1) What is the nature of the ‘development gap’? How has it arisen?
2) What are the implications of the ‘development gap’ at different scales for the world’s poorest people?
3) How might the development gap be reduced and by whom?
How the development Gap can be measured
Gross Domestic Product – total value of goods and services produced by a country in a year. Does not take into account the way in which the cost of living may vary between countries. Also only average figures which do not tell the way in which wealth is distributed within a country or how the government invests the money it has.
Human Development Index (HDI) – measures life expectancy, educational attainment and GDP per capita. These are converted to an index which has a max value of 1.0
Gender related development index (GDI) – measurement of overall achievement for both men and women in the 3 factors measured in the HDI
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – established in 2000 to reduce global poverty substantially by 2015. Measurement of progress is based on 1990 figures.
Development Cable – identified that in order for a country to develop there are key developmental factors that interact. The outer strands are the outcomes of development and are integral to development.
Theories on why the gap exists
Rostow’s model (Modernisation Theory)
Stated that a country passes from underdevelopment to development through a series of stages of economic growth. He thought that capital should be transferred from developed to developing countries to assist development. Did not take into account factors such as high rates of population growth or political changes
Idea that less developed countries are trapped in a continually cycle of poverty because of a lack of money and low incomes. Did not take into account the rapid economic growth of countries like China, India and South Korea. Also does not consider the amount of foreign aid or loans from international banks.
Dependency Theory (Frank)
Countries like the USA control and exploit less developed areas of the world. This produces a relationship of dominance and dependency which can lead to poverty and underdevelopment.
Countries are becoming increasing connected and interdependent at a global scale. Global flows that connect places involve the movement of people, capital, technology, ideas and information.
In the last 50 years, many poor countries accepted loans from rich countries and interest payments on loans affect development as they put pressure on the financial situation in the country. Debt is also an issue due to corruption within developing countries’ governments which divert loan money from the intended target and trade barriers imposed by developing countries which make it hard for poorer countries to export their goods.
The role of different Key players on development
General physical, economic, political and social causes of the gap
Role of trade and investment in the development gap
Some NICs have benefited from high levels of foreign direct investment e.g. China and South Korea. However there are 2 billion people who live in countries that have become less globalised as trade has falled iin relation to national income including most of the African countries.
Africa in 2002 if it increased its share of world trade by just 1% would earn an extra $49billion, 5x the amount it receives in aid. Traditionally north- south trade flows have focused on developing countries exporting primary products. In the last 20 years developing countries have moved into manufacturing (80% of exports now manufactured products). Globalisation has led to large increases in trade in places such as China, India. Importantly ‘terms of trade’ is the ration between currencies earned from its exports and the prices of imports. This means that any countries exporting natural resources and importing manufactured goods will have declining terms of trade.
Social, economic and environmental impacts of the development gap
Urban and rural areas are effected differently by the development gap, rural communities are often the worse effected due to an inability to produce enough food.
The impact on the development gap in Uganda
Impacts on minority groups
The development gap can create differences between groups such as castes in India or between males and females in the same country. The caste system is a religious and social class system in India, where classes are defined by birth and family. The Dalits or untouchables (16% of population) work in unhealthy, polluting jobs and suffer from social prejudice and extreme poverty. They are not allowed to obtain water from the same source as other people and must have their own segregated area. Scheduled tribes consist of tribal groups (7% of population) and other backward classes (52% of population). This enables them to discriminate positively in education and jobs for the most disadvantaged.
Women in developing countries are more likely than men to be unpaid family workers or occupy low-status jobs and have lower earnings. 64% of adults are illiterate women and 57% of children who receive no primary education are girls.
Lagos: Inside the ultimate mega-city
Lagos is the financial heart of Nigeria – the most populous nation in Africa, and it is a teeming tangle of humanity and enterprise.
Expansion continues at a breakneck speed and part of the expansion plans for Lagos include an ambitious new city within a city.
The Eko Atlantic project promises to turn Lagos into a hugely important financial powerhouse.
