Thursday, 10 February 2011

Devastating Effects of Environmental Toxins on Humans and Eco System

Living in the 21st century has become difficult not only for us as human beings, but also to our pets, wildlife and plants as well. In our daily life we are exposed to numerousenvironmental toxins that cause a lot of damage to our health and environment.
We talk about saving the environment by planting more trees, using eco friendly products etc, but are actually practicing them?
Did you know that we are actually polluting the environment by making use of the cleaning chemicals for our own household purposes?
Let us discuss how these harmful toxins can create a negative impact on our ecology.
Effects of Toxins on the Ecology
An ecosystem is a place where plants, animals and human beings interact with one another in their individual climates and environment. You are a part of the ecosystem, not separate from it.
Cleaning chemicals like bleach, detergents or any household cleansing product contain endocrine disrupting chemicals that can pollute the water thereby killing the aquatic life.
It is really scary when I think about our children and our future generation. Those innocent ones are at a very high risk of absorption of harmful chemicals which are being released from the cleaning chemicals.
Toddlers love to play with toys and therefore it becomes imperative for them to touch the floors and furniture that have been cleaned with the harmful chemicals.
Children, especially babies are more prone to infections and respiratory diseases when compared to the adults. Therefore, it is very important for us to distance them from the various factors which can weaken their immune system. Eco friendly safe cleaners can easily solve so many problems.
Environmental Toxins and Air Pollution
The air that we breathe in is just too polluted with these environmental toxins. Household cleansers and aerosols contain carcinogens can cause cancer and other deadly diseases in the body. These dangerous toxins also damage the avian or the birds' lives by spreading out into the atmosphere.
At this very moment you and your kids could be consuming the fumes that are being released by the chemical based cleaning products. The effects could be severe and they could even lead to serious impact on your heart, lungs and liver.
Additionally, the toxic chemicals in the environment can also affect our immune system, thereby making us prone to diseases like bacterial and viral infections.
Water Pollution by Toxins
Most of us do not even realize the harmful consequences of exposure to toxic chemicals, and what they could do to our families in the long run. It becomes our primary responsibility as the humans to care for others, including our birds and animals.
The cleaning chemicals find their way into the water and thereby end up polluting it. This can create major harm to the humans, birds and animals that tend to use that water in one way or the other.
Cleaning chemicals like detergents, stain-removers and even the flea powders have made way into our homes from the chemical producing factories. These chemicals can severely endanger the environment by contaminating the lakes, sea and finally the oceans.
Phosphates are the common environmental toxins that are found to be polluting the oceans. These dangerous chemicals can be found in common detergents and cleaning supplies.
The chemicals when poured down the drainage system can also harm the algae, thereby stemming their growth and causing them to die.
Our own small contribution in saving the environment from these hazardous environmental toxins can change the lives of many innocent animals and plants. The only way to tackle this issue is by making use of safer alternatives, specifically the organic ones for cleaning our homes.
The author, James Kingslands has dedicated himself in helping and educating others to keep both a safe environment for their family and to spread the word on health and wellness issues with toxic cleaners.
James Kingslands

