Deutsch: Erhaltung / Español: Preservación / Português: Preservação / Français: Préservation / Italiano: Preservazione

In the environmental context, preservation refers to the protection of natural resources, ecosystems, and biodiversity from degradation or destruction. It involves maintaining or restoring the natural environment to ensure that ecological systems remain intact and functional for future generations. Preservation efforts are critical in combating environmental issues like climate change, habitat loss, pollution, and species extinction.


Environmental preservation encompasses a wide range of activities and strategies aimed at safeguarding the Earth's natural heritage. This includes the establishment of protected areas such as national parks and wildlife reserves, the enactment of environmental laws and regulations, and efforts to restore damaged ecosystems. Preservation also involves promoting sustainable practices that reduce human impact on the environment, such as conservation agriculture, renewable energy use, and waste reduction.

Application Areas

  • Conservation Areas and Wildlife Sanctuaries: Protecting habitats to support biodiversity and endangered species.
  • Legislation and Policy: Implementing laws and policies that restrict harmful activities and promote environmental stewardship.
  • Community Engagement and Education: Raising awareness and involving communities in preservation efforts to foster a culture of conservation.
  • Scientific Research: Conducting research to understand ecosystems better and develop methods for their protection and restoration.

Well-Known Examples

  • The Amazon Rainforest: Efforts to preserve the world’s largest tropical rainforest are crucial for biodiversity, climate regulation, and indigenous cultures.
  • The Great Barrier Reef: Preservation initiatives aim to protect the world’s largest coral reef system from threats like coral bleaching, pollution, and overfishing.
  • Endangered Species Act: A key piece of legislation in the United States that aims to protect critically endangered species and their habitats.

Treatment and Risks

Preservation efforts often face challenges from economic development pressures, resource extraction, and land-use conflicts. Balancing the needs of human populations with environmental protection requires careful planning, negotiation, and sometimes, international cooperation. Failure to preserve critical ecosystems and species can lead to irreversible losses in biodiversity and ecosystem services, affecting climate regulation, food security, and human well-being.

Similar Terms

  • Conservation: Often used interchangeably with preservation, though conservation typically implies the sustainable use and management of natural resources, whereas preservation focuses more on protection from use.
  • Sustainability: A broader concept that includes using natural resources in a way that meets current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs.



Preservation in the environmental context is an essential aspect of global efforts to protect and maintain the Earth's natural resources, biodiversity, and ecosystems. Through the establishment of protected areas, legislation, community involvement, and scientific research, preservation aims to ensure the long-term health and viability of the planet for future generations. Facing numerous challenges, the success of preservation efforts is critical in mitigating environmental degradation, conserving biodiversity, and achieving sustainable development goals.


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