Theoretical ways of reducing the development gap – Neo Liberal, Marxism, Populism, Non development
Neo-liberal 1980-1990s – looked to remove tariff barriers to encourage international trade. This allowed countries to develop through trade and governments should look to privatise and reducing state intervention in the economy. This however, tended to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Examples e.g. World Bank, world Trade Organisation
Marxism – idea that capitalism is based on the exploitation of workers by the owners and that history has mainly been a conflict between these 2 classes. Sought to replace existing class structures with a system that managed society for the good of all
Populism – idea that supports ‘the people’ in the struggle against society’s elite. Also known as ‘grassroots action’ it is an important element of ‘bottom-up’ planning e.g. NGOs
Non-development – some people are against the idea of development as it creates and widens inequalities, undermines local cultures and is environmentally unsustainable.
The advantages and disadvantages of methods of closing the development gap
Revision Check List
1) Who are the superpowers and how does their power develop over time?
2) What impacts and influence do superpowers have?
3) What are the implications of the continued rise of new superpowers?
SUPERPOWER = their power is primarily economic and military e.g. the USA, EU and prior to the break up the USSR. Example is the USA as they are a major military force and has the world’s largest economy and cultural values spread globally.
EMEGRING SUPERPOWER = their power is often based on increasing economic importance and sometimes resources e.g. BRAZIL, RUSSIA, CHINA, INDIA and Oil rich Gulf States.
Example is BRAZIL as it acts as a regional power but its economic and military influence is still confined. CHINA = lacks cultural and geographical dominance like us.
REGIONAL POWERS = their sphere of influence tends to be continental rather than global e.g. JAPAN and SOUTH AFRICA.
Example is JAPAN as they have economic muscle but lack military power.
GEOGRAPHY OF POWER AND INTERNATIONAL INFLUENCE
HARD = military means the most threatening mechanisms. USA = military pressure on all continents bar Antarctica. This power is strengthened by its membership to NATO = allies in Europe.
INTERMEDIATE = trade and aid figure here. Membership of trade blocs can extend its economic power with respect to resources and both imports and exports. Aid given with “strings attached” favouring the donor.
SOFT = cultural and ideology represent the soft end. Media plays a v. important role in promoting images and messages, which are little more than propaganda.
RELIGIOUS LEADERS CAN INFLUENCE POLITICS THROUGH BELIEFS e.g. contraception and abortion
Its influence varies across the world. Influence of European (Christian) colonisation can be seen in North and South America, Southern Africa and Australia.
Islam = main religion in Northern Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia.
Religion is the only form, there is also CAPITALISM = huge ever growing influence on the world. (Particularly since the USSR collapsed in 1991). It was a system of land, labour and capital owned privately used to generate profit.
The influence reaches most of the world due to GLOBALISATION
GLOBAL INFLUENCES: all factors considered e.g. size, population, resources, military and economic strength are influenced and influence world politics. Therefore countries which may once have been considered superpowers may no longer have such an influence whilst others are gaining power.
How is power exercised and maintained?
Direct power in the most obvious way of exercising and maintaining power.
Exercise of direct power
Exercise of indirect power
ECONOMIC POWER – Wealth allows them to export their power around the world, buy resources and influence trade others.
The world’s top 5 richest companies included:
(Forbes 2014: Out of the top 10 5 = American 5 = Chinese)
MILITARY POWER – USA = world’s most powerful military, geographically wide spread. 45% of the world’s spending is by the US on their military.
CULTURAL POWER – Influence of Globalisation on our world, spread of books, films, bands, football teams, and beautiful country towns – ideas and things associated with British culture spread e.g. drinking tea.
Cultural power can influence the way people behave – involving the global promotion of a distinctive way of life. ABOUT SOCIETY NOT POLITICS OR ECONOMICS.
GEOGRAPHICAL POWER – The sphere of influence a superpower has “on the ground” – Ideas!
These are the most important! They also link together with potential to affect and increase one another.
Colonial rule: What is it?
Imperialism = a relationship of political, economic or cultural control between geographical areas. E.g. introduction of Christianity in countries.
