Environmental Preservation and Conservation

Planting trees does not contemplate preservationist precepts.

Did you know that, despite being widely used synonymously, preservation and conservation are distinct concepts?

Preservationism and conservationism are ideological currents that emerged at the end of the 19th century in the United States. With a position against developmentalism – a conception that defends economic growth at any cost, disregarding the impacts on the natural environment and the depletion of natural resources – these two are opposed when it comes to the relationship between the environment and our species.

The first, preservationism, addresses the protection of nature regardless of its economic and/or utilitarian value, pointing to man as the cause of the breakdown of this “balance”. Of an explicitly protective character, it proposes the creation of sanctuaries, untouchable, without suffering interferences related to the advances of progress and its consequent degradation. In other words, “touching”, “exploring”, “consuming” and, many times, even “researching”, then become attitudes that violate such principles. From a more radical position, this movement was responsible for the creation of national parks, such as Yellowstone National Park, in 1872, in the United States.

The second current, the conservationist, contemplates the love of nature, but combined with its rational use and judicious management by our species, performing a managerial role and an integral part of the process. Can be identified as the middle ground between preservationism and developmentalism, conservationist thinking characterizes most environmental movements, and is the foundation of sustainable development policies, which are those that seek a development model that guarantees the quality of life today. , but that does not destroy the resources needed by future generations. Reduction in the use of raw materials, use of renewable energies, reduction of population growth, fight against hunger, changes in consumption patterns, social equity, respect for biodiversity and inclusion of environmental policies in the economic decision-making process are some of its principles. This current even proposes that conservation areas should be set aside, for example, in fragile ecosystems, with a large number of endemic and/or endangered species, among others.

Such discussions began to have space in our country only in the mid-seventies, with the creation of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment – ​​IBAMA, almost twenty years later. Because the environmental theme has only been incorporated into our daily lives in the last few decades, such relatively new terms end up being used without many criteria – even by professionals such as biologists, pedagogues, journalists and politicians. Proof of this is that Brazilian legislation, which does not always consider the use of these terms correct, attributes full protection and “untouchability” to preservation; and conservation of natural resources, with rational use, ensuring their sustainability and existence for future generations, to conservation.

Back to top button