The role of human activities in the ecosystem cannot be underestimated. They have been the catalyst of the big environmental improvements that have taken place in the world. The importance of our contact with the ecosystem is greater than that of all other animals in the universe. It is through this that the need has grown to closely track human behaviors that have altered diverse habitats across the world (Peres and Terborgh 35). Man has been blamed for the gradual loss of capital and the changing state of the atmosphere. Increased human population has exerted extreme pressure on the earth undermining the ability of future generations to enjoy the resources. It’s important to seek to evaluate the impact of human activite on the status of environment seeking different ways in which the negative result of human activities can be mitigated. However positive role played by human also ought to be discussed as a move encourage more stakeholders to participate. The following paper will seek discuss preservation and conservation as initiatives to retain the environment in its sanctity.
Man has had a very complex relationship with the environment. Humans have been at the forefront in exploiting and depleting natural resources at devastating speed in the name of industrial revolution. Animals have been exterminated in the name of sport hunting, forest have been cleared to pave way for road and agricultural land while waste has been directed into rivers (Kellert, et al., 720). In contrast humans are the first to enjoy and complement the natural beauty of our environment dotted with stunning biodiversity both on land and sea. It son this phase of the complex relationship where we have realised the true value of our environment and have instituted various measures to preserve the environment and also utilise it sustainably. This is where the concepts of conservation and preservation were discovered. The two terms seem to contradict one another but a deeper evaluation of their meaning clear sets them apart. It is important to note that both are have the sole purpose of improving the quality of the environment and the availability of the natural resources. Preservation endeavours to protect whatever has remained after the devastating decimation of flora and fauna populations. It limits further exploitation of the resources with a purpose of maintaining them in their unspoiled state of their reproduction in case of animals and plant as well as availability in their future.
History of Conservation
Conservation on the other hand appreciates the role of resources in the human life and therefore seeks to strike a balance on their utilisation. It endeavours to ensure sustainable use of the resources in a manner that leaves enough for future generations. In the late 19th century the world face a dilemma due to the declining natural resources. There prospects of the resource running out leaving the future generations without adequate resources for their utilisation. The decline led to the creation of conservation movement that allowed the utilisation of the natural resources while still leaving enough for the future generations. Recycling was promoted as an effective strategy that would ensure that a decline on the demand of natural resources (Reed, 2420). Consumers were encouraged the reuse products such as glass bottles and containers paper bags as well as woollen bags.
The industrial revolution brought with it pollution a serious problem to environment. Industrial water started finding its way onto rivers leading loss of aquatic biodiversity. It is then after this that the world realised the challenge of waste management. Companies were forced to adopt waste control measure such as filtering and treatment before being released into the natural world. Companies further developed new strategies in manufacture that emitted less waste into the environment. Industrial waste posed a threat to both human and other floral and faunal. It also denature the untouched wilderness where it was commonly disposed. The use of fossils fuels was discouraged due to its ability to produce greenhouse gases that increased the global temperatures (Minteer and Corley 320). This there created the background and the need for efficient use of natural resources to prevent the depletion as well as pollution.
History of Preservation
In the early 20th century the world viewed undeveloped fields and forests as wastelands. This was an underestimate of the potential value of the biodiversity held in these lands. The wasteland view was based on the human development that had occurred throughout history as result of the industrial revolution. Preservation can be described as all efforts aimed at setting apart natural resources to prevent heir utilisation and contact form human (Brockington, Duffy, and Igoe). It seeks to separate these resource to ensure that they are not utilised in any from making the se area out of bound for human activities.
The growth of industrial cities had destroyed the pristineness of the natural environment and a view of an unperturbed natural environment offered relief. Natural wilderness also offer habitats for wild animals as the escaped from the spread of human activities and the destruction of their natural habitats (Kellert, et al., 720). This necessitated the need for the establishment of the national parks which offered stunning sceneries as were as serving as the natures preserves. These parks later allowed visitors forming the lucrative tourism industry as people toured the new facilities to enjoy nature in its original state.
Preservation aims to retain different environment in their natural form. It is achieved through legal instrument such as regulations, laws and gazette. The ideology of preservation was guided by the increased degradation of the environmental as a result of increased human activities. This endangers the different species found throughout the environment. It is important to note that human activities have led to the extinction of some species in the past such as the dodo in Madagascar (Minteer and Corley 320). It is important that areas of biodiversity importance being restricted from all human activities. It is further paramount for these areas to be preserved as goal to retain their ecosystems as natural.
