Non-profit organisations the world over work hard every day to help conserve nature. Canada’s Ontario Nature and America’s National Audubon Society are just two examples. Together, all these organisations seek to better the world we live in through education, advocacy, and hands-on work.
The biggest advocacy organisations get most of the attention and donations. Yet it is the grass roots efforts of smaller organisations that do a lot of the work on the ground. If you are interested in getting involved, find a local organisation in your area. If everyone does their part locally, we will collectively do our part globally.
With all that said, you might think you don’t have a good reason to help conserve nature. The goal of this post is to encourage you to think again. Below are six reasons that conserving nature is worth the effort. Hopefully, one or more of them will appeal to you.
1. Maintaining Ecosystem Balance
The place to start this discussion is with the understanding that humankind is part of nature. We are not separate from it. Therefore, it is our responsibility to cooperate with nature for the purposes of maintaining ecosystem balance. We humans have a unique responsibility in this regard in that we are the only species capable of deriving innovative solutions to solve the problems the earth now faces.
All ecosystems, regardless of their size, rely on a delicate balance. Each part of an ecosystem plays a role in maintaining that balance. In certain respects, humans are like line painting machines. How we paint the lines in a parking lot determines whether the cars in that lot remain organised and equally spaced. Likewise, everything we do within an ecosystem influences its organisation and balance.
Nature is worth conserving for the simple fact that unbalanced ecosystems cannot thrive. For our planet to continue reaching its fullest potential, things have to stay balanced. Nature conservation is critical to that.
2. Preserving Natural Resources
Because humans are part of nature, we must utilise natural resources in order to survive. That is perfectly normal and acceptable. What we don’t have to do is waste resources. Nor do we have to abuse what nature provides. A big part of conservation is preserving our natural resources.
We preserve them by doing a better job managing them. It is like anything else. If we correctly manage what we have to work with we will be better able to make sure we never run out. If we do not correctly manage our resources, waste will inevitably lead to lack. We cannot afford to let that happen.
3. Leaving Behind a Legacy
For many of us who believe in conserving nature, it’s about leaving behind a legacy that actually blesses our children and grandchildren. Needless to say, we will leave a legacy one way or the other. It is far better to leave a positive one than a negative one, which is why it is so important to conserve nature.
If those of us who are now adults chose to not conserve, we would probably not be the ones that had to live with the consequences. Our children and grandchildren would bear the brunt of our actions. Most people in the nature conservation movement understand that. They have no desire to leave behind a legacy that could cause harm to future generations.
4. Ensuring Our Own Survival
If you are looking for a more practical reason to get involved, here’s one: conserving nature is key to ensuring our own survival. Remember, human beings are part of nature. When things get out of balance, everything in nature suffers. Every time human beings take actions that are damaging to nature, we reduce the chances of our own long-term survival.
A concrete example is found in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Human beings cannot get by without both. If we use and abuse nature to the extent that it is no longer producing adequate oxygen and water, we could very well destroy ourselves. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
Polluting the air only jeopardises our ability to maintain oxygen levels. Polluting the water only makes it harder to find clean drinking water. It just doesn’t make sense to spoil what nature provides. Not conserving nature would be like not maintaining our houses. Eventually, they would fall apart and become uninhabitable.
5. Learning What Nature Teaches
An extension of ensuring our own survival is learning what nature teaches. So many of the lessons we have learned to keep ourselves alive have come from nature. We’ve learned how to plant crops and raise animals. We have learned how to harness fire and electricity. We have learned how to derive lifesaving medicines from plants and minerals.
Imagine where humankind would be right now if we had learned nothing from nature over the last 5000 years. Imagine if we were still hunters and gatherers trying to eke out a meagre existence without the ability to grow food. It is almost too uncomfortable to think about.
The fact is that nature teaches us an awful lot about our own existence. If we are willing to learn, it also teaches us how to coexist with the rest of nature. We need to learn those lessons. We will not be able to do so if we don’t make a concerted effort to conserve and protect the natural world.
6. Benefiting from Nature’s Spirit
Finally, those who are closest to nature insist that it has a spiritual element. Regardless of your particular religious bent, you might agree. You might understand that there is something unique about standing in a forest and taking in the peaceful silence, broken only by soft breezes in the trees and animals moving about. You might have experienced the unique sensation of standing on a mountaintop and watching the sun set.
Human beings benefit by experiencing the spirit of nature. We benefit by spending time in nature and attempting to be one with it. If we do not conserve nature, those benefits could be lost.
There are plenty of other reasons to conserve nature. Perhaps you have reasons that were not mentioned in this post. That’s great. Now go do something with them. Find a local nature conservation group and get involved. And if there is nothing locally, there are regional and national organisations always looking for help.