Sunday, February 2, 2014

Environment vs Conservation

I have this arguments with my management. Oh, not yet with my management but i am in a mission to convince my management to change my department name from Environment to Conservation. If you ask me, why i think Conservation is more appropriate, i will give you this reasons:

  1. I work in two different companies before and doing wildlife research and awareness. Both company have Conservation Department and the function are the same as my present company. 
  2. I think this explanation will also helps you to understand more of the definition of both terms (because it did help me to understand more)...   
Environment: Any factor which influences an organisms chance of survival and reproductions including predator/prey/parasite ... species (biotic factors) and non living factors e.g. weather, wind, soil type, pH (abiotic factors) (year 12 biology course)...

Conservation: Conservation, sustainable use of natural resources, such as soils, water, plants, animals, and minerals. In economic terms, the natural resources of any area constitute its basic capital, and wasteful use of those resources constitutes an economic loss. From the aesthetic and moral viewpoint, conservation also includes the maintenance of national parks, wilderness areas, historic sites, and wildlife. In certain cases, conservation may imply the protection of a natural environment from any human economic activity. Natural resources are of two main types, renewable and non-renewable. Renewable resources include wildlife and natural vegetation of all kinds. The soil itself can be considered a renewable resource, although severe damage is difficult to repair because of the slow rate of soil-forming processes. The natural drainage of waters from the watershed of a region can be maintained indefinitely by careful management of vegetation and soils, and the quality of water can be controlled through pollution control (Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2005 © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved).

I am not satisfied yet, so i post it in FB and i get several replies from my friends and my ex-boss. Here are what they think:

Mr. Anthony - Environment is the area of focus while Conservation is the task that your pursuing to take up....

Mr. Faizal - Environment wide n conservation the sub activities.

Mr. Mlano - Spelling definately. Environment envy living being and conservation con habitants.

And my favourite answer will be my mentor, Mr. Rob. Here is what he thinks:

In my experience, Environment is a general term for all that's out there, animal, vegetable, mineral. Environment departments in most cases are preoccupied primarily with water and air quality, doing little to nothing about species. Conservation is an older term that used to mean "wise use", which is what I still adhere to. Conservation implies action, and wise use requiring MANAGEMENT, in other words, protection or sustainable use. It's like this: collect the empirical information so that you know what to conserve and why you should conserve it. Not just its "intrinsic" value (just because it's there), but for a range of values, including aesthetic, physical, ecological, cultural/traditional or (yes!) commercial. Commercial can be consumptive, as with sustainable harvest of birds' nests, or non-consumptive, such as ecotourism. (Ecotourism needs some close attention to conservation, since some beautiful sites have been ruined by a lack of conservation management.) Using the word "Environment" implies that the person never thought much about conservation. As Grahame Webb once said, the only qualification for most people to be an environmentalist is emotional commitment; to be a conservationist requires a good bit of relevant knowledge and a lot of hard work.

And also his ex-student Mr. Joseph. Here is what he thinks:

Rob, you rubber stamped my personal notion about the word 'Conservation'. Its quite difficult to explain to lay people, because they have their own understanding about that word. Conservation to most people means, 'see no touch'. After attending a course 'Conservation Biology" conducted by Prof. John Robinson (UF), I noticed, I learnt that it's more towards management of resources, but before you even think of managing it, lots of base line data are required, so that a proper 'conservation management' could be implemented. So one need to collect data, and I believed that's what Rob has been doing all this while. Rose, young and energetic lass , am sure you could continue such tasks in you new 'Conservation and Environmental Services' within your company. 

So, what i think? I think i will keep on convincing my management about the important of using the right term to show the real function or role of this department to our funders and of course the public. Therefore, i need strong justification right? All of above are my useful weapon to explain my bosses. Wish me luck!

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Brave-heart,
Rose Ragai


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