2 - Conservation Theory

Planetary Boundaries

The discussion about the impact on the global ecological situation is based on the impact of humans on this earth. When looking at the map of the footprint on Africa the extent of this is very clear. Most of the high land use densities are linked to infrastructure and transport corridors.

This is an enormous subject and as a form of land use, conservation is becoming more and more relevant. As a background to the more detailed discussions of conservation areas and specific projects I wish to discuss the theory behind the concept of protecting biodiversity and ecosystem services as the motivation for the idea of conservation.

There are a growing number of projects and organizations focussing on the global situation, as well as the role and function of the global ecosystem and the importance of the earth as a home for humans.

diagramA number of relevant studies will be referred to as we go long. One very relevant study was reported on which needs to be read and understood. Especially in the modern day environmental situation, where all focus is on climate change and global warming, often to the detriment of other global issues such as ecosystem services (ESS)

The reference is an article in Guardian newspaper. The following key paragraph summarises the 5-year study:

Of nine worldwide processes that underpin life on Earth, four have exceeded “safe” levels – human-driven climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land system change and the high level of phosphorus and nitrogen flowing into the oceans due to fertilizer use.

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