Conservation is the process of protection and preserving natural resources and of the environment.
The need for conservation
- The threat of extinction
The removal of organisms from an environment at a faster rate than the organism can reproduce itself leads to extinction of the species.
Even though extinction is a natural phenomenon, living things must compete for food and space. They must avoid the predators and diseases while dealing with unpredictable shifts in the environment. Those species incapable of adapting are faced with extinction.
However humans have accelerated the rate of extinction by
- Killing organisms
- Introducing alien species
- Destroying habitats.
Plants are the source of many valuable products like insecticides and drugs. Deforestation could rob humans of the plant which might bring a cure for the diseases like AIDS.
- Maintaining a continuous supply of commodities from trees.
Timber, rubber and oils are commodities supplied by the trees. Most trees that supply commodities grow very slowly. The product they supply may not be ready for harvest until many years after planting. A of sustainable management must therefore be used. This means harvesting only the number of trees that can be replaced by planting.
- Maintaining fish supplies
The ocean supplies many communities with a large part of their food requirements. Over fishing can reduce fish population to a point where they are not able to maintain their numbers. Fishing quotas make sure that stocks remain at sustainable levels.
CONSERVATION OF OTHER SPECIES
To maintain the biodiversity on the planet, it is important to identify threatened species so that their need can be addressed before it is too late.
Species can be conserved by passing laws which make killing or collecting them an offence, by international agreements on global bans, or trading restrictions and by conserving habitats.
Materials ranging from precious metals to broken glass, from old news papers to plastic spoons, can be recycled. The recycling process reclaims the original material and uses it in new products. Recycling can also reduce pollution, either by reducing the demand for high-pollution alternatives or by minimizing the amount of land needed for trash dumps by reducing the volume of discarded waste. Pressure is taken off endangered species if countries encourage a policy of recycling.
Many commodities we use everyday can be recycled. For example:
- Manufacturing glass bottles uses about three times more energy than if they were collected, sorted, cleaned and re-used. Recycling glass reduces the demand for sand used in glass manufacture.
- Litter is also reduced by recycling, making our environment a more pleasant place to live in. there is less need to bury garbage in landfills or incinerate it.
- Paper can be recycled so fewer trees need to be cut down.
- When sewage is properly treated, it can be recycled to provide an effective fertilizer.