Modern Preservation and Conservation
On the other hand conservation involves the sustainable utilisation of natural resources with the goal of leaving enough for utilisation by future generations. Conservation encourages the renewable resources that do minimal harm to environment. It further limits the use of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels with a goal of limiting their impact on the environment. Conservation aims at meeting economical, biological recreational, and cultural needs. The practices hails from the understanding of the fact that human must depend on the natural resources found on earth for the success of their activities (Peres and Terborgh 35). It seeks therefore to find a compromise in meeting human needs as well as retaining the resources for future generations.
Promoters of both conservation and preservations seek to ensure that the environment will be available for the future generation. Mainly preservation involves the restriction of utilisation of wildlife and ecosystems to protect their biodiversity (Brockington, Duffy, and Igoe). Preservationists encourage the recycling and reuse of resources limiting the need for acquiring more form the environment. Industrialist are encourage to practice the recycling of their raw materials.
Conservation goes further than the restricted utilization of natural resources. It encourages further the change in activities and rethink in the day to day activities with the aim of minimising the usage of the energy form the environment. Due to the realisation of the impact of human activities on the environment the concepts pf preservation and conservations have taken root and there has been unprecedented success. Preservation has led to the establishment of national parks and national reserves that protect wildlife and ecosystems in their pristine nature. Over time government have established these restricted areas as move to provide a sanctuary of the wildlife due to the expanding human population (Minteer and Corley 320). The protected areas are provided with their own personnel who are trained in taking care of the wildlife as well as tracing for changes of the ecosystem in these protected lands. The personnel are also responsible for studying the biodiversity in protection to evaluate the impact of human activities on them.
Conservation has also contributed in the restoration of biodiversity. It encourages proper utilisation of the minimal resources to ensure they last long. In regard to wild life conservation has led to the establishment of wildlife conservancies that acts as reserves while combining minimal human activite such as grazing. These conservancies are aimed at preventing human wildlife conflict (Peres and Terborgh 35). Conservancies are a new model that can be community based where piece of land is set apart for the coexistence of livestock and wildfire as well as the development for lodges to host visitor and tourists. This model has encouraged the community living close to the wildlife to embrace conservation and protection of natural resources. It provides haven for the wildlife protecting them from poachers and direct conflict with human.
International Role of Conservation and Preservation
The conservationists and preservationists have led to the establishment of international bodies that have promoted the protection of natural resources. It further helps in gathering information regarding species diversity all over the world.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
The establishment of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was a great step in protecting the environment. The international organisation was founded in 1948 with the goal of conservation of nature as wells as sustainable utilisation of natural resources. The IUCN has established a list of the endangered species which is published to indicate the specific number if animals in the field (Reed, 2420). The list quotes the level of being endangered every year enabling preservationist and conservationists to take steps to restore the endangered species. This sensitization is essential in spreading the information worldwide in regard of declining species due to increased human activities, the classification is aimed at highlighting the plight of the biodiversity of both flora and fauna.
The United Nations Environmental programme (UNEP)
The United Nations has also established a fully-fledged environmental agency known as the United Nations environmental programme (UNEP). It’s mandated to offer strategies and solutions of eradicating problems facing the earth. It undertakes research of the challenges such as desertification, pollution, global warming as well as climate change. Its helps member state in forming treaties and commitment to reduce environmental pollution while offering incentives for international trade. It further mediates conflicts arising from inter-boundary pollution, shared resources as well as funding of environment development related projects. The agency has undertaken massive research tin the endeavour to solve environmental problems. It share its findings with other environmental agencies such as IUCN and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on the different challenges facing biodiversity. It further monitors the climate highlighting the different changes in the environment. This has led to the development of global solutions to combat climatic change. For example the agency has been able to establishment of various protocol that have limited the emission greenhouse gases. It has further helped it member countries commit to eliminate toxic substance such as mercury for the industries (Kellert, et al., 720). The agency has undertaken numerous projects that are aimed at reclaiming the land as well as encourage the world on the need for adopting renewable sources of energy. It has promoted the use of solar as move to ease off pressure from fossil fuels.
