Conservation is a term generally refers to the protection, preservation, management or restoration of physical and non-physical attributes of an environment for the benefit of all those who are concerned. However, due to the importance of a healthy environment for the sustainability of the human race, the term conservation has been attributed mainly to aspects in relation to the natural environments and the ecological communities that inhabit them. At the same time, the term incorporates the actions taken to manage human use of natural resources for sustainable social and economic utilization. However, the study of conservation may not have been possible without deriving the psychological meaning of conservation based on various theories, models and approaches. As such, this article will shed light to some of these meaning making aspects of conservation psychology with the view of promoting the same among the readership.
One of the main aspects when it comes to psychological meaning of conservation is the study of behaviors that are undertaken by the humans in order to uphold the conservation needs of the environment. These behaviors are propagated because of the various needs that are emerged through the consumption or depletion of multiple natural resources. Thus, in most instances, the behaviors were the result of actions taken by the humans themselves although at times, the need for conservation may have occurred due to non-human interventions or natural causes as well.
Experts point out that in order to understand human behavior, it is necessary to understand what humans need and why. It is their understanding that humans devote large amount of cognitive and emotional resources on the non-human nature. This has been illustrated by the preference of most people to visit the zoo or the aquarium more often than visiting a sporting event. In addition, for some people, the relationship with the non-human animals could be the most important relationship of that person’s life. At the same time, in the example of humans having to take measures to reduce the environmental toxins became important as a result of these harmful toxins causing damage to the human development as in the case of causing diseases, birth defects…etc. However, such effects do not limit its effect to physical manifestations but most are influencing the social, cultural, behavioral and cognitive functions of a human being as well. As a result, increasing the stress levels as well as intergroup conflicts could result from environmental derangements while by improving relationships with the animals and the plants, it is possible to promote emotional and physical well being.
Therefore, the study of conservation psychology integrates many aspects of human behavior and these include conservation behaviors such as recycling, human-animal relationships, environment and identity, environment education and socialization, environment attitudes, environment conflicts…etc.
However, the discussions regarding conservation psychology is still in its infancy and in order to propagate further understanding regarding this subject, it is necessary to do further research with regard to environmental conservation.