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Course v on ecosystems by redouane boulguid master mqhse national school of applied sciences safi morocco school year 2015 2016

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This course is prepared for Students/Professionals deepening their studies in the Sutainable Development, Environmental Management & Corporate Social Responsibility fields at the National School of Applied Sciences in Safi/Morocco.

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Course v on ecosystems by redouane boulguid master mqhse national school of applied sciences safi morocco school year 2015 2016

  1. 1. Ecology for Ecology for Sustainable Developm ent Sustainable Developm ent Course V: EcosystemsCourse V: Ecosystems Master (MQHSE):Master (MQHSE): "Management Qualité, Hygiène, Sécurité"Management Qualité, Hygiène, Sécurité et Environnementet Environnement".". -Redouane BoulguidRedouane Boulguid -National School of Applied SciencesNational School of Applied Sciences - School Year 2015/2016School Year 2015/2016
  2. 2. EcologyforEcologyfor SustainableDevelopmentSustainableDevelopment Lecture Topics include:Lecture Topics include: • Natural Capital.Natural Capital. •The Nature ofThe Nature of Environmental Science.Environmental Science. •Natural Resources &Natural Resources & their importance.their importance. •Managing theManaging the Commons.Commons. •The concept ofThe concept of Ecosystem.Ecosystem.
  3. 3. • Understanding deeply ecosystems’ structures and functionning for a better Environmental Management & Sustainable Human Development. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 3
  4. 4. Ecosystem • In Biosphere, scientists tried to create a microcosm of the earth that would help us understand how to live more sustainably. • What they learned was that nature is so complex that predicting and controlling what will happen in the environment is essentially impossible. 30/03/16 4Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  5. 5. Ecosystem • As we explore different paths to sustainability we must first understand that our lives and societies depend on natural capital and that one of the biggest threats to our ways of life is our active role in natural capital degradation. 30/03/16 5Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  6. 6. Ecosystem • Natural Capital meaning Natural resources and natural services that keep us and other species alive and support our economies (natural resources, natural services, Ecosystem Services…). 30/03/16 6Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  7. 7. Ecosystem • Natural Capital is the sum total of the world’s natural resources, provided by the earth’s ecosystems; the natural stock of the world. • These natural assets include the soil, forests, water and biodiversity that are within these ecosystems and are vital to all human and economic activity. 30/03/16 7Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  8. 8. Ecosystem • One of the main drivers of both carbon pollution and the loss of Natural Capital is deforestation. • Forests, in their purest form, are carbon pools, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, and are fundamental to maintaining a natural balance; they are also essential to the development and sustainability of biodiversity and Natural Capital. 30/03/16 8Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  9. 9. Ecosystem •For instance, “25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients”. 30/03/16 9Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  10. 10. Ecosystem • The destruction of natural forests not only accounts for approximately 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, higher than the entire global transportation sector, but also results in the forests no longer existing to fulfill their role of absorbing dangerous carbon from the atmosphere. 30/03/16 10Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  11. 11. Ecosystem • Again, the destruction of rainforests similarly has a devastating effect on the ecosystems within them, resulting in important plant and animal life ceasing to exist. (Biodiversity Loss) 30/03/16 11Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  12. 12. Ecosystem • As Sustainability is the ability of the earth’s various natural systems and human cultural systems and economies to survive and adapt to changing environmental conditions indefinitely… 30/03/16 12Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  13. 13. Ecosystem • …A critical component of sustainability is natural capital—the natural resources and natural services that keep us and other forms of life alive and support our economies. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 13
  14. 14. Ecosystem 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 14
  15. 15. Ecosystem • Natural resources are materials and energy in nature that are essential or useful to humans. • These resources are often classified as renewable (such as air, water, soil, plants, and wind) or nonrenewable (such as copper, oil, and coal). 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 15
  16. 16. Ecosystem • Natural services are functions of nature, such as purification of air and water, which support life and human economies. • Ecosystems provide us with these essential services at no cost. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 16
  17. 17. Ecosystem • One vital natural service is nutrient cycling, the circulation of chemicals necessary for life, from the environment (mostly from soil and water) through organisms and back to the environment 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 17
  18. 18. Ecosystem • For example, topsoil, the upper layer of the earth’s crust, provides the nutrients that support the plants, animals, and microorganisms that live on land; when they die and decay, they resupply the soil with these nutrients. Without this service, life as we know it could not exist. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 18
  19. 19. Ecosystem • Natural capital is supported by Solar capital: energy from the sun. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 19
  20. 20. Ecosystem • Take away Solar energy, and all natural capital would collapse. • Solar energy warms the planet and supports photosynthesis - a complex chemical process that plants use to provide food for themselves and for us and most other animals. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 20
  21. 21. Ecosystem • This direct input of solar energy also produces indirect forms of renewable solar energy such as wind, flowing water, and biofuels made from plants and plant residues. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 21
  22. 22. Ecosystem • Thus, our lives and economies depend on energy from the sun (solar capital) and natural resources and natural services (natural capital) provided by the Earth. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 22
  23. 23. Ecosystem 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 23
  24. 24. Ecosystem • A second component of Sustainability is to recognize that many human activities can degrade natural capital by using normally renewable resources faster than nature can renew them.30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 24