Economic Development and Environmental Awareness

Companies began to cooperate to minimize negative effects of pollution and require environmental responsibility. Agreements and international cooperative action have been able to police and prosecute offenders of reasonable standards of emissions.
It is possible to merge economic interests with environmental interests, but the economic thinking dominates and guides the majority of governments is that everything must submit to it and that the ecology is external to the economy. Humans are only part of the nature of business, so the economy should be seen as part of ecology.
Environmental issues should be considered one of the most important challenges that face the business world in this first decade of the millennium. Companies should take forward this issue of fundamental importance, acting promptly and a proactive stance instead of abandoning a reactive posture.
In environmental awareness is necessary to educate and implant the the concept of environment as a partner and not as a limit to economic activities.
Companies that do not understand this new relationship of forces which destiny is to disappear, because the more the citizen behave as a consumer of ideas and political attitudes, higher pressure occurs on the crucial issue. This awareness was the perception that it is necessary to increase the profit, but now with the vision of welfare, without harming the environment, educating the consumer in some way to improve the environmental situation.
For radical protectionist, especially in developing countries, the key to growth was to accelerate the increase of rents by adopting appropriate environmental policies.
It appears the search for quality and more focused now on the side of environmental liability company, the Environmental Quality. The environmental quality is the care requirements of physical, chemical, biological, social, economic and technological developments to ensure the environmental stability of relationships in the ecosystem in which the activities are part of the organization.
The total quality is the tool capable of taking care of the production process by reducing the raw material used to produce by a smaller amount of waste.
To evaluate the industry's ability to respond to the waste problem and effectively contribute to improving the environment and environmental quality, all the measures and procedures are clearly defined and properly implemented to reduce and control the impacts brought by a business on the environment. The action should cover the Environmental to the effective removal of generated waste.
Environmental Quality is the requirements of a physical, chemical, biological, social, economic and technological development to ensure the environmental stability of relationships in the ecosystem in which the activities are part of the organization.
The search for an environmental success of the eco-efficiency, leads us back to a condition known to sustainability: the awareness.
Ethical principles are excellent ways for a human organization more sustainable, since it was global and locally charged and there was strong support for a global paradigm shift, there is also a political will and action, based on public opinion well informed.
It is understood that the process of globalization, the concept of citizenship has become a universal value and ecological ethics a matter of love, care, and involved in this vision of consolidating the engine are ethical individuals.
The more consumers are conscious and firms in their requirements for production and commercial companies, there will be fewer spaces for unethical positions in the corporate world. Businesses have the role to contribute to the social consensus, through a sustainable business practice, which means change of values and orientation in their system, seeing the preservation of the environment.
With an agreed legislation and weak enforcement still did have effects through a more significant progress to reduce pollution from the industry, while its liquid and solid wastes that pollute the water are added to the sewer urban and agricultural activities, the sectors have not yet expressed significantly since the initiative that the government crawl irrelevant in campaigns before the urgency that is happening.
The concern of companies with environmental issues, although limited and inadequate, is of fundamental importance, however, is far from ideal as far as the question does not arise as isolated, but necessarily connected with social and cultural issues.
Certification represents an environmental concern especially for the sectors that deal with matching up the measures provided for in existing legislation. However, for many enterprises the environmental certification is as a mechanism for marketing, adapting to new times and pressure from environmental activists. While this side of the certificates other forms of pollution of the environment remains intact.
The democratization of social action when it comes to performance of the economy is contradictory. On one side the closer the citizen is the sphere of decision making, greater opportunities for social control, on the other hand, we are following a process of growth of business monopolies and corporations that pull local decisions.
This is a paradox of democracy, environmental control, preservation of biodiversity, environmental education for businesses. The rationality of the system of short and long term means in the area and destruction of natural resources, revealing the bias of un - sustainability, since all of nature is to be understood as natural assets for purposes of private appropriation.
The insanity that affronts our natural wealth is unthinkable, the economic vision of nature, the concentration of income and the domain of scientific knowledge. For that we need more awareness that it is necessary to break with the lack of human sensitivity, lead to understanding and finding that human dignity is in all living conditions in society and the reason to turn over everything in consumables for obtaining profit .

Sustainability of the Ecological System

The ecological system of this planet is being heavily affected by the adverse emissions and the negative impacts that humans are leaving on Mother Earth, and this is severely affecting the sustainability of it.
When we talk about ecology, there are a variety of things that come to mind. The first thing that comes to the mind of a person upon hearing the word 'ecology' is the environment and the surroundings concerning weather, the ozone and all related activities. However, the meaning of the planet's ecological system is much more complex and diverse than that. The ecological system of the planet Earth is the system on which the planet thrives, and if this system fails, then the sustainability of Planet Earth would fall down to zero and it would completely fall apart. This could result in large scale destruction, and if the ecological system of earth fails, then life as we know it would cease to exist. We would all be transported back to the Stone Age if the sustainability of the ecological system of Planet Earth falters, therefore it is vital that we take care of our planet and keep it functioning properly.
Some of the main activities of humans that are affecting the sustainability of the ecological system are enlisted in this article. The most harmful thing that is affecting the planet in a very adverse manner is the rapid consumption of all the natural resources of the planet. We are excavating large amounts of resources for use in a lot of fields, and there is no way by which the planet could replenish its resources in a quick manner. The least it is going to take the planet to effectively rebuild all its resources is somewhere in the region of a million years, and this is huge as compared to the need of the people. We need to take care of our planet, and if we don't then the planet won't take care of us. It's as simple as that. The sustainability of the ecological system is also heavily affected by the large amounts of waste materials that are ejected in to the atmosphere by factories and plants. Not just in the air, but emissions of harmful and toxic wastes are also released in to the waters of rivers and seas. It is hugely impacting the ecological side of the planet as animals and marine life has begun to get affected in a very negative manner.
The whole ecological system is linked and inter connected and the failure of any of any one chain or link can result in the total destruction of the whole ecological system. Therefore, it is vital that in order to maintain the sustainability of the planet, we take good care of, however, we are certainly not doing so at the moment. We need to plan any activity that is done by humans and see what its effects could be on the sustainability of the ecological system of the planet. The extensive use of the planet's natural resources needs to be cut down and we need to develop alternatives such as renewable resources to facilitate our stay on this planet. The sustainability of the ecological system is directly linked to the sustainability of the human race.
Get involved in sustainable business and support companies that are making a difference to help free trade workers worldwide, whether it's just buying organic tea instead of your typical brand, or taking a closer look at the foods and other items you consume and replacing them with organic alternatives. Check out for more info on the benefits of organic teas, sustainable living, and and sustainable business practices.