Colonialism = the political rule of a nation by another. E.g. POLITICAL control of Burma by Britain.
Colonisation = the physical settling of people from a colonial power within their country. E.g. English people moving to live and work in India.
The Great British Empire!
The Great British Empire was founded on exploration and sea power. We dominated through our NAVAL sources – mainly in the 19th Century! The navy provided a link between Britain and other sea colonies. NAVY = symbol of MILITARY POWER.
COLONIAL INDIA: üExploit resources, üExploit workforce
What we did: to maximise exploration we ‘modernised’ India
British influence: Introduced, cricket, tea and English only clubs which did lead to increased segregation! = cultural imperialism!
But after WWII we were bankrupt and could no longer support all the countries in our empire! Anti-colonial movements also began to pop up and many countries began to push for independence, most were independent by 1970! India gained independence on August 15th 1947!
With reference to the British Empire explain colonial rule…
Imperialist System = the British Empire, culture, economy and politics of Britain dominating its colonies. Democracy was present in Britain but not in its colonies!
Capitalist System = USA, division between people who own business and make profits, and those who work for them.
Communist System = USSR, Private ownership is not allowed – production should be owned in common to create an equal society.
THEORIES – used to explain the existence of RICH, POWERFUL countries and the weaker poorer countries they dominate.
LIBERAL = emphasises the creation of wealth and power through capitalism
Take-off Model, Rostow 1690
CRITICISM – many borrow heavily and invested money into projects to meet these pre-conditions which can lead to DEBT!!
Asian Model, World Bank, 1991
CRITICISM – fails to take into account of support and aid provided by the USA. Many NICs had protectionist not free trade policies. Economic policy of restricting trade between states.
MARXIST = emphasises how some maintain the wealth and the expense of others
Dependency Theory, Frank 1967
CRITICISM – simplified: line isn’t straight it wiggles to include South America and Australia. NICs broken out of the N-S divided since 1960s. Theory doesn’t allow for developing countries to have a say in development.
World Systems Theory, Wallerstein, 1974
Super Cycles – Kondratiev wave
The average developing country lives off exporting commodities like oil, gas, copper, cocoa or soybeans. The sale of these resources brings both revenue to the government and foreign currency to import what is not produced at home — which, in these places, tends to be most things. So whatever happens to the price of those commodities matters a great deal for development and, even more, for the war on poverty. The problem is that those prices are famously volatile. They can jump up and down seemingly at random, from year to year, month to month, even within a single minute. This makes life miserable for those who have to plan public investments in schools, hospitals or roads. Statisticians and investors have studied the problem to death, not least because there is a lot of money to be made if you can find a predictable pattern. And despite all their efforts, they have come up mostly empty-handed.
Mostly. There has always been suspicion that, if you took a really long view — we are talking centuries here — you might uncover periods of about forty years when commodity prices steadily climb for a decade or two, only to fall slowly back to where they were. That is, you might uncover “super-cycles”
Kondratiev waves are supposed cycle-like phenomena in the modern world economy It is stated that the period of a wave ranges from forty to sixty years, the cycles consist of alternating intervals between high sector growth and intervals of relatively slow growth. The cycle identifies four stages, expansion, stagnation and recession. According to the innovation theory, these waves arise from the bunching of basic innovations that launch technological revolutions that in turn create leading industrial or commercial sectors.
The technological cycles can be labeled as follows:
Anti- Development theory
Post-development theory arose in the 1980s and 1990s through the works of scholars like Arturo Escobar and Wolfgang Sachs, Leading members of the post-development school argue that development was always unjust, never worked, and at this point has clearly failed. According to Wolfgang Sachs, a leading member of the post-development school, “the idea of development stands like a ruin in the intellectual landscape” and “it is time to dismantle this mental structure.”
