A Cycle based out of Need and Greed



When one looks to a failing ecosystem, one would normally think the problem stems out of the greedy industrialist wants of a foreign nation(or nations), but this is only half correct. The blame cannot be placed upon those whom came to that nation, those living within the nation, and in particular those poverty stricken should also be considered for the destruction of the surrounding natural environment.

Both the very poor of the region itself, the native people of the area, and the global economy combined can be looked at as the cause of ecosystem deterioration within any given region. The very poor are often landless laborers who depend on various natural resources, such as soil and fisheries, for subsistence and income-generation. Often, they use wild food to complement their diet in times of crisis. Many use products such as timber for fuel, or convert it into charcoal, as a way of supplementing their income.

As well, Ecosystem Services such as food production, timber, and marine fisheries contribute to global employment and economic activity, because of this resource management decisions are mainly influenced by markets. As a result of this influence, non-marketed benefits such as clean air and water are often lost or degraded.

The overall benefits of sustainable ecosystem management may often exceed that over converting the ecosystem through farming, clear-cut logging, or other intensive measures. However because of the seemingly immediate financial benefit for both those needing income in the area and those looking to make a large profit off of their labors, the conversion of ecosystems is often favored over the sustainable management. 

Yet for both sides the cost is great. In the beginning it would appear the answer for those needing resources and for those needing income. Some ecosystem changes such as increased food production have helped to lift hundreds of millions of people of poverty, yet these changes have harmed many of the surrounding communities. For example, half of the urban population of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean all suffer from diseases associated with inadequate water and sanitation. Approximately 1.8 million people die annually as a result of inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene.

I understand the intentions behind the poor for taking such careers, or allowing developers to come in to help give jobs and create wealth, yet I also see the faults they allow and the problems they’ll have to deal with later. (Something a person who needs food at that very moment would not see, they need things in the moment and that is not their fault it is simply their way of life) I honestly see the problem here to be “too much want” and not enough “need”. We take too much from a region, if we where to keep it to a reasonable amount for that region, both parties, those looking for wealth and those looking for careers, could have what they want (maybe those who wanted more wealth will have to make due with less). But overall both often try to allow for too much, and for too long of an amount of time. If we where to simply place some type of limit upon the amount of land (or production) given to developers (or investors) I feel we could have a much better outcome and at least cut down on the effect on the surrounding natural environment. 


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