The Science of Ecological Integrity
Author: Westra, Laura
Source: Globalisation and Ecological Integrity in Science and International Law, Issue data not provided , pp. 6-7(2)
Abstract:In this part of the book, we return to the original intent leading to the formation of the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG): the quest for a thorough, scientific understanding of ecological integrity and its role in human society. James Karr's introductory Chapter refers to it, as “an essential ingredient for human's long-term success”. The present development of most of the world, fostered by globalization and the unsustainable thrust toward “growth”, goes apace with “growing biotic impoverishment” minimal to the presence of ecological integrity. “However”, Karr points out, “it is not only non-human species that fall prey, increasingly, to extinction, thus decimating natural systems and the support they lend to all life.”
An additional irreparable harm comes from the loss of indigenous/ traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), and the diverse cultures and languages from which that knowledge originates. Karr also lists the many faces of biotic impoverishment, leading to both the direct and indirect depletion of living systems, human and non-human, and for both of which ecological integrity is absolutely necessary. Therefore, Karr maintains, it is necessary to ensure that this understanding is present in all political decisions, and that it is used to shape public policy globally.
Pavel Cudlin et al., argue, in Chapter 2, that “ecological citizenship” requires the appropriate valuation of the ecosystems that have been sustaining human life for millions of years. Over the last hundred years, “expanding human populations”, and their “insatiable interests” have combined to cause massive destruction in those systems. The main cause of this disastrous result, Pavel argues, is that only “direct ecosystem provisioning services” are valued by markets, while the “depletion and degradation of natural and environmental resources” (i.e., ecological services), are not perceived as valuable. This chapter concludes with several proposed methods for arriving at an appropriate valuation of ecosystems.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1 January 2011
- Globalisation and Ecological Integrity in Science and International Law
This volume returns to one of the major themes of the Global Ecological Integrity Group: the interface between integrity as a scientific concept and a number of important issues in ethics, international law and public health. The main scholars who have worked on these topics over the years return to re-examine these dimensions from the viewpoint of global governance.
- Submit a Paper
- Purchase hard copy print edition
- Learn more about CSP @ GSE Research
- ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites