conservation advocate

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"The point here is education and inspiration," said Michael Robinson, a conservation advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity.
Like other activist groups, the center is looking to the immediate attention cell phones can bring to its cause.

Are conservation advocate, activist, and conservationist synonymous?

Does looking to here mean looking forward to? Thanks.
  • pachomius

    Senior Member
    USA / American English
    I would say that "conservation advocate" and "conservationist" are more, or less, synonymous. Though "conservation advocate" brings to mind a person who is specifically involved in political lobbying for conservation issues. A "conservationist" could be involved in the conservation movement in any number of ways.
    All "conservation advocates" and "conservationists" are "activists", but not all "activists" are "conservation advocates" or "conservationists". Activists come in many shapes and sizes - anti-war activists, homelessness activists, civil rights activists, etc.

    In this example, "looking to" is not the same as "looking forward to". Here, "looking to" means turning to, relying on, counting on. The center thinks that cell phones can be a useful tool in bringing attention to their cause.
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