Monday, July 6, 2009

The issues of farm productivity, water scarcity, deforestation, human health, social equity, are all so completely interrelated, that it is hard to figure out a solution to just one of these without addressing the others, and practically impossible to implement such a solution successfully. This is one of the things that I have been discovering over the past couple of months.

What is the solution to this complex scenario? Integrated development is certainly desirable, but not easy to implement either. My project for the next few months will be to visit various organizations around who have successfully implemented this project on scale, and learn about the common elements of their success.

On a related note, BBC's earth Watch blog ponders the interrelatedness and prioritization of various environmental problems:

I've tried to find rational ways of figuring out answers to the prioritisation conundrum.

One sample question is this: if climate impacts are at present largely reversible but the loss of a species self-evidently isn't, does that make biodiversity loss more important than climate change?

Another is this: if environmental issues are so interlinked, then why do we bother separating them out in the way that the Rio conventions do? Woudn't it be more logical to try to sort everything out en masse?

A third is this: if the fundamental drivers of all the trends are the swelling in the human population and our expanding thirst for raw materials, why aren't these the things that politicians and environmental groups are shouting about and trying to change?



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