From extinction to conservation

The risk of jeopardizing the biodiversity of the Earth at this stage is quite evident, and it is equally evident that the answer cannot be found only on a scientific scale, but must also be discussed on a cultural scale. In fact if we think of the role of the biological heritage for the survival of human beings, it is possible to see how important the action of biological conservation that now involves the institutions and agencies all over the world is.
The most important step made up to date to formally confirm the need to save the natural heritage, is the international treaty known as the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD). The agreement was signed in 1992 by 156 countries (including the European Union), during the course of a Conference on Environment and Development organized in Rio de Janeiro by the UNO (United Nations Organization) and it established the principle that biodiversity is a heritage that belongs to the entire humanity, and as such must be used according to ecological sustainability criteria and social equity among all the populations worldwide.
The concept of conservation as a topic that is worthy of international attention, is however older than the CBD. In the last century, the first efforts to understand this problem thoroughly and to manage it rationally, led to the foundation of very prestigious organizations such as the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) (World Wide Fund for Nature) and others. In these organizations, highly qualified experts on the environmental, social and economic topics are employed.
Therefore conservation has become much more than an exclusively scientific matter, it has become a matter that needs to be solved with adequate measures that range from economy to law, from social science to natural science, from philosophy to biomedicine and so on. Experts have noticed that extinction and all the other forms of erosion of biodiversity can be faced only with the instruments made available by different fields of knowledge. As a matter of fact, what seems increasingly necessary is a different way of dealing with the relation between man and nature: a challenge that cannot be faced with only one form of knowledge.

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