World Nature Conservation Day is an annual event held on July 28. This day stresses the need for preserving a healthy environment and natural resources to maintain a stable and healthy society. Saving plants and animals that face the threat of extinction is one of the primary goals of World Nature Conservation Day. Also, the celebrations emphasize keeping the various components of nature such as flora, fauna, energy resources, soil, water, and air intact. In addition, World Nature Conservation Day underlines the need for preserving the environment for future generations. We are therefore tasked with the need to leave a healthy planet for those coming after us to enjoy.
History of World Nature Conservation Day
Human activities during the last century have had a devastating impact on natural vegetation and other resources. The quest for rapid industrialization and cutting down of forest cover to make space for the ever-growing population has caused climate change and other environmental implications.
As much as awareness about environmental conservation has increased in the past few years, there is still a long way to go before positive steps show their results. In recent times, the need for conserving the environment has become more evident. The relentless human overexploitation of resources has led to unusual weather patterns, destruction of wildlife habitats, extinction of species, and loss of biodiversity. Sadly, this is the norm the world over. That’s why organizations like the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) are important.
In the first decade of its existence, the organization focused on examining how human activities affected nature. It also promoted the use of environmental impact assessments, which have been widely adopted across industries. In the 1960s and 1970s, most of the I.U.C.N.’s work was directed toward the protection of species and their habitats. In 1964, the I.U.C.N. founded the I.U.C.N. Red List of Threatened Species™, which is currently the world’s most comprehensive data source on the risk of global extinction of species.
In the 2000s, the I.U.C.N. introduced ‘nature-based solutions.’ These are actions that conserve nature while also addressing global challenges such as climate change, security of food and water, and poverty alleviation. The I.U.C.N. is currently the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network.
World Nature Conservation Day timeline
The E.U. completely restricts the outdoor use of three neonicotinoids (a type of pesticide).
Thirty-one gray wolves from western Canada are released into Yellowstone National Park, 40 years after they were wiped out by people.
The Endangered Species Act is passed to encourage the conservation of ecosystems upon which threatened and endangered species rely for survival.
In Fontainebleau, a small town in France, the International Union for Conservation of Nature is established.
World Nature Conservation Day FAQs
How many types of conservation are there?
Conservation is broadly divided into two types: in-situ (conservation of habitats, species, and ecosystems where they naturally occur) and ex-situ (conservation in the context of natural habitats e.g. through zoos, botanical gardens, and seed banks).
What is the difference between conservation and preservation?
Conservation promotes the sustainable use of nature by humans for activities such as logging, hunting, or mining, while preservation means protecting nature from human use.
Why is biodiversity important?
Biodiversity is vital for a flourishing natural world, as well as supporting economies, livelihoods, food security, and the health of humans.
Why is it important to conserve water?
Conserving water is important because it keeps water clean and pure while protecting the environment.
How to Observe World Nature Conservation Day
Cut down on plastic use
Plastic is cheap and very convenient to use, but it comes with environmental implications. Plastic products are non-biodegradable and are an eyesore in our surroundings. Switch to products made of degradable and natural components instead.
With the fast-changing pace of technology, people buy new electronic items without thinking about where the old products end up. Most of the e-waste produced is improperly disposed of. Aim to reduce your e-waste and look for recycling options before buying new products.
One of the biggest effects of climate change has been the decreasing level of safe drinking water. Simple steps like turning off water taps when not in use can save thousands of gallons of water in a year.
5 Facts About Conservation
Extinction is happening on a massive scale
Around one million species of plants and animals are nearly extinct.
More reserves are needed
Only 12.5% of the landmass on Earth is dedicated to natural reserves.
Expensive invasive species
The U.K., the U.S., India, South Africa, Brazil, and Australia suffer an annual combined loss of $316 billion due to invasive species.
Wildlife population sizes have greatly declined
The W.W.F.’s Living Planet Report 2020 states that there has been an average 68% drop in the global population sizes of birds, amphibians, fish, mammals, and reptiles between 1970 and 2016.
Freshwater species are declining the fastest
Freshwater wildlife species populations are declining disproportionately faster than others, decreasing by an average of 84% between 1970 and 2018.
Why World Nature Conservation Day is Important
It reminds us to stay mindful
Sometimes people become unconsciously reckless in their interactions with the environment. This day is a reminder to treat the Earth with respect.
It protects the environment
The natural world has suffered so much destruction at the hands of human beings. World Nature Conservation Day protects the environment from further harm.
It’s a chance to make a real impact
Conservation can sometimes feel like an abstract concept. This day helps us put things into perspective and make tangible positive changes.
World Nature Conservation Day dates