The increase in the number of the world’s population (about seven billion people) has caused an increase in the rates of economic development, which doubled the “desperate” attempts to raise the human standard of living and achieve well-being in all areas of life. Up to this day, one can say that economic development takes place without taking into account the environment, which is necessary to preserve the renewable natural resources, and environmental systems.
The result was that history recorded the worst levels of environmental degradation and depletion of natural resources during the nineties of the last century. During the same period, history also recorded the world’s attention towards environmental degradation problems.
There are two related facts which must be recognized and in which actions must be based on:
– Economic Development cannot continue raising the human standard of living or achieve well-being, except if it was built on sound ecological foundations, meaning that it should take into account environmental considerations and the limitations of renewable natural resources. There could be sustainable development only through this way.
Efforts for the preservation of the environment and its renewable resources can only succeed if they provided the full opportunity for economic development to ensure an adequate standard of living for a person, which does not stop at the subsistence level.
In light of these two facts, preserving resources can be considered a form of basic economic development, since preservation means managing the human use of ecosystems in the biosphere, so as to achieve the maximum sustainable benefits for current generations, making sure that this will not affect the ability of future generations to use these resources with the same efficiency or even more efficiently.
Based on the above, it is evident that preservation includes all or some of the following operations:
- Protecting natural resources and preventing their use for a limited time until their recovery.
- Rehabilitating the degraded environmental areas.
- Ecosystems Maintenance, and sustainable use of renewable natural resources.
- Improving the productivity of ecosystems producing natural resources.