Post –by Gautam Shah
As a process, Conservation and Preservation converge, but as area of application they are slightly at a variance. Conservation is used for macro zones such as for environment and resources. Conservation does not negate the continuation of use or participation by humans, provided it is within some ‘sustainable form’. The sustainable form though a restrictive term, ‘it has no (universally) acceptable definition’. Conservation evaluation is based on the results of efforts that manifests in future.
Conservation is a term used in the sense of ‘preservation for the future’. Conservation implies that the reasons behind protecting something are based on using and managing that resource wisely. A conserved area or zone would mean perpetuating a ‘conceptual environment’ by preventive strategies such as inculcating an image, a concept or a futuristic projection and also by way of intentional tactics of regulations, discipline or a lifestyle. So conservation can be broadly of two classes: the Preventive conservation and the Interventionist conservation.
Preservation, on the other hand is scaled to local or works at micro level, such as for finite entities like buildings, works of arts or crafts. It is a process of keeping safe or free from harm or decay. It entails enforcing a complete isolation through creation of an enveloping environment. “It is the act of keeping alive something like a palm leaf manuscript in a library”. Preservation, in contrast to conservation, attempts to maintain the pristine conditions of areas where some fouling is imminent or has already set in. For both of these conditions it is necessary to define what constitutes the ‘pristine’ condition. The pristine condition is a hypothetical section of the past. So preservation is selective or circumstantial. In doubtful or controversial situations where stepping back in history is not possible or permissible the preservation is also enforced as conservation. Whatever the existing situation may be, it is maintained.