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close this bookGATE - 3/90 - Conservation of Natural Resource (GTZ GATE, 1990, 36 p.)
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Dear Readers,

Nature conservation and the protection of species affect all of us All over the world, the habitats of the world's fauna and flora are shrinking day by day, while the number of 'listed' species of animals and plants-those threatened with extinction-increases from year to year An alarming number of species have already disappeared altogether.

True, all of us meanwhile do what we can to protect nature, the emphasis being on "what we can." Because we must not deceive ourselves: a few humid biotops somewhere in the district-either newly created or a last remnant- do not mean that the rest of the landscape is intact; it is a fact, for example, that men have worked for decades to turn previously humid meadows into arable farmland.

Whether deliberately or not, human beings are the single most important factor in the destruction of our environment. Yet, paradoxical as it may seem, protection of the environment and of individual species is no longer possible without human action. On our overpopulated planet, where in entire regions people fight for every square inch of usable soil and every tree, man, as a disruptive element, cannot simply be excluded from large nature conservation areas that we would like to preserve as "unsullied nature"

If we want a lasting, durable conservation of nature, we must involve the people who live in such areas, whether in Africa, or Latin America, or here in Europe.

Beate Worner