The main difference between conservation and sustainability is that conservation focuses on the inherent negative impacts of humans and their activities on the environment, whereas sustainability focuses more on improving the effects of human activities on the environment.
The environment we live in has many natural resources, such as water, minerals, land, air, and living organisms. People use natural resources for their needs, but overuse of these resources can lead to depletion of these resources. The growth of civilization and industry also have contributed to this overuse. Once depleted, some natural resources cannot be restored or may take hundreds of years to replenish.
The excessive activities of humans cause disturbances to the natural environment. These disturbances affect the normal functioning of the natural ecosystems leading to adverse conditions like global warming, acid rains, ozone layer depletion, air, water, and land pollution, melting of glaciers, and eutrophication. However, some of the damages caused cannot be restored. Hence, environmental protection has become a major topic of discussion in the modern world. Conservation and sustainability are among two of the most common subject areas in environmental protection.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Conservation
– Definition, Nature
2. What is Sustainability
– Definition, Nature
3. Difference Between Conservation and Sustainability
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Conservation
Conservation is the act of protecting, preserving, or guarding. It simply refers to keeping something safe. Conservation involves the preservation of biological and ecological resources. Three main principles considered in defining conservation are maintaining essential ecological processes and life support systems, preserving genetic diversity, and ensuring the sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems. There are different types of conservations, but the general principle of them is similar. For example, one aspect of conservation is the conservation of natural habitats or species of wildlife, which involves maintaining healthy ecosystems and population numbers so that no plant or animal becomes endangered or extinct.
There are different methods to conserve the environment. These include using alternative energy sources like solar power and geothermal energy, planting trees and increasing vegetation, establishing protected areas like national parks and nature reserves, imposing hunting restrictions, implementing proper planting of herbs and trees, protecting biodiversity, as well as imposing legislation on deforestation.
What is Sustainability
Sustainability is the ability to exist and develop without depleting natural resources. Here, the resources are considered finite; hence, the resources should be used conservatively and without decreasing the present quality of life and ensuring the existence of resources for future generations. There are both short-term and long-term benefits of sustainability. If humans continue their destructive practices, there will be adverse effects such as global warming, acid rain, water pollution, air pollution, land pollution, and depletion of natural resources. Without sustainability, humans cannot save most natural resources for the long term, especially for future generations’ use.
Sustainability is conceptualized with three pillars. The three pillars of sustainability are environmental protection, social development, and economic development. Environmental protection involves steps like reduction of or limiting the usage of natural resources, minimizing wastage, and reduction of carbon footprint. Social development is about treating employees fairly and treating the stakeholders, employees, and the business community in a responsible, ethical, and sustainable manner. Economic development, on the other hand, is all about making profits sustainably for companies. Finally, sustainability is important to maintain healthy ecosystems, natural resources, biodiversity, and quality of life.
Difference Between Conservation and Sustainability
In simple words, conservation refers to the careful preservation and protection of the environment, whereas sustainability refers to using natural resources while maintaining the quality of life and ensuring the existence of natural resources for future generations.
Conservation focuses on the inherent negative impacts of humans and their activities on the environment, whereas sustainability focuses more on improving the effects of human activities on the environment.
The environment we live in has many natural resources. But harmful human activities cause the rapid depletion of these natural resources. Therefore, we must all take action to preserve these natural resources for future generations. Conservation and sustainability are two concepts that are important in preserving these natural resources. The main difference between conservation and sustainability is that conservation focuses on the inherent negative impacts of humans and their activities on the environment, whereas sustainability focuses more on improving the effects of human activities on the environment.