Difference between Conservation and Preservation

December 17, 2015 by Editorial Team

When you hear the two terms Conservation and Preservation, you tend to develop a notion that the two mean the same. But the fact is that these are two different terms. Often both words are used for people working in an attempt to ensure environmental safety. Nevertheless, when it comes to their ideologies, these are completely unlike each other.


When natural resources are used sustainably, it is known as conservation. The natural resources may include air, water, wildlife, and anything naturally provided by Earth. Natural resources are generally categorized into renewable and non-renewable resources. The former may comprise timber and sunlight, while the latter may include the fossil fuels. Conserving the renewable ones indicates consuming them at a lower rate as compared to their rate of replacement.

When it is about conserving the non-renewable resources, these need proper maintenance to a level that future generations will be able to use them. Mainly, various needs of people, such as cultural, economic, and biological needs, are taken into consideration when it comes to conservation of natural resources.

On the other hand, preservation means ensuring safety and protection of an object from any kind of decay or damage. For an instance, when a palm leaf manuscript in a library is kept in good condition, it is called preservation. Put simply, it focuses on maintain the object in the same quality as it is. Museums often preserve artefacts and archives.


Though both expressions  have analogous frameworks, methods and devices, they differ on grounds of the principles behind them.

Conservation means wise use of natural resources, whereas preservation means non-use of natural resources. In their own particular ways, both are good for wildlife. Conservation is prevention of the damage in the first place i.e. before any serious issue occurs. However the word preservation is used for the process of protecting environments which already have undergone major destruction.

With the help of preservation, wildlife will be able to find space that is particularly reserved in its name. Preservation would ensure safety of these places in susceptible and adverse circumstances. Also, wild animals would, thus, get a haven free from any kind of human interference. On the contrary, conservation would help ensure that humans are associated with their surroundings and environment by way of education.

Comparison Chart

Conservation is focused more on damage repair so as to make resources more beneficial for people.Preservation is directed towards preventing resource damage and maintaining them as they are by keeping humans at bay.
Natural resources are sustainably used so they can be of benefit to future generations.It aims to manage the present form of natural resources.