The Importance Of Human Conservation And Nature Conservation

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Human activity significantly contributes to environmental degradation, endangering biological diversity, prompting policy makers to take actions to limit further damage. The essay will first define biodiversity and its political significance, before discussing conservation policies – more specifically, it will detail the concept of economical services and the inclusion of local communities in co-management arrangements. Paying communities to manage their natural resources has been presented as a possible solution to environmental degradation – the essay will illustrate this approach with the Chimpanzee Conservation Corridor in Uganda and the Socio Bosque program in Ecuador. It will discuss the advantages and the drawbacks of such Payments for…show more content…
Nature conservation and nature preservation are contested ideas: the political scientist Neil Carter sees conservation as ‘an approach to land management that emphasises the efficient conservation of natural resources so that they can later be developed for the benefit of society’, while preservation is ‘an approach to nature based on an attitude of reverence towards nature, especially wilderness, that advocates the protection of a resource from any form of development’ (Carter cited in Humphreys et al., 2014, p. 14). During the negotiations for the CBD, delegations favoured conservation (which does not presume an incompatibility between environment sustainability and economic development), rather than preservation (which implies a more marked separation between people and nature, and acts thus as a brake on economic development) (Humphreys et al., 2014, p. 14). Like the concept of ‘conservation’, the stated objective of ‘sustainable use’ acknowledges the interdependence between nature and society: people depend upon nature and they have also a role to play in protecting it (Humphreys et al., 2014, p. 15). However, these general concepts are somewhat vague and hardly enforceable without other intellectual tools: consequently, there has been a clear trend toward putting a ‘price on nature’ by defining ‘ecosystem services’ – or in other words, the benefits that people get from an ecosystem (Humphreys et al., 2014, p. 4). For instance, trees help store groundwater and bind soils, birds disperse seeds and many insects pollinate crops that are important to support farming communities (Humphreys et al., 2014, p. 28). In this approach, ecological economists sought to fill the gap between ecologists and economists, by offering the concept of ‘utility’ or ‘willingness to pay’ as the central value for environmental analysis – the protection of nature

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