Impacts of Preservation and Conservation.
The human action to control the usage of natural resources has had positive impact of the biodiversity. Sensitisation of increasing decline in species has led to the preservation efforts that has curtailed the decline of the biodiversity. Conservationists have campaigned for funding to assist in species recovery. They have further advocated for the ban on illegal trade in trophy which pose great threat to the existence of some species such as the rhino and the elephant. It is important to note that there has been recent success with some populations of elephants and rhinos recovering in different part of the world (Reed, 2420). Although some countries in Asia have not fully complied with the ban progress has been made to avail funds to facilitate offering security to the endangered species.
The spread of conservation has resulted to the development of alternatives forms of energy sources. This has helped reduce the amount of fossil fuels consumed by industries as well as motor vehicles. Companies have become more innovative in developing new ideas on waste management and energy production. This has in the long run led to creation of greener industries that emit less toxic waste in the environment (Brockington, Duffy, and Igoe). It is important to note that fossils fuels have largely contributed to rise in temperature a condition known as global warming. The condition develops when the gases produced from burning fossil fuels denature the ozone layer and forms a cover over the earth atmosphere. This cover traps heat emitted by the earth consequentially leading to a rise in the global temperatures. The effect leads to the melting of polar ice which consequently leads rise in sea levels (Kellert, et al., 720). There arise a domino effect with each change in the natural environment. Rising sea levels have been blamed for the increase of floods in coastal areas as well as the increased convectional rainfall. It’s crucial to note that the continuous change in the environment is irreversible.
The development of park and reserves has had a negative impact of the indigenous populations. Most wildernesses are located in native lands where the locals had to be displaced from their natural homes to pave way for the demarcation of reserves. This sometimes unsettles and uproots communities form their routine and daily life. The dislocated communities are not adequately compensated for the property, cultural and emotional loss that they experience (Peres and Terborgh 35). They have started all over again rebuilding their lives with new environments that they are not used to previously.
Both conservation and preservation of biodiversity and natural resources have on the best response man has had toward the environment. They have highlighted man’s commitment towards continuity of the world’s diversity. Despite the challenges that man has faced in their implementation a lot of progress has been made towards the restoration of the earth’s environment. It is however important to note that some changes in the environment are irreversible (Minteer and Corley 320). Irreversibility should not curtail the efforts towards conservation and preservations they are aimed reaching a compromise where the natural resources can be utilised efficiently while the environment.
The Future of Conservation and Preservation.
The global population has risen immensely in the last few year. The rise exerts a lot pressure on the already minimal natural resources. There is need for more efforts to restrict the utilisation of natural resources. The fast growth of the world economies demanding more resources. There promotion of the use of renewable source of energy should be advocated. Government should commit to reduce the use of non-renewable sources of energy. Hydropower generation, solar power and wind energy should be tapped and utilised (Brockington, Duffy, and Igoe). Coal power plants should be shut down due to the waste they release to the environment.
The global rise in population further exerts pressure on the physical land leading to land clearing in search for land for settlement. This renders thousands of animal homeless as their habitats are destroyed. Some national parks have been cleared to pave way for infrastructural projects. Thee encroachment of national parks and reserve by property developers should further be discouraged. Stringent laws ought to be legislated to condemned and law breakers highly penalised (Kellert, et al., 720). The remaining protected areas should be preserved at all cost so as to protect the few wildlife that remains as well as natural resources that have note be exploited/
Conservation also ought to take more precedence among the different priorities of the government. The government should fund scientists to innovate new ways of harnessing renewable resources such as the waves (Reed, 2420). This will help ease off the pressure on non-renewable resources. The reduction of their consumption will result to an immediate drop in the emission of greenhouse gases.
Humanity has played a very big role in the changing climatic conditions all over the world. The change climatic conditions and the environment has been the product of the increased human activities through history. The growing population has exerted exceeding pressures on the few natural resources that remain on the earth. There is therefore need for sustainable and efficient utilisation of the few resources. Proper use of the resources will ensure that they las long enough to be used by the future generations. The utilisation of resources should not jeopardise the survivability of the biodiversity which exist in the wild. Preservation must therefore take paramount in the control of the different protected areas where unutilised resources still exist.
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