Article by Robin Van Auken on Volunteer Forever

Scientists claim we’re living in the Anthropocene, an “unofficial” geological era in which humans dominate the planet. We’ve left the Cenozoic era, the Age of Mammals, which began 66 million years ago, because people are having a massive influence on the biosphere, altering it to suit our needs. Thanks to collective learning, people are better at sharing information so they know how to build new things.

With each new highway, each new skyscraper, each new automobile, each new plastic water bottle, some part of nature has to give way. There are nearly 8 billion people on earth, using – and sometimes abusing – every available resource. Because of this, animals and the environment are suffering. But it’s not all doom and gloom.

It’s a great time to get involved with conservation because many nations recognize the importance of the environment, and have government agencies and NGOs dedicated to creating and managing policies to protect it. There also are numerous nonprofit organizations that promote wildlife conservation – some of which you’ll learn about in this article. It’s an important topic because of the immediate risks from climate change, unregulated hunting and poaching, pollution, deforestation, over-exploitation, and increasing human population.

Thanks to collective learning and caring people, we can tackle these risks and even reverse them. If you have an interest in conservation and protecting the environment, you can help the wild plants and animals being impacted by the encroaching humanity. Through hands-on work in the field, you can contribute data to scientific research that will restore damaged coral reefs and re-forest the Amazon. Beach cleanups and educational workshops on plastic pollution will lead toward a recovery of the oceans and marine life. You can help with saving endangered animals such as sharks and turtles, or you can help to rehabilitate abused animals like abandoned dogs and cats. You can go big or you can go small, but the fact that you’re going at all is a contribution to the welfare of life on earth.


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