Making Wise Choices

Conservation is the wise use of natural
resources (nutrients, minerals, water, plants, animals, etc.) and cultural resources (different groups of people from different parts of the world). It may also include protecting the large collections of resources that make up ahabitat or environment. Conservation is important to make certain changes don¶t happen too quickly. Rapid change can force animals,plants, places, or people to become endangered or extinct.

What Are Natural Resources?

Cultural resources such as stories, sacred ceremonies, and foods are valuable. They are important in preserving the planet¶s diversity. ©G.Ellis/GLOBIO.org

Natural resources are things in nature that we use. Some of these things - like water, air, and wood are easy to identify. Some resources are not so obvious. A good example is oil (petroleum). Oil is used to make gasoline for cars and trucks. Oil is also important in making plastics. Plastics are used in countless things including TVs, computers, and cars. Another ³hidden resource´ is sand. Different sands are melted to make glass. Glass is used to make windows, bottles, jars, and many other common items.

What Are Cultural Resources?
People and their cultures can also be a resource. Different cultures give us a variety of art, music, myths, medicines, foods, and languages. Conserving cultural resources makes certain we live in a world full of diversity and different ideas.

clean air.the preservation.org Understanding how to conserve means taking a look at the big picture. We need to conserve to make certain we have resources for ourselves and for people in the future. a diverse wildlife population. Protection from change . and clean air. management. herbs. loss. First Understand. and good soil for growing food. We need to look at all the resources and how people use them. wilderness areas. We also need to remember that animals and plants need many of these same resources. Then we need to come up with a good plan that will share the resources among all living things. The protection of valued resources . animals. Conservation will allow future generations to enjoy natural resources such as clean rivers and lakes. healthy soil.Conservation's Double Goal You can think of conservation as a goal with two parts: 1. Then Plan Plants. and other forest products are often illegally taken from protected forests and sold in markets. It may be difficult to imagine that we could ever run out of fresh water. Resources Are Necessary for Life! Many natural resources are necessary for our survival. or damage Why Do We Need To Conserve? One answer is very simple. and care of natural and cultural resources 2. Taking products illegally from protected places is called poaching.Ellis/GLOBIO.the keeping or protecting of something from change. Conservationists: People Who Save the World from Destruction . ©G. But in some places this is already happening.

forests. ©G. Ordinary people are conservationists. Below are the names of some famous conservationists and details about their work. Some study endangered species to find the best ways to help them survive.org Biodiversity: A Top Priority Most scientists believe that conservation of biodiversity should be the most important thing people and governments work on. Others work on finding ways to protect rivers.People devoted to the preservation of cultural and natural resources are called conservationists. Conservationists do many kinds of work. Everyone Can Help Some people are professional conservationists. . Conservationists You Should Know Some conservationists become famous because their work saves an animal. conservationists educate others about conservation. place. Preserving biodiversity will help ensure a healthy planet for all living things. or organizations like the World Wildlife Fund for Nature. and other environments. John Muir helped pioneer the idea of national parks in the United States. They may work for national parks. Every town and country has people like this. They volunteer their time or give money to help conservation projects. Africa. too. zoos. lakes. The conservationist Jane Goodall observes a chimpanzee in Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. Jane Goodall is famous for her work with chimpanzees. or culture from disappearing.Ellis/GLOBIO. y y y y Jane Goodall has helped protect chimpanzees in Africa. Anna Merz has worked to ensure the survival of blackrhinoceroses in Kenya. Laurie Marker has helped people understand the importance of protecting cheetahs in Africa. They also make plans to help environments and resources recover from damage. In addition.

Human activities like cutting trees. .Ellis/GLOBIO. it destroys the balance. We also take away the balance. we take more than just trees.Variety Is Good Conserving biodiversity makes sure that as many living things survive as possible. Some forests are cleared using fire. rivers. when we cut a forest for the wood. If any of the resources are removed too fast or removed completely. and other resources. Keeping a Balance Different types of environments exist all over our planet. draining wetlands. and overfishingare endangering wild areas such as rainforests. many living things may have trouble surviving. Each type of environment has its own special weather. These plants may grow in a place no one has explored. wetlands. ©G. Stopping the Destruction Conserving biodiversity starts by not destroying or damaging the environments we have left on Earth. Everything is in balance. Lightning during the dry season starts others. This is important to humans because there are still many undiscovered plant and animal species. so the environment no longer works like a forest for all theorganisms living there. plants and animals. For example. water supply. If we destroy a place¶s biodiversity. to make room for crops and livestock. Life in that environment depends on all its resources for survival.org Staying Connected Conservation is also important because all the living things in an environment are connected. For example. polluting the air and water. we may never know that there was a species of plant that could have provided an important cure. some plants contain chemicals that may help cure or prevent diseases like cancer. minerals. When an environment is out of balance. Fires cause significant losses of forest and habitat each year. and oceans.

Missing Connections When we replant the trees. Start Being a Conservationist Today A conservationist looks for conservation solutions and then takes action. they may encourage governments to protect an entire wetlands or a large section of tropical rainforest. If the environment is too badly damaged.and adding it to soil helps make the soil richer and healthier. So just by recycling the aluminum cans you use.a mix of dead plants and dirt . ©G. so reducing paper use also saves water. But all the other resources may be out of balance or damaged. it takes much less energy to recycle an aluminum soft drink can than it does to make a new one. Think about paper. and prevent pollution. Keeping It All Together Scientists and conservationists believe the best way to preserve cultural and biological diversity is by protecting large pieces of the environment. the balance may never return. For example. When paper products are recycled. fewer trees need to be cut. and recycling paper saves trees and water. In some environments. Making paper products also uses a lot of water. Recycle! Using less paper. Reuse. it helps replace the wood we took. Making energy uses up resources like oil and coal. this may take 100 years or more. you become an instant conservationist! Every Little Bit Helps Making compost .Ellis/GLOBIO. A second way is to connect environments with corridors where wildlife and plants can move without being detected. Cardboard and paper can be recycled. What are some ways you could help conserve trees and water? Reduce. For example. reusing paper. One of the biggest uses of trees is paper products. resources. Rich soil is important for growing food. The replanted area is just trees for many years until all the plants and animals become stable again.org . This may cause the extinction of some species. Recycling aluminum cans will save money.

But you and your school class can do your part. You can contact a local conservation organization. Ask about ways your class might help with conservation right in your own community! . andorangutan from extinction may take a big effort from many individuals and governments.Conservation consists of big and small efforts. too. you could raise money to buy an acre of rainforest to protect it from logging and other damaging uses. Saving animal species like the giant panda. For example. elephant.