Historic preservation refers to the application of looking after and maintaining sites, constructions, items, scene(s) or other relics that are of remarkable implication. These preservations more often than not are implications of local or nationwide cultural, societal, fiscal, governmental, archaeological or architectural narration. The key point here is that preservation takes place for a built environment (Hazen). There are a host of other terms that are used to refer to this practice and they include heritage conservation, landscape preservation, object conservation, immovable object conservation, among others.
Historic preservation is the term widely used to refer to these activities in America and Canada. On the other hand, environmental conservation is a moral principle that relates resource exploitation, allotment, and safeguard. The most important emphasis of environmental conservation is upon keeping up the wellbeing of the natural world.
The elements in focus include fisheries, habitations and natural multiplicity. Resultant emphasis is on matter preservation and energy preservation, elements which are vital to the safeguard of the natural earth. The people who go after the conservation moral principle and work to achieve conservation aims are referred to as conservationists. Historic preservation holds a lot of varied benefits for humanity. These include the reinforcing of local financial systems, evening out of assets worth, promoting of local attractiveness and society pride, and the positive reception of local and state-run history. The practice also serves as a community function that moves forward the learning and wellbeing of nationals at the same time as endow them with monetary and visual gains as well (Hazen). Environmental conservation holds an even greater importance for the existence of life on earth.
An ever-growing world population, fast alteration of vital habitation to other exploits, and the widening of insidious kind to foreign-born habitations create a severe danger to the planet’s innate resources and to the rest of forms of life that rely on them for foodstuff, energy, protection and medication. Guiding principles that disfigure marketplaces and offer inducements for unsustainable progress always end stepping up the predicament. With each passing year, there is a net loss of twenty two million acres of forested land globally.
At the same time, deadly compounds, with some of them have the capability to move thousands of land, water and air miles from their starting place and lasting for long in the environment.
One of the earliest remarkable preservation labors in the United States was the Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site. It was the foremost asset chosen as a historic site by an American state and was situated in New York. Another ancient preservation was that by George Washington in 1858. It was Mount Vemon. The original state-run significant preservation congress was in 1889.
It was referred to as the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. As the name implies, this group was based in Virginia. One of the most significant laws touching on preservation came up in 1906. It was referred to as the Antiquities Act and has ended up having an in-depth effect on the protection of the American civilizing and innate tradition.
Recreational areas which are varied like Grand Canyon and Olympic National Park owe their existence to this piece of legislation (Harmon, 4). These and a host of other archaeological sites have been safeguarded for all future generations. Later on in 1930, the first historic preservation edict came to being in Charleston, South Carolina and the architectural company of Simons and Lapham was instrumental in the creation. The second such edict took place in New Orleans.
In 1949, the United States National Trust for Historic Preservation began. This was a non-profit association financed in private and held a few honored assets (Hazen). Later in 1951, this entity took over the running of its first museum asset. This was Woodlawn Plantation in the north of Virginia.
The obliteration of Pennsylvania Station in 1964 was astounding to many US citizens and it ended up encouraging scores of them into propping up preservation. On the intercontinental platform, the World Monuments Fund was established in 1965 in New York and its primary purpose was the preservation of historic sites worldwide. The education sector was not left behind as the initial curriculum for an advanced-degree in historic preservation took place in 1964. This was at Columbia University and it turned out to be the replica on which a majority of other graduate historic preservation curriculums were established.
In 1975 there followed a Masters Degree in Preservation Planning and Historic Preservation from Comell and the University of Vermont respectively. Other institutions followed suit and at present there are community colleges that provide opportunities for Associates Degrees in Historic Preservation. In the UK, the antiquarian concerns were a well-known gentleman’s recreation from as early as mid 17th century, and it advanced together with the growth of technical inquisitiveness. In the year 1882, the original Ancient Monuments Protection Act was agreed to. The United Kingdom’s Ancient Monuments Act of 1913 formally safeguarded some out of date constructions of inherent historical and associative importance, the same way modernism was extending right power to devastation of the built legacy in the name of development.
The National Trust of UK commenced with the safeguarding of notable buildings and has progressively advanced its span (Hazen). In 1944 there arose the Town and Country Planning Act. This particular decree was revised to ensure improved effectiveness more recently in 1990 and held on to the same name.
The unease for environmental conservation has persisted in varied manners, in various parts of the world through history. For instance, in the Middle East, the initial known inscriptions touching on environmental contamination were created in the period of the Arab Agricultural Revolution. They laid emphasis on atmosphere, water, and earth contamination. They also touched on solid dissipate mismanagement and environmental appraisals of various districts.
King Edward I of England went ahead in a significant step to outlaw the burn up of sea coal. This was in 1272 and it was as a result of the fuel’s smoke turning out to be a nuisance. Nevertheless, air contamination went on being a problem in England in the period of the Industrial Revolution and expanding into the not a long while ago Great Smog of 1952. In Europe, the Industrial Revolution brought about contemporary environmental contamination as it by and large recognized in the present day.
The coming up of big plants and use of great volumes of coal and other fossil sources of energy led to unparalleled air contamination and the high quantities of industrial chemical releases added to the expanding pack of unprocessed human waste. The Leblanc process of producing soda ash ejected hazardous air contamination. This led to the crafting by environmentalists of the British Alkali Acts in 1863 to control more harm. Environmentalism developed out of the amenity interest group, which was a rejoinder to industrialization, the development of urban centers, and aggravating air and water contamination. In the United States, the origins of an environmental movement can be mapped out to the year 1739. Philadelphia inhabitants, including Benjamin Franklin, referred to civic rights and called upon the Pennsylvania Assembly to put an end to waste deposit and get rid of tanneries from the region’s business locality. The environmental movement grew in the 1800s out of concerns for safeguarding the innate resources.
In the 20th century, initiatives relating to the environment kept on advancing in regard and esteem. Energies were beginning to be directed to save some flora and fauna, especially the American Bison. The demise of the last Passenger Pigeon as well as the endangered status of the American Bison led to the focus of the efforts of conservation experts and making their worries popular with the people. The National Park Service was set up by the then president in 1916 (Harmon, 4). A publication which many quarters have reckoned to be the most potent piece of writing touching on environmental conservation was put out in 1949 (Hazen). It was by Aldo Leopold and was titled A Sand County Almanac and it gave details that humanity needs to hold ethical respect for the environment.
In the course of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and the years after, use of photos was the main means of augmenting civic consciousness of the need for preserving land and getting people to join environmental groups. American biologist Rachel Carson published a book titled Silent Spring in 1962 and it highlighted the environmental effects of the uncontrolled spraying of DDT in the nation. It also queried the rationale behind the ejection of high volumes of chemicals into the environment minus entirely being aware of their impacts on ecology or humankind wellbeing.
The consequential civic concern is what inspired the establishment of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This took place in 1970 and later in 1972 this body outlawed any agricultural DDT in America. During the 1970s, the Chipko movement was established in India. It was inspired by Mohandas Gandhi and its supporters carried out nonviolent opposition to deforestation. They did this by practically hugging tress and it proved to be a very powerful tool.
By the mid-1970s, a lot of experts were of the opinion that the world populace was on the edge of environmental devastation. Initiatives of environmental morals combined with anti-Vietnam War reactions and other political matters. Around the same period, more conventional environmentalism was beginning to manifest might with the enactment of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 and the establishment of CITES in 1975 (Hazen). A very educative publication by James Lovelock was done in 1979 and remains great up to date. It was titled A new look at life on Earth and it had the Gaia Hypothesis which suggests that life on earth can be taken as a single living being. This turned out to be a vital component of the Deep Green philosophy. In the recent times, environmentalism has had to deal with aspects such as global temperature rise and genetic engineering.
The two movements discussed here are important for the existence and advancement of humanity and other forms of life on earth.
It is therefore necessary for conservation and protection of the environment and historic assets/monuments. Environmental skeptics need to be shunned as they disagree with the facts brought up by environmental experts. Anti-environmentalists also have to be ignored when they claim that our planet is resilient enough not to be harmed by humanity’s exploits.
Harmon, David. “The Antiquities Act: A Century of American Archaeology, Historic Preservation, and Nature Conservation.” 2006. The University of Arizona Press.
Hazen T. R. “Environmental and historic preservation.” 2000. Available from < http://home.earthlink.net/~alstallsmith/index.html> Accessed on January 31, 2011.