To cite an example of this “mental structure”, development theorists point out how the concept of development has resulted in the hierarchy of developed and underdeveloped nations, where the developed nations are seen as more advanced and superior to the underdeveloped nations that are conceived as inferior, in need of help from the developed nations, and desiring to be like the developed nations. The post-development school of thought points out that the models of development are often ethnocentric (in this case Eurocentric), universalist, and based on western models of industrialisation that are unsustainable in this world of limited resources and ineffective for their ignorance of the local, cultural and historical contexts of the peoples to which they are applied. In essence, the problem post-development theorists see in development and its practice is an imbalance of influence or domination by the west. Post development theorists promote more pluralism in ideas about development. In essence, each countries model of development is different determined by the complex context of that country.
NEO-COLINIALISM DEFINITION = form of indirect control over developing countries most of them former colonies.
INTERNATIONAL DECISION MAKING – International Organisations.
INTERGOVERNMNETAL ORGANISATIONS (IGO’s) – Bretton Woods Agreement, conference in 1944 allies set about creating post war institutions to prevent future wars and ensure the world’s economy ran more effectively than the pre-war period (including the Great Depression 1930s)
Their purpose is to maintain power. Trade Blocs = NAFTA and EU promote free trade between member countries, but they impose tariffs and quotas.
The G8 (currently only G7 as Russia has been suspended) some global organisations are less formal and have a very restricted membership. G7 = form of the world’s richest and most powerful nations. Annual summits are held = informal meetings about the global policy and direction, Western democrats should take. They represent: 65% of Global GNP but only 14% of the World’s population, Holders of most of the world nuclear weapons, combined annual military spending of US$850bn, 2007.
CONTROL: Maintaining control over subservient colonies during the colonial era = relatively easy.
This model served European imperial powers e.g. UK, FRANCE and the NETERLANDS until the end of WWII. Colonies provided the raw materials for the colonial power. Mines, farms, railways and ports = developed but little else. 1945-1980 many colonies experienced uprising against colonial rule e.g. Mau, Mau rebellion Kenya 1952-1960.
They thought that former colonies would develop following independence, but this failed e.g. Africa. Left wing thinkers explain this lack of development by arguing that direct colonial rule was replaced by indirect forms of control of neo-colonialism.
Mechanisms of neo-colonialism
Def: Neo-colonialism: use of economic, political or cultural pressures to control or influence other countries especially former dependencies.
Points to note: Many developed countries = suffered long term war and conflict = prevented investment and development. Many NIC’s and RICs developed following independence = Asia and Latin America. Corruption not defeated in developed countries and ensures finance and aid which rarely reaches those who need it most.
There is major difference between direct colonial control and indirect neo-colonial mechanisms of maintaining influences.
Maintenance of control through trade:
TRADE = exchange of goods and services = generates wealth
Due to most TNC’s originate in RICH, developed countries.
Most MAJOR shipping companies and airlines originate in the USA and Europe.
Many developed countries allow free trade between each other.
Less powerful countries export Low Value Commodities (raw materials/useful or valuable things) e.g. Coffee, Copper and Cotton – developed countries but import costly manufactured goods.
Long term value of commodities has fallen relatively to the cost of goods and services worsened due to Terms of Trade.
Some emerging powers have broken out of the commodity export model… Trade & money it generates = crucial to superpower status
These are both wealth creators = helps to explain rising wealth and power!
Superpower Culture – same culture = share common values and beliefs for example:
GLOBALISATION = process by which people, cultures, money, goods and information can be transferred between countries.
CULTURAL GLOBALISATION = western cultures spread
Criticism of Global Cultural Globalisation argue that Western culture spreads = threatens traditional cultures and eventually dilutes them. This is why it is difficult to see how cultural globalisation as many factors promote it.
Factors promoting cultural globalisation:
But there are fears that global cultures will destroy local cultures = backlash against western, particularly American cultural values.
US BACKLASH = COMPLEX: It began shortly after the US invasion of Iraq – 2002 e.g. creation of Anti-American groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda. These groups have links to the bombings of the World Trade Centre on September 11th 2001, 9/11 and the 7/7 bombings in the UK (7th July 2005).
Direct action protects against globalisation occurs regularly – 1999 WTO meeting in Seattle, 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa and 2005 Summit at Gleneagles.
