Major Challenges Faced by Environmental Conservation

Air, land, and water environments consist of numerous vital natural resources that have been used to produce food and other necessities of life, and sustain the majority of living organisms since the Earth came into existence.

Human activities tied to the use of natural resources, especially during the past few decades, have degraded most air, land, and water environments and caused a ton of environmental problems that have held a firm grip on the world.

The negative impacts of environmental problems have always necessitated the call for effective implementation of environmental conservation practices which are aimed at managing, protecting, and preserving natural environments (land, air, and water) and ecosystems, or restoring degraded natural environments and ecosystems to their natural state.

However, attempts to implement environmental conservation practices usually encounter stiff challenges that have made it difficult to eliminate or remediate environmental problems such as soil erosion, desertification, climate change and severe weather, increased droughts, global warming, increasing ocean acidity, environmental (air, land, and water) pollution, loss of biodiversity, aquifer depletion, etc.

Generally speaking, the efforts that have been made to achieve environmental conservation goals have faced the following major challenges:

1. Ignorance and lack of concern

Many people who work in or interact with the environment have short-term view-points regarding the future uses of the environment, and they are often ignorant, apathetic, and unconcerned or unaware of how some of their activities are degrading the environment.

As a result, air, land, and water environments degrade so gradually and insidiously that the impacts are easily ignored or overlooked until they become big environmental problems long after preventive action should have been taken by implementing environmental conservation practices.

The environmental conservation practices that are required to prevent environmental pollution and degradation are delayed or not employed because of indifference; at times, some landowners or communities that own a particular natural resource (like land or water) claim that they have the right to use it as they see fit.

2. Economic obstacles

Generally speaking, the unwillingness of people, governments, or organizations to employ environmental conservation practices is mostly based on economics. Before major decisions are taken to apply environmental conservation practices, economic considerations are made; this usually involves evaluating the total cost that would be required to conserve an air, water, or soil environment.

The costs for conservation are usually on the high end. In many instances, because of insufficient funds—especially in developing or less developed nations that have low standards of living—people, communities, governments, or NGOs find it difficult or impossible to finance and implement environmental conservation practices.

3. Unreadiness to deviate from traditional or cultural practices

Some people or communities have inherited cultural or traditional practices that continue to be practiced in their environments; unsurprisingly, they aren’t ready to relinquish such practices in order to eliminate or reduce their environmental problems.

Take for instance, situations whereby many farmers continue to plough farmlands in ways that completely cover crop residues and make it easier for rain, runoff, and wind to wash away topsoil and nutrients, and thus cause nutrient depletion and soil erosion.

Because some people or communities place a great deal of pride in certain traditions or cultural practice, they aren’t ready to push tradition or culture aside and employ scientific or conservation ethics that can help to retain residue and consequently reduce or prevent soil erosion and water pollution. 

4. Insecurity and uncertainty

Many people in developing countries struggle to make a living while employing long-lived traditional or cultural practices that have degraded the environment in the long run.

Some people usually feel insecure and uncertain about modern conservation practices, and believe that—although science has proven that the practices would benefit the environment in the long run—the practices may end up making people become poorer or financially worse in the short run.

Napier and Sommers (1993) noted that, if the benefits of environmental conservation practices are expected to be delayed or distributed over several years, then the people who are asked to apply them should be guaranteed that they won’t starve to death if the environmental conservation practices fail.

9 comments

  • Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News and commented:
    “The negative impacts of environmental problems have always necessitated the call for effective implementation of environmental conservation practices which are aimed at managing, protecting, and preserving natural environments (land, air, and water) and ecosystems, or restoring degraded natural environments and ecosystems to their natural state.

    However, attempts to implement environmental conservation practices usually encounter stiff challenges that have made it difficult to eliminate or remediate environmental problems such as soil erosion, desertification, climate change and severe weather, increased droughts, global warming, increasing ocean acidity, environmental (air, land, and water) pollution, loss of biodiversity, aquifer depletion, etc.”

    Liked by 1 person

  • A good post on environmental conservation. Thank you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  • In the United States right now there is a push to replace oil drilling with windmills to replace the need to drill for fossil fuels. (I hoped I’ve expressed that correctly. I’m not a scientist) . But, from my understanding, windmills can be dangerous to the environment as well due to the threat to birds, etc. What do you think of windmills and their impact on the environment? Also, there is a push to replace gas fueled cars with electric cars, but what will happen when the huge batteries required for electric cars have to be disposed of? Will that not have a dangerous impact on the environment? I truly enjoyed reading your article. I am interested in environmental science and studied it in college almost forty years ago. Things have changed to say the least, but a few things haven’t changed and that is human beings negative impact of the environment either from simple ignorance or blatant greed. Thanks in advance for answering my questions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • you’re welcome and thanks for reading, commenting, and the questions.

      I am from Nigeria, and except I search online, I don’t really know whether there is a push right right now in the USA to replace oil drilling with windmills in order to replace the need to drill for fossil fuels. If there is a push to replace oil drilling with windmills, then it would depend on the reasons or intentions, which I believe are mostly related to relieving the environment from adverse weather and global warming due to the negative impact of gas emissions from activities tied to fossil fuel.

      As for your question regarding windmills, my take is that most things in life have pros and cons: as it is with all energy supply options, windmills and the wind energy they produce, can have negative environmental impacts like the potential to kill or degrade animal life (birds, fish, etc.) and plants; however, if people compare the negative impact of using wind energy from windmills and the negative impact of using other forms of energy that are not from windmills, one would prefer wind energy from windmills because they don’t have a really high negative impact or adverse effect on global warming and the greater environment’s weather; in addition, they don’t have the potential to destroy all types of environments (land, air, and water) and all forms of life which are more than birds, etc. The best way to prevent animal deaths from windmill turbines is to build windmills or windfarms out of common animal nesting and migration areas. Therefore, windmills can be located or sited in areas that would make them more wildlife-friendly and have a less potential to be in contact with animals and plants.

      As for your question regarding huge car batteries, the electric car batteries won’t be such an issue because they can simply be recycled instead of discarded. Recycling (which is one of the three main principles of sustainability that can preserve or sustain our natural environment) can be applied when it comes to electric car batteries.

      It’s been a long time since you studied environmental science in college, but you seem to be interested in it and still studying it everyday.

      Like

  • Thank you so much for your response. I’ve learned more from your explanation regarding windmills than in the whole of reading newspaper/magazine articles which seem to not be factually objective.
    Recycling the car batteries will certainly protect the environment. This is all fascinating. I’ve always loved nature and I have been very concerned about deforestation and its impact on the wildlife in my region. Overbuilding of condominiums and the such is destructive, as well.
    Again, thank you for your informative blog. It gave me something to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome and thanks so much for your positive and warm response. Although newspapers/magazines can be educative, they may be not always be objective, especially if they want to highlight and expatiate on a particular point…Yes, too much built or man-made environments also have negative impacts on the environment…

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.