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Our impact on conservation

March 10, 2013

Many trained conservationist I know have developed a strange sixth sense by which they are constantly aware of the impact their actions have on biodiversity, whether they are good or bad. For example, some of them are very quick on determining the course of action a given project should take to actually change the fate of a species. They are always filled with new ideas and pretty easily develop proposals to get the funding they need. This is because they are very good in predicting the impact a given action would have.

The same acts in a different direction. They can quickly think on ways a simple action could result in detriment of the biodiversity (and humanity), and they act accordingly. This is the kind of person that we’ll never see leaving a light on, or driving an oversized car. It is not a sort of compulsive disorder; it is just that sometime on their lives they got aware of how their little decisions can affect the world we live in. After that, it is the most basic logic what guides their behavior, for them some decisions have become an instinct.

But most people are not trained ecologists. What conservationists face is trying to get people that don’t see or don’t care about this “big picture” to change their behavior. Yes, we collectively got to do something if we want other species to survive the next 1000 years. Not only it is difficult to reach everyone to show them how they contribute to species extinction, but undoubtedly there will be people that will refuse to acknowledge that preserving biodiversity is actually important.

But I can guess most of my readers are aware that for any action there’s a reaction, and this reaction somewhat somewhere is on biodiversity. But these reactions can be good or bad which gives the opportunity for all to be a conservationist. So what do we conservationists can do? For me the answer is rather simple:

–          Extinguish the fire. Find the way for everyone to change their way of living so we attain sustainability.

–          Play with the fire. Design and support active conservation actions so we can keep “improving” our way or living while maintaining biodiversity.

–          Pray for a miracle.

I wonder how much the general public actually cares about conservation, so it appears that there’s a long way to go if we want to extinguish the fire. Let’s face it, there’s a limit we all have to what we are willing to do in favor of conservation. What would be the ultimate solution? a massive suicide? so to completely extinguish the fire is not viable, nor necessary, but we should do something to reduce the flame.

So after reducing the flame as much as we think is enough, we should deal with the rest of our impact. For the most regular people what they can easily do is to start supporting conservation causes. By doing this, some expert conservationist will actively work either teaching the public how to reduce the flame, or will do something to prevent a species from getting extinct. These conservation actions can range from breeding an endangered species in captivity to manage a network of protected areas.

So there’s much that anyone can do to be a conservationist. Trough this blog I’ll share my thoughts hoping to inspire more people to join us on this journey. Thanks for reading!


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