Biodiversity

 

One of the most important issues we need to deaL with

The foundations of our nature need to be stable whether we have wild animals or not as this provides and environment for support systems that do work for free such as the pollination of flowers that produce fruit by insects. By removing this layer you remove the workers assisting you with the food you are able to either produce yourself in your back yard or purchase at your local supermarket. Companies like Monsanto are producing plants that have been genetically modified to kill insects and the pesticides required for specific insects are also killing bees, which is going to result in a huge food shortage around the world in the near future. Doing some good work in Africa is the African Centre for Biodiversity.


It is extremely important that we start setting up Biodiversity islands protecting areas that are incubators of life that feed the peripheral regions with life. The Coral Reef systems are extremely important for instance for providing fish stocks for the fishing industry as the early stages of their life are based in and around the coral reefs. The same aopplies to birds especially migratory birds needing places they are able to feed on their long journeys form the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere,

We aim to tackle the following issues :


1. FRACKING - Hydraulic fracturing is the fracturing of rock by a pressurized liquid. Some hydraulic fractures form naturally—certain veins or dikes are examples.Induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a technique in which typically water is mixed with sand and chemicals, and the mixture is injected at high pressure into a wellbore to create small fractures (typically less than 1mm), along which fluids such as gas, petroleum, uranium-bearing solution,[1] and brine water may migrate to the well. Hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, then small grains of proppant (sand or aluminium oxide) hold these fractures open once the rock achieves equilibrium. The technique is very common in wells for shale gas, tight gas, tight oil, and coal seam gas[2][3] and hard rock wells. This well stimulation is only conducted once in the life of the well and greatly enhances fluid removal and well productivity. A different technique where only acid is injected is referred to as acidizing.


2. GMO foods - Genetically modified foods (GM foods, or biotech foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNAusing the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new crop traits as well as a far greater control over a food's genetic structure than previously afforded by methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding.[1]


3. PESTICIDES & FERTILISERS - In ecology, resilience is the capacity of an ecosystem to respond to a perturbation or disturbance by resisting damage and recovering quickly. Such perturbations and disturbances can include stochastic events such as fires, flooding, windstorms, insect population explosions, and human activities such as deforestation and the introduction of exotic plant or animal species. Disturbances of sufficient magnitude or duration can profoundly affect an ecosystem and may force an ecosystem to reach a threshold beyond which a different regime of processes and structures predominates.[2]Human activities that adversely affect ecosystem resilience such as reduction of biodiversity, exploitation of natural resources, pollution, land-use, and anthropogenic climate change are increasingly causing regime shifts in ecosystems, often to less desirable and degraded conditions.[2][3] Interdisciplinary discourse on resilience now includes consideration of the interactions of humans and ecosystems via socio-ecological systems, and the need for shift from the maximum sustainable yield paradigm to environmental management which aims to build ecological resilience through "resilience analysis, adaptive resource management, and adaptive governance".[4]


4. MINING AND PROSPECTING - The main effects of mining and prospecting (and the associated activities) on Biodiversity are as follows:

 

A.DIRECT IMPACTS:

•loss and degradation of indigenous vegetation and ecosystems - For example, the clearing of wetlands, grasslands and indigenous forests for the mine itself and for associated infrastructure (e.g. dams, roads, rail, waste storage areas, pipelines, electricity supply, housing for staff, etc.), and the deterioration of water resources.

•loss of habitat for threatened or protected species – When the living space for species is destroyed or degraded, then the populations may be dramatically reduced (plants), or must move to other areas (animals, if there are available areas to accommodate them) and inevitably shrink in size.  Where the affected species are Endangered or Critically Endangered, local endemics, or comprise only a few