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Benefits Of Developing Conservation Strategies Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 2360 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Increases in the human population and degradation of habitats have caused many species that were formerly common to decline to near extinction. As a result, we have become increasingly involved in attempting to preserve populations of rare or endangered species (Deborah T., 1987). Over the last two decades almost all arguments about nature conservation have involved the issue of biological diversity and ways to preserve it. These discussions culminated in the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity and its implementation (Glowka L, 1994). The conservation of biodiversity is a vast undertaking, requiring the mobilization of existing data, huge amounts of new information, and the monitoring and management of wildlife on an unprecedented scale (Malcolm L. Hunter, 2007). The biologists are fairly skilled at looking at the big picture, at seeing forests not just trees. They understand that we cannot maintain genetic diversity without maintaining species diversity and that we cannot maintain species without maintaining without ecosystem diversity (Malcolm L. Hunter, 2007). In addition, the size of a habitat and the number of species it can support are systematically related. Physically larger species and those living at lower latitudes or in forests or oceans are more sensitive to reduction in habitat area (Drakare S, 2006).Therefore, endangered species conservation requires many lines of inquiry to provide the evidence required for a holistic approach to conservation planning (Sutaria D 2009).

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Conservation biology is reforming around strategic plans that include principles, guidelines, and tools for the purpose of protecting biodiversity (M. E. Soule, 1986). Conservation biology is crisis-oriented and multi-disciplinary, including ecology, social organization, education, and other disciplines outside of biology (F. van Dyke, 2008). Preserving biodiversity is a global priority in strategic conservation plans that are designed to engage public policy and concerns affecting local, regional and global scales of communities, ecosystems, and cultures (Gascon C., 2007). Action plans identify ways of sustaining human well-being, employing natural capital, market capital, and ecosystem services (G. W. Luck, 2003). A strategy, simply defined, is a set of actions that a conservation project implements to reduce threats, capitalize on important opportunities. Examples of strategies include building the capacity of local law enforcement, educating schoolchildren about wildlife, and developing alternative livelihood options such as ecotourism. One could say that the conservation of endangered species to be effective, both biological and social elements of the conservation process must be considered as a basic for minimizing threats (Beasley L. 2007). This essay will discusses about evaluating the conservation costs and benefits of developing conservation strategies focusing on species, then habitats and finally on the resources.

Biological species – tigers, butterflies, trees, frogs, whales, and so on are integral to nature; they are the players on the stage; species and their interrelationships, including the relationship to people. Many of the closest relationships human beings have established with nature are based on species (IUCN, 2008). There are several strategies that are beneficial for species and human. One of several strategies is the Opportunities for Debt Investment in Environmental Conservation. By combining microfinance lending approaches with performance-based payments for conservation of environmental assets, long-term incentives for environmental conservation and sustainable economic development can be coupled. For example, migratory species like loggerhead and leatherback sea turtles suffer from a suite of human impacts, including harvest of eggs and adults on nesting beaches across many Pacific island nations and mortality from industrial fishing on the high seas. These species are at a critical point, it has been estimated that loggerhead turtles may be extinct in 50 years. Some governments have taken steps to minimize impacts on marine turtles by limiting coastal development and regulating fisheries, at some cost to the public and private sectors. Investment in endangered species recovery in low-income countries can deliver local benefits, such as increased opportunities for sustainable harvest, nature-based tourism or other non-turtle related economic activities, as well as monetary and non-monetary dividends back to governments’ .There are a number of potential advantages with using debt investment as a tool for environmental conservation. The program is aimed directly at improving livelihoods and lending can be targeted at reducing unsustainable resource use, an environmental mortgage program could directly address the alleviation of poverty. In some instances local people are as motivated, or even more motivated than conservationists to protect the animals in their homeland, especially when they represent a valuable resource for food or commerce. But for some communities, it comes down to protecting animals that are as much a part of a hostile environment as drought or fire (C. Josh Donlan). As with African villagers expected to protect an elephant herd that continually destroys their crops and leaves them hungry without a means of generating income. For example, when villagers living in or near a game reserve are told by authorities that they can’t hunt an animal because it is endangered even as they are struggling with hunger. Although, the African elephants are protected by CITES (Kimbra C, 2010).

Habitat change is another cause for animal endangerment. Without a large enough area to breed and hunt, animals have no way to survive. Climate changes also cause risks to animals. With the planet’s surface warming up, some animals are forced to move to other areas in order to find food and breed. From this problem, the US Fish and Wildlife Service have been promoting the use of ‘habitat conservation plans’ which allow some loss of endangered species habitat in exchange for activities which minimize and mitigate for the loss. These plans have come under increasing criticism from environmentalists and conservation biologists who argue that the plans are contributing to the continued loss of endangered species habitat. The habitat conservation planning provisions were modeled on an effort to resolve a dispute over protection of habitat for two endangered butterflies on San Bruno Mountain in San Mateo County, CA. The San Bruno plan allowed for the loss of some butterfly habitat in exchange for the permanent protection and management of much of the habitat on the mountain for these species. This paper proposes that mitigation banking of endangered species habitat may provide a useful tool to resolve endangered species conflicts on private lands while concurrently advancing the recovery of endangered species. Mitigation banking would allow landowners seeking a permit to destroy endangered species habitat to mitigate the loss by buying mitigation credits from other private landowners who restore and or protect suitable habitat. Mitigation banking has the potential to increase mitigation alternatives for the regulated community while providing a needed economic incentive for other landowners to restore and protect important habitats. From an ecological perspective, mitigation banking could allow for the exchange of fragmented habitats with little long range viability for habitats that are strategically located and can contribute to species’ recovery (Robert B., 1999). This is a strategy in US to preserve habitat for species conservation. Another exam is in the South East Asia. The strategy habitat conservation is under Mekong Wetlands Conservation and Sustainable Use Program, Floodplain and wetland areas which are flooded part of the year or which expand greatly in area during the flood season can produce much far more aquatic resources than permanent water bodies of the same size, such as lakes and reservoirs. In fact, according to Ringler and Xai (2006) natural wetlands are amongst the most productive ecosystems in existence and the benefits from wetland products are often considerably higher per unit area than from other land uses. The benefits in terms of the regional fishery and other aquatic resources have already been considered and identified as huge, but wetlands also provide a wide range of additional ecological goods and natural services as specified. These include physical benefits such as natural flood storage and flood attenuation, improved water quality through pollution control and waste dilution, habitat provision for resident and migratory species and the maintenance of important biochemical equilibrium. For these and other related reasons, the economic benefits generated by wetlands and the economic costs associated their degradation or loss are usually unknown and omitted in project and policy analysis. As a result, the potential of wetlands to be used as contributors to economic growth, income generating activities and as sources of goods and services has been underestimated in many parts of the world resulting in the loss of valuable species, services, and livelihoods. The strategy can help a diversity of wildlife habitats to be successfully developed on restored or constructed wetland sites because ecosystem function can be restored to degraded or impacted wetland areas. Restoration can rapidly establish a stable biological community, including invertebrates and soil microorganisms. A good cover of fast-growing annual, as well as perennial, vegetation can be established within the first year. Within three years, a wetland restoration effort can produce a diverse community of desired plants and animals. In addition, constructed wetlands can be very effective in improving water quality in downstream waters. Constructed wetlands are effective in removing or stabilizing sediments, metals, and organic contaminants. However, although constructed wetlands may function as sediment retention systems, excessive amounts of sediment can reduce function over time. In addition, contaminants immobilized in upstream sediments are not eliminated by downstream constructed wetlands. These contaminants remain in place unless they are removed using a separate remediation technology, such as phytoremediation or physical removal (Ken W.)

However, the World Conservation Strategy was aimed at policy-makers, development practitioners and conservationists. It defined conservation in human terms as “the management of human use of the biosphere so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefit to present generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations. For development to be sustainable it must take account of the social and ecological factors as well as economic ones: of the living and non-living resource base and of the long-term as well as the short-term advantages and disadvantages of alternative actions(Seema P). The World Conservation Strategy (1980) is intended to stimulation more focused approach to the management of living resources and to provide policy guidance on how this can be carried out. The aim of the World Conservation Strategy is to achieve the three main objectives of living resource conservation:

a. to maintain essential ecological processes and life-support systems (such as soil regeneration and protection, the recycling of nutrients and the cleansing of waters), on which human survival and development depend;

b. to preserve genetic diversity (the range of genetic material found in the world’s organisms), on which depend the functioning of many of the above processes and life-support systems, the breeding programs necessary for the protection and improvement of cultivated plants, domesticated animals and microorganisms, as well as much scientific and medical advance, technical innovation, and the security of the many industries that use living resources.

c. to ensure the sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems (notably fish and other wildlife, forests and grazing lands), which support millions of rural communities as well as major industries (world resource strategic).

Although, the WCS emphasized the integration of environment and conservation values/concerns into the development process. In addition, caring for the earth: A Strategy for Sustainable Living” elaborated the Brundtland theme, integrating environmental/conservation, social and economic imperatives and elaborating principles for their practical integration (Barry Dalal-Clayton, 2002). In the other hand the WCS The World Conservation Strategy was frequently criticised for being concerned mainly with ecological sustainability rather than sustainable development( Barbier, 1987). distinguishes two strands of debate at this time about economic development: one focusing on basic needs with emphasis on helping the poor; the other stressing that real development was impossible without consideration of the environment and without taking into account local social and cultural values and enabling stakeholder participation (Barry Dalal-Clayton, 2002).

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Even nowadays, it is understood that the conservation strategy is the foundation necessary to be indispensable, if mankind has to have the well-being and security forever. But while we are awarding of the importance and necessity of these biological resources, one of the things facing humanity across the world and is becoming increasingly serious is the loss of biodiversity. Especially in tropical regions which are rich source of this important natural resource. The conservation strategy should combine both biological and economical, as the Opportunities for Debt Investment in Environmental Conservation which bring debt and conservation turtle together. This way not only protect the species but also help the raise revenue in community where they protect the species for sustainable.


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