Difference between Preservation and Conservation

Key Difference: Preservation and Conservation, both words deal with protection of objects. Generally, preservation deals with keeping an object safe from any form of damage or destruction. It aims at keeping the object intact; without change. On the other hand, Conservation generally deals with usage of an object in a wise manner in order to keep it safe. Commonly, the terms are used in context to natural resources.

Conservation and Preservation are often confused. Many people tend to use them interchangeably. In reality, they are little different from each other. However, they both deal with the protection of the entities. Preservation refers to the act of keeping safe an item from any kind of loss or damage like injury, destruction, decay, etc. It can also be used in keeping a situation or state intact (without any change). It always deals with maintaining the present state of an entity.

It is used as an umbrella term for activities that reduce or prevent damage. The term is often used in context to preservation of environment. It works in order to maintain the present condition areas of the Earth which remain unexplored or untouched. In context to artifacts, preservation aims in minimizing the physical and chemical deterioration of artifacts.

On the other hand, Conservation deals with the careful use of entities, so that they are not wasted or lost. In context to natural resources, conservation aim at using energy, water and other resources in a careful manner. Therefore, it deals with the sustainable use of resources or entities.

Preservation and conservation are both used as a wildlife management tool. Preservation is about non-usage, whereas conservation is about wise usage. Preservation of natural resources is done by preventing human interference as much as possible. On the other hand, Conservation deals with sustainability of these resources so that they can be availed by future generations. Both conservation and preservation deals with protection, but with two different approaches. This small demarcation has also formed the basis of conservation and preservation philosophies. Many times the definitions can also used in an overlapped manner.

Comparison between Preservation and Conservation:

 

Preservation

Conservation

General Definition

Preservation refers to the act of keeping safe an item from any kind of loss or damage like injury, destruction, decay, etc. It can also be used in keeping a situation or state intact (without any change).

Conservation deals with the careful use of entities, so that they are not wasted or lost. In context to natural resources, conservation aim at using energy, water and other resources in a careful manner.

In context to Library

It is a broader term and includes the activities of conservation

It aims at focusing on the individual volumes within the collection.

In context to Natural Resources

It is to preserve nature in its natural state, untouched by human development.

It the wise use of natural resources to benefit the greatest numbers of people, for the longest time.

Origin of Word

from Latin prae- + servare. Prae- is the archaic variant of the prefix pre- which means before, earlier or prior to. Servare is the present infinitive of servō, which means ‘watch over, maintain, protect, keep, guard, save, or store.’

from Latin conservatio(n-), from the verb conservare ('to preserve', from con- 'together' + servare 'to keep'.).

Image Courtesy: dreamstime.com, natureofthegame.blogspot.com

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