The Need to Conserve and Protect Biodiversity
There is always the need for proper land use which ensures that people can at presently use land for their own needs, sustainably safeguard nature resources and protect the environment for future generation. Land is of critical importance to all humans on this planet and we all need it to carry out various developmental agendas; develop the land for economic or subsistence use through agriculture. There are some instances whereby developing land can lead to destructions to the environment and such are situations which call for proper planning of land before any commercial developments or agricultural activities are carried out.
Primarily, we all need to be aware that almost all the natural resources on earth are provided by land. Therefore any reckless use of the same can have major impacts on the resources. Moreover, humans depend on land for their livelihood through different ways – agriculture, forestry, industrial developments etc – and thus it is always paramount for each individual to ensure the proper use of land resources.
All over the world, every person want to own a piece of land. However, this is not possible given that land is scarce and the human population has been constantly growing each day. This calls for proper use of the available land resources and protection of other natural resources such as water and plants effectively to ensure that that they are productive enough to meet human needs.
Several years back, I used to work at a Land Trust which had key functions of conserving places which matter the most and also used to educate the public about the importance of land conservation through engaging the public on community-based conservation activities.
Educating the Public on the Importance of Proper Land Use
We faced a lot of challenges especially in our quest to build capacity for pursuing various protection policies which were economically viable. Most of these policies didn’t resonate well with most of the residents of the various communities that we were trying to engage despite the fact that we worked closely with the ministry of lands and rural developments as well as other concerned institutions. There was always a bone of contention in our various efforts. Locals always wanted to do things the way that they were accustomed to based on their socio-economic and cultural practices. This posed a lot of problems for us to work efficiently to meet our objectives.
Two years since the organization was incorporated and funded by various NGOs, there was nothing to show in terms of our accomplishments. We had nothing convincing to enlist continuous funding from the various donors. Therefore, if at all we were to succeed, we had to do things differently; we had to use a proven model which would enable the public to realize the importance of our efforts.
I was part of the management that met and decided on various approaches which would enable us to work hand-in-hand with the locals in the area under our jurisdiction. One of the successful projects that we started later was the advocating of sustainable agriculture which promoted healthy environment while enabling residents to benefits from better yields. We had to pay particular attention to the maintenance of long term productivity of the environment and the various functions of the ecosystem. i.e. we tried to ensure that while we were still promoting agriculture, conservation of other key resources of was too taking place. By achieving such objectives, we were able to work efficiently with the locals in producing high quality and quantity agricultural produce.
Benefits of Land Conservation to the Environment
Within two year into our initiative, we achieved great success. We were able to establish a botanic garden which was vital in attracting various agri-tourists who came to learn more about farming. We also managed to establish an aquaculture and an efficient irrigation scheme among other. All these projects positively benefited the locals and they felt proud to be associated by them.
On our side, we had aimed much on the protection of natural resources. Through educating the public on the need to grow safer organic foods, we realized that their reliance on harmful fertilizers, herbicides and other chemicals had greatly reduced. By educating them on efficient productivity, they could maximize on their yields without harming soil and the environment by using chemicals.
We also made the public to have a clear understanding of characteristics of the natural resources in their regions and how they affect various ecosystem processes such as climate and water availability and what all that means for their specific ecosystem. They realized by misusing such resources, then in future, they would most probably be disadvantaged from productive use of the ecosystem hence the need to protect the resources which they highly relied on. For instance we made them realize the importance of maintaining good soil fertility through proper farming and crop rotation as well as the need to protect watersheds by not cutting down trees.