Sunday, December 2, 2012

Poverty and Biodiversity Conservation Issues

One of the major concerns in preserving biodiversity is the effect that impoverished nations have upon their environments. In many instances, areas with a large amount of biodiversity tend to have some of the poorest human populations, but with the highest population growth. As we are all aware, the greater the population of a nation, particularly without certain restrictions to the use of natural resources, the more damaged the environment becomes, resulting in a drastic decline in the number of species present. One of the struggles for impoverished nations is justifying the protection of species when the people themselves are either unable to support themselves, or must compete with those species to obtain/ maintain resources. An example can be seen in the article titled "Human-wildlife conflicts over 
food and water in Tanzania." It describes some of the conflicts between the peoples of several rural communities located near wildlife reserves, where several species of large mammals tend to have a negative impact upon the amount of crop harvested. Species such as elephants, hippos, and warthogs frequently leave reserve grounds and will consume part of a field, leading to a loss of productivity for the farmers. Because of the economic loss, many of the locals find it difficult to sympathize with those species that may be harming them. As a result, some of the species will not receive the protections  necessary for their survival.
As stated in section, one of the primary ways that both issues of poverty and biodiversity conservation can be attacked is through greater education, which will most likely need to come from outside sources because of the general lack of available instruction from  members of local communities. By having a more informed population, it is more likely that the people of those communities will recognize the importance of biodiversity for the environment as well as their own economic interests. Another offered solution is the investment of an impoverished countries to develop their eco-tourism industries to bring in more foreign tourists, who in turn will support the local economy through purchases of guide services and of course souvenirs. While this appears to be a simple solution, it takes years of hard effort and resources to sufficiently alter a nation's perspective on environmental issues, and as the world becomes more stretched for natural resources, we will likely only see the continuation of this struggle long into the future.
For more interesting examples of efforts taken by some nations to mediate poverty with wildlife conservation, the same page the article mentioned above has a few more articles discussing the matter See the page here...

No comments: