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Sustainability and Wilderness Environments

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Introduction

Generalisation 4: Sustainability and Wilderness Environments The Wilderness areas of the world are some of the very few pristine environments left and due to the sheer size they undoubtedly have a huge effect on how the rest of the world operates. For example, the rainforests of the world, such as the Amazon, play a vital role in gaseous exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. Similarly the southern ocean around Antarctica is vital as a major sink in the global carbon cycle. The ice sheet and surrounding ice are active compounds of the climate system and has a profound effect on ocean currents and heat transport. If these areas weren't protected then the whole world could be a different place. Oxygen would be lacking, species would die, and ocean levels could rise, resulting in heavy flooding of low-lying land. A number of strategies are used to protect and conserve through methods such as National Parks and Alliances and Treaties. But as far as National Parks are concerned they face a number of pressures and conflicts so in many cases further conservation is proposed by the means of National Park Conservation Associations, particularly in the USA. Although the varying policies are often aimed at reducing pressures, occasionally such policies can only result in conflict elsewhere. For example Banff National Park in Canada employs a method of Zoning. ...read more.

Middle

Despite being a LEDC, the WCS and the Congolese Government have adopted a highly sustainable protection scheme that resolves conflict. This particular National Park scheme has very specific rules to minimise impacts that will affect the natural balance of nature. However, The Lac T�l� and the Nouabal�-Ndoki reserves are very newly created and the Conkouati-Douli National Park has only been controlled by the WCS for 5 years. They are still finding ways of measuring and reducing impacts so the success of the project is soon to be revealed. So far, the current schemes resolves conflict in a sustainable manner so this method of management is exceptionally effective. Looking at The Antarctic Treaty System in a single dimension may show that Antarctica is being preserved as best as possible. The Treaty has been going strong for over 20 years and it has worked wonders for direct conservation. All waste and refuse is removed and no permanent structures can be build, so there is no future risk of hotel construction. Mining has also been banned with no signs of a changing law. It does not cover other issues that affect the Antarctic, and consequently the rest of the world. Global warming has an adverse affect on the ice cap, slowly melting it year by year. The Kyoto Treaty was drawn up in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997 to implement the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change. ...read more.

Conclusion

Traditional activities of the Aborigines such as fire management and resource harvesting, are safeguarded within the management guidelines for the Park. Provision is made on another level for Aborigines to be employed in the running of the park, in both administration and as rangers. There are a number of sacred Aboriginal sites within the park. And it recognises the need for the continued well-being and integrity of these sites. Rock art and archaeological sites are of much importance to the Aborigines, and managing involves both conservation and a detailed interpretative programme for tourists. The Management Plan for the Park reports that the ecosystems are in tact so this method of management proves to be very successful. Looking at the schemes and strategies, the most successful ones are government controlled or backed. This is vital for successful management. The Congo National Parks management schemes demonstrate how a country with limited funds can sustain the pristine environments or their wilderness. The controlled buffer zones show how the government has shifted their aim from economical to environmental and other countries such as Brazil need to consider this change in order to conserve the wilderness for the good of all the people. The Antarctic Treaty has also proved to be a success for conservation on Antarctica so far. International agreement could be the answer to a better future for the world's wilderness areas but recent events involving the Kyoto Treaty show how the powerful countries such as the USA can hinder the progress of such strategies. Rhiannon Bryant ...read more.

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