The 2005 UN convention on protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions allows countries to use measures to protect their culture by, for instance limiting imports of foreign media,
GLOBALISTAION = promotes culture mixing, multiculturalism and better cultural understanding. Internet allows people to keep in touch and share and maintain cultural values. Cultural globalisation is not accepted by everyone!
There are four emerging and potential superpowers known as the BRIC’s. The BRIC’s includes BRAZIL, RUSSIA, INDIA and CHINA (and sometimes South Africa are included)
The BRIC’s are rapidly adopting communication technology and improving life expectancy through better health care provided.
|Country||Total econ growth 2000-07||Internet use growth 2000-08||Additional years life expectancy added 2000-05||% of world population 2007||% of world GDP 2007|
Change in old and new powers 2000-2008.
Emerging powers benefit form economic growth:
From 2000-05 amount of households annual incomes has changed in 2000 4 million earn $3,000 or less by 2005 = 1 million. Overall increase households from 34 million to 42 million. Each category increased from $5,900 to $14,700. BRAZIL = getting richer held the World Cup in 2014 and will hold the Rio Olympics in 2016.
In China from 2000-05 then has been HUGE INCREASE in car sales from 0.6million 2000-3million in 2005. Biggest increase in 2002, 1.2 million to 2003 = 2 million (0.8 million increase) and yet china = chocking due to huge increase in air pollution!
FACTS: BANGLORE & INDIA
Growths of software exports, trends are increasing in the % of software exports: Bangalore = 1% in 1997 – 5% in 2004 proportionate to the whole of India which has grown from 2% in 1997 – 12% this shows Bangalore = a “technology hub”. Growth in incremental technology = increased purchasing power = increased pollution.
CAR SALES IN THE BRIC’S AND THE USE 2000-2008
USA 17 million 2000 – 14 million in 2008 BRIC’s 4 million 2000 – 14.2 million in 2008. There has been such an increase in the BRIC’s as the countries develop as a whole – the people have more income to move through the transport transition: Bike – Moped – Car. Even overtaken the USA in 2008 and Western world = decreasing car use!
Recently many economists have argued that China and India have become more stable whilst Brazil and Russia have stagnated somewhat….
This has given rise to the growth of the MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) as the next wave of emerging economies- signifying the constant global shift and supporting Rostow’s development theory.
Tensions “growing likelihood of conflicts”
Cold War = Cultural Divide between the USA and the USSR. Why? = profound differences in political ideologies e.g. capitalism vs communism.
Even though Russia has since turned to Capitalism, cultural tension remains. These values are magnified by mutual distrust and suspicion between the US and Russia.
USA and Europeans = ALLIES but there are still keep social and cultural differences:
|US characteristics||EU characteristics|
Cause of tension
WAR e.g. USA war in IRAQ – provided 1,000+ service personnel 2003.
CRITICS believe the USA were more concerned about protecting the middle east oil than removing Suddan Hussein and his weapons.
Terrorism – 21st century= rise in Global Terrorism
THE FUTURE… there tensions are only likely to increase in the future
But it is difficult to know what the future holds…
The US National Intelligence Council Report have created an idea of how Global Trends could look in 2025 = A Transformed World, Number of future scenarios.
Topic 3: Biodiversity under Threat- REVISION NOTES
What do I need to know?
