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Conservation, sustainability and economic growth

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A forerunner of the idea of sustainable development is “Ecological Principles for Economic Development” was originally intended to provide the basis for approaches to the economic development that were compatible with conservation and ecology.

The conservation movement

The conservation movement was built within the frame set by the western industrial and consumption models that dominated the 19th and 20th centuries.  

In 21st century, these same models were refreshed by the ongoing processes of neoliberalization. Contemporary conservation ideas and practices are being reworked by neoliberalism, but also have been shaped in the past by the growth imperative of colonial and post-colonial developmentalism and globalized concern about poverty and sustainability.

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The meaning of conservation is prevention of wasteful use of a resource.

Meaning of conservation:

The meaning of conservation is prevention of wasteful use of a resource. Under the utilitarian conservation, nature was “not to be preserved. However, this was actively manipulated by scientifically trained experts to improve and sustain yields.

Those yields were to be harvested and processed efficiently, and economic gains allocated equitably. Aside, utilitarianism is an ethical theory that prescribe actions that maximize happiness and well-being for all affected individuals. 

The biodiversity conservation movement

On the other hand, the biodiversity conservation movement had an important role for the emergence of sustainability idea in the 1970s.

The introduction of biodiversity conservation concept into the mainstream approach to the sustainable development has profound effect on conservation ideas and practice. This is an adoption of a model of human development that made no attempt to challenge the need for economic growth.

Next, biodiversity conservation adopted a top-down science-driven strategy that increasingly divorces nature conservation from broader environmentalism. For example, conservation focused on protection of endangered species and habitats, applying new technologies of remote sensing and geographic information science to the selection of protected areas and harnessing increased resources.

Let’s us move towards sustainable development!

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