What are the problems of conservation?
What are the new approaches to conservation?
After World War II the field of conservation expanded as new problems arose and as some older approaches became inadequate. The population had grown and pressures on land and resources had increased. So it was impossible to take into account only a single factor or a few factors when planning the use of land and resources. For example, in some countries where the insecticide DDT was used to control malaria-bearing mosquitoes, the disease was reduced to a low level. Similarly, agricultural pests were drastically reduced and crop yields soared in many regions. Eventually however, it was discovered that the pesticides had unexpected and severe consequences on the environment, and by the 1970s there use anywhere for any purpose was open to serious debate. In 1972 DDT was banned.
After World War II all forms of pollution became a matter of serious significance because populations and industrial activities increased. Air in major cities became toxic, water supplies were contaminated. Nuclear radiation has become a major cause for concern by the 1950s and early 1960s, when it was found that radioactive materials from test explosions of atomic and hydrogen bombs spread throughout the entire biosphere instead of being confined to the immediate areas in which the tests were conducted.
As it was necessary to have an integrated approach to environment problems and to natural - resource management, many countries established ministries for the environment or their equivalent. In 1969 the U.S., by the National Environmental Policy Act, established a national Council on Environmental Quality to oversee and coordinate those activities of government departments that could have an effect upon the environment.
By 1970 the problems of the environment had become international in scope. The oceans were seriously polluted, and no single country could control the situation. Pesticides and other toxic materials spread by air and water currents throughout the world were causing environmental damage everywhere. It was necessary to control the use of radioactive materials, heavy metals, toxic pesticides, or the dumping of petroleum at sea, and to regulate the exploitation of marine resources. But such control and regulations were ineffective without international authority.
In recognition of these problems, many international conferences were held, new treaties and conventions were proposed. The need for regulatory power over the environment at an intergovernmental level was stated. The World Health Organization and the World Meteorological Organization began a global program to monitor pollution levels. The UNESCO launched a major scientific program directed toward the problems of "Man and the Biosphere". An international conference on environment problems was held in Stockholm in June 1972. The United Nations General Assembly established the UN Environment Program (UNEP) to act on the recommendations of the Stockholm meeting. In 1980 International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, with the support of UNEP and the World Wildlife Fund, published "World Conservation Strategy". This document, which presented world with strategies for the rational use of resources, has served as the basis for many national conservation plans. But many critics say that if the nations of the world had delegated greater authority to international organizations and had supported them financially more progress towards the solution of global problems world have been expected. In existing conditions of international relations each nation must do everything possible to preserve nature within its own boundaries.
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