|Biomass||The total amount of organic matter|
|Biome||A major terrestrial ecosystem of the world.|
|Ecosystem||A system of which both the living organisms and their environment form|
|components (elements) – these components are linked together by flows|
|and are separated from the outside by a boundary.|
|Succession||The gradual and predictable change in plant and animal species over time,|
|for example bare ground is colonised by plants and there is a series of|
|sequential replacements as one set of dominant plants replaces the other|
|Net primary productivity||The difference between the rate of conversion of solar energy into|
|(NPP)||biomass in an ecosystem and the rate at which energy is used to maintain|
|the producers of the system|
|Biotic||Living components of an ecosystem|
|Abiotic||The non-living parts of an ecosystem|
|Goods and services||‘goods’ are direct products that can be derived from an ecosystem and|
|‘services’ are the benefits that the ecosystem provides|
|Energy flow||The movement of energy through a community|
|Nutrient cycle||The movement of nutrients in the ecosystem between the three major|
|stores of the soil, biomass and litter.|
|biodiversity||The variability amongst living organisms from all sources including|
|terrestrial, marine and other aquatic systems, and the ecological|
|complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species,|
|between species and of ecosystems.|
|conservation||The protection of natural or man-made resources for later use.|
|Habitat||The place where a particular species lives and grows. It is essentially the|
|environment- at least the physical environment- that surrounds,|
|influences and is utilised by a particular species.|
|Endemic species||Exclusively native to a particular place of region. Endemic species tend to|
|have a high conservation value.|
|Sustainable Yield||Key part of sustainable management of ecosystems. It represents the|
|‘safe’ level of harvest that can be hunted/caught/utilised without|
|harming the individual ecosystem|
|Genetic diversity||The diversity of genes found within a species|
|Species diversity||The variety of plant/animal species in a given area (habitat)|
|Ecosystem diversity||The variety of different ecosystems and the habitats surrounding them|
|in a given area, it includes biotic and Abiotic components.|
|Biodiversity Hotpot||An area containing a huge number of species, a large percentage of which|
|WRI (World Resources||An economic scorecard which shows the condition of the world’s major|
|Institute)||ecosystems and their ability to provide future good and services.|
|MEA (millennium||A multi scale assessment commissioned by the UN|
|Destruction||Loss in quantity|
|Degradation||Loss in quality|
Ways in which biodiversity can be defined
Biodiversity is the total genes, species and ecosystems in a given area. It can be investigated by looking at diversity within species and also between ecosystems.
Key processes and factors that influence biodiversity
Global distribution of biodiversity
The top 5 countries with the highest diversity index are found around the EQUATOR or the TROPICS. Countries with the lowest diversity index are found in either cold countries or ones with large areas of desert. Greatest biodiversity is found in areas of TROPICAL RAINFOREST with +1/2 the world’s species, although they cover only 7% of the earth’s surface.
This is an area containing a huge number of species, a large percentage of which are endemic. They cover less than 2% of the earth’s surface but contain 44% of the world’s planet species and 35% of the animal species. They are divided into 3 categories:
Named Example: Large Island Hotspot – Madagascar
Due to its location species have evolved in isolation (160 million years) explaining why 150 mammal species on Madagascar are endemic (72 kinds of Lemur). The area has rich soils due to alluvial soils and former volcanic activity. It supports many plant species and previously boasted diverse rainforests in all upland regions.
Of the 21 million people who live there, 80% live beneath the poverty line, many surviving from subsistence farming and fishing. Whilst Madagascar is a developing country it does have logging industries with companies collecting valuable hardwoods, as well as small mineral extraction companies, textiles, fishing and an legal and illegal trade in exotic animals.
There are a number of major threats to Madagascan biodiversity:
Thankfully there are some solutions:
Creation of conservation areas – Conservation International identified 132 key biodiversity areas that encourages other key players to work together to save an important biodiversity. For example in Madagascar:
Surviellance – Conservation international conducts forest surveillance and monitoring to ensure no illegal slash and burn agriculture or logging is taking place.
Ecotourism – 50 % of visitors to Madagascar now visit a protected area when they come to the country.
In Madagascar local communities benefit directly from ecotourism through their 50% share of park entrance fees, 50% goes to Madagascan National Parks Authority
Carbon Markets Companies invest in scheme to offset their carbon emissions. This engages communities through conservation agreements that give these communities financial incentives to conserve their forests and monitor threats
Enforcement – Killing/collecting Lemurs has been illegal since 1964
Value can be looked at through direct use values e.g. Uses humans put biodiversity to in terms of consumption or production and include food, medicines etc. Indirect uses include the services that biodiversity provides such as soil formation.
Case Study: The Value of a global ecosystem – Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are located in shallow seas (no deeper than 25m) with an average annual temperature about 18°c. Corals are extremely sensitive and the greatest concentration of coral reefs is found in South-east Asia (30%).