Gulf Oil Disaster Calls Attention to Environmental Issues

The environmental and economic consequences of the monumental oil "spill" in the Gulf of Mexico have just barely begun to register in the public's consciousness. The spill vividly demonstrates how ecology and economics are and always will be fatefully inter-dependent, and it tells a spine-tingling cautionary tale about the consequences of environmental negligence and recklessness.
When the full magnitude of this catastrophe finally sinks-in, just about every sentient being on the planet will have to reconsider how he or she feels about the balance between saving the planet and sustaining prosperity. People will have to ponder, take a stand, and take action on everything from the industrialized world's apparently unbreakable dependence on fossil fuels to the world-wide appetite for shellfish.
A brief chronology of the disaster
On April 20, 2010, The Deepwater Horizon went up in a fiery ball of thick black smoke; fire raged out of control for several days afterward. When the off-shore drilling rig blew off its moorings, of course, it broke the pipe that drew "light sweet crude" and methane gas to the Gulf's surface. Because British Petroleum and its subcontractors had flagrantly ignored the safety requirements of a large off-shore operation, the pipe inevitably began spewing hundreds of barrels of oil each day. The so-called "blow-off" preventers, designed and installed specifically for stopping the flow of oil, were incorrectly installed and had no batteries, so that oil flowed completely unimpeded into the Gulf of Mexico's exceptionally sensitive eco-system.
The first hard look at the consequences
In the days after the explosion, the oil spill set in motion a chain of awful events, which will wreak havoc on the Gulf coast of the United States for generations to come. Because BP executives skilfully have controlled the message by limiting press access to essential information, they effectively have drowned out the majority of criticism from environmentalists and Gulf coast entrepreneurs. A few, however, have managed to make their voices heard.
The critics have focused, first, on the lack of tools and technology for controlling the oil's flow. Environmentalists have pointed out that the inflatable booms used to contain the spill cannot keep the oil from surging over the barriers in the wind-whipped swells on the gulf. They also have raised hue and cry against the chemical dispersants used to break-up the oil and help in sink to the sea floor. Environmentalists point out that the dispersants are nearly as toxic as the oil itself, and they stress that letting small balls of tar sink to the sea floor will choke out the tender growth on which the ocean ecosystem depends.
Advanced ecologists also have emphasized that BP's old-fashioned "skimmer" technology cannot begin to rival more environmentally friendly alternatives, which suck-up more oil and clean-up more completely. Canadian scientists, for example, have used peat moss to clean up large oil and gasoline spills, capitalizing on its unmatched absorbency and the ease with which technicians can remove toxin-soaked moss from the water. An even more advanced university scientist has demonstrated the effectiveness of oil-eating algae which quickly and completely digest oil and render it non-toxic. Both British Petroleum and United States government officials have turned deaf ears to offers of sophisticated environmentally-friendly assistance.
Bamboo Baby's organic baby clothes range is available to buy online or from their organic baby clothes catalogue.

Rob W. Colbourn - EzineArticles Expert Author

Environmental Statements - How to Address Contaminated Land Issues

Under the relevant European Directives, an Environmental Statement is the formal product of an Environmental Impact Assessment. Environmental Statements are often organised in a way that describes the environmental baseline, mitigation and effects for each type of environmental receptors: ecology, water resources, archaeological resources, human beings etcetera. Contaminated land is often managed in the same ways as the various environmental receptor groups, although it is principally a cause of impacts rather than a receptor. It also often refers to a pre-existing condition and its damaging effect is on a variety of different receptors such as human health, structures and buildings, surface water features, groundwater features and ecology. This often means that land contamination specialists struggle with integrating the issue in a logical manner in an Environmental Statement. Sticking to the structured approach of an environmental statement is essential to ensure a clear description of the existing environmental condition, the potential impacts and the actions taken to avoid, minimise, offset or manage the impacts. This article is based on UK practice and legislation, although fundamentally the issues should be similar within other contexts.
Contaminated land is in many countries considered on a source-pathway-receptor basis. This is important to understand the impact land development can have on the issue of contaminated land. Development can interfere with any of these three elements. It can introduce sensitive receptors by changing the use of land, for instance by building new residential units on a site that was previously used for heavy industry. New pathways linking pre-existing contamination with an existing receptor can be formed, for instance when piling through a non-permeable layer connecting a layer of contaminated soils with a deep aquifer. Finally by introducing pollutants on the site a development project can introduce a potential source of contamination.
The second element to consider is the structured approach of an environmental statement. Apart from the introductory and procedural elements described in the environmental statement, a good environmental statement comprised the following sections: 
  • environmental baseline conditions
  • potential environmental impacts
  • mitigating measures
  • residual environmental impacts
There should be a logical relation between the different sections. Any receptor that is affected and described in the section about the potential impacts and effects should have been introduced in the section describing the baseline. Any material impact should be assigned a mitigation or management action etc. Implementing this structure allows a clear description and understanding of the environmental impacts and the way it will be managed.
Applying these principles to contaminated land will result in a baseline condition section that describes the current sensitive receptors that are present within the potential sphere of influence of the development, the sensitivity and importance of these receptors, the presence of any pre-existing contamination and the presence of actual and potential pathways. The next section, potential environmental impacts or effects, first considers the impacts that the development will have in terms of the introduction (or removal) of sensitive receptors and the creation of new pathways between existing and potential pollution sources and receptors. In addition this section will describe the potential environmental impacts that are associated with the introduction of new sources of contamination. In the third section, mitigating measures, a description of the actions to mitigate each of the impacts that may occur should be provided. Finally a statement of the residual impact of the development is provided in the last section: residual environmental impacts.
Paul Giesberg is an environmental consultant with a special interest in environmental impact assessment and sustainability in land use development.

