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MEASURES FOR SUSTAINABILITY

MEASURES FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Carbon Footprint

  • A carbon footprint is defined as the sum total of greenhouse gases produced from various activities.
  • It is expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • The carbon footprints are usually calculated for a nation or an entity such as an individual or an organisation for a certain time period, such as a year.

Ecological Footprint

  • The simplest way to define an ecological footprint would be to call it the impact of human activities measured in terms of the area of biologically productive land and water required to produce the goods consumed and to assimilate the wastes generated.
  • More simply, it is the amount of the environment necessary to produce the goods and services consumed to support a particular lifestyle.

Comparison between Demand and Supply of Natural Resources

  • Biocapacity refers to the capacity of a given biologically productive area to generate an on-going supply of renewable resources and to absorb wastes.
  • Unsustainability occurs if the area’s ecological footprint exceeds its biocapacity.
  • More specifically, the ecological footprint is the biologically productive area needed to provide everything people use: Fruits and vegetables, fish, wood, fibres, absorption of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use and space for buildings and roads.
  • Biocapacity is the productive area that can regenerate what people demand from nature. Footprint and biocapacity can be compared at the individual, regional, national or global scale.
  • Both footprint and biocapacity change every year with the number of people, per person consumption, efficiency of production and productivity of ecosystems.

Indicator of Sustainability

  • Ecological footprint analysis is widely applied around the Earth as an indicator of environmental sustainability.
  • On the global scale, footprint assessments show how big humanity’s demand is as compared to what planet Earth can regenerate.
  • The Global Footprint Network calculates the global ecological footprint from the United Nations and other data for over 200 nations.
  • It is estimated that humanity has been using natural capital 1.6 times as fast as nature can regenerate it.

Biotic Potential

  • Biotic potential is the ability of a species to exhibit exponential population growth under favourable environmental conditions.                  MEASURES FOR SUSTAINABILITY
  • It is the highest possible vital index of a species. In other words, it refers to the possible scenario when the species has highest birth rate and lowest death rate.
  • The biotic potential is reached only when environmental conditions are very favourable.
  • Populations rarely reproduce at their biotic potential because of limiting factors such as disease, predation and restricted food resources.            MEASURES FOR SUSTAINABILITY

How Does Environmental Resistance Affect a Population?

  • Environmental resistance factors include biotic factors like predators, disease, competition, and lack of food as well as abiotic factors like fire, flood and drought.
  • Limiting factors are resources or other factors in the environment that can lower the population growth rate.
  • For example, competition for resources like food and space can stop the growth of population. This flat upper line on a growth curve is the carrying capacity.
  • Carrying capacity is the maximum number of individuals of a given species that an area’s resources can sustain indefinitely without significantly depleting or degrading those resources.

Density-dependent vs Density-independent Factors

  • There are two factors that are important in determining how a certain population grows or declines: density-dependent factors and density-independent factors.
  • Density-dependent factors are those that are responsible for regulating the population in proportion to its density such as competition, predation and diseases.
  • It usually operates in a large population and causes the population either to increase or decrease depending on how it affects the ecosystem.
  • For example, a huge population can deplete an area’s natural resources and food supply. This will cause a shortage of these necessary elements.
  • Density-independent factors act on their own and do not change according to its density unlike density-dependent factors which vary according to the population density which depends on its gain rates and loss rates.              MEASURES FOR SUSTAINABILITY
  • Natural disasters like floods, fires, storms, droughts, extreme temperatures and the disturbance and disintegration of the natural habitat of organisms can cause a decrease in their population, no matter how large or small it is.

Green Economy

  • The green economy is defined as an economy that aims at reducing ecological risks and scarcities, and that aims for sustainable development.                MEASURES FOR SUSTAINABILITY
  • It is closely related with ecological economics, but it also has a social dimension.
  • The 2011 UNEP Green Economy Report argues that to be green, an economy must not only be efficient, but also socially inclusive at national and even at global levels.

ALSO READ : https://www.brainyias.com/causes-of-environmental-degradation/

Environment & Biodiversity

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