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Do you know the first person who protects the environment?

Author: Alex     Publish Time: 2022-12-15      Origin: Alex

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Climate protection, nature conservation, environmental protection, species conservation - these concepts are well known today. The first person to coin the phrase "nature conservation" was the German--Philipp Leopold Martin (1815-1885). As you can imagine, these ideas and concepts were very much ahead of their time more than 200 years ago.


How would Philipp Leopold Martin have felt if he had stood in front of a huge open-pit lignite mining area, or if he had investigated the stomachs of fish and seabirds filled with plastic debris? How would he react to species extinction and climate change? What would he say about the progress of Germany's energy transition? Philippe Leopold Martin was a pioneer in the field of nature conservation and biodiversity, an old-timer of the "Green Party" -- the environmentalists.

In the 19th century, when Martin lived, people were busy with the industrial revolution and tired of escaping poverty. In 1871, Martin first used the term "nature conservation" in an article. By that time, he was already a well-known taxidermist working for the zoological museums of Berlin and Stuttgart.
Martin was skeptical of the industrial revolution, which was accompanied by a huge increase in urban population and the occupation of land: more and more fields were plowed, large swamps were drained, and the surrounding environment was no longer pristine. At that time Martin had already observed the extinction of species and tried to stop it. He devoted himself to the study of flora and fauna and published several practical, future-oriented national nature and species conservation plans. In addition, he proposed a uniform nature conservation law and a central agency for nature conservation throughout the German Empire.
If Martin had known about the environmental pollution caused by mankind in the past two centuries, he would have been devastated: the worst nuclear accident ever at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant; a chemical accident on the banks of the upper Rhine that killed fish and small animals along a 100-kilometer stretch of the river; the discovery by scientists that carbon black substances in the exhaust fumes of diesel cars can directly Martin's idea of enhancing nature conservation 200 years ago has finally been accepted by society 200 years later.


Climate change is feared to be one of the greatest global threats facing humanity. Human emissions of greenhouse gases, resulting in global warming, triggering persistent high temperatures, flooding and other extreme weather, resulting in water shortages, poor farmland, which in turn endangers human health and even causes social unrest.
Several organizations established by the United Nations are working on issues related to climate change and nature conservation. The German government has the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) and the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BFN), which provide professional advice to the Federal Ministry of the Environment. The BFN is dedicated to nature conservation, landscape maintenance and the protection of endangered flora and fauna.


In 2011, the staff of the BFN accidentally discovered many of Philipp Leopold Martin's treatises on nature conservation, including "The German Reich and International Animal ProtectionDas deutsche Reich und der internationale Thierschutz), "Singers in the Forest Floor (Bird Conservation) "  (Unsere Sänger in Wald und Feld), "Poisoning Vole and its Consequences" (Das Vergiften der Feldmäuse und seine Folgen), "The Hunters: A Briefing for Hunters and Hunting Lovers" (Der Waidmann: Blätter für Jäger und Jagdfreunde), and "Overview of Nature Conservation" (Allgemeiner Naturschutz). In addition, Martin has published articles on amphibians, fish, insects, centipedes, and spiders.
Gerhard Hachmann, librarian at the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, knew Martin's life well. He and his colleagues wrote an article detailing Martin's life, which was published in the German journal "Nature and Landscape" (Natur und Landschaft).
According to Hachmann, the early bird conservationist set out for Venezuela in 1848 to collect taxidermy specimens. In 1852, Martin was offered his first permanent position at the Zoological Museum in Berlin. His job there was to make taxidermy specimens, and he finally had the opportunity to learn more about the great world of animals.


The first large-scale land rezoning exercise carried out in Germany caught Martin's attention and thought. Hachmann describes how "in the process of land rezoning, plots of land were consolidated centrally, roads and rivers were straightened, small rivers and lakes were drained, and forests were cut down." It was then that Martin discovered that these conversion projects had destroyed the survival base of certain animal species, with the consequence that these animals simply disappeared, especially as the number of bird species declined. It was on the basis of this discovery that Martin proposed the creation of protected areas and the formation of a national regulatory body.


In 1885, Philippe Leopold Martin died. In 1906, 21 years after his death, a national agency for the protection of natural monuments was finally established in Prussia, which was the predecessor of today's German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.


Nowadays, people's awareness of environmental protection is gradually strengthening, and there are various ways to protect the environment, and with the accelerated pace of people's lives, fast food has become more and more popular among the public, which has led to a much higher demand for disposable lunch boxes. Disposable lunch boxes are mostly made of plastic, long-term use will not only cause environmental pollution, but also affect the health of people. Therefore, a kind of disposable environmental protection paper lunch box made of sugar cane pulp is becoming popular in the market. The paper lunch box made of sugar cane pulp has many advantages over plastic lunch boxes, not only can be placed in the microwave oven for heating, but also easy to degrade and will not cause environmental pollution.


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