The distribution of threatened areas
There are various ways of measuring threatened ecosystems:
The majority of areas under threat are located with the tropics and areas of lower biodiversity tend to have lower threat levels as these regions are not in demand for agriculture due to unsuitable climates.
Climate Change – expected that the climate will change so quickly that species will be unable to adapt. Recent climate changes have shown impacts on the ecosystems:
Deforestation – clearance of forest cover results in loss of biodiversity and resources but also has knock-on effects on the food web and nutrient cycling
Pollution can cause various issues:
Human population growth – this is forcing people to spread into more areas and is encroaching onto areas with high biodiversity
Fire – was used widely in Europe and N. America to clear forests for development. Controlled fire as a management option is useful but large-scale burning for soya bean production causes loss of biodiversity
Habitat change – developing natural habitats for agriculture, minerals or urban growth e.g. overfishing in the North Sea
The impact of these threats on ecosystem processes
Primary producers (green plants) convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis, as energy is lost through respiration at each stage, the amount of biomass at each trophic level decreases. Human action on one level of the chain has an impact on the others that are dependent on it e.g. the catching of tertiary consumers
This occurs alongside the flow of energy through an ecosystem and involves the feedback of miners from decomposed organic material back into the plants so that they can grow and continue the cycle. In hot climates of the tropics there is faster nutrient cycling then in cold regions. People can impact upon the cycle by adding nutrients via fertilisers, by reducing the biomass through overharvesting and deforestation, and by degrading the soil. Once deprived of nutrients ,soils are vulnerable to erosion.
Movement of species
The movement of species can occur by accident or deliberately but poses a serious threat to ecosystems. Alien or exotic species can become established at any trophic level and often have: – enhanced survival rates as they are more efficient competitors
Deliberate introductions include:
Accidental introductions include:
Excess nutrients are washed into the lakes and rivers but this has been increased by the human use of fertilisers etc. The extra nutrients cause increase growth in plants but also the growth of algalblooms which block out the light causing plants to die out. This uses up the oxygen in the water leading to further deaths and the food chain collapses The extra nutrients cause increase growth in plants but also the growth of algal blooms which block out the light causing plants to die out. This uses up the oxygen in the water leading to further deaths and the food chain collapses – Eutrophication.
The shift of countries from economies based on primary industries, to mixed industries including manufacturing and industry has put huge pressure on their ecosystems as natural resources are extracted.
Named Example: Masai Mara game reserve: a degraded area
This reserve experienced a breakdown in management which has led to the decline to the grassland ecosystem. The park fees from tourists were meant to go towards management of the area and providing social services to the local tribesman. However the park rangers were not paid properly and lacked basic equipment so could do little to stop illegal hunting. In 2008 a private organisation called Mara conservation took over control and runs on a non-profit basis uses 50% of revenue to build roads and anti-poaching patrols and 50% to the local tribes. This is needed as the local people have to give up cattle grazing land for tourism but are having a hard time seeing the benefits.
Sustainable yield represents the ‘safe’ level of harvest that can be hunted/caught/used without harming the individual ecosystem. It is measured through:
In order to manage wildlife etc models estimating carrying capacity have been developed – the maximum human population that can exist in equilibrium with the available resources.
Named Example: Campfire Project, Zimbabwe
This was developed in the late 1980s aimed to long-term development, management and sustainable use of natural resources. The responsibility for the area was placed in the hands of local people and therefore an example of a bottom-up approach. Some schemes made money from big-game hunting at sustainable yield levels and this was then fed back into the communities. Environmentalists disagreed with this approach as how was hunting endangered species helping to protect them? The scheme was then undermined by the economic collapse of Zimbabwe and lack of funding.
In the developed world, ethical consumerism has led to people choosing to buy environmentally friendly products e.g. dolphin friendly tuna.
Scientists and researchers – work for variety of organisations and monitor the state of the biodiversity
Conservation strategies follow the idea of a spectrum from complete protection through to
commercially exploited areas where limited parts are protected for publicity purposes.
