chapter  5
26 Pages

Sustainability 2: conservation

The above quotation aptly describes the dilemma that has existed for some time in humanity’s struggle to balance natural resource utilisation with conservation. Globally, we have been slow to recognise how our development activities and patterns of consumption have impacted the resource base. In this chapter, a general discussion on conservationism is used to describe the polarisation of thought on the value and role of resources within society. This chapter is a continuation of the previous chapter in reference to sustainability. While Chapter 4 dealt with the local participation and local benefi ts aspects of sustainability, this chapter examines why conservation is important, and many of the complex issues tied to the use and management of natural areas and biodiversity. The human component is thus never far removed from the discussion on nature and natural resources. An attempt is made to highlight some of the main considerations of the development of a conservation philosophy in light of the pressures that humans continue to place on the natural world. Parks and protected areas are discussed as settings that have an important role in balancing ecological integrity and tourism industry demand.