A good place to start with this is to define both preservation and conservation. While conservation is using a resource sustainably (i.e. only using what you can without destroying that resource or its environment), preservation refers to keeping something the way it is and preventing any harm. The difference is subtle since both preservation and conservation, in environmental terms, attempt to stop the degradation of natural resources. However, conservation implies maintaining sustainable treatment towards a resource, while preservation aims to maintain a resource’s natural conditions (i.e. don’t use it, keep it the way it is).
Many people use preservation and conservation interchangeably, which seems appropriate since both acts move to sustain the environment in some way. If trying to view one specifically as part of the other, however, I would say that it seems more likely that conservation would be part of preservation. For example, we need to preserve our oceans, and one step to doing that is by conserving water.
Preservation is essentially retaining the original qualities and/or status of a resource, species, ecosystem, etc. without further degradation. Conservation is an active process to reverse a substantiated and verifiable loss, and generally requires more active legislation and policy mechanisms. As babzz49 stated, the terms themselves are nearly synonymous in casual conservation, but there are many logistical distinctions, and each aims to achieve a different purpose.
It would be feasible to categorize preservation under conservation, as the most ideal form of conservation would be to ensure it remains fully in tact and unused.
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