Total Protection – was the main focus of conservation during the 1960s. Total protection has been criticised as:
Biosphere Reserves – identifies a core area which is heavily protected with buffer zones around it. However some countries do not have finances to fully monitor or mange these reserves and the pressure from development may be difficult to control. These act at a number of different levels; locally they involve local people and the landscape they know in order to better serve the community and ensuring continued biodiversity e.g. community conservation schemes. On a national level they aim to inspire further conservation e.g. National Parks. Globally the biosphere designation of the Galapagos Islands helped implement a zoning strategy to solve the problems the area faces.
Restoration – this can include recreating wetlands or linking up small fragmented reserves to produce a large reserve. These can be very expensive and much of the success depends on how readily plants will reseed and how polluted the land is.
Conservation – this can involve ex-situ conservation where an endangered species establish a captive population away from its natural habitat. This includes captive breeding with release schemes and biodiversity banks such as genetic and seed banks in zoos and botanical gardens. For example – giant panda
Named Example: Soufriere Marine Management Area (Hot-Spot Management Strategy)
Location: found on the Equator Island on central west coast Caribbean island of St Lucia.
The coastal area of Soufriere comprises sandy plains, boulders with coral veneer, patch reef and narrow fringing reefs. The reefs within this area are some of the healthiest and most diverse on the island.
248 species of coral species recorded in survey.
Threats facing the islands:
Fisheries Fishing practices lead to the almost disappearance of some large carnivorous fish in the late 1980’s.
Tourism Yachting, snorkelling and fishing can damage the fragile ecosystem.
Deforestation, pollution and poor agriculture. Sedimentation washed into the ocean from the aforementioned is putting reefs at risk.
Lack of an adequate legal framework to ensure the long-term preservation of the islands
The SMMA agreement establishes 5 different types of zones within the area, and these are as follows:
Recent surveys carried out in the area are extremely encouraging and show that all of the reserve areas within the SMMA show increases in commercial fish biomass
Issues and Criticisms of the SMMA
The Millennium Ecosystems Assessments (MEA) identified 4 scenarios predicting rapid conversion of ecosystems to farmland and urbanisation.
WWF’s Living Planet Report – looked to model ways of ending ecology ‘overshoot’ (the amount by which the ecological footprint exceeds the biological capacity of the space available to that population). They also showed 4 possible scenarios:
Case Study: Named Global Ecosystem- Daintree Tropical Rainforest
Location: North east coast of Australia in Queensland
Why is Daintree so special?
|Economic||Money spent by||$147 million per year||Infrastructure improved|
|tourists||3500 jobs created||e.g. tarmac roads|
|Social||Impact on tribes||Destructive of native||Australian heritage lost|
|Local people suffer||tribes as they lose||Increase in population =|
|from congestion and||their land and move||increase in house prices =|
|overcrowding||away||local people move out|
|Increase in population||Cultures westernised||Tourism could decline|
|Environmental||Soil erosion from||Breeding patterns||Release of C02 from|
|Loss of habitats||Food web disrupted||Extinction of species|
|Disruption of native||Invasion of alien species|
Management of Daintree
Wet tropics Management authority = formed in 1990 to research and monitor the state of the wet tropics. Looks at developing management agreements with land holders and native tribes.
Cairns Regional council- aimed to gradually reduce population in Daintree. Increased ferry costs to reduce number of visitors and rejected plans for a bridge across the river as more people would endanger the rainforest.
Australian Rainforest Foundation – operation ‘BIG BIRD’ – the cassowary given a wildlife corridor to protect it. Money given to buy back land from developers and return it to rainforest
Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland – community based looking at a sustainable future for people and wildlife. They are for a ban on development in the area.
Australian Tropical Rainforest Foundation – build visitor centres and education facilities to highlight the global importance of the tropical rainforest ecosystems.
Rainforest co-operation research council – community development allowing up to 1400 people to live in the area but must conserve the land. Looks to identify hotspots for conservation where no development is allowed. Aims to recognise the rights of native people to own land and promote their culture in the forest.