Concept Of Conservation Of Nature
Conservation of nature is the preservation of some level of biodiversity that is essential to the functioning of the ecosystems and the survival of mankind. Environmentalists want environmental systems and the diversity of species conserved. Historically, the developed countries were not too keen on environmental conservation as the people in developing countries. People of third world countries are more concerned with social origins and human consequences of environmental degradation.
Developed countries were shocked by the stands taken by developing countries at the UN Conference on the human environment in Stockholm in 1972. The clash in views are now diminishing. Developed countries have become aware of the danger of their work on environment. People in developing countries are now more aware of the importance of ecological systems and processes for economic development.
History Of Conservation Of Nature
Modern conservation practices are influenced by the western society. Western viewpoints about conservation are rooted in the Judeo-Christian view of man and nature.
- The right of exploitation
- The responsibility of stewardship
Judeo-Christian belief is that nature was created to serve human race. Hence exploitation of nature is legitimate and natural. Until 18th century, the right of exploitation was limited to elite people. After American and French revolutions, the right of exploiting nature was extended to individuals. The industrial and scientific revolution expanded the ability to exploit resources and create material wealth.
On a scientific side, the concept of nature was created by God, changed to the concept that the world functioned according to the basic laws of physics and chemistry. By 19th century the creationist view was replaced by an evolving mechanist view. The theory of evolution by Darwin taught people that the changes in the environment, including the changes caused by humans could bring about the extinction of organisms as suggested by fossil remains.
World War II suddenly diverted attention from conservation issues.There was explosive growth of technology and human population. This led to introduction of toxic materials into environment for profit. Thus there was significant air, land and water pollution which severely affected the environment.