Government Bodies and Ecological Management: A GuideSeptember 2, 2022
There will likely never be a time in which the environment is not a pressing issue for human society.
After all, it is a matter of preserving the places in which we on this Earth reside, small man-made ecological shifts can have devastating effects when not properly implemented. Because of this, more and more voices have begun pushing for global government bodies to take a more proactive approach when working with environmental managers to assist in preserving the balance of nature.
With that said, whilst overarching topics such as the need for global warming action and the contamination of rainwater are important parts of this process, it is not always apparent what actions can and should be taken to protect these natural ecosystems. So, what roles can environmental management bodies take in ensuring the safety and protection of the ecosystems under their responsibility?
The Management of Invasive Species
Whilst much of the discourse regarding environmental protection is based on issues stemming from
the direct human involvement in these areas, there are some forms of environmental management that occur due to certain natural elements not interacting in a positive way with the ecosystem. This tends to occur when an outside species of plant, insect, or animal is introduced into that ecosystem which knocks off the natural balance, leading to issues over time that can be very difficult to alleviate.
When dealing with any invasive species, there are some important considerations to be made:
- The species itself is not at fault for the damage caused. These species are often introduced either by accident or due to negligence, and whilst this may result in considerable damage and harm to an area, it is the fault of the conditions that led that species to be there, not the species itself.
- Just because a species is considered a pest or invasive in one context does not mean that they are harmful in other contexts. In fact, some species of invasive weeds, whilst causing issues when placed in certain ecosystems, offer medicinal benefits and may be cultivated intentionally and safely by populations elsewhere.
- The line between something being and not being an invasive species is often much harder to determine than one might initially expect. Whilst certain elements may change an environment or perhaps shift the population of a particular species due to its introduction, that doesn’t always mean that there will be a need for intervention.
Natural ecosystems are hugely complex, and change is practically inevitable over time. With that said, it is our duty to ensure that our impact and the impact of our actions do not lead to negative outcomes that could have otherwise been prevented. This is one of the many roles which are taken up by environmental managers, and one with a high level of nuance which cannot and should not be ignored.
Mitigating the Impact of Industry and Business
It’s no secret that the way in which our industrial and commercial systems are run requires a lot of resources and produces a considerable amount of waste. Whilst certain countries have made great strides in fixing their carbon footprints, and more efforts are being made to deal ethically with waste products, we are still seeing damage to ecosystems due to issues associated with insufficient environmental impact considerations. From the enormous amount of wasted resources through fast fashion to considerable public outcry due to plastic pollution, it’s not hard to find instances in which more effort needs to be put into managing global business’ impact on the environment.
Luckily, there are plans in place to alleviate some of the damage that is being caused by these problems. For example, Australia’s 2021 National Plastics Plan and the accompanying Recycling and Waste Reduction Act 2020 both aim to lower the use of harmful plastics in the coming years. However, whilst these initiatives are hopeful, there is still a lot to be done, especially in the energy sector, which, as expected, produces more pollution globally than in any other industry, despite the growing accessibility and affordability of more eco-friendly alternatives.
It can be difficult to know what to do with such global issues that can often feel too overwhelming to even consider fixing. However, environmental management is not an all-or-nothing approach, and any positive change should be fought for both on a community and governmental level. If you’d like to do your part, consider supporting charities aimed at changing legislation, and speak with your representatives to see what their agenda is regarding the local environment.