  25. 25. Ecosystem • For example, in parts of the world, we are clearing mature forests much faster than nature can replenish them. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 25
  26. 26. Ecosystem •We are also harvesting many species of ocean fish faster than they can replenish themselves. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 26
  27. 27. Ecosystem • This leads us to a third component of sustainability. • Environmental scientists search for solutions to problems such as the degradation of natural capital. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 27
  28. 28. Ecosystem • However, their work is limited to finding the scientific solutions, while the political solutions are left to political processes. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 28
  29. 29. Ecosystem • For example, scientific solutions might be to stop chopping down biologically diverse, mature forests, and to harvest fish no faster than they can replenish/restock themselves. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 29
  30. 30. Ecosystem • But implementing such solutions could require government laws and regulations (Environmental Legislation/Governance). 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 30
  31. 31. Ecosystem • Any shift toward environmental sustainability should be based on scientific concepts and results that are widely accepted by experts in a particular field. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 31
  32. 32. Ecosystem • In making such a shift, individuals matter. • Some people are good at thinking of new ideas and inventing innovative technologies or solutions. 30/03/16 32Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  33. 33. Ecosystem • Others are good at putting political pressure on government officials and business leaders, acting either alone or in groups to implement those solutions. 30/03/16 33Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  34. 34. Ecosystem • In any case, a shift toward sustainability for a society ultimately depends on the actions of individuals within that society. 30/03/16 34Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  35. 35. Ecosystem • The ultimate goal is an environmentally sustainable society - one that meets the current and future basic resource needs of its people in a just and equitable manner without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their basic needs. 30/03/16 35Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  36. 36. Ecosystem • Regrettably, the bad news is that, according to a growing body of scientific evidence, we are living unsustainably by wasting, depleting, and degrading the earth’s natural capital at an exponentially accelerating rate. 30/03/16 36Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  37. 37. Ecosystem • From a human standpoint, a resource is anything obtained from the environment to meet our needs and wants. • Conservation is the management of natural resources with the goal of minimizing resource waste and sustaining resource supplies for current and future generations.30/03/16 37Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  38. 38. Ecosystem • Solar energy is called a perpetual resource because it is renewed continuously and is expected to last at least 6 billion years as the sun completes its life cycle. 30/03/16 38Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  39. 39. Ecosystem • On a human time scale, a renewable resource can be replenished fairly quickly (from hours to hundreds of years) through natural processes as long as it is not used up faster than it is renewed. 30/03/16 39Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  40. 40. Ecosystem •Examples include forests, grasslands, fisheries, freshwater, fresh air, and fertile soil. 30/03/16 40Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  41. 41. Ecosystem • Some resources, such as solar energy, fresh air, wind, fresh surface water, fertile soil, and wild edible plants, are directly available for use. 30/03/16 41Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  42. 42. Ecosystem • Other resources such as petroleum, iron, water found underground, and cultivated crops, are not directly available. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 42
  43. 43. Ecosystem • The highest rate at which a renewable resource can be used indefinitely without reducing its available supply is called its sustainable yield. 30/03/16 43Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  44. 44. Ecosystem • When we exceed a renewable resource’s natural replacement rate, the available supply begins to shrink, a process known as environmental degradation. 30/03/16 44Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  45. 45. Ecosystem • There are three types of property or resource rights. • One is private property where individuals or firms own the rights to land, minerals, or other resources. 30/03/16 45Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  46. 46. Ecosystem • Another is common property where the rights to certain resources are held by large groups of individuals. For example, roughly one-third of the land in the United States is owned jointly by all U.S. citizens and held and managed for them by the government. 30/03/16 46Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  47. 47. Ecosystem • Another example is land that belongs to a whole village and can be used by anyone for activities such as grazing cows or sheep. 30/03/16 47Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  48. 48. Ecosystem • A third category consists of open access renewable resources, owned by no one and available for use by anyone at little or no charge. Examples of such shared renewable resources include clean air, underground water supplies, and the open ocean and its fish. 30/03/16 48Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  49. 49. Ecosystem • Many common property and open access renewable resources have been degraded. In 1968, biologist Garrett Hardin (1915–2003) called such degradation the Tragedy of the Commons. 30/03/16 49Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  50. 50. Ecosystem • It occurs because each user of a shared common resource or open-access resource reasons, “If I do not use this resource, someone else will. The little bit that I use or pollute is not enough to matter, and anyway, it’s a renewable resource.” 30/03/16 50Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  51. 51. Ecosystem • Nonrenewable resources exist in a fixed quantity, or stock, in the earth’s crust. • On a time scale of millions to billions of years, geological processes can renew such resources. 30/03/16 51Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  52. 52. Ecosystem • But on the much shorter human time scale of hundreds to thousands of years, these resources can be depleted much faster than they are formed. 30/03/16 52Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  53. 53. Ecosystem • Such exhaustible resources include energy resources (such as coal and oil), metallic mineral resources (such as copper and aluminum), and nonmetallic mineral resources (such as salt and sand). 30/03/16 53Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  54. 54. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • What is an environmentally sustainable society? • How can environmentally sustainable societies grow economically? • How are our ecological footprints affecting the earth? 30/03/16 54Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  55. 55. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • What is pollution, and what can we do about it? • Why do we have environmental problems? • What are ‘four’ scientific principles of sustainability? 30/03/16 55Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  56. 56. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • Our lives and economies depend on energy from the sun ( solar capital ) and on natural resources and natural services ( natural capital ) provided by the earth. 30/03/16 56Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  57. 57. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • Living sustainably means living off the earth’s natural income without depleting or degrading the natural capital that supplies it. 30/03/16 57Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  58. 58. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • Societies can become more environmentally sustainable through economic development dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone without degrading the earth’s life support systems. 30/03/16 58Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  59. 59. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • As our ecological footprints grow, we are depleting and degrading more of the earth’s natural capital. 30/03/16 59Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  60. 60. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • Preventing pollution is more effective and less costly than cleaning up pollution. 30/03/16 60Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  61. 61. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • Major causes of environmental problems are population growth, wasteful and unsustainable resource use, poverty, exclusion of environmental costs of resource use from the market prices of goods and services, and attempts to manage nature with insufficient knowledge. 30/03/16 61Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  62. 62. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • People with different environmental worldviews often disagree about the seriousness of environmental problems and what we should do about them. 30/03/16 62Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  63. 63. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • Nature has sustained itself for billions of years by using solar energy, biodiversity, population control, and nutrient cycling— lessons from nature that we can apply to our lifestyles and economies. 30/03/16 63Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  64. 64. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts • Reliance on Solar Energy. • Biodiversity. • Nutrient Cycling. • Population Control. 30/03/16 64Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  65. 65. Ecosystem Key Questions and Concepts 30/03/16 65Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development Reliance on Solar Energy Biodiversity Nutrient Recycling Population Control
  66. 66. Ecosystem • The Environment is everything around us. • It includes all of the living and the nonliving things with which we interact. • It includes a complex web of relationships that connect us with one another and with the world we live in. 30/03/16 66Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  67. 67. Ecosystem • Despite our many scientific and technological advances, we are utterly dependent on the environment for air, water, food, shelter, energy, and everything else we need to stay alive and healthy. As a result, we are part of, and not apart from, the rest of nature. 30/03/16 67Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  68. 68. Ecosystem • Environmental Science, an interdisciplinary study of how humans interact with the environment of living and nonliving things. 30/03/16 68Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  69. 69. Ecosystem • Environmental science is the study of how the natural world works, how our environment affects us, and how we affect our environment. 30/03/16 69Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  70. 70. Ecosystem • Environmental science is an interdisciplinary study of connections between the earth’s life support system and human activities. 30/03/16 70Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  71. 71. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 71 Political Science Anthropology Archaeology Atmospheric Science Oceanography History Sociology Enginneering Chemistry Economics
  72. 72. Ecosystem • The goals of Environmental Science are to learn how nature works, how the environment affects us, how we affect the environment, and how to deal with environmental problems and live more sustainably. 30/03/16 72Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  73. 73. Ecosystem • A key subfield of Environmental Science is ECOLOGY, the biological science that studies how organisms, or living things, interact with their environment and with each other. 30/03/16 73Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  74. 74. Ecosystem • Every organism is a member of a certain species: a group of organisms with distinctive traits and, for sexually reproducing organisms, can mate and produce fertile offspring. • For example, all humans are members of a species that biologists have named Homo sapiens sapiens. 30/03/16 74Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  75. 75. Ecosystem •A major focus of Ecology is the study of Ecosystems. •So What is then an Ecosystem? 30/03/16 75Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  76. 76. Ecosystem • An Ecosystem is a set of organisms interacting with one another and with their environment of nonliving matter and energy within a defined area or volume. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 76
  77. 77. Ecosystem • We should not confuse Environmental science and Ecology with Environmentalism, a social movement dedicated to protecting the earth’s life- support systems for us and all other forms of life. • Environmentalism is practiced more in the political and ethical arenas than in the realm of science. 30/03/16 Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development 77
  78. 78. Ecosystem 30/03/16 78Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  79. 79. Ecosystem 30/03/16 79Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  80. 80. Ecosystem 30/03/16 80Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  81. 81. Ecosystem 30/03/16 81Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development
  82. 82. Numerical References and Others • G. Tyler Miller Jr. and Scott E. Spoolman, Living in The Environment, Concepts, Connections, and Solutions, Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning SIXTEENTH EDITION, Belmont, California, United States of America 2009, 2007 (Plus older Edition). • http://naturalcapitalwealth.com/home/natural-capital • Thomson Higher Education (2007). 30/03/16 82Redouane Boulguid - Leadership for Environment & Development

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