Riley Vanderydt- 104407017
March 18th, 2019
Environment and Climate Change Canada helps to inform Canadians about protecting and conserving our natural heritage, ensuring a clean, safe, and sustainable environment for each generation (Climate Change Canada, 2019). The increase of technology and development of land leads to several environmental issues such as biodiversity. Biodiversity is the diversity of life on earth and when looking at the human impact on this environmental issue, it is important to examine natural and human elements, the affects on women, the actions that could be taken to lessen the impact on other environmental issues, how this issue can be improved, and if this environmental issue is political.
Biodiversity was first published in 1988, which recognized that the diversity of life on earth. However, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity adopted the definitions of biodiversity as biological diversity means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystem (Yurto?lu, et al.
, 2018). The loss of biodiversity provides a major environmental issue that affects the proper functioning of the ecosystems (Caliman, et al., 2013). Biodiversity continues to face growing pressures due to human actions such as habitat conversion and degradation, habitat fragmentation, climate change, harvesting, increasing carbon dioxide concentrations and pollution that affect our natural resources (Newbold, et al., 2015). Conservation of biodiversity is essential for human and natural life; both human and nature depend on healthy functionality of the ecosystem for sustainable growth for food, water sources, and an overall healthy environment.
When looking into biodiversity, individuals need to look into the human impact on the environment. Among several human activities causes habitat loss, urban development produces some of the greatest local extinction rates, which eliminates a large majority of native species (Yurto?lu, 2018). First of all, mismanagement, the nature and extent of the footprint are under control of landscape management. This refers to managing a landscape that brings together multiple stakeholders, who collaborate to integrate policy and practice for their different land use objectives, with the purpose of achieving sustainable landscape (Burton, et al, 2014). For instance, the increase of land development converts landforms from a natural state for the purpose of building several homes, killing all natural resources in that area and increasing carbon dioxide concentration. Moreover, forest management has been most pervasive, long-term, and best-documented human disturbance in the forest. Forest management practices change continuously in response to policy direction, market conditions, and technological advances in harvesting equipment and regimes (Venier, et al., 2014). Therefore, as market conditions increase, the increase for economic development grows as well leading to mismanagement of natural resources and land use due to economic benefit.
Impact on Women
The loss of biodiversity impacts certain populations more compared to others. For instance, fundamental class of mechanisms arise as a result of southern rural areas and indigenous populations dependency on restricted biophysical assets for their livelihoods. Therefore, when the corporation’s clear forests, convert rangelands, drain wetlands, or overharvest biota to meet consumption objectives leads to deterioration in the human condition. As southern rural areas or indigenous populations disproportionally earn a living by mixing their labour power with nature, their labour is dependent on the quality and quantity of natural resources available to them (Barrett, et al, 2011). According to an eco-feminist, to understand ecosystems, individuals need to focus on the relationship between human and the natural world. Therefore, the importance of biodiversity to individuals varies based on gender such as the social roles, social relations, how its shaped by culture, and natural environments. Women, in particular, are involved in important roles as primary land managers and resource users, although they encounter different impacts from biodiversity loss and gender-blind conservation measures (Abodealil-Martini, et al., 2008). There have been many highlights on the fact that rural women in developing countries interact directly with the environment. Women are seen as the safeguard of the environment and their communities livelihood and survival (Dankelman, 2010). Although, these women do not have an equivalent voice in decision-making related to land use, or equal access to needed resources compared to men. Therefore, leaving them inferior and underrepresented in design-making positions related to environmental and sustainable development issues, falling behind men in achieving paid employment in natural resource management sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and forestry (Palmer, 2018). Furthermore, women are affected by environmental degradation, destruction, and poverty. For instance, the expansion of womens unpaid or poorly paid contributions, in addition to their domestic labour, comes a price to households and communities. As well as, being exposed to toxic pesticides causing risk of chemical insults to their health and reproductive capacities (Dockstader, et al, 2012).
Lesson the Impact
Individuals can take actions to lessen the loss and conservation of biodiversity, which provides negative and positive benefits to other environmental issues. If individuals were to stop conserving biodiversity, which increases the loss of biodiversity provides more of a negative benefit to other environmental issues. For instance, if conserving biodiversity were to stop it would provide an increase in pollution due to the runoff or disposal of chemical substances. As well as the impact on climate change, the burning of fossil fuels and the growth of animal agriculture causes large amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The higher concentrations of greenhouse gases capture more heat resulting in global warming, which drives climate change (Human Impact, 2019). Moreover, resulting in resource exploitation as humans would consume resources for their own needs. For example, mining of natural resources like coal, the hunting and fishing of animals for food, and deforestation for urbanization and wood use would increase immensely. Furthermore, if individuals would slow down the loss of biodiversity it would provide a more positive impact on other environmental issues. For instance, when individuals slow down the loss of biodiversity it helps sustain all forms of life. Slowing down the loss of biodiversity stabilizes the earths climate, moderates floods, droughts, temperatures extremes, and forces of wind, and the provision of food, fuel, detoxification and decomposition of wastes. Biodiversity plays an important role and function in everyday life such as nutrients and water cycling, soil formation, regulation of climate, pest and pollution control, etc. (Biodiversity & Human Well-being, 2006). Therefore if individuals slowed down the loss of biodiversity it will improve the quality of life for all forms of living that eco-feminist consider when connecting humans and the natural world.
