ECOSYSTEMS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ASSIGNMENT
Pick 5 of the following questions. Each answer is worth 6 marks (total = 30 marks). You do not need to provide references but if you do online research, please make sure you use your own words to summarize your findings.
· 1. This is a question that I posed in module 3, but we did not get to discuss. Perhaps you could address the following here “You might ask why you are taking a science course if you are in a business program or non-science program? Are there links between business and ecology? Perhaps consider that the ultimate purpose of business is not making money, and is also not making and selling things, but rather should be to increase the general well-being of humankind through service, creative invention and ethical philosophy. What are your thoughts on this?”
· 2. As populations increase and the demand for meat and consumption increases continue to increase, there has been a significant increase in the amount of land areas needed to feed the global population. In light of this, argue for or against intensive agriculture in terms of environmental and economic sustainability? What are our alternatives?
· 3. List reasons to protect the Amazon rainforest based on concepts of ecological (list 3 reasons) and social sustainability (list 2 reasons). List and explain 2 proximate factors (direct) and 3 ultimate factors (indirect or root causes) contributing to deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
· 4, What factors led to the decline in global fisheries? What exactly is “fishing down the food web”?
· 5. To what degree do you think the public is responsible for making socially responsible consumption decisions? To what degree do you think governments in developed or developing countries or corporations are responsible for the unsustainable development that is currently occurring in developing countries?
· 6. List three reasons why supranational conventions or treaties are effective in promoting sustainable development. Provide one example of an international convention or treaty that was successful and describe what it did. List three weaknesses of international conventions.
· 7. In many tropical forests areas that were initially established as native land reserves have been converted into national parks or protected areas. Within these forests, there is usually some type of co-management between the indigenous community and government staff or non-governmental organizations. Why should indigenous communities play a role in management of the resource?
· 8. Can we adequately capture the value of all elements of biodiversity in economic terms? Provide examples in your response. Do you see a value of studies that attempt to attach a monetary value to ecosystem services? Or biodiversity?
· 9. List two key physical impacts of climate change and outline how these two physical impacts influence one biological/ecological systems, three businesses and two primary (resource extraction) industries?
· 10. Genetically modified crops are one way to intensify agricultural practices, what are the ecological, social and economic arguments for and against GMO’s. Is it a matter of the fear of the unknown or the precautionary principle? Going on the comments that the class posted online, if you knew nothing about it yourself, which way would you be swayed (ie which arguments were most convincing?).