Effect of economic to the ecology
The ecology has developed from the study of natural biological systems, emphasizes the dynamic relationships between the various components of a system. Economics, with its nineteenth century origins in mechanistic concepts influenced by the industrial revolution, takes a more static view of the balance of accounts at the end of each accounting cycle. It can therefore be instructive to apply an ecological systems view to various economic concepts, if only to raise some provocative questions about the basic premises underlying modern economic thinking which have too often been taken for granted.
Both economy and ecology must become functional systems respect certain basic principles to ensure their stability and survival. In nature, systems follow cycles of growth, reproduction or renewal, and death, which assure both the perpetuation of the systems and allow evolution to adapt to changing circumstances. In this process, the system may change form and composition, but it preserves its most essential characteristics in its information content. This determines its structure, organization and forms of communication with the outside environment and other systems. In biological systems, this information is stored in the genetic code; in human systems, this information is perpetuated and transmitted in our social values, institutions, culture, science, knowledge and wisdom.
Ecology is the natural science that deals with relationships among all organisms and their environments. Ecological studies have traditionally focused on interpreting the non-human world and have provided little explicit application to human society
Deforestation is the destruction or clearing of forested lands, usually for the purposes of expanding agricultural land or for timber harvesting. When the process is conducted by clear cutting (removal of most or all of the canopy tree growth, leaving few or no live or dead trees standing) or when mass forest burning occurs, significant losses of habitat and biodiversity may result, including the erosion of biological community structure and the extinction of species.
Ecological deforestation is where by destruction or clearing of forested land that leads to destruction of organisms’ habitat. Ecological deforestation begun as early as industrial revolution started when the consumption patterns of society has changed followed by sharp increase of human rates thus leading to high burden on the ecosystem. The advents of variety of industrial system especially motor engines that speed up the rate of exploitations and consequently leads to the extinctions of some keystones species of ecosystem.
Ecological economics is a policy-oriented perspective that addresses the interdependence and co-evolution between human economies and their natural ecosystems. Interest in this area has been prompted by concerns for the adverse impacts of human economic growth processes on natural systems. Ecological economics is positive, in its development of understanding of the physical, biological and social structural and functional relations between economies and natural ecosystems. Ecological economics is also normative in addressing appropriate roles of human economies within natural ecosystems.
Economic and ecological processes
Today, when we think of ecology, the household in question is the biosphere, primarily the natural environment. When we think of the economy, we think of the human production, exchange, and consumption of goods and services. The two topics are treated in such a way that they hardly touch each other. And there is the problem. We need a healthy natural environment as a context for our lives. We need to produce, exchange, and consume goods and services in sustainable way. But precisely because we need both, preoccupation with either one, when the other is not in view, can be disastrous.
Realistically, in the past half century at least, attention has been overwhelmingly focused on economy. The arguments have been about how to increase production, exchange, and consumption of goods and services. Some economists argued that a centralized bureaucracy could plan economic growth most effectively. Others asserted that a market free from government interference would grow more rapidly. Most economies have in fact had elements of both, but on the whole giving more freedom to entrepreneurs has proved more effective.
This View among economists has in general presupposed that natural resources are not limited. Some believes that technological advance will handle any problems that arise from natural shortages. There are no limits to growth. The more rapidly we increase production, exchange, and consumption the better. But if you take look ecologically, things quite differently. It seems that human beings are consuming more and more of the total natural product of the world. Wilderness is growing scarce or, by some definitions, has already disappeared. species could exceed its own natural ecosystem’s carrying capacity or diminish that capacity to the point of self-extinction, only the human species has both the will and capacity to jeopardize itself, as well as the will and capacity to avoid it. Many species can survive only as managed by human beings. Fresh water is already scarce in many parts of the world. Fisheries are declining. Agricultural production will not be able to keep up with demand. Air, water, and soil are being poisoned. The heating of the atmosphere leads to increased storms and more erratic weather.
The linkage between ecological deforestation and economical system in modern world is quite opposed, the economical system in modern world emphasizes the cost-benefit analysis, that means the project is valued its benefit and demand from market denying with its impact to the environment.
When logging (timber) operations takes place in the forests land in order to get economical purpose without considering ecological system, it will lead us to misery condition. This process is conducted by clear cutting of significant trees. When this mass forests cutting occurs, significant losses of habitat and biodiversity may result, including the erosion of biological community structure and the extinction of species. Deforestation is proceeding at a rapid pace in may areas of the world, especially in the tropical and borea-forest regions of the earth, with annual net loss of forests during the 1990s estimated in the range of nine to sixteen million hectares per annum (9 to 16 million hctr). Large scale deforestation may have adverse impacts on bio-sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, exacerbating greenhouse gas buildup, through the release of stored carbon in tree biomass and reduced CO2 fixation rates due to loss of trees. Deforested regions are often subject to accelerated rates of soil erosion, increased surface runoff and sedimentation of streams and rivers, reduced infiltration and ground water recharge, with adverse water quality impacts on surface water and ground water resources.
An agricultural activity also is one of major things that lead to the ecological deforestation. Expanding of agricultural for addressing the demand from market will causes to cut more trees and hence destruction of critical habitat of organism. Typically, the most productive natural ecosystems (forests and grassland) are the first to be modified by human use and most intensely managed. Since nearly all agricultural practices involve the removal of the original vegetation and substitution of exotic domesticated crops and animals, the loss of biodiversity is significant. As human population grows, it needs more space to grow food. The pressures to modify the environment are greatest in areas that have high population density. Often the changes brought by intense agricultural use can degrade the ecosystem and permanently alter the biotic nature of the area. Today, agricultural land is being pushed to feed more people, and its wise use is essential to the health and welfare of the people of the world.
Ironically, the oil, which has made possible so much of the economic growth, will become scarce and expensive within a few decades, because over exploitation the natural resources in order to address the sharp increase of human demand. Oil companies under take huge project to overexploit the natural resources without considering the effects these projects on ecosystem. Their main aim is to accomplish economical benefits rather then future impact on the environment. For instance oil spill which has taken place in USA 5 months ago has caused 20500 species to die and some keystones species of this region may already extinct. Although the company (British Petroliam, BP) which was responsible for this spill has announced to compensate the destruction of ecosystem but still far to remediate the loss of many species that may take over million years to remain its impact. At a maximum, we should focus on conservation of scarce resources, reduction of pollution, and technological innovations that will enable us to adjust to a post-petroleum economy.
Impact of ecological deforestation
Due to the continuous deforestation of ecological system from economic activities, we have been experienced huge impact on environment as whole and ecosystem as special. The effects as follows;
Loss of biodiversity:
Forests destruction have resulted into the loss of biodiversity, some tree and plant species are currently endangered and some are already extinct an Forest ecosystems are extremely efficient both for holding and recycling nutrients and for absorbing and holding water, because they maintain and protect a very porous, humus-rich topsoil.
As a result the loss biodiversity including animals and plants leads to the decrease of output production, because most uses of biodiversity have been discovered such as uses of chemical, especially drugs which is very important for human life. An estimated 24% all world prescription drugs contain compounds derived from plants. With so many un described plants, many potential useful medicines will be lost if we take proper measures to control it.
Forests are important as they provide watershed management, and hosting important species, as a result of deforestation there has been an increase in the flow of ground water and as a result there have been increased occurrences of flash flooding in dams and electric power dams.
Global climatic changes:
Forests are important in the carbon cycle balance and the cutting down of trees will result into unbalanced carbon cycle in the world, as a result there will be an increased percentage of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which leads into global warming and other impacts.
Climatic changes are experienced due to the unforgiving nature of the environment, Global warming has been an issue that has been of recent concern and deforestation has contributed to the issue of global warming, for this reason therefore there should be improved forest management to extend the adverse effect of global warming.
Trees act as water shed whereby areas covered by forest will hold more underground water, when logging takes place in an area the ground may not hold water and for this reason the area may experience drier climates due to deforestation.
Increased erosion and land slides:
Due to the increased loss of vegetation cover land has become more susceptible to erosion through rain and also wind, the loss of vegetation cover and forests have also resulted into increased occurrences of land slides. Erosion also causes sedimentation of streams and lakes which has effect to aquatic life due to suffocation resulting from suspended materials in water. An example of erosion caused by logging is the yellow river of China that turned yellow due to the increased sediment load of the river as a result of erosion.
Measures to control deforestation
Afforestation and re-afforestation:
Government have initiated policy measures aimed at supervising the companies project in specific area making analysis that if this project harming the ecological system it must be postponed and also judging the cost-benefit analyses for purpose of environmental benefits. Other measures are planting trees (afforestation) in both areas that were covered by trees and those that were not earlier covered by trees, afforestation involves the planting of trees in area where forests did not exist while reforestation involves planting trees where forests have been destroyed. An example is where since 1990 the European union has paid farmers in form of grants for them to turn their farming land into forests, by 1997 over half a million hectares of land have been afforested and reforested. Also In the 1998 to 2000 period china completed reforestation and afforestation of over 1.1million hectares. Therefore the afforestation and reforestation policy measures by various authorities have resulted into a reduction in the effects of deforestation.
Ban on logging:
Bans on logging are also policy measures to reduce deforestation, this however acts as a way to stop further deforestation but does not solve the problem of deforestation because the world has already been faced with the problem, an example of such a ban is the 1998 china ban against commercial logging, this ban was lifted on more than 13 provinces that are along the yellow river.
Cost of reducing this problem:
Because timber harvesting is a major economic activity in many countries if a piece of and is used for production of timber and not for any other use, trees are planted and then cut for timber production and trees are replanted or allowed to grow from natural seeding then we would be in apposition to find out the economic cost of resolving the problem. If trees and forests are used for timber production then there must the determination of optima rotation which will be determined by the cost of planting, price of cutting timber, discounting rate and the pattern of growth of these trees.
The stumpage value of the trees will be equal to revenue got from the sale of timber minus the cost of harvest and transport to the place of sale. In this case therefore it would be important to maximize the stumpage value.
In our case we are determining growth of trees not for the purpose of cutting down but to secure and maintain the eco balance and therefore the cost of keeping trees will be determined by the management costs such as spraying, pruning and thinning, other cost include the opportunity cost of land tied up by the trees and finally the opportunity costs which the proceeds from cutting the trees. However for public forests we do not have to consider the opportunity cost of land held up by the trees.
How can we develop sustainable economics.
Most of today’s advanced industrialized countries high-throughput economies that attempted to sustain ever-increasing economic growth by increasing the flow of matter and energy resources through their economic systems. These resources flow through the economics of such as societies to planetary sinks (air, water, soil, organisms), where pollutants and wastes end up and can accumulate to harmful levels.
What happens if more and more people continue to use and waste more and more energy and matter resources at an increasing rate? The law of conservation of matter and the two laws of thermodynamics tell us that eventually thus will exceed the capacity of the environment to dilute and degrade waste matter and absorb waste heat. Fore example the first law of thermodynamics in closed environment system, the amount of waste in any period must be equal to the amount of natural resources used up. Resources may be transformed but they cannot be destroyed and must end up somewhere in the environmental system. However, they do not tell us how close we are to reaching such limits but they are giving us indicators that the ability of environment to absorb waste has been reached.
A stopgap solution to this problem is to convert a high-throughput economy to a matter-recycling economy. The goal of such conversion is to allow economic growth to continue without depleting matter resources or producing excessive pollution and environmental degradation.
In recognition of the many environmental services performed by forests, a new method of forest management, known as ecologically sustainable forest management, is evolving. This broader approach seeks not only to conserve forest for the commercial harvest of timber and non-timber forest products, but also to sustain biological diversity. Prevent soil erosion and soil, and preserve watersheds that produce clean water.
The actual methods of ecological sustainable forest management that distinguish it from traditional forest management are gradually being developed and vary from one forest ecosystem to another. Because trees have such long lifespan, scientists and forest managers of the future will judge the results of today’s efforts.
We also recognize efficiency in nature, and it acknowledges the importance of ecosystem functions for the continuation of human economies and cultures. In nature, one species’ waste is another’s food, so that nothing is wasted. We need an economy that recycles materials and uses energy efficiently, much as biological community does.
The economy is one of the pillars of sustainability. It must function to prevent pollution by providing incentives that promote efficient resource use and eliminate waste. The economy must also support healthy ecosystems, the source of our natural resources. Preventing pollution and protecting ecosystems.
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Name: Haykal Dahir Omar
Marial Status: Single
Occupation: Student, Becholar Of Environmental Science
University: Kampala International University
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