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THE ECONOMICS OF

ECOSYSTEM
AND
BIODIVERSITY
Its not about the fish, its not about the
pollution, and its not about the climate
change. Its about us and our greed and
our need for growth and our inability to
imagine a world that is different from the
selfish world we live in today. Jeremy
Jackson (Jackson, 2010)

Ecological infrastructure is the naturally


existing operational ecosystem which
delivers treasured amenities to society, such
as fresh water, climate regulation, soil
formation, glaciers and disaster risk
declination. It is the nature-based
corresponding of built infrastructure, and is
imperative for providing services and
sustaining socio-economic development. It
includes, mountain catchments, rivers,
wetlands, coastal dunes, nodes and corridors
of natural habitat, etc. which together form a
network of organized basic essentials in the
landscape. (Grasslands, 2013)
Since ecological infrastructure is essentially
unrestricted, its worth is infrequently
apprehended in market transactions and thus
it mostly remains under-invested. Deliberate
investment in ecological infrastructure
prolongs the life of standing infrastructure
and can diminish the need for additional
structure often with substantial cost
savings. Proper maintenance and investment
in ecological infrastructure preserves the
environment and safeguards us all from
future catastrophes.
All environmental
problems become
harder and ultimately impossible to
solve with ever more people.
Sir David Attenborough

As can be seen in the graph above human


population is increasing at an ever
increasing pace. Since the dawn of
human habitation, today we are sitting
facing the dusk of civilization. If the
population growth continues to increase
at this ever increasing pace, this dusk
might result in a permanent black hole
instead of a fresh new dawn. (SantaBarbara Family Foundation, 2011)
It is the exhaust of nearly 7 billion
humans that is leading us towards
catastrophic conditions which might
result into global disasters. We as a race
are doing more than hogging the interest,
we are actually using up Natures
resource taking about what is needed to
support species most diverse and what is
needed to allow evolution to play at its
fascinating potential with the health of
building blocks it has created.
The world population has risen from 2
to 7 billion in the last 85 years. United
States Census Bureau
Consistent land abuse has resulted
reduction in loss of productivity of land
continuously, which is leading towards
inability to grow enough food which is
leading to hunger and famines. It has

caused depletion of necessary natural


resources and is leading to increasing
conflicts over obtaining new resources,
which in turn is impacting social,
economic, and security crisis and thus
harming the nature.
Owing to the massive population there
has been a demand of massive free land,
which
further
led
to
massive
deforestation. Deforestation exposes the
soil directly to suns heat which leads to
drying up of moisture, evaporation of
nutrients and symbiotic bacteria. In due
course rain washes down the soil surfaces
which results in top-soil erosion, and
siltation of rivers and valleys.
Deforestation disturbs the systems
around intensely, watershed potential is
compromised and water cycle is
perturbed. It also affects the biodiversity
and it has already resulted in extinction
of various species around. (Eschool
today, 2010)
This enormous impact on Land
conditions lead to systems reorganization
which changes the climatic patterns and
change is landscapes. As a fact, humans
have moved more land than all natural
processes put together. (Santa-Barbara
Family Foundation, 2011)
Only if we care will we help. Only if we
help shall they be saved.
Dr. Jane Goodall
Forests arrests and stores Carbon.
Atmosphere traps Carbon dioxide (and
other similar gases) in order to preserve
the living conditions, however, release of
these gases in enormous amounts over
the previous decades has changed the
climatic conditions considerably. There
has been substantial increase in the
global temperature. There has been a

