Short Essay on Conservation!
The word ‘conservation’ is derived from two Latin words, ‘con’ meaning ‘together’ and ‘servare’, meaning to ‘keep’ or ‘guard’. Literally, therefore, conservation means “to keep together”. The word was coined by Gifford Pinchot shortly after the White House Conference of 1908.
Resource conservation is the scheduling of resource use so as to provide the greatest yield for the greatest number over the longest time period. (P. Haggett) Conservation means a sacrifice of the present generation to future generations. Whenever it is carried for, this conflict beginning far before the ideal is reached which conservationists are inclined to advocate. (Ely)
The optimum allocation of natural, human and cultural resources in the scheme of national development, where by the maximum economic and social security will be assured. (Harold M. Rose) President John F. Kennedy, in a special message to the US Congress in 1962, interpreted conservation as “the wise use of our natural environment, the prevention of waste and despoilment while preserving, improving and renewing the quality and usefulness of all our resources”.
The conservation of natural resources is a concept that deals with the rational use of resources so that a harmony between man’s requirements and their availability can be established. While renewable resources need a proper resource management system (a part of conservation), the non-renewable resources require a long-term strategy for their proper use.
This is not only necessary to assure long-term resource use but also to protect the ecosystem. Today, every country is very particular about its resources and tries to genuinely adopt conservation policies. During the colonial period between 18th century to mid-20th century most of the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America have suffered a lot due to their resource exploitation by colonial powers. Gradually, all these countries attained freedom but either for economic needs or for political adjustment their natural resources have been exploited unwisely, resulting into not only in the loss of several resources but also responsible for many problems of environmental degradation.
The conservation movement, in its present form, was first started in the USA under the guidance of Gifford Pinchot, Head of the US Forest Service from 1898 to 1910, with active support from President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The first wave of conservation was actually started when Roosevelt called the White House Conference on Natural Resources in 1908, followed by a number of important events in subsequent decades, and the enactment of several laws which regulated the manner in which the natural resources of the country can be protected.
As a result of the conference, a fifty-member National Conservation Commission comprising scientists, statesmen and businessmen was formed.
After 1930, in the USA, several agencies have been established and several acts have been passed to protect forests, soils, wildlife and other natural resources. This tradition was followed by other US Presidents like John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Bill Chnton, too, and is still in force to this day. In 1970, Nixon set up the National Environmental Protection Agency.
The conservation wave was not limited to the US only but also started in European countries as well as in Russia and soon all the countries of the world realised the need to conserve natural resources.
Therefore, apart from national efforts by each country, efforts on global level have also been started under United Nations. Different agencies of the UN are now playing a key role in setting the world on the long road towards conservation of natural resources and protection of the environment. The increase in public support for conservation measures both at international and local levels has given this movement a new life, but still there is a long way to go in this direction.