Preservation Through Utility

This blog post was contributed by reader Emma Mardle.

Persuading people to appreciate the importance of the environment for its intrinsic value has always been difficult. However, persuading them to appreciate its importance for its monetary value may be a different matter. There are examples – many, in fact – of situations wherein man and nature have worked to each other’s mutual advantage. Humanity has fought for the preservation of an aspect(s) of the natural world because to do so preserves profit and enjoyment, and that aspect of nature has accordingly benefited from humanity’s protection and lobbying.

Generally in the past such protection has been intrinsic upon the killing of some portions of the protected population for sport, which has often proved detrimental to the environment as a whole as it results in the over-proliferation of the ‘sport’ beast at the expense of others. However, the principle as a whole remains sound – if the environment can be made to profit the rich and powerful, the rich and powerful will bring their considerable influence to bear to protect it. A cynical view, perhaps, but an effective one.

 

More to come on eco-tourism, green cruises, and Canada’a promising start.