Educate to be able to conserve
Much of society is not aware of the importance of conserving natural heritage. The anthropocentric vision on which our development has been based has isolated us from nature. As a species we have tended to believe ourselves superior to what surrounds us, considering the planet and the other species that inhabit it as simple resources to exploit to keep growing and developing. This fact, however, already implies a serious problem: infinite growth is impossible on a planet where, like it or not, resources are finite.
This development based on “anything goes” has made us lose consciousness about what really matters, leading us towards an environmental and climate crisis that is already beginning to show itself and that we will have to face in the immediate future. In this sense, it is convenient to understand that promoting the conservation of natural heritage goes far beyond romanticism or empathy for the rest of the species that inhabit the planet. Conserve means to be able to live, since all species play a fundamental role in maintaining a balance on which we depend to live. The loss of just one species may lead to serious alterations on that balance that are impossible to foresee.
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” Baba Dioum, 1968.
So now more than ever it is essential to remember what is important. “In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” This is the famous quote that the Senegalese forest engineer Baba Dioum pronounced at the General Assembly of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) held in New Delhi in 1968. Despite saying it 53 years ago it is still very relevant, as it clearly shows the fundamental role that education plays in conservation. Educate to be able to conserve, conserve to be able to live.