The connection between communities and conservation is born from a growing need for sustainable lifestyles. The expert insight from environmental scientists and conversation biologists does not always resonate with the public in terms they can understand and act on. The involvement of the community has proven to be instrumental in the communication process. As a result, awareness about conservation efforts within communities has grown increasingly successful. More and more communities in the U.S. and elsewhere are adopting a community-based approach to resource conservation and other aspects of sustainable living.
Many efforts to conserve and protect our natural resources fail, but the reason for this failure is not a lack of knowledge or justification. A lack of funding for conservation projects may account for part of the issue, but the root of the problem may be that the connection between communities and conservation is lacking. The link between communities and conservation is strengthened when members of the community get involved with and learn about conservation efforts, hands on.
People who live in a community affected by water pollution or other environmental problems can easily get behind a cause that will directly affect their ability to live and prosper in that community. Without community involvement, many environmentally focused initiatives lack the attention and passion it takes to make change happen. In other words, community members need to know exactly how an environmental problem or conservation issue affects them on a personal level. Once the community understands its role in the process, specifically the connection between communities and conservation successes, the communication floodgates can open and awareness can increase.
From energy conservation to saving water, the conservation efforts of communities have been growing as awareness increases. Rural and urban communities alike can benefit from conservation. To live in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way, communities have been uniting to see conservation efforts through to completion. The initial planning phases of a conservation project may be the most difficult to complete if community support is lacking. Gaining community support can be accomplished by educating the public on health and wellness issues, economic security and sustainable growth and development.
Several cities have recognized the powerful connection between communities and conservation and, as a result, they have stronger support from the community when it comes to conservation projects. One U.S. city, as of 2012, holds a conservation festival each year to raise awareness about all aspects of sustainable living. Organic cooking and gardening are reoccurring themes for festival activities.