Improving the Situation
When looking into biodiversity individuals should consider ways to conserve biodiversity as it allows for protection of individual species, preserving habitat and ecosystems as well as benefiting certain human neighbours. According to ecofeminism, we need to draw upon gender to theorize the relationship between humans and nature. Humans are at the top of the hierarchy, which means individuals who fight for womens equality need to fight for environmental inequalities as well. These are fundamentally linked meaning if we want equality individuals need to think for all forms of life. Therefore, I believe that individuals can start to improve this situation by starting small by understanding the impact they have on the environment than moving into biodiversity advocacy globally. For instance, individuals need to consider how their actions impact biodiversity and the ecosystems from their consumerism. This said, more individuals should consider to reduce or eliminate pesticides and fertilizers they use in their lawn. Instead, we should plant more native plants that are adaptive in our area or not buy plants from nurseries that use systemic pesticides such as neonicotinoids (Selby, 2015). Women have developed multiple strategies for farming systems, almost all are based on sophisticated management of genetic diversity. Helping to spread awareness of crop failure, practicing intercropping and diversification of crops in the field or in their personal garden (Zweifel, 1997). This will help with the basis of survival and improving the standard of living especially for poor areas and women. Also, restoring habitat in the community and reducing our own consumption, which provides a positive impact on the environment. The more that is reduced, fewer habitats will be destroyed when getting those resources or the energy needed to make these products, therefore leaving less waste going into the landfills (Selby, 2015). Additionally, promoting local or organic farmer in your community as it provides an individual with a chance to understand how the food people are eating is grown. These are several ways at an individual level that people could help improve biodiversity in their communities. As individuals become educated and understand their own impact, they can begin to advocate for biodiversity. Educating yourself is important as it allows you to educate other people and helps provide biodiversity awareness around your community (Selby, 2015). Once others are educated, committees can be formed to then lobby the government and support politicians who support measures that protect biodiversity compared to destroying it by thinking through a beneficial economic base (Selby, 2015). All in all, biodiversity can be improved when individuals realize the relationship between human and the natural world, which will then enhance a better quality of life for all.
When studying several environmental issues, I personally believe that most environmental issues are political issues. According to a feminist article, it explores the power, knowledge, and political ecology when looking into issues. The environment focuses on policy-making and public concerns from those who are in powerful positions. Biodiversity loss is a serious concern. Biodiversity becomes a political issue as capitalism destroys our natural resources to expand and survive. From a political-economic standpoint, biodiversity loss, extinction modernization, and development are associated with and driven by the global capitalist system. The mission for domination of the world’s ecosystems, capitalist undermine our natural resources to fulfil their economically derived needs for over-production and over-consumption in the developed world when exploiting the natural resources (Lynch, et al, 2016). Additionally, biodiversity becomes political because of unequal exchanges as it focuses on the biodiversity loss that is captured in the economic relationship between rich and poor nations, which has a role when other countries are suffering from the loss of biodiversity (Lynch, et al, 2016). For example, it is not necessarily the individuals in poor countries who are unsustainable but the life of capitalism that is unsustainable. For capitalism, it is about control over the worlds economic and ecological systems that consume and transforms nature into commodities (Lynch, et al, 2016). Therefore, political rules and regulations shape capitalism’s impact on biodiversity loss and conservation.
To conclude, human actions on biodiversity provide several ripple effects on natural elements. These actions regarding biodiversity affect women within in the world especially women in the southern areas. Although, actions can be taken to reduce the impact and improve the loss and conservation of biodiversity around the world. Biodiversity is also considered a political issue, as there is an unequal distribution of power that affects several communities due to decisions made regarding the loss of biodiversity. Therefore, individuals should become aware of their own consumption and help recognize the threatened species and habitats in our world that help protects and restore biological systems. From an eco-feminism lens, I believe that individuals need to focus on the inter-relation between male dominance over women and over the environment. This allows individuals to draw on connections between the treatment of women and the treatment of animals under patriarchy, as it is believed that equality between men and women is best achieved through altering our relationship with the environment and other species in it. Therefore, promoting equality for all forms of life.
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