Carbon Cycle and Energy Security

Energy Security

Notes on The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security – Edexcel Geography A-level

The Carbon Cycle and Energy Security Checklist

Carbon Cycle and Energy Worksheets

Energy Model Essays

Evaluate the extent to which todays increasing demand for energy is the most important factor modifying the carbon cycle – MODEL

Carbon_Cycle_- DRAFT BOOK LowRes





Water Cycle and Water Insecurity


Water Distrbution

Water cycle & Water Security Revision Worksheets

Water Exam Questions

The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity – Checklist 

Water Cycle and Security Glossary

Notes on The Water Cycle and Water Insecurity – Edexcel Geography A-level

Bridging the Development Gap


1) What is the nature of the ‘development gap’? How has it arisen?

  1. How can we measure the global development gap and what are the impacts of using different measurements?
  2. What role does ethnicity of religion play in the development gap?
  3. How does wealth accumulate in unequal ways?
  4. How do different global groups help and hinder global development?
  5. How does and has trade influence the development gap?

2) What are the implications of the ‘development gap’ at different scales for the world’s poorest people?

  1. How and why does being less developed cause different impacts on differing social groups?
  2. Why are Megacities such development gap hotspots?
  3. How does the development gap lead to social and political unrest?
  4. What are the social, economic, economic and political consequences of countries moving out of poverty.

 3) How might the development gap be reduced and by whom?

  1. What are the different philosophies in resolving the development gap?
  2. What role does aid and investment have in bridging the development gap?
  3. How successful have historic trade and investment strategies been in reducing the development gap?
  4. What are the future poverty trends


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.

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universally primary education
  • Promote gender equality
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

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.

deveopment cable


Theories on why the gap exists

Rostow’s model (Modernisation Theory)

RostowsStated 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

Poverty Cycle

Poverty Trap

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)

Dependency Theory

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

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General physical, economic, political and social causes of the gap

development factors.png

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

Key Facts:

  • Population of 31 million
  • Resources – copper, cobalt and hydro-electric power, coffee, tobacco, sugar cane and tea

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 facts

  • 600,000/year – rate of population growth
  • 20,000/square kilometre – average population density
  • 40 degrees centrigrade – maximum temperature recorded in May
  • 1 per cent – proportion of households that has reported the murder of a family member
  • 17 million – estimated population
  • $28bn (£18bn) – estimated Gross Domestic Product
  • 6,000 tonnes/day – amount of solid waste generated
  • 68 per cent – proportion of Lagos residents classifying themselves as Christian
  • 300 square kilometres – Lagos metropolitan area
  • $1,036/year (£670/year) – average earnings per inhabitant

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 18.19.18

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

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 18.10.09Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 18.16.26Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 18.16.16


SuperPower Revision Notes

Revision Check List

1) Who are the superpowers and how does their power develop over time?

  1. How can superpowers be defined?
  2. How do superpowers exert their influence?
  3. How has the balance of power changed overtime?
  4. How do superpowers maintain their influence?
  5. How can theories be used to explain superpowers?

2) What impacts and influence do superpowers have?

  1. How has influence shifted from direct to indirect forms of control?
  2. How does trade maintain influence?
  3. How do superpowers influence international decision-making?
  4. How do superpowers control globalisation?

3) What are the implications of the continued rise of new superpowers?

  1. What are the social impacts of emerging powers
  2. What are the economic impacts of emerging powers
  3. What are the environmental impacts of emerging powers
  4. What are the political impacts of emerging powers
  5. What are the different superpower scenarios and how likely are they?
Key Things

Power = is mostly of an economic, political or military nature. In some instances, power is also projected through culture.

It is not evenly distributed. Some nations have a disproportionate influence over global and regional decision making: other word within organisations such as the Unite Nations (UN) and economic blocs as a consequence, exercise little individual influence. They simply participate in power sharing.

Superpowers = is a nation which is able to project its power and influence anywhere in the world. It is a dominant force.

Superpowers exercise various forms or power:

Economic = wealth and advanced development enable them to buy resources and influence trade patterns. (The most important form of power as it allows them to buy resources and influence trade patters)

Military = based on the possession of nuclear and other weapons, as well as monitoring the rest of the world by satellites and soy technology.

Cultural = influences the way people behave and involves the global promotion of a distinctive way of life and a particular set of values.

Also: Geographical power…sphere of influence of a superpower based on ore of more of the above types of power.

