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Contemporary Issues and Physical Environments - Biodiversity.

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Year 10 Geography Contemporary Issues and Physical Environments Biodiversity What is the issue? * Biodiversity is the umbrella term for the variety of all life forms of a religion, including the genes, species and ecosystems and is the grand diversity of life on Earth and all the interconnections that support these countless forms of life. Why is it an issue? Biodiversity is important to people because we depend on other species and the ecosystems they create and its importance relates to the reason as to why it is such a big issue. Biodiversity gives us: * Ecosystem services: biodiversity provides us with essential things for living, such as the fresh air, clean water and productive soils. Biodiversity supports the reliability of the ecological systems upon which humans depend, provides material for new agricultural crops, and provides the resistance necessary for ecosystems to withstand climatic changes, disease and pest outbreaks, and other environmental stresses. * Ethical values: It is widely believed that species that could be of great use to the future generations should not be destroyed and that as citizens of local and distant and wider communities, all living things and natural ecosystems have a right to live. A principal concern associated with biodiversity is that species need to be able to survive because once they are gone; they can never be brought back despite "advances" in technology nowadays. * Natural beauty: For most people, the natural world is beautiful and valued for its visual appeal. From Black Swallowtail to a spectacular coastal region, nature brings pleasure to our lives and enriches the human experience. When describing "quality of life," many people mention access to nature and to open space. Biodiversity is the full tapestry of nature, from the perfection of a seashell's design to the rich variety of life that makes a forest more than a crop of trees. Loss of biodiversity diminishes the tapestry and deprives our world of natural beauty and wonder, both for ourselves and for the generations that follow us. ...read more.


Local councils have participated in campaigns for the reduction in solid fuel heaters, education campaigns for local businesses and have acted on complaints from the community about air quality impacts. Government legislation and tighter emission controls by industry have produced a marked improvement in air quality in many parts of the world. Many methods of lowering emissions have been developed. In Australia, the emphasis is on prevention and early identification of air quality problems. Domestic burning off adds to air pollution. In Australian cities, many municipalities have banned the use of incinerators. Agricultural and forest management practices that do not involve burning can also reduce the release of visibility-reducing particles. However, motor vehicles present a significant and growing air pollution threat and are Australia's single greatest source of atmospheric pollutants. Since 1986, new cars in Australia have had catalytic converters in their exhaust systems. These converters reduce the amounts of oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide and unburnt petrol escaping into the air. Use of unleaded petrol is lowering the amount of lead in the urban environment. Industrial activity, power generation and vehicle numbers in Australia are still increasing. Action today will help prevent us suffering the major air pollution problems currently being experienced in many other parts of the world. Land Management What is the issue? Land management is one of the most important branches of agriculture consisting in cultivation of industrial, fodder and other plants. For centuries, natural cycles of fire, water flow, and weather shaped the habitats we see today. Now roads, development, and other human disturbances have fragmented the landscape. These natural cycles can no longer happen on their own, and it is up to land managers to re-create them to preserve our unique species and habitats. Examples of land management activities include: securing property boundaries, implementing prescribed fires, removing invasive plants, restoring hydrological cycles, and creating public access trails. These practices maintain healthy sanctuaries and often restore areas that have been disturbed or neglected. ...read more.


Much of the waste created by humans cannot be naturally recycled and most of it is not managed in a sustainable way. Unfortunately, it is dumped in the land, water or atmosphere. Most wastes take a long time to break down and the dumping of wastes cannot possibly continue this way to ensure a biologically friendly future. Landfill sites have major environmental problems associated with them. For example, chemical and other harmful pollutants can leak from the site, contaminating the soil, the groundwater and nearby streams and rivers. Major problems associated with landfill is the fact that they will be used up in a short period of time and other places will be harmed in order to add new space. Water dumped in rivers and oceans causes serious water-quality problems. Sewage from Sydney and many other coastal cities is disposed of in the ocean and storm water drains carry waste into our waterways. Another highly destructive method of destroying waste is to burn it. Almost anything can be changed into smoke, steam and ash and this causes air pollution and releases harmful toxins and dioxins into the atmosphere. Significant waste management problems include: * Lack of effective planning and implementation of the resultant plans; * Ineffective institutional arrangements; * A lack of sustainable funding; * Increasing quantities of waste requiring management; and * A lack of land for undertaking landfill waste disposal Solutions and Management Locally, citizens can help by practising the 'three Rs' - reduce, re-use and recycle. The New South Wales government tries to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills by: * Persuading manufacturers to reduce packaging, re-use products and recycle materials * Increasing the amount charged to dump waste * Educating citizens about more effective ways of reducing waste, such as re-using items, recycling and composting. * Passing legislation, such as the 'revolutionary controls to reduce industrial waste' in 1999. This legislation helped to clean up operations because the more they pollute, the more they pay. It is also important to play an active role in the community and enforce active citizenship. 1 Tran Nguyen ...read more.

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