Diving into a new world – Thoughts on Environment and Natural Resource Management

Quite some time went by since I took biology as an intensive class in high school and I have not studied the environment and natural resource management any further since then. That is why the first class in this above mentioned area was really interesting to me. Of course some concepts of ecology and biogeography sounded familiar and I remember drawing different ecological cycles in school, but I have to admit that I have not paid close attention to this topic over the last years..

However, as the class went by I realized that I am confronted with many of these concepts in my everyday life through media and that I am aware of many of these issues. Just to give you some examples: Most of us know that the regeneration rate of the rainforest cannot cope with the speed in which humankind destroys it and most of us know that there is only a limited capacity of what the ecosystems can carry without becoming less resilient or completely destroyed. But are we really aware of how much damage our actions can cost? Just have a look at the picture below which depicts the consequences of overfishing.

It is important that we understand that biodiversity guarantees the ecosystem service production and that inflicting damage on it has wide-ranging consequences. Therefore the protection of biodiversity needs to play a greater role in politics and national accounts. Having these various issues in mind and being confronted with them through media almost every day, it is even more appalling to read the Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3) where it is stated that the goal which has been set “by the world’s Governments in 2002, ‘to achieve by 2010 a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss […] as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth’, has not been met”. One has to acknowledge that the target helped to initiate actions to protect biodiversity and that some significant and measurable results can be seen.

Nevertheless, we need to take on further actions and raise awareness towards a sustainable natural resource management. Almost all of our actions have an impact on the environment and we can’t blame the responsibilities on others.


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