Paul Giesberg - EzineArticles Expert Author

Sustainability Involves the Successful Marriage of Ecology With Personal Wellness Lifestyles

Sustainability is generally understood as a capacity to endure and prosper. The term is as applicable to ecology as it is for personal whole-person well-being. Ecological sustainability secures the diversity and productivity of biological systems (e.g., wetlands and forests) over time; individual wellness lifestyles are conscious designs of personal environments (encompassing physical, mental, economic and social dimensions) that advance prospects for the best quality of life.
The wellness concept has grown in scope and acceptance since the term was introduced more than half a century ago in America by a physician named Halbert L. Dunn. To his credit, sustainability was a key feature of his wellness concept, much more so than in later interpretations of wellness in corporate and other settings. Of course, earlier uses of a word similar to wellness can be traced through time around the world. More consequentially, multiple concepts that addressed the issues embraced by modern wellness promoters have engaged philosophers and others throughout human history.
The ubiquity of the terms "sustainability" and "wellness" in current public discourse is telling. The high level of attention reflects concerns about how resources are being used-and misused. The connections between the ecology of the commons and wellness levels of individuals are appreciated by activists for both ecology and wellness. In Austria, for instance, the Department of Health Management in Tourism at the FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences offers course work on sustainability. The teaching, research and service conducted integrates ecology and wellness as a single focus. Both fields are recognized as vital to individual and social prosperity. In Germany, the wellness association (Deutschland Wellness Verband or DWV) has developed a sustainability project known as "Green Spa." Available to all, it is targeted to destination resorts. Experts at DWV develop and make available materials and services supportive of sustainability objectives. A Green Spa award program recognizes spas that have furthered sustainability goals.
Personally, I think the DWV group should also grant a modest award to the first ten English-speaking wellness promoters who can correctly pronounce "sustainability" in German-"nachhaltigkeit."
I think art could be brought into the sustainability picture. I make this statement because those who manage to successfully organize and maintain mindsets and behavior patterns consistent with ecological sensitivity might be artists in their own right. To live well in the highest sense of sustainability both personal and ecological, one must overcome cultural, economic, genetic and other barriers. Those who function in a fashion that embodies personal and ecological sustainability deserve special recognition, though of course none expects such a thing. But I do believe the feat is a higher form of human expression. It requires creative instincts to wed passions and duties while guiding others, usually wordlessly via modeling-instructing by example. To live well is a beautiful thing-an art form. It more often than not brings happiness and pleasure to the senses. Living this way leads to delights, discoveries and surprises, even thrills of appreciation along the way.
One of my sources for inspiration when writing about and pursuing a REAL wellness lifestyle is the 19th century orator Robert Green Ingersoll. In the manner of a true believer, I sometimes ask myself, "What would Ingersoll think?" Fortunately, there is usually ample material to guide me to discover what he did think about one thing or another. After all, he gave about 100 speeches during his lifetime (1833-1899). A colonel on the Union side during the American Civil War, "Royal Bob" had well formed views on art in the context of sustainability and REAL wellness. Some of these ideas were expressed in a speech entitled "Art And Morality," published in the North American Review in March of 1888. I'll offer a few examples.
Ingersoll said actions are deemed right or wrong according to experience and the conclusions of reason. Things are beautiful by the relation that certain forms, colors, and modes of expression bear to us. At the foundation of the beautiful will be found the fact of happiness, the gratification of the senses, the delight of intellectual discovery and the surprise and thrill of appreciation. That which we call the beautiful wakens into life through the association of ideas, of memories, of experiences, of suggestions of pleasure past and the perception that the prophecies of the ideal have been and will be fulfilled.
Like art, REAL wellness that promotes sustainability and cultivates the imagination increases our willingness to "put ourselves in the place of another." How the world needs more of that! That quote is also from Ingersoll on art.
Here are a few Ingersoll ideas taken from the speech cited above: Love and pity are the children of the imagination...without passion there is no virtue...the really passionate are the virtuous. Art has nothing directly to do with morality or immorality. It is its own excuse for being; it exists for itself...Morality is the harmony between act and circumstance. It is the melody of conduct. A wonderful statue is the melody of proportion. A great picture is the melody of form and color. A great statue does not suggest labor; it seems to have been created as a joy. A great painting suggests no weariness and no effort; the greater, the easier it seems. So a great and splendid life seems to have been without effort. There is in it no idea of obligation, no idea of responsibility or of duty. The idea of duty changes to a kind of drudgery that which should be, in the perfect man, a perfect pleasure.
Adopting sustainability as integral to a lifestyle shaped and fine-tuned over the allotted adult years of life, with attitudes and habits, commitments and contributions reflecting a passion for personal excellence and integrity for The Commons-such is the art of REAL wellness living.
What is artful living in the spirit of sustainability? It is simply living artfully. It is choosing to respect and contribute to the viability of the larger realm-the ecology of nature and society. Artful living invites reason, exuberance, athleticism and liberty in forms as varied as passion, zest, dreams, heroism, triumph and love. Sustainability involves our brain, the "secular soul" or the spirit in our being-all uniquely shaped by our own observations and interpretations. Ideally, we put all this together in the way we live each day-and we do it little by little, bit by bit, over time.
But again, I ask, "What would Ingersoll think?" Happily, his words still have the power and beauty to speak to us today on lifestyle art and sustainability. His soaring language, an art of a most magical quality, provides a noble view of REAL wellness as art. These words can excite our own passions for ecology. These words suggest REAL wellness as an art form. How better to conclude a commentary on art, sustainability and wellness than Ingersoll's own summation in "Art And Morality" in 1888?
Art in its highest forms increases passion, gives tone and color and zest to life...Art creates, combines, and reveals. It is the highest manifestation of thought, of passion, of love, of intuition...Art civilizes because it enlightens, develops, strengthens, ennobles. It deals with the beautiful, with the passionate, with the ideal. Every brain is a gallery of art, and every soul is, to a greater or less degree, an artist. The pictures and statues that now enrich and adorn the walls and niches of the world, as well as those that illuminate the pages of its literature, were taken originally from the private galleries of the brain. The soul -- that is to say the artist, compares the pictures in its own brain with the pictures that have been taken from the galleries of others and made visible. This soul, this artist, selects that which is nearest perfection in each, takes such parts as it deems perfect, puts them together, forms new pictures, new statues, and in this way creates the ideal. To express desires, longings, ecstasies, prophecies and passions in form and color; to put love, hope, heroism and triumph in marble; to paint dreams and memories with words; to portray the purity of dawn, the intensity and glory of noon, the tenderness of twilight, the splendor and mystery of night, with sounds; to give the invisible to sight and touch, and to enrich the common things of earth with gems and jewels of the mind -- this is art.
All the best. Be well.
Publisher of the ARDELL WELLNESS REPORT - an electronic newsletter devoted to weekly commentaries on current issues that affect personal and social well being from a quality of life perspective. The emphasis is on REAL wellness. REAL stands for the key issues embraced and advanced in Don's philosophy, namely, Reason, Exuberance, Athleticism and Liberty. Sample copy of latest edition by request. If you like it, you can sign up - the price is right - free.

Donald Ardell - EzineArticles Expert Author

Ecological Survey and Ecological Consultancy - Get Ecology Right the First Time

The newt and knotweed factor is endured by all sectors of the industry, and evokes visions of lengthy project delays, sliding expenditure and wide spread developer frustration - Help is at hand and the key lies in knowing the right ecological survey you need, using the right ecologist or ecological consultants, and involving specialist ecological contractor and early.
The issue of responsibility in relation to delivering ecological and invasive weed treatment measures now lies firmly with the developer; and failing to establish how to efficiently and cost effectively meet these requirements often leaves projects exposed to major impacts - know the ecology survey you need and speed the process along, delay the ecological survey and risk paying the price.
As soon as project is known to be affected by ecological or invasive weed issues, take action - get hold of a quality ecological consultant who can advise the ecology survey you need and involve a specialist ecological contractor. Even with foreseeable start dates years into the future, advice from these ecologists and contractors now will save days, weeks and years in project delays, see costs reduced and projects move forward. More over, specialist ecological and invasive weed contractors will explain your options, giving realistic budgetary costs for consideration, whilst indicating likely timescales required to complete the work - its is vital a developer knows exactly what they are up against.
One common frustration among developers is the fact that no amount of money will solve this problem over night; ecological surveys and mitigation can only be carried out at specific times of year and missing an ecological survey deadline by a week can see a multi-million pound project shelved for 6 months - it is here that ecological impacts bite hardest.
As the industry takes action to restructure land asset portfolios and we see project deferrals soar, on site ecological and invasive weed issues are quietly continuing to thrive. Have the right ecological survey completed is always worth while. We now see strategic sites being retained for future development and high risk assets shed; in both instances dealing with ecological and invasive weed issues now is always financially beneficial - an ecological surveys are part and parcel of planning and a good ecologist will make sure the survey is completed.
Invasive weeds such as Japanese knotweed can grow up to 10cm a day; and if it is envisaged that an infested site is to be 'cold stored' until the economic fog rises, developers could find themselves with almost daily increases in the cost of dealing with the problem. Having an ecological survey or habitat phase 1 survey will identify these potential problems. Compounding the issue is the fact that the most cost effective solution to eradicating invasive weeds on site, takes the longest time to implement, 'in situ' herbicidal treatment requires at least one growing season to be affective - get the ecological survey habitat survey done and start now!
The benefits are felt two-fold by developers who tackle knotweed now; one, the cost of herbicidal treatment over a growing season can be 10% of more instant 'dig and dump' options, and two, by the time the construction phase of the project comes about the site will be construction ready.
Specialist contractors are an extremely useful source of practical advice, and can ensure a site free from ecological issues or invasive weeds remains unaffected. They will complete ecological surveys in a timely way as well as scope the site to identify potential issues caused by; fly tipping, vehicle tracks, shrub and vegetation growth is enough to provide potential habitats for species like badgers and birds and may even introduce invasive weeds onto site - site vegetation management should be vital consideration and a ecological survey will highlight this.
Involving these contractors in the preparation of land parcels for sale is also extremely financially beneficial, particularly given the current land market, knowing your risk with ecological survey data will help. On many sites even a minimal investment in dealing with these issues will prove extremely cost effective, seeing; reduced negotiation, increased selling prices and catalysed land sale. Often simply starting a weed eradication programme or taking the first steps to survey ecological issues is enough to reduce selling time and negotiations.
Early ecological surveys and specialist contractor involvement is one step that will guarantee a developer understands the full impact ecological and invasive weed issues from the outset; meaning all costs are budgeted, phasing is seamless and delivery becomes more cost effective - act now, get and ecological survey and reap the rewards.
James Tyers, Marketing Director of Three Shires Ltd and Manager of Herpetosure Ltd

Interconnected Environmental Problems

A number of environmental problems are continuing as a major part of our concern. Habitat destruction and fragmentation, biodiversity loss, stratospheric ozone depletion, global climate change, herbicides, pesticides, pollution of surface- and ground-water, acid deposition, oil spills, and thermal pollution are direct environmental problems. Human population growth, unsustainable consumerism, urbanization, international conflicts, and inequities in the distribution of wealth are indirect environmental problems. All such problems are presently being viewed in a totality, to ameliorate the said problems, and to ensure the future of life on earth. Expansion of chemical industries, during and after World War II, has aggravated such problems. "Silent Spring" written by Rachel Carson awakened about pollution threats to living species. Environmentalism has become accepted in the public Agenda since the first National Earth Day in 1970. The 1970s were the decade of environment.Between the 1980s and 1990s, environmental issues were pushed into the political background, and now coming to the forefront as human abuse of the earth is continuing. Emphasis on preventive measures rather than curative measures on environmental problems is believed to contribute a lot.
Diversity in living forms occurs due to changes in their genetic make up, inheritance of changes, and operation of natural selection. Interaction between environment, genetic variation, and natural selection leads to evolution. Origin of new species is the result of evolution. Existing biodiversity is the result of evolution, and extinction. Evolution and extinction are make, and breake system in nature. Diversity of species and the complex interrelationships that sustain them are encompassed by the term biodiversity. The term "Biological Diversity" was coined by Thomas Lovejoy in the year 1980. E. O. Wilson applied the term "Biodiversity" in 1986. The 1992 United Nations Earth Summit held at Rio de Janeiro defined biodiversity as "the variability among living organisms from all sources, including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems".
Brown, an administrator of UNDP has recently argued that biodiversity is far from being optional or a luxury; rather a key development issue that frequently provides the welfare system for poor people and communities. Most of the world's biodiversity exist in the economically poorest countries, which offer opportunities to the poor to enhance their income by exploiting the biodiversity resource. According to Brown, our future programmme should focus on "biodiversity for development", not biodiversity or development.
Increasing population degrades natural habitat in a number of ways. An assessment of wildlife habitat loss in tropical Asia reported that India had already lost about 80% of its natural habitat. Biological diversity has become a topic of international convention, and is no longer the private domain of biologists. The complexity on this planet lies in the dynamics of the "biodiversity/biosphere" system. The concept of Sustainable development has been emerged for conserving the natural and biological resources. Understanding biodiversity necessitates the knowledge of taxonomy, evolution, genetics, behavioral biology, economics, ecology, environmental science, political science, and sociology. In fact, economy and ecology intersect in a 3 fold system of biodiversity, biosphere, and human society.
Evolution of the diversity of life is associated with interaction involving biosphere, human society, and climate. In both Rio and Johannesburg, economic and social development of humanity was emphasized, as they depend on long-term environmental health. Central role of biodiversity in sustainable development and in eradication of poverty was recognized at Johannesburg. World Commission on Environment and Development report states that "If needs are to be met on a sustainable basis, the Earth's natural resource base must be conserved and enhanced". Developing countries are plagued with social inequalities with features, including poverty, inadequate social amenities, high unemployment rates, and lack of proper infrastructure. These countries base their development policy on the paradigm set by the market economy. The pursuit of developmental objectives by such countries comes into conflict with environmental protection.Poverty and present trends of development leads to environmental degradation. The World Bank has asserted that the poor are both victims and perpetuators of environmental abuse. The World Bank has claimed that up to 1991, more than 1500 environmental components were added to power, transportation, industry and agriculture projects,with a few being implemented to improve soil conservation, to manage forests and rangelands, to prevent desertification, to protect biological diversity, and conserve water resources and fisheries. However, an interdisciplinary approach can help in the conservation of biodiversity along with the environmental resources, and essentially with involvement of the people.

Issues in Ecology

National Park Service Nature and Science: Critical Issues

Parks are becoming crowded remnants of primitive America, threatened by invasions of nonnative species, pollution, and incompatible uses of resources in and around parks. Read more about some of the critical issues facing our parks system and what the National Park Service is doing to address them. MSP full record
Invasive Species: Background Information

In two paragraphs, this resource introduces readers to the concept of invasive species. Purple loosestrife is given as an example of one of the many invasive species that is not indigenous to North America. The resource reveals the proportion of nonnative species that have turned out to be invasive in North America. The magnitude of ecological and monetary damage caused by invasive species is also mentioned. Links are given to web sites with more information about invasive species. MSP full record
Talking Trash about the Ocean

In this lesson, students create an advertising campaign to raise awareness about the importance of keeping trash out of the marine ecosystem. Students work in teams to create different campaigns geared toward particular target audiences and produce posters. We suggest modifying the assessment to include applying knowledge of ecosystems and population ecology and demonstrating proficiency with some specified concepts of your choice. Links to additional information and resources are also provided. MSP full record
A Map of Things To Come: National Geographic Map

This integrated lesson is an authentic exercise revolving around a real case study, enabling students to analyze and interpret mapped information regarding the effects of urban sprawl. The lesson includes two activities based on urban sprawl and Maryland’s Smart Growth map. One of the assessment questions requires students to connect the social studies concept of urban sprawl to concepts of ecology. You might consider adding an assessment question asking students to analyze and evaluate their own city's growth patterns and comment on these patterns' relationship to the ecosystem. MSP full record
What kind of incentives can the world community offer to the countries in South America for ending deforestation?

This is a video clip of a student asking an expert the title question. The partial answer provided is: Massive financial gain is one of the reasons why there's a great amount of destruction of rain forests in South America. The speaker also mentions the poor nutrient content of rain forest soil, which is counterintuitive to students who have seen pictures of the lushness of the rain forests. You might ask: How can such nutrient-poor soil support such lush forests? This hook followed by the next activity can make an effective ecology assessment activity. MSP full record
Rainforest Facts
Awesome Library K-12 Education Directory
This page is a nicely organized reference with headings such as: The Wealth of the Rainforests; The Biodiversity of the Rainforest; Logging for Tropical Hardwoods; Fuel Wood and the Paper Industry; Subsistence Farming; Bioprospecting; and Indigenous People, A Valuable Resource. You could develop a webquest around it, or assign jigsaw groups of students to different topics with the goal of learning enough about the topic to teach other students. In doing so, students demonstrate mastery of ecological concepts in a real-world application. MSP full record

Ecology Issues

China's Printing Industry Situation And Development Trend Of Environmental Protection
Following China Printing Technology Association Mr. Yu Yongzhan on June 3, 2008 in Dusseldorf, Germany in the World Print and Communication Forum Organization "Printing and the Environment" forum statement.
China's Printing Industry Situation And Development Trend Of Environmental Protection
Following China Printing Technology Association Mr. Yu Yongzhan on June 3, 2008 in Dusseldorf, Germany in the World Print and Communication Forum Organization "Printing and the Environment" forum statement.
A Reenchanted World: The Quest for a New Kinship with Nature Explores Environmental Activism, Connectedness on Earth Day’s 40th Anniversary
The Paperback Release Of A Reenchanted World: The Quest For A New Kinship With Nature Is Available Tues., March 30 through Major U.S. Bookstores and Online Retailers, Including Amazon.Com, Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Ecological Issues

A non-specialist? You'll find all you need in the Ecological Issues. 

Discover the scientific evidence behind selected topics in ecology. 

The series grew out of concern within the Society that a lack of information could lead to contention rather than constructive action at the time when many ecological issues are being considered in economic, social and political domains. Each of the booklets deals with one topic and represents work by a specially convened group of experts working in that field.

Ecological Issues

Aquaculture Cover. Picture of Ecological Issues Aquaculture cover.11. Aquaculture: the ecological issues

Davenport, Black, Burnell, Cross, Culloty, Ekaratne, Furness, Mulcahy and Thetmeyer, 2003
A fast-growing, essential industry, aquaculture provides food and income to millions of people. It offers the only prospect of expanding food supply from freshwater or sea because capture fisheries have reached their limits. However, many current aquaculture practices are ecologically unsustainable. This publication looks at controversial topics such as habitat loss, the introduction of alien species, genetic pollution by escapees and the spread of disease from farmed to wild populations. Attention is drawn to the heavy reliance of the industry on fishmeal and fish oil derived from industrial fishing that in turn impacts on the food supply of seabirds and fish such as cod and haddock. The booklet is aimed at policy makers, environmental managers and professional scientists who seek a compact overview. It is also an invaluable reference book for undergraduates and Masters' level students. It takes a worldview and so is relevant to aquaculture across the globe.

Land Management Front Cover. Ecological Issues, Land Management, Front Cover.10. Land management: the hidden costs

Hindmarch and Pienkowski, 2000
Mature ecological criticism of agricultural policies is not easy : targets agreed in Biodiversity Action Plans must be achieved within a framework of agricultural and economic policies. Developing a balanced solution is the essence of sustainability. Until recently the hidden costs of high-production systems on biodiversity have been ignored. This book identifies some of the hidden costs of unsustainable production, and also considers examples where conservation management has failed. Land managers and planners, ecologists, and agriculturalists will, in particular, find this book an invaluable resource but it will also appeal to those with a more general interest in the issues of land management.

9. Commercial fishingCommercial Fishing Cover. Ecological Issues, Commercial Fishing, Front Cover.

Moore and Jennings, 2000
Fishing provides food, income and employment for millions of people. However, fishing has environmental costs that threaten rare species, marine ecosystems and the sustainability of the resource. This book provides a lively, timely and accessible account of fishing activities and their impacts on marine habitats, biodiversity and species of conservation concern.

8. Wildlife diseases

Hudson, 1997
Wildlife diseases have had a long association with mankind, either directly because the pathogens are shared between man and wildlife (e.g. rabies) or indirectly because of their impact on livestock and conservation problems. Ecology now provides an understanding of the epidemiology of the relationship between hosts and their parasites. This insight into the interaction of hosts and parasites and can be used to help solve problems of control and conservation along with ethical questions. How can we control rabies in Europe? What is the relationship between badgers and TB? What initiated the disease epidemic in seals? Why do we apparently see new diseases emerging? All these questions are examined in this booklet along with other clearly described topical examples.
Coral Reefs Cover. Ecological Issues, Coral Reefs, Front Cover.7. The exploitation of coral reefs

Douglas, 1996

Coral reefs are well known for their beauty and for the impressive variety of marine life that inhabits them but also constitute an important economic resource. Reef fisheries are a major source of protein for millions of people and reef related tourism has become important for many developing countries' economies. But now there is a rapidly growing concern that many reefs are being degraded or destroyed by human activities. Both coastal development (often stimulated by tourism) and intensification of reef fisheries can readily result in destruction of coral communities. This booklet describes both the potential economic benefits to be derived from coral reefs and the problems of exploiting them. It also discusses new management practices that seek to combine the needs of conservation with the sustainable use of reef resources.

6. Actions for biodiversity in the UK

Hill, Pienkowski, Treweek and Yates, 1996UK Biodiversity Front Cover. Ecological Issues, UK Biodiversity, Front Cover.
One of the major products of the earth summit at Rio was the Convention on Biological Diversity. A central feature of this treaty is that nature conservation should not be just a special land use but should be integrated fully into the policies influencing all other land- and sea-uses. This booklet explains the ways in which the United Kingdom has set about implementing its responsibilities under the Convention. Whilst based on ecology, effective biodiversity conservation must involve people at all levels of activity from local to international. As the United Kingdom is one of the first states to produce a national action plan in response to the requirements of the Convention, both its successes and any mistakes may provide useful information also for others.

Nitrogen Deposition Front Cover. Ecological Issues, Nitrogen Deposition, Front Cover.5. The ecological impacts of increased aerial deposition of nitrogen

Bell, 1994
This booklet explores the current knowledge of the impacts on natural and semi-natural ecosystems of inputs of a range of nitrogenous pollutants from the atmosphere. The effects of increased nitrogen on agricultural systems are well known and viewed as highly beneficial in terms of crop production, and it could be anticipated that further inputs of nitrogenous air pollutants in general may have little impact. However, for many other ecosystems it is now apparent that a wide range of adverse effects can arise as a consequence of nitrogen input from industrial, transport and agricultural sources. Consequently the protection of ecosystems by emission controls has complex policy implications.

Genetically Engineered Organisms Front Cover. Ecological Issues, Genetically Engineered Organisms, Front Cover.
4. Release of genetically engineered organisms

Shorrocks and Coates, 1993
The invasion of exotic species has always been an intriguing and important ecological topic. With the advent of modern molecular techniques that enable the transfer of genes from one organism to another, whether or not they are closely related, we have a new class of "exotic" organisms which may escape or be released into the environment. What will be the consequence of such new invasions? Will they be more or less damaging than the more traditional foreign exotics? The purpose of this fourth ecological issues booklet is to address some of these questions.
3. Ecological effects of estuarine barragesBarrages Cover. Ecological Issues Effects of Estuarine Barrages Cover.

Gray, 1992
In recent decades barrages have been proposed for many estuaries, usually for tidal power but also as protection against storm surges, or for road links, recreation or fresh water storage. This booklet summarises the effects of such schemes on the tidal and sedimentary regimes and water quality of estuaries. The impact of these changes on marine and benthic invertebrates, inter-tidal and marginal plants, fish and birds is considered. Some recommendations for further research are included.
Grouse and Moorland Front Cover. Ecological Issues, Grouse and Moorland, Front Cover.2. Red Grouse populations and moorland management

Lawton, 1990
Understanding red grouse populations and their moorland habitat is important for the long term future and conservation of upland Britain. This book is an attempt to summarise the balance of views that emerged at a recent workshop on the dynamics of red grouse populations. It presents up to date information on the background research, the data which are available and their interpretation. It concludes with a list of recommendations for sound management of moorland and grouse populations, including approaches that may help to restore heather habitats. Priorities for future research work are also covered.
1. River water quality

Calow, 1990
River water quality is an issue which affects us all; whether through the quality of water that we drink, in the effects on fish and birds, or in the impact on less obvious communities of animals, plants and micro-organisms. A combination of limited funding in the past and the inherent difficulty of investigating rivers means that our knowledge of their ecology is still very incomplete. This book presents up-to-date information on the research in this field, the available data and their interpretation. It concludes with a list of priorities for further research work.