Human activities call for drastic conservation measures

Avani Maharaj, Staff Writer

Conservation is an important part of protecting the environment and ensuring that the land, plants, animals and water are protected for all. 

Conservation is defined as “the careful preservation and protection of something” by Merriam-Webster.

As the population grows and homes are continuously being built to meet the demands, it is more important than ever to preserve and protect what natural habitat is still untouched for future generations, wildlife, and the land itself.

There is no shortage of organizations and environmental groups that focus on conserving different areas of the environment, from vulnerable species to land. There is very little untouched land, with only 3% of the Earth’s land remaining untouched by human activity, according to Frontiers in Forests and Global Change.

The effects that human activity is having on the global environment are causing notable changes to the ecosystem. Human activities are threatening numerous species, and as the land is developed to suit human needs, it is removing native plants and destroying wildfires’ natural habitats.

“The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever,” said Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Chair Sir Robert Watson in a 2019 IPBES media release. “We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and quality of life worldwide.”

Humans are having a prolific effect on the environment, and without immediate action, from a local to worldwide scale, the damage will be irreversible. The IPBES media release mentions that their reports indicate there is still time to reverse the effects if action is taken now.

“The average abundance of native species in most major land-based habitats has fallen by at least 20%, mostly since 1900,” according to the IPBES report. “More than 40% of amphibian species, almost 33% of reef forming corals and more than a third of all marine mammals are threatened.”

There are many different organizations that aim to not only conserve the land but also educate people on the importance of preserving the environment. 

There are small things that people can do to make a difference and assist in conservation efforts, such as reducing water usage, speaking up against deforestation, recycling, carpooling, and many other tasks. These small changes all play a role in preserving the environment.

The health of our environment has been an important topic of discussion globally in recent years, and the conversation will continue to increase in severity as conservation efforts continue to expand to meet the needs of the never-ending development taking place.