Why Do Conservation Efforts Fail? 5 Reasons Why

Conservation aims to try to protect animals and wild habitats in order to prevent the extinction of wildlife. However, while the goal is right and the efforts are often very successful – there are many reasons why these conservation efforts will and have failed.

Why Do Conservation Efforts Fail? 5 Reasons Why

We’ve got this guide to outline five of the most common reasons why conservation efforts fail which should help you in the future when trying to move more successfully with these efforts. Read on to learn more.

Lack Of Local Support

While every year, new areas are created for conservation efforts to take place, there are many countries – which are often in the poorer areas – that are excluded from their own areas.

This can lead to a divide between the locals and the people conducting the conversation efforts. With this scrambling for space and locals being restricted from access to their own lands – the people can get very annoyed and begin to lose support in the efforts.

This hostility can actually lead to the opposite effect of what the conservationists were hoping to achieve, as locals may travel elsewhere for what they need and they could end up hunting illegally – which increases poaching levels in the area.

Indeed, this failure and lack of awareness to the local people can seriously lead to disaster and can end up with delays in the efforts and eventually, the whole process can simply fail.

The fact is, the conservationists need to be much more aware of what is going on around them and open a dialogue with the locals more often to try to create a compromise. Indeed, what we will look into in the next section feeds into this point.

As many conservationists are from different cultures and backgrounds to the areas they are working in, they can often ignore the beliefs and culture of that area.

One of the largest of these problems is the local politics and history. Let’s examine that point a little more closely next.

Ignoring Politics And History

One of the most significant reasons why conservation efforts fail is because the ones who conduct the conservation efforts fail to understand and learn the local politics and the history of their lands.

As a result, many of the groups will start their efforts with quite broad and generalized assumptions of the land. This can end up leading to significant conflict, which can not only mean a lot more time is spent – but indeed, a lot of money.

One of these generalized assumptions, for example, is that the local society is similar to our Western cultures and gender, sexuality and household dynamics are always the same – but the fact is that this is not the case.

As a result of this, many people who are involved in the conservation efforts will argue and become involved in conflict. This ultimately leads to failure overall.

On top of this, some communities can often be hostile to biodiversity efforts – and while this is a bit of a blanket statement, the ignorance of this can lead to further hostility and then the efforts will fail.

Severe Lack Of Funding

Severe Lack Of Funding

It probably comes as no surprise that in order to conduct and complete a successful conservation effort, you’re going to need funding. Many conservation groups struggle to source reliable funding groups and organizations for long term efforts.

What happens in this instance is that the project begins for a year, two years etc. but over time, the money drains until there is none left. Once this has happened, there is no way that the conservation efforts can continue – and thus, it fails.

However, it’s worth noting that even with a heap of funding, some conservation projects still fail due to a number of other factors. But, under the assumption that funding is the sole problem – there are some things you can do to help.

When you see a charity box or some other charity drive, be sure to check if they support conservation efforts – and donate as you can. While this might not be a lot, multiple donations can significantly improve their overall funding.

Unclear Goals And Aims

While conversation efforts have great intentions in theory, there are many efforts that simply have no clear goal or aim during the course of their efforts. As a result, certain actions can be taken with no real finished product.

This can lead to a lot of money and time being wasted, which could have been better used elsewhere throughout the project.

One of the better things to do when involved in these projects is to set out clear guidelines and goals, usually on a month by month basis.

Assess where you want to be at a certain time and how you are going to achieve this. You will also need to ask yourself why certain things need to happen and if there are any other options you could use instead.

The fact is, conservation is extremely complex and in order for it to be successful, there has to be explicit goals and aims. Without them, you will likely see failure ultimately.

No Law And Order

One of the biggest problems with sustainable conservation efforts is the fact that many countries have a lack of law and order, or a system that benefits criminals.

Indeed, poaching is still a huge problem in the world today and a lot of systems are benefiting it. In fact, there are plenty of wildlife crimes that continue to this day and law enforcement is often complicit in the crimes for financial gain or political demand.

As a result, however hard the conservation efforts work towards their goal – the efforts will ultimately fail because these organizations are aiding in the opposite.

For these efforts to succeed, you need everybody on the same page – and when this isn’t happening, you have two opposing forces and lead nobody to gain from it.

However, there are some things that you can do if you want to try to help fight against wildlife crimes. First, you could consider educating other people on the dangers of things like poaching and the illegal animal trade.

Second, you may think it’s a good idea to apply political pressure on your government to take action against certain organizations, which could ultimately lead to a successful conversation project.

Finally, you should always actively help and avoid anything that could benefit criminals in the wildlife trade.

What Can I Do To Help?

If you are looking to help out with conservation efforts, then you can do a couple of things. You can either actively volunteer to assist with conservation efforts or you could donate some funds to their existing efforts.

It’s a good idea to look online for conservation projects which are looking for volunteers, if that’s what you’re interested in.

Final Thoughts

Conversation efforts are great, but they do not always succeed – and as we have seen, there are numerous reasons for this. Hopefully we’ve cleared things up a little more for you!

Olivia Kepner