Human living standards and ecosystem health are two important concepts that should balance. Balancing human life and ecosystem mean coming up with environmental decisions that facilitate ecosystem health. Ecosystem health is very vital in determining human living standards. It may also involve treating people fairly and making better economic senses. This balance has not been achieved according to the global environmental trends.
Environmental governance still depends on government institutions whose missions and structures are not well matched to the task of managing ecosystem and don't always recognize the importance of public participation or the requirement for equality. Performance of private sectors which is based on short-term economic goals, most of the time conflict with the needs for the environment which are always long-term needs. Accountability and transparency for public can be used to solve this conflict but are moderately new essential for most companies.
For there to be balance between human needs and biological capacities, structures for governance must respond to the natural constraints of living systems. Planets' most important biological unit is the ecosystems which is the main source of all environmental goods and services that human being rely on for life. These goods and services are still the crucial foundations of the economy globally. For this reason, they should be finite points of reference for the decisions concerning environment. Focus on ecosystem level defines what is known as ecosystem approach toward management of the environment.
An ecosystem approach contains unambiguous considerations of the people's needs for food, shelter, employment, and all the varied spiritual and economic benefits we receive from nature. To fulfill this, Social and economic goals must be put together with information about biology which are about the limitations and functions of the ecosystems .A good mechanism should be provided through proper environmental governance so as to negotiate this hard integration. This will be achieved by giving each stakeholder a say without going out of the track of what the ecosystem is saying about its ability for modification and human use. This can be achieved through creation of forum whereby ecosystem science and monitoring can have impacts on management goals and include public contribution into environmental decisions.
Making ecosystems the most important units of the environment management will need pioneering approaches. An example of such approach is to enhance decentralized management of natural resources. This is in accord to allow local stakeholders to take a key role in governing the ecosystem within them. Globally, large associations, for instance river basin authorities joining users across many authorities might also be beneficial. New institutions and economic arrangements will be required to connect with ecosystem they rely on. This is to the benefit of both.
In some cities for instance Quito in Equador, those who uses water pay some small fee to special fund and then used to protect a reserve known as Antisana. This reserve is used to supply water to the city. This kind of arrangement allows resident within the city to perceive themselves as part and parcel in a distant ecosystem, who have decided to assist in management and payment of important service to the ecosystem renders. In some other plans similar to this one, downstream users choose to pay for upstream services. This plan is being put into consideration as way of managing some watersheds that provide water to various cities.
All these examples show some of the innovations of governing the ecosystems approaches in relation to managing environment. In various situations, coming up with practices on ecosystem- level management will mean to reconfigure the already existing agencies or rather establishing new organizations and relationship that reflects ecosystems realities. This does not mean abandoning the whole centralized model of various state agencies, which will continue to fulfill important coordinating, monitoring, or oversight functions.
Sound knowledge is also required to aid decision making at the ecosystem level. In regard to this government agencies and some environmental management organizations could support data collection consistent with an ecosystem approach. They can gather information from different organizations to get a complete economic and environmental overview of the whole ecosystem. In order to reformulate the natural resources management and respect ecosystems, it requires rapid application of the principles of access and participation.
Managing ecosystems without doubt involves exchange among different ecosystem uses. For instance, a forest can be managed to maximize timber and pulp production through intensive harvesting, but only trading- offs some of its potential to support biodiversity, agro-forestry or human-based tourism. Through appropriate participation, public provides best methods to negotiate for such trade offs. This will ensure establishment of goals that drive daily actions of natural resource agencies that reflects the main concerns of the community.
Most of the time media, government agencies, and non-government organizations fail to play their role in promoting transparency and decision making process on matter concerning to ecosystem. This makes it hard for public voice to be recognized in decision making. Government should decentralize management of natural resources as way of empowering citizens and enhance public participation in making decision relating to improvement and restoration of the ecosystems. Care must be taken to delegate power to local institutions in a way that benefit natural resources and at the same time favors democratization. Commitment is needed to provide skilled people trained on land use planning and resource mapping. This is in accordance to preserve the natural resources. Public should be allowed to be the environment stewards. Non- governmental organizations should work with community so as to preserve the natural resources which play a great role in human life.
Some of impacts on environment originate from decisions about economic development, trade and decisions about investment outside the old environmental sector. To making various steps toward changing environmental decline, businesses and government should join hard with natural resource agencies so as to promote and sustain environment. This can be achieved by assessing how various policies and investments strategies can affect equity and the environment.
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