economics and politics. Conservation is an important topic to understand so everyone can be equipped with the knowledge to best preserve and manage Earth’s resources. Healthy debate is needed from people of all opinions so ultimately the best decisions are made.
Published: November 20, 2019
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