Conservation is important for many reasons. Farmers may practice conservation to prevent erosion and to maintain the quality of the soil. City dwellers may be chiefly concerned about air pollution, inadequate parks, and decaying neighborhoods. Nature lovers appreciate the beauty and other values of wildlife and landscapes. Business executives may promote conservation to help ensure continuous supplies of minerals and other resources on which their industries depend. But in general, conservation is important for two basic reasons: (1) to meet demands for natural resources and (2) to maintain the quality of life.

To meet demands for resources. The demand for natural resources has steadily increased as a result of the growth of the world population and the rise in standards of living in many countries.

 importance of conservation

While the demand for resources has increased, the supply has not, and some resources are being used up rapidly.

From A.D. 1 to about 1800, the world population quadrupled from about 300 million to 1 billion. But since then, the population has multiplied six times to about 6 billion. Although the rate of growth is slowing, the world is expected to have approximately 11 billion people by 2100. Such a large increase in population will result in even greater demands for natural resources. People will need more land for homes and agriculture. They will require more fuel and fresh water. No one knows how many people the earth can support. But most conservationists believe the rate of population growth must be reduced to keep from depleting many of our natural resources.

The rise in the standard of living in industrialized nations has created further demands for natural resources. Such industrialized nations as the United States, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland have high living standards, and they use a disproportionately large share of the world's natural resources. In addition, less developed countries are working to raise their living standards and are increasing their demands for resources.

The high living standards in the United States and many other nations are supported largely by the growth of industry. Industry uses huge amounts of fuel and other resources, and it depends on continuous supplies of these resources. Unless people practice conservation, shortages of some resources may develop within the next 100 years.

In many cases, meeting demands for one resource makes it difficult to conserve another. The same land that is needed to produce food, wood, or fuel is often valued for its wildlife, recreational opportunities, or beautiful scenery. For example, the construction of a dam may provide water to irrigate farmland or to produce electric power. But it may also destroy scenic lands and wildlife habitats.

To maintain the quality of life. Conservationists use the term quality of life to refer to the health of the environment. Such factors as clean air and water, uncluttered living areas, and unspoiled scenic lands contribute to the quality of life.

Industrial development has created a high standard of living for many people. But it has also damaged the environment in ways that impair the quality of life. For example, many factories release smoke and other pollutants into the air and empty waste products into lakes and streams. As a result, the air in many cities is unhealthy to breathe, and the water in many lakes and streams is unsafe to drink or to swim in. Some methods of mining also cause pollution and may leave the land barren. In addition, the use of certain industrial products contributes to pollution. For example, the exhaust fumes from automobiles are a major source of air pollution.

To maintain or improve the quality of life, we must use natural resources in ways that cause the least possible damage to the environment. In addition, we need to preserve some places in their natural state and protect them from any form of development. Certain species can survive only in natural environments, such as prairies, wetlands, and forests. These habitats provide homes for many kinds of wildlife. Preserving such habitats contributes to the biological diversity, or biodiversity, of the earth-that is, its variety of plant and animal species. If we do not preserve such environments, large areas of the earth will support only a few species of plants and animals.

Kinds of Conservation
What is The Conservation
The importance of conservation
Kinds of conservation
Biodiversity conservation
Kind of Biodiversity
Water conservation
Ocean conservation
Soil conservation
Conservation of grazing lands
Forest conservation
Mineral conservation
Energy conservation

The number of species has already declined greatly in many parts of the world. For example, corn and wheat fields have replaced most of the prairies of North America. As a result, such wildlife as pronghorns and prairie chickens, once plentiful on the prairies, are no longer abundant throughout their former ranges. Such prairie plants as Pitcher's thistle and running buffalo clover have also become threatened. Conservationists are working to protect the few remaining prairies and to preserve other natural environments.