production of other distressing materials


such as CFCs which has led to depletion
of Ozone.
In the absence of appropriate cover of
forests, we had to create new mechanism
to reinstate the functions which they were
performing
themselves
with
full
efficiency, which has resulted in massive
investments. We currently consume
50% more natural resources than the
Earths ecosystems can replenish. World
Wildlife Fund
These are actually the mammoth changes
which have mentioned above. This
disruption by human activities has
impacted
the
ecosystem
around
considerably. This impact has distressed
various classifications alike. It is a wellknown fact bees contribute significantly
towards pollination and production of
important compounds. Their population
has been wedged ominously over the last
few years. Its just they as a species
havent raised a bill for their services
which would amount to billions of
dollars. This suffering in their community
will amount to much more than that; it
will impact in a modus which will be a
threat to our habitation. (Hickman, 2011)
It is due time when we need to
economise all natural systems. As a race,
economics is the only branch which we
all seem to understand alike. We face the
imminent loss of coral reefs due to
climate change, which has thwarted
growth of ocean ecosystem. (Jackson,
2010) This is an ecosystem that is near
to the onset of irreversibility, an inclining
point beyond which itd cease to function
as a system. The total population
dependent on them for food resources
ranges from 500 million to over one
billion. 30 million of the worlds poorest

and most vulnerable population is


entirely dependent on reef-based
resources for food production and means
of livelihood. (Pavan Sukhdev, 2009)
An insensitive approach has resulted in
changed naturscapes such as tailing
ponds and salt-lakes which is disrupting
the natural eco-systems and vernacular
species. These elements and compounds
extracted, uncovered and liberated
through mining and processing are
usually not part of the ecosystem of the
area where they are dumped and alter the
receiving environment to its detriment.
(The Rewilding Institute)
These contribute to variation in system
adapted by watersheds, this change is
further augmented by deforestation in the
area and constriction of flood-plains
which is directly impacting the natural
storm water drainage system and leads to
flood uncalled for. This also results in
poor water management and amplifies
water wastage. These important resources
goes waste, unharvest, unutilised and
results in water-stress. By 2025, twothirds of people will be living in waterstressed countries. United Nations
Ecosystem
services
like
water
purification, flood control, recreation
amenities and climate stabilization are
particularly valuable when provided to
thousands of people in urban and rural
areas.
It is straightforwardly recognized that
natural capital must be directly taken into
accounts. This will help us in accounting
natural process, grasping ecological
framework and this will significantly
influence our policy-makers decision
making. At present eco-systems are
poorly recorded in national economic

accounts. All the free amenities and


services supplied by thriving eco-systems
are neglected, which leads to their
destruction. These accounting procedures
will help in making corporates apprehend
their impact on the environment around
and take accountability for that. Often
these firms while setting up disrupt a
large ecological infrastructure which
goes blatantly unnoticed. This natural
capital is an important resource for the
communities around, not only a resource
but the singular reason for their
existence.
Direct conservation via threatened areas
and sustainable use constraints and
restraints is a mean of maintaining our
ecological institution healthy and prolific.
A very systemic cost-analysis need to be
accounted for and new eco-certification
measures need to be regularised which
provide detailed analysis of the benefits
and causes. This should be explicitly
linked with the natural hazard risks, these
systematic assessments of natural capital
will pave the way for combining
environment
risk
reduction
with
economically
efficient
investment.
(Pavan Sukhdev, 2009)
If we were running a business with the
biosphere as our major asset, we would
not allow it to depreciate. We would
ensure that all necessary repairs and
maintenance were carried out on a
regularly basis. Prof. Alan Malcolm,
Chief Scientific Advisor, IUPAC

Bibliography
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Population Facts. Retrieved


December 11, 2013, from
United Nations:
http://www.un.org/en/developm
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December 9, 2013, from
Reliable Prosperity:
http://www.reliableprosperity.n
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ml
Eschool today. (2010). Forest
preservation. Retrieved
December 10, 2013, from
Eschool Today:
http://eschooltoday.com/forests
/problems-ofdeforestation.html
Grasslands. (2013). Ecological
Infrastructure. Johanessburg:
Sanbi.
Hickman, L. (2011, January 14).
Population explosion.
Retrieved December 11, 2013,
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http://www.theguardian.com/w

orld/2011/jan/14/populationexplosion-seven-billion
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[Motion Picture].
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Climate Issues Update. Bonn:
United Nations Environment
Programme.
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December 10, 2013, from The
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spx
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