In the 19th century, Western philosophers concerned with nature protection began to divide into two camps: utilitarians concerned with obtaining the greatest benefit from natural resources for the greatest number of people and romantics bent on protecting wildlife and wilderness for its own sake and at practically any human cost.
The idea of sheltering nature behind official boundaries is a recent Western invention. Conservation heritage is much older and more universal. "Sacred groves" of old-growth trees have been customarily preserved by many societies for thousands of years. The Indian state of Maharashtra alone has records of more than 400 sacred groves that are still honoured today. Some reputedly "primitive" or pre-scientific cultures display outstanding expertise and powers of stewardship in their relations with wild environments.
Conflict between indigenous ideas of land management and those of Western science and organisations, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that run conservation projects or pressure groups with "media agendas."< Conflict between centrally-planned, capital-intensive economic development to boost national wealth, and locally-based development from the "grass roots" up.
Conflicts arising from "globalisation" of the world economy, which can force poor countries to stake all on earning foreign currency by selling off natural assets.
Conflicts over international (western) concerns for popularly prized or "charismatic" wildlife species such as tigers, pandas, elephants and rhinos.