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.


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.

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 17.18.06


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

  • British imperialism – wholesale conquest of countries. Insurgency put down by force.
  • Military power – US navy has 12 aircraft carriers and 70 submarines. It is the most powerful military machine on Earth. It established a ring of bases to surround the USSR in the Cold War era, as part of its policy of containment. The Iraq war saw the USA effectively “go it alone.”
  • Some economic power is direct. The USA plays a major role in world trade, much of which is conducted in $. The US $ is the world’s reserve currency.
  • A key area of US international prestige since the 1960s has been the exploration of space. 1969 saw men on the moon. The USA aims to build a moon base by 2020 and visit Mars by 2037.

Exercise of indirect power

  • Neo-colonialism (term coined by Kwame Nkrumah, first president of Ghana) is a form of indirect control over developing counties, most of them former colonies. Has neo-colonialism prevented any real development progress in the 40 years since colonies gained their independence? Africa could lead us to say yes. India could lead us to say no.
  • Some people say the IGOs were set up by superpowers for superpowers. The IMF was set up in 1944. It has its headquarters in Washington. Counties wishing to have their debt relieved have to apply Western economic policies devised by the World Bank and the IMF. This means they lose some of their economic sovereignty.
  • Global economic and political power is in the hands of a small number of players in the form of IGOs. The USA is a member of the G7, the G8, the UN Security Council, NATO, OPEC and the IMF. This means it can steer global policy and decision making in its own interest.
  • The superpower economies control innovation and technology. 41% of the global receipt of royalties and licence fees in 2006 went to the USA.
  • China’s interest in Africa dates from the mid 1990s.       Its search for oil and mineral resources has focused on that continent. It has invested US$ 8 billion, building oil pipelines in Sudan.       Critics say all China wants from Africa is its resources and that it has no interest in African development.
  • The most influential players in promoting economic development are the TNCs. The largest of these match some countries in terms of their wealth, power and trading. In 2006 776 of the largest TNCs in the world were American. Because of their size and wealth some TNCs can dominate the worldwide market price for primary commodities.
  • Cultural hegemony is a term coined by the Italian Marxist phisosopher Antonio Gramsci. It means that education, religion and the media reinforce the values of the powerful. US cultural hegemony is largely unchallenged. In 2008 53 of the top 100 brands were from the USA.       Much of the world has been Americanised in terms of cultural values.

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:

  1. ICBC – China, Banking
  2. Chinese Construction Bank – one of the 4 Chinese banks in the top 25
  3. JP Morgan – American, Chase
  4. General Electric – USA
  5. Exon Mobile

(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.

  • Nuclear weapons
  • Army personnel
  • Spies
  • Satellite Technology

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.


Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 17.18.19 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

  • Built and extensive rail network = improve connections to move trade and man power around
  • Built the presidential palace Delhi = to show political power
  • Navy surrounded the ports of India = symbol pf military power = imperialism

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…

  • Colonialism = Political rule of a nation by another
  • Colonisation = Physical settling of people from a colonial power within their country. Other forceful through the use of the Military and the Navy. Used the Navy to annex land, oceans and rivers! Economic interest of trade (exploitation of resources) India for workers and goods! E.g. Spices and Teas!

superpower timeline

Superpower Societies

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.

Key Terms:

  • “PROXY WAR” – A war fought in other countries with other soldiers. War instigated by a major power which itself does not become involved.
  • SURROGETS – A “substitute” – deputizing for another in a specific role or office.
  • UNIPOLAR PATTERN – with one dominate power e.g. British Empire around 1944.
  • BIPOLAR PATTERN – where two opposing superpowers exist, as was the case, 1945-1991 when the USA and the USSR continued to challenge each other for global domination! (COLD WAR)
  • MULTIPOWER PATTERN – three or more superpowers evolving since about 2010. USA, EU and China. Russia and India may join soon!

BUT: growing powers around the world = challenges with: Energy resources, Alliances, Economic Power, Demographic Weight and Nuclear Weapons.

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 


  • Economic development is linear, 5 stage process.
  • Countries “take-off” and develop when pre-conditions are met.
  • Industrialisation follows creating jobs, trade and consumers.

CRITICISM – many borrow heavily and invested money into projects to meet these pre-conditions which can lead to DEBT!!

Asian Model, World Bank, 1991

  • Countries e.g. CHINA, S-KOREA and TAWIAN – developed rapidly since 1970.
  • Opened up to free trade and foreign investment.
  • State invested in education and skills development.

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

BrandtCore and Periphery

  • World is divided into NORTH & SOUTH (globally) (uses the Brandt Line to split the world)
  • Developed world (GLOBAL NORTH) keeps the rest of the world in a state of underdeveloped (underdevelopment) so it can exploit resources.
  • Aid, debt and trade patterns continue to reinforce dependency.

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

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 17.19.28

  • World divided into, Core, Semi-periphery and periphery.
  • Semi-periphery nations = broadly equivalent to NIC’s that developed in 1970s.
  • He recognised some could develop and gain power, showing that wealth and power = fluid not static.

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:

  1. (1600–1780) The wave of the Financial-agricultural revolution
  2. (1780–1880) The wave of the Industrial revolution
  3. (1880–1940) The wave of the Technical revolution
  4. (1940–1985) The wave of the Scientific-technical revolution
  5. (1985–2015) The wave of the Information and telecommunications revolution
  6. (2015–2035?) The hypothetical wave of the post-informational technological revolution

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)

  • World Bank 1944 (WB) = give advice loans and grants for reduction of poverty and promote economic development.
  • International Monetary Fund 1944 (IMF) = monitor economic and financial development and lend money when needed.
  • United Nations 1945 (UN) = prevent war and arbitrate international disputes.
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organisation 1949 (NATO) = military alliance between European countries and the USA
  • World Trade Organisation 1995 (WTO) = trade policy and agreements to settle disputes. Promotes global free trade.
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 1961 (OECD) = analysis of economic development. Forecasting and researching development. Most developed world countries are members.

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.

  • Using/threatening the use of military force
  • Imposing laws/language of the colonial power
  • Imposing government systems usually ran by administrators from the home country.
  • Creating a different legal and social status between the colonies and colonised

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.

Developed Nations

  • Aid for corrupt dictators e.g. president Mobuto of Zaive in return for political support
  • Bilateral aid deals that benefitted supplier companies in developed countries
  • Continuation of importing cheap raw materials and exporting expensive manufacturing goods to the developed world.
  • Brain-drain of skilled workers to developed world.


  • Exploration developing resources – Nigerian oil – paying little royalties and exporting profits.
  • Protecting much needed technologies with parents and costly licencing agreements.
  • Exploiting workers in low skilled factories by paying low wages.


  • Unsuitable lending = debt crisis
  • Intervention in economies of LIC’s structural adjustment policies – ensures debt repayments
  • Not enough to = level the playing field = increased trade in the developing world.

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:

  • Tariffs = tax on imports/ exports
  • Quotas = legal restrictions on goods imported
  • Trading blocs = intergovernmental agreement regional barriers to trade
  • Imports/exports
  • Patent (royalties) = governmental authority/licence title conferring a right/title for a set period – sole right to exclude others from making/using/selling an invention.

TRADE = exchange of goods and services = generates wealth

  • 5 trade flows = 63.7% of all world trade in goods in 2007
  • Africa = 2% in 2007 vs Europe = 40% of world trade goods
  • Superpowers/emerging powers = advantage

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

  • CHINA = major exporter of high value manufactured goods.
  • INIDA = moved to IT and Software

These are both wealth creators = helps to explain rising wealth and power!

  • RUSSIA & GULF STATES = use oil and gas as their trade weapons. State owned companies e.g. Saudi Aramco & Gazprom, control export volumes and profits.

Superpower Culture – same culture = share common values and beliefs for example:

  • Various ‘norms’ ways to behave are commonly accepted laws.
  • Shared language, dress and art (music, dance and literature) and symbols.
  • Religious beliefs, attitudes and moral and ethical values.
  • Emergence of Global Culture spreading around the world due to the influence of cultural globalisation – Global culture seen dominated by the West e.g. Europe and North America e.g. Westernisation, Americanisation, McDonalidisation, Disneyfication, Cocalisation

GLOBALISATION = process by which people, cultures, money, goods and information can be transferred between countries.

