Module 10 – Biodiversity Conservation Challenge – Bernstein

Imagine a new piece of land containing a rainforest has been discovered. You, being the scholar that you are, are in charge of its fate. Upon further inspection of this new land you discover a group of natives who are living off its resources. Other countries have taken interest in this new land as well and wish to become trading partners, but you worry about the loss of nature (and the newly found newt species on that land) in all the industrialization. Knowing what you know now about conservation and biodiversity, what is your next step in preserving and growing the land, the people, the newts, and why?

Be sure to include thoughts about the levels of protection, how it will be enforced, ethical issues that may arise, etc. Think of the consequences! – Feel free to include a flow chart or describe the chain of effects (derived from your choices).  


Knowing what I know now, I would most likely try to find a compromise between the people and the land so that both may thrive. The category of protection I would most likely choose for this new land would be Category 2. I find that Category 2, National Parks, is a good compromise between protecting the environment with allowing the people to live their lives accordingly. Other categories such as Category 1 are too limiting of a status for the whole land on human interaction and would not be suitable for a new land trying to grow their economy. The best solution in my opinion would be to have the land be a mix of different levels of protection. The problem with Category 2 protection is that it is hard to enforce. In terms of enforcement, one must look at the ethics as well; anthropocentrism versus ecocentrism. Since I am taking a neutral stance so that both may live together, I will put some of the natives to serve as “Park Rangers” as they would know the land and its inhabitants best. This way, we will be sure to not intrude on the newts but also be able to encourage a growth of economy. By having the natives serve as “mediators” in a sense, a sense of balance could be achieved without having outside forces skew the perceptions. Having foreigners become too involved with regulating the land and its processes has the possibility to lead to a more anthropocentric stance as there would be much more chance to make money off of it with the interested trading countries; having someone who understands the animals as well as they way of the people would be the best way to go, in this sense. Certain sections shall be restricted to an almost similar Category 1 status where no outside contact will be allowed in order to not disturb the natural cycle. Sections left outside Categories 1 and 2 will be open for economy growth and trading purposes. The sections and how they are divided shall be divided according to the natives (as where the newts are located must be taken into account, as well as “sacred” sites to avoid digging up, etc.) so that everyone is content with the new agreement.