Assignment: Read the information about Costa Rica’s conservation efforts in Module 10. In one paragraph, discuss what anthropocentric and ecocentric benefitis this could have. In a second paragraph, talk about how actions like this could be taken to conserve biodiversity in your area or region.
Costa Rica has made a serious investment into their biodiversity by committing to be proactive in their conservation. 25% of its land has been set aside in national park in order to keep at least 80% of its remaining species intact. Also, Costa Rica ended subsidies that encouraged deforestation. Anthropocentric benefits include a blossoming tourism industry that has bolstered the economy. Also, the diversity should keep the region more stable for agriculture. Ecocentric benefits include the protection of more species, cleaner rivers, less soil erosion, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
In the northwest region of PA, there is not much land set aside for natural habitat. One example of an existing park would be Presque Isle on Lake Erie, which draws in thousands of tourists every year and generates a lot of business for the local economy. It also protects many native species of plants and animals and preserves a natural piece of the Great Lakes’ shore. Rampant destruction of natural habitat is not a common occurrence in the area, but there would still be recreational and ecological benefits to more land set aside for natural habitat. There is an extensive amount of state game lands in the area that do provide some of this, but they are not very accessible even if they are open to the public. I think it would be beneficial to create more state parks with facilities to make it more attractive for people to visit and enjoy PA wilderness.
The year is 1945 the Second World War is over and the cold war is just beginning; in New Mexico mining of uranium is at its all-time high, mining companies are making millions and the United States government is getting the material to make atomic weapons, all on the back of the Navajo Nation. During the middle of the twentieth century jobs were scarce for much of the population, especially in the Southwest, to make ends meet many Navajo men went to work in the uranium mines. The work was dangerous, the pay was small, and the conditions were deplorable. At the end of the 1950’s cancer rates for miners were higher than any other area of the United States. Even though companies disregarded health reports and the warning signs and officials were slow to address the workers concerns; the Navajo miners, were denied compensation for the suffering they went through (Benally, 1997). The case study can be found at this link http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/sdancy.html
At the beginning of the 1990’s the population in Mexico City, Mexico was 16.8 million and the gross national product (GNP) was a dismal 2,971 U.S. dollars. The increase in the inhabitants of Mexico City was from the arrival of migrants from the surrounding economically depressed areas. The population growth directly impacted the Mexico City’s water and air qualities. In addition, the city was the site of 48% of all Mexican industries; resulting in an increase of demand on natural resources. In 1992, there was an explosion of one of the city’s sewer system, this led to contamination of the water table resulting in more than 100 deaths. The outcome resulted in the creation of the National Institute of Ecology and the Environmental Attorney General. These agencies were tasked with developing environmental regulation and protection guidelines. However, the increase in the oversight from environmental authorities did little combat the increasing urbanization and industrialization in Mexico City (Pennsylvania State University Library).
The first location described in the above is not comparable to my hometown of Swedesboro, New Jersey. The total population of Swedesboro based on the 2010 census is 10,300 people. The majority of the population are upper middle class transplants from Philadelphia suburbs and other areas within the Southern New Jersey. However, the second paragraph is slightly similar to Swedesboro, but close to the pollution laden Mexico City. The reason I can make a comparison is because Swedesboro is located between Salem nuclear power plant and Chester refinery. However, the majority of our community has city water and sewer treatment center, meaning the threat of contamination is minimal. The one condition that I am concerned about is the air quality. The byproduct of the refining process and the release of CO2, NOx, and SO2 is something that will require monitoring.
Benally, Timothy, Sr. “Environmental Justice for the Navajo: Uranium Mining in the Southwest.” In Motion (1997). Web. <http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/sdancy.html
“Are Megacities Viable? A Cautionary Tale from Mexico City.” Environment 38.1 (1996). Pennsylvania State University Library.