CULTURAL GLOBALISATION = western cultures spread

Western Values:

  • Democracy = belief developed society = everyone has the right to vote
  • Individualism = belief that individuals should have the right to pursue own actions and dreams
  • Consumerism = belief that Western wealth and ability to buy goods and services = happiness
  • Technology = belief problems can be solved by using technology especially high-end technology
  • Economic Freedom = belief markets should be free and people should be at liberty to make money how they chose

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:

  • Internet = increased access to information
  • Growth of global TNC’s, Europe, Japan and the USA
  • Instantly recognisable language free, global brand logos e.g. Nike
  • Spread of English as international language of business
  • Global growth of Tourism and Culture mixing
  • Increasingly strong and widespread global trade flows
  • Increased air travel = promoting migration and spread of culture and ideas
  • Global media cooperation’s e.g. Disney and News cooperation’s

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!

Superpower Futures

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
EU 90% 210% + 0.9 147% 67%
USA 41% 131% + 0.8
JAPAN -6% 100% + 0.7 42% 11%
CHINA 185% 1024% + 1.0

Change in old and new powers 2000-2008.

Emerging powers benefit form economic growth:

  • China 200 million people moved out of poverty 1990-2005.
  • India’s middle class has swelled to over 300 million.
  • In Brazil the number of homes with an income of US$5,900-22,000 grew form 14.3 million to 22.3 million between 2000 and 2005 and earning under US$3,000 fell by 1.3 million.


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!


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.


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!

Emerging superpowers:


  • Economy may be vital for the USA e.g. car sales decreased 17 million 2000-14 million 2008.
  • 2008 top 5 best-selling cars of the USA = Japanese origin.
  • Dongfeng investing US$1.3 billion in a research and development centre and factory.
  • Chery = plans 4 factory with a capacity 200,000 cars = total capacity to 850,000 units by 2010.
  • FAW has committed US$1.8 billion to developing vehicles between now and 2015.
  • By 2015 Geely will produce 1.7 million cars a year from nine overseas factories in China and overseen plants planned in Mexico, SA, Indonesia, Ukraine and Russia.

 Preserving Prosperity

  • Outsourcing to India, China etc. = cheaper goods = benefits to the USA and EU.
  • Increased dependence on emerging powers outsourcing research and technology jobs – India.
  • Financial turmoil 2008 = credit crunch.
  • Apple and Microsoft GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY PLAYERS have established research factories in China and India.


  • Space Race: Russia, India and China = challenging NASA’s no.1 position, NASA – achieved moon landing in 1969 by 1970s the space race had fizzled out.
  • Roshomos (RKA) manned, reusable spacecraft called Klper began mission 2015!
  • India Space Research Organisation (ISRO) planned manned missions (2015) GLVS-III Rockets.
  • China National Space Administration (CNSA) own space station and land probe on moon 2010. Manned mission planned for Mars in 2040-2060.
  • Japan Aerospace Exploitation Agency , independent manned mission and lunar base in 2030.
  • European Space Agency (ESA) unmanned exploration plans future manned mission.

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
  • Individual provision of healthcare and education
  • More overtly religious
  • More concerned about being no.1 individualism
  • Greater prevalence of fast food
  • Shopping malls not highstreet
  • Not in favour of capital punishment
  • Stronger emphasis on a welfare state
  • Lower legal age of alcohol
  • Tendency to eat as a family
  • Liberal attitude towards nudity in the media

Cause of tension

WAR e.g. USA war in IRAQ – provided 1,000+ service personnel 2003.

  • FRANCE and GERMANY = OPPOSE! And UN secretary general Kofi Annan.
  • Post initial invasion many withdrew troops = undermines “coalition”
  • USA international status = undermined due to this war and their desperate attempt to restore some form of peaceful functioning government.

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

  • This isn’t new though – UK experienced Terrorism in Northern Ireland, Basque separist ongoing in Spain.
  • FLASHPOINT = locations where involvement of the USA and other countries = directly oppose the interests of Islam and Muslims by extremes Islamist groups e.g. Al-Qaeda.
  • Islamic terrorism = often directed at the USA but whether it is motivated by a dislike of American Culture – move against American Military and political actions.

THE FUTURE… there tensions are only likely to increase in the future

  • As emerging superpowers gain ground = potential for a CLASH OF CULTURES.
  • Despite GLOBALISATION there are at least 4 cultural views which are present with the emerging superpowers.
  • In the Muslim world there is a growth of Islamic fundamentalism = with opposition to what it sees as moral corruption of the West = tensions + Chinese development for European style freedoms may GROW!

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.

  • A Multi-polar world = replaces a current Uni-polar one, following the RISE of CHINA, INDIA and other emerging powers. The USA remains the most powerful but less dominate superpower.
  • Increase risk of an Arms Race = possibly a Nuclear one – MIDDLE EAST and EAST ASIA, if tensions and conflict in those regions cannot be resolved.
  • Increased Resource Nationalism and Tensions = as resources e.g. OIL&WATER run short + increase in PRICE! Rising tension develop between the BRIC’s as they search for new resources.
  • Long-term decline = of Europe and Japan if they fail to meet challenges of rapidly AGEING POPULATIONS.
  • Resource-rich powers = (RUSSIA, the MIDDLE EAST) increasingly challenged the political, economic order.

Biodiversity Under Threat Notes

Topic 3: Biodiversity under Threat- REVISION NOTES

What do I need to know?

  • Ways in which biodiversity can be defined
  • Key processes and factors that influence biodiversity
  • Global distribution of biodiversity and biodiversity hotspots
  • The value of ecosystems
  • The distribution of threatened areas
  • Global factors threaten biodiversity
  • The impact of these threats on ecosystem processes
  • The link between economic development and ecosystem destruction/degradation
  • The concept of sustainable yield
  • The role of different players in managing biodiversity
  • Spectrum of strategies and policies for managing biodiversity
  • The future of biodiversity

Key Terms:

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
  are endemic
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
ecosystem assessment)      
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.

biodiversity defs
Key processes and factors that influence biodiversity

Biodiveristy variables

Global distribution of biodiversity

global distrubution of biomes

Main patterns:

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.

Biodiversity Hotpots

biodiversity hotspots

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:

  • Continental hotspots – richest in terms of biodiversity
  • Large island hotspots – have distinctive species
  • Small island hotspots – low in species number but contain a high proportion of endemics

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:

  • Deforestion – due to slash and burn, the production of charcoal for domestic fuel and the collection of Madagascan hardwoods (ebony and rosewood $2000 per tonne)
  • Agriculture and overgrazing – most farming that takes place doesn’t allow soil sufficient time for regrowth of vegetation and to recover from being grazed/farmed
  • Hunting and gathering – many local species are aggressively hunted by locals
  • Illegal wildlife trade– loss of habitat gives greater access to species, the Ploughshare tortoise can be sold for $2000,00
  • Alien Species- invasive species can destroy habitats, outcompete local species and reduce native populations

Thankfully there are some solutions:

Creation of conservation areasConservation International identified 132 key biodiversity areas that encourages other key players to work together to save an important biodiversity. For example in Madagascar:

  1. the World Bank provided money for locals to plant pine and eucalyptus trees to satisfy fuel needs
  2. Birdlife International identified 141 Important Bird Areas and provided education and training to locals
  3. Two World Heritage Sites were created on neighbouring small islands to protect endemic plant species found there and to create no fishing zones.
  4. Nature Reserves have been created in areas with virgin (not touched by man) rainforest. Endangered Lemurs bred in captivity have successfully been released back into these reserves.

SurviellanceConservation 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

The value of ecosystemsEcosystem Services

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%).

Ecological value
The distribution of threatened areas

distribution of threats

There are various ways of measuring threatened ecosystems:

  • Economic Scorecard shows the ability of ecosystems to produce goods and services
  • The Living Planet Index monitors changes over time in the populations of representative animal species in various ecosystems
  • Ecological footprint measures the human impact on the planet
  • Red List of endangered species shows species at risk of extinction
  • Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is a multi-scale assessment by the UN

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.

Factors threatening biodiversity

Global Factors:

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:

  • laying and fruiting have been advancing by several days each decade
  • Coral bleaching due to warming seas has increased since 1980s
  • Ocean acidification caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide
  • Poleward’s migration of species by an average of 6km per decade

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:

  • nitrate pollution of lakes
  • Ozone depletion due to CFCs

Human population growth – this is forcing people to spread into more areas and is encroaching onto areas with high biodiversity

Local Factors

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

  1. c) Recreational use – plants are vulnerable to trampling and animals to disturbance


The impact of these threats on ecosystem processes

Energy Flow

Energy flows

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

Nutrient cycling

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.

Energy flows 2


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

  • lack any native predator
  • Not susceptible to native diseases

Deliberate introductions include:

  • Game species such as pheasant and rainbow trout for hunting
  • Hedgehog was imported from the Scottish mainland to the Outer Hebrides to deal with a plague of garden slugs but have since effected the populations of ground nesting birds whom they eat the eggs of

Accidental introductions include:

  • Alien species can arrive by ship e.g. Zebra mussel arrived in North America from the Caspian Sea by clinging on the sides of ships. These were brought into the Great Lakes where the multiplied to 70,000 per km2
  • Air transport was responsible for introducing snakes to the Pacific Island of Guam which had huge impacts on the food web

Nutrient Overload

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 link between economic development and ecosystem destruction/ degradation

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.

Development and consverationNamed 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.

The concept of sustainable yield

Sustainable yield represents the ‘safe’ level of harvest that can be hunted/caught/used without harming the individual ecosystem. It is measured through:

  1. Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) – the greatest harvest that can be taken indefinitely while leaving the ecosystem intact.
  1. Optimum sustainable yield (OSY) – best compromise achieve in the light of all economic and social factors.

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.

Sustainable yields

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.


The role of different players in managing biodiversity

Different conservation players


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

Spectrum of strategies and policies for managing 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:

  • In developing countries there is a conflict between conservation and cutting people off from biodiversity
  • Totally protected reserves are often narrowly focused for scientific purposes so may fail to take into account social, economic factors etc
  • Many protection schemes are based around political boundaries and not the ecosystem natural boarders
  • These strategies rely on the co-ordination of outside agencies which often forget about the local people’s needs.

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.

Key facts:

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

Conservation: SMMA

The SMMA agreement establishes 5 different types of zones within the area, and these are as follows:

  1. Marine reserves
  2. Fishing priority areas
  3. Recreational areas
  4. Yachting areas
  5. Multiple use area

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

  1. Agreement, not formal contract – the Agreement was meant to address conflicts through the zoning of uses. However, the Agreement is not a formal contract and therefore not binding upon the parties involved. Furthermore, the lack of established structures for its review and revisions have invited ad hoc proposals and adjustments.
  2. Complexity – The SMMA has affected a number of user groups, both negatively and positively, to differing extents, but there is no process to weigh and balance these against environmental impacts in order to make creative management decisions.
  3. Enforcement – manpower and equipment constraints of the Marine Police and the Soufriere police. There is a lack of consensus over the role that the wardens can and should play in enforcement: one view is that their role should largely be preventive, while others see the need for the rangers to have greater enforcement authority, including the powers of arrest.
  4. Fishing vs Tourism – conflict among users and destruction of the fragile near shore habitats.
  5. Land management not taken into account – further sedimentation could occur as land areas have not undergone a similar process of sustainable management. Similarly land based pollution could also be an issue.

The future of biodiversity

The Millennium Ecosystems Assessments (MEA) identified 4 scenarios predicting rapid conversion of ecosystems to farmland and urbanisation.

biodiversity futuers


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:


  • Business as usual – increased ecological footprint and no reduction in overshoot
  • Slow shift – gradually reducing the ecological footprint by developing many sustainable policies so that ecosystems can recover by the year 2100
  • Rapid reduction – radical policies to control ecological footprints lead to elimination of overshoot by 2040
  • Shrink and share – breaking the world into regions in order to share responsibility for controlling the overshoot problem

Case Study: Named Global Ecosystem- Daintree Tropical Rainforest

Location: North east coast of Australia in Queensland

Why is Daintree so special?

  • World Heritage site measuring ½ the size of Wales
  • 135 million years old
  •  Greatest number of threatened species of plant and animals in the world
  • ½ of Australia’s bird species
  • 65% of all butterfly and bat species


  • Tourism
  • In 1983, 17000 tourists visited Daintree but by 2002 this had grown to 436000 visitors
  • Destruction of ecosystem to cope with demand
  • tarmacking of roads has lead to small areas of forest being divided into plots for sale
  • Occupied plots are often bulldozed and turned into cattle ranches
  • Development
  • Increased numbers of tourists had lead to the development of Port Douglas changing the village’s character
  • Climate Change – a global temperature increase could threaten the distinctive ecosystems environment
  • Logging – the commercial timber industry in began in Daintree in the 1930s. The rainforest acts as a carbon store so the removal of these releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere adding to the greenhouse effect
 Impacts Short-term Medium-term Long-term
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
  deforestation affected trees
  Loss of habitats Food web disrupted Extinction of species
  Disruption of native   Invasion of alien species


Management of Daintree

Key players:

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.