Ess Topic 4.3 - Conservation of Biodiversity

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4.3.1 State the arguments for preserving species and habitats.

Why conserve biodiversity? The values of biodiversity can be classified as either direct values or indirect values (see pp.119-120 in the IB ESS Course Companion): • Direct values - can be (relatively) easily calculated

• goods harvested & destroyed for consumption (eating) or sale in a market • generally physical commodities of some sort
• private goods - value accrues to the owner of the resource • Examples:
• food sources (‘heirloom varieties’ of many crops, i.e. corn/maize) • natural products (medicines, textiles, fertilizers, pesticides, etc) • Indirect values - more difficult to calculate

• stabilize ecosystems (negative feedback cycles)
• provide benefits but are not generally harvested/destroyed/sold • usually services or processes which benefit everyone • public goods - value accrues to society instead of individuals • Examples:

• ecosystem productivity (a.k.a. ecosystem services) i.e. soil aeration, pollination, fertilization, carbon sequestration, oxygen production ,climate regulation, etc • scientific or educational value

• biological control (another example of negative feedback) • gene sources
• environmental monitors
• recreation and ecotourism
• human health - possible future medical applications • rights of indigenous peoples
• intrinsic (ethical) value - biorights

4.3.2 Compare and contrast the role and activities of intergovernmental and non‑governmental organizations in preserving and restoring ecosystems and biodiversity.

There are 2 main approaches to conserving biodiversity around the world: conservation biology and preservation biology. • conservation biology - sustainable use and management of resources; humans are a part of the picture and their needs are also taken into consideration • preservation biology - excludes humans and human needs from conservation efforts; conservation based on biorights

How conservation organizations work: For a comparison of the work of GO’s and NGO’s, see Table 6.1 at the bottom of page 122 in your IB ESS Course Companion. It is important to understand how these agencies use media, enforce laws, respond to the issues, and work within the political/diplomatic constraints imposed by different governments around the world. • government organizations (GO’s) -

• part or branch of a national, state, department, or local government • ultimately responsible to the voter
• have the authority to prosecute violations of regulations within their jurisdiction • examples: Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of Agriculture, Eaux et Forets (Water and Forests), and other branches of local and national government agencies • intergovernmental organizations (IGO’s) -

• generally a part of multi-national organizations, especially the United Nations • most agreements are not legally binding under international law, but each signatory country is responsible for legislating and regulating conservation efforts within their own territory • the UN and other IGO’s

• Examples: UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), CITES, IPCC (Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change) • non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) -
• work independently from governments to protect threatened species and areas • frequently form partnerships with GO’s and IGO’s to more effectively reach their targeted goals • Examples: WWF, Greenpeace, and too many others to list here. For a brief summary, visit this Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_environmental_organizations

4.3.3 State and explain the criteria used to design protected areas.

Be familiar with the idea of island biogeography: “Two eminent ecologists, the late Robert MacArthur of Princeton University and E. 0. Wilson of Harvard...proposed that the number of species on any island reflects a...
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