Invasive species disrupt ecosystems primarily by preying on local species and competing with native species over limited resources; 42% of the species on the Threatened or Endangered species lists are at risk primarily because of non-indigenous species.
Population growth around Lake Victoria, Kenya, is significantly higher than in the rest of Africa because of the wealth of natural resources and economic benefits the lake region offers. Note the increase in population in a 100-km (62 miles) buffer zone around Lake Victoria between 1960 and 2000. During each decade, population growth within this zone outpaced the continental average.
Vast reserves of low quality oil underlie the Boreal Forest surrounding Fort McMurray in northern Alberta, Canada in the form of “oil sands.” The oil held in these reserves raises Canada to second place on the list of oil rich countries, behind only Saudi Arabia in total reserves. Rapid urbanization, one of the many causes of increased oil consumption, is driving up the oil prices, thus creating an oil boom in northern Alberta. Local people including the Native American population are concerned that exploitation will come at too great a cost to the environment. In 2001 oil extracted from oil sands (271 million barrels) exceeded oil extracted by conventional means (264 million barrels) for the first time. In 1967 The Great Canadian Oil Sands Company began construction at its Mildred Lake site. In 1974 they were joined by the Syncrude Corporation which began construction of a mine in the same area. By early 2006 the mining operations had expanded to cover an area roughly 30 km by 20 km. Syncrude operates a second mine, the Aurora, approximately 30 km to the north of Mildred Lake.
Shared by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater lake in the world. The infestation of Lake Victoria by water hyacinth in the 1990s disrupted transportation and fishing, clogged water intake pipes for municipal water, and created habitat for disease-causing mosquitoes and other insects. This led to the initiation of the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project in 1994. The focus of the Project was to combat hyacinth infestations on the lake, particularly the region bordered by Uganda, which was one of the most severely affected areas. The 1995 image shows several water-hyacinth-choked bays: Murchison Bay near Gaba; large parts of Gobero and Wazimenya Bays; an area outside Buka Bay; and near Kibanga Port (yellow arrows). Initially, water hyacinth was controlled by hand, with the plants being manually removed from the lake. But re-growth quickly occurred. A more recent control measure has been the careful introduction of natural insect predators of water hyacinth. As the 2001 image shows, this approach seems to have been successful, as the floating weeds have disappeared from all the locations noted above.
The controversial Ok Tedi copper mine is located at the headwaters of the Ok Tedi River, a tributary of the Fly River, in extremely rough terrain in the rainforest-covered Star Mountains of Papua New Guinea’s western province. Prior to the opening of the mine in 1984, this area was very isolated, sparsely inhabited, and ecologically pristine. This pair of satellite images reveals the tremendous environmental impact the mine has had in 20 years. The uncontrolled discharge of 70 million tonnes of waste rock and mine tailings annually has spread more than 1 000 km (621 miles) down the Ok Tedi and Fly rivers, raising river beds and causing flooding, sediment deposition, forest damage, and a serious decline in the area’s biodiversity. In the 1990 image, both the mine and the township of Tabubil— developed east of the river in support of the mine—are clearly visible. Lighter patches of green show disturbance of the original forest cover from subsistence agriculture, road clearing, and other infrastructure development.
Mount Kenya is located on the equator 180 kilometres north of Nairobi. It is a solitary mountain of volcanic origin with the base diameter of about 120 km (75 miles). Its broad cone shape reaches an altitude of 5 199 m (17 057 ft) with deeply incised U-shaped valleys in the upper parts. Forest vegetation covers the major part of the mountain, with a total area around 220 000 hectares (548 574 acres). The forests are critical and invaluable national assets that must be protected. The wide range in altitude clines—from 1 200 to 3 400 m (3 900 to 11 000 ft)—and rainfall clines from—from 900 mm/year (35 in/year) in the north to 2 300 mm/year (91 in/year) in the south eastern slopes—contributes to the highly diverse mosaic patterns of Mount Kenya forests. Mount Kenya adds value to the nation by providing tourism potential and local cultural and economic benefits. It also provides important environmental services to the nation such as a water catchment area of the Tana River where 50 per cent of Kenya’s total electricity output is generated. Following a 1999 aerial survey, the entire forest belt of Mount Kenya was gazetted as National Reserve and placed under the management of Kenya Wildlife Services in the year 2000. In 2002, a study was carried out to assess the effectiveness of the new management practices put in place in 2000. The study revealed significant improvement in the state of conservation of the forests.
Copşa Micâ is a large industrial city located in the very center of Romania and is classified as an “environmental disaster area.” The environmentally damaged area covers hundreds of square kilometres of land. The main industries in Copşa Micâ are non-ferrous metalworking and chemical processing plants, and their effect on the environment has been devastating. Air pollution by heavy metals is 600 times the allowed levels. To make matters worse, a lead-smelting facility emitted fumes containing sulfur dioxide, lead, cadmium, and zinc on the town and surrounding area for 50 km2 (19 square miles). The entire town and much of the surrounding area were covered with a blanket of black soot daily until the facilities were forced to close in 1993. In 1989 Copşa Micâ was exposed as one of the most polluted places in Europe. It has the highest infant mortality rate in Europe, 30.2 per cent of children suffer reduced “lung function” and 10 per cent of the total population of 20 000 suffer “neurobehavioral problems.” The soil and the local food chain probably will remain contaminated for at least another three decades.
The so-called Black Triangle is an area bordered by Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic and is the site of extensive surface coal mining operations. In the 1975 satellite image above, the gray areas are surface mines located primarily in the Czech Republic. Air-borne pollutants from coal extraction activities tended to become trapped by the mountainous terrain to the northeast and were concentrated in the area around the mines, eventually causing severe deforestation along the border between the Czech Republic and Germany. In the 2000 image, this deforestation is very obvious, appearing as large brownish patches. Interestingly, the 2000 image also reveals somewhat improved vegetation cover—a slight “greening” of the landscape—as compared to conditions in 1975. Some of this improvement may be attributable to actions taken by the three countries bordering the Black Triangle to reduce pollutants produced by the mining operations. The implementation of anti-pollution technologies, including circulating fluidized-bed boilers, clean coal technology, and nitrous oxide emission burners, appears to have reversed some, albeit not all, of the environmental damage experienced by the region as a result of the mines.
People and Planet U.N. Population Division report World Urbanization Prospects: 2003 Revision; BP Statistical Review of World Energy June 2005; GEO Year Book 2006; WRI 2005 <ul><li>The developed world is 75% urban and the rate is accelerating in the developing world; By 2030 urban population is expected to rise to five billion or 60% of the world’s population </li></ul><ul><li>Primary energy consumption increased globally by 4.3% in 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>As much as 60% of the global population depends on the waters of international fresh water systems - rivers and lakes of which basins are shared by more than two countries </li></ul><ul><li>There are now over 117 000 protected areas worldwide; this amounts to 15% of the total territorial surface of the Earth, including all land area and territorial sea area up to the 12 nautical miles limit </li></ul><ul><li>35% of mangroves have been lost in the last two decades; 20% of known coral reefs have been destroyed and another 20% degraded in the last several decades </li></ul>
Introduction: A Story of Change Human influences on the planet <ul><li>Population </li></ul><ul><li>World Energy Consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Water Pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive Species </li></ul><ul><li>Protected Areas </li></ul><ul><li>Air Pollution in Copsa Mica and the Black Triangle </li></ul>
Our growing population Population Change from 1900-2000
Impact of civil wars on population of Parrot’s Beak, Guinea These images show the impact of Civil Wars in Liberia on neighboring Guinea <ul><li>1974: Image of the Parrot’s Beak region in Guinea </li></ul><ul><li>2002: The light green color is the result of deforestation in the “safe area” where refugees set up camp </li></ul>
Population growth around Lake Victoria Uganda Note: Figures for 2010 and 2015 are estimates.
Lake Victoria vs. African population growth Note: Figures for 2010 and 2015 are estimates.
Population explosion around buffer zone Africa <ul><li>Population growth around a 100 km buffer zone of Lake Victoria </li></ul><ul><li>Population growth around Lake Victoria, East Africa, is the highest in Africa </li></ul>
World energy consumption pattern World Energy Consumption between 1800 - 1990 World Primary Energy Consumption since 1970, projected to 2025
Oil extraction in Fort McMurray, Canada Vast reserves of low quality oil underlie the Boreal Forest surrounding Fort McMurray By early 2006 the mining operation covered an area roughly 30 km by 20 km
On 14 August 2003, parts of northeastern United States and southeastern Canada experienced widespread power blackouts Power outage in North America
Biodiversity Targets <ul><li>Reverse loss of biodiversity by 2010 (WSSD, 2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Reverse loss of forest cover by 2015 (UNFF, 2005) </li></ul>
Protected Areas of Kumaon region, India Study Area: Kumaon Himalaya Habitat evaluation of Sambar and Muntjak in Ranikhet forests in Sonitpur, India E. Kameng Sonitpur W. Kameng Papum Pare Darrang India North-East India Study Area
Increasing disturbances results in decreasing habitat, India Because of increasing disturbances, the wildlife habitats in Kumaon region are shrinking Habitat loss (1999-2002) Habitat loss (1994-2002) Habitat loss (1994-1999) a b c
Shrinking habitat in Kumaon, India Moist Deciduous Moist Deciduous (Degraded) Evergreen Semi-Evergreen Evergreen (Degraded) Semi-Evergreen (Degraded) Grassland Non-Forest Sonai-Rupai RF Charduar RF Nowduar RF Balipara RF Nameri NP Biswanath RF Behali RF ARUNACHAL PRADESH ASSAM 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 Evergreen Semi-Evergreen Moist Deciduous Degraded Forest Grassland No. of Families No. of Genera No. of Species S.-W. Index (*10) Habitat types Species attributes
Invasive species attacking Lake Victoria Africa These images show water hyacinth infestation and control of such invasive species <ul><li>1995: Image shows several water-hyacinth-choked bays (yellow arrows) </li></ul><ul><li>2001: A visible reduction of water hyacinth on Lake Victoria </li></ul>
1990-2004: Impact of mining on river systems Discharge of waste and pollution into River Water pollution due to copper mine, Papua New Guinea
Biodiversity in ecosystems and species in Mount Kenya, Kenya These images show high diversity in ecosystems and species <ul><li>2000: The entire forest belt of Mount Kenya was gazetted as National Reserve </li></ul><ul><li>2002: The image shows significant improvement in the state of conservation of forests </li></ul>
<ul><li>The area is classified as “environmental disaster area” </li></ul><ul><li>In 1989, the area was exposed as one of the most polluted places </li></ul>Cop şa Micâ – Environmental disaster area Romania
<ul><li>1975: The gray areas are surface mines located primarily in the Czech Republic </li></ul><ul><li>2000: The image reveals somewhat improved vegetation cover </li></ul>Air-borne pollutants being trapped in Black Triangle, Czech Republic
One Planet Many People: Atlas of Our Changing Environment Thank You! Free Downloads: www.na.unep.net Purchase: www.Earthprint.com Human influences on the planet