Habitat and Ecosystem Conservation - The Ecosystem Approach, Forests, Wetlands, U.s. Land Conservation Efforts, The Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species (cites) - INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS AT CONSERVATION
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is designed to protect plant and animal species in danger of extinction. During the 1990s there was a growing concern that traditional methods of species protection, which take a species-by-species approach, were ineffective. Many alternatives were proposed. One of the most popular was a method variously termed the "habitat," "ecosystem," or "community" approach. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) defines an ecosystem as a "geographic area including all the living organisms (people, plants, animals, and microorganisms), their physical surroundings (such as soil, water, and air), and the natural cycles that sustain them." Central to the new approaches is a focus on conservation of large intact areas of habitat. It is hoped that by focusing on entire habitats, rather than individual species recovery, numerous species will be protected before they reach critically low population sizes.
INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS AT CONSERVATION
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was established to address diverse environmental issues on an international level. Many of its conventions have been extremely valuable in protecting global biodiversity and natural resources. UNEP has also helped to regulate pollution and the use of toxic chemicals.