Monday, December 13, 2010

Conservation for the People

  • Preserving biodiversity for its own sake, particularly in areas called hot spots, is not working as a conservation strategy.

  • Focusing on protecting ecosystems vital to people’s health and material needs makes more sense.

  • Such ecosystems would include not only forests but also wetlands that maintain clean water, mangroves that shield against storms and reefs that sustain fisheries.

  • Saving these sites can preserve biodiversity and ensure that people are a priority.

Animals rich in plant species are not necessarily rich in animal diversity. Local people are often displaced or lose important resources.

After research scientists found out the vultures were dying due to an anti-inflammatory drug, called, Dielofenac, which is commonly administered to cows.

Ecosystems such as wetlands, and mangrove stands protect people from lethal storms
Forests and coral reefs provide food and income: damage to one ecosystem could harm another half way around the world. It could also harm anyone that depends on the other ecosystem being destroyed.

Millions of people have been forced off there land or have otherwise had their sources of food and income taken from them. so animals and habitats could be preserved.

Provisioning-supplying food or other genetic resources
Regulating- Providing flood control, climate modulations or other similar functions
Cultural- offering benefits that are nonmaterial, such as spiritual well being
Supporting- delivering the most basic elements of an ecosystem including,
nutrient cycling, soil formation, or pollination.

U.S. farmers are angry about losing their water privileges or their jobs because of
salmon or spotted owls.

Strategies to defend and restore coastal ecosystems have been ignored in favor of
engineering projects that accelerate erosion and habitat lose.

Once there, the dust, pollutants, microorganisms and nutrients accompanying the sand play a part in wiping out the coral reefs- reducing tourism and fisheries.

Overgrazing and unsustainable farming practices in northern and sub-Saharan Africa have fueled poverty, famine and malnutrition regionally and undermined corals and economics half a world away.

Human health is threatened when ecosystems and natural cycles break down. Almost two million people die every year because of inadequate or unclean water supplies. Conserving wetlands and forests would reduce those deaths.

Wetlands produce natural filters that improve water quality for drinking and agriculture; healthy forests lock up sediment that would otherwise become muddy water.

Saving forests and grasslands would reduce plumes of dust originating in Africa and the even larger ones crossing the Pacific Ocean from western China that recently have been linked to a rise in the U.S. of asthma cases.

Two thirds of the worlds emerging diseases, such as Ebola virus and avian flu are caused by pathogens that infect non human animal hosts and only make contact with people because of changes in land use and agricultural practices.

The future of the ecosystem may depend on the unlikely collaboration of ecologists and finance experts.

The world bank is encouraging nations to embrace green accounting methods, in which economic assets and national productivity assessments include measures that credit environmental and ecosystem services and subtract degradation that result from pollution or destructive extraction.

Many believe conservationists are in denial about the state of the world and must stop clinging to a vision of pristine wilderness.

One quarter of a million join the planet every day. More forests and wetlands will be cleared for agriculture and more ocean species will be fished to depletion. Biodiversity is going to decline. Wilderness seperate from human influence is no longer going to exist.

Because or environment will consist mainly of human-influenced systems, biodiversity protection be pursued in the context of landscapes that include urban centers, intensive agriculture, and managed forests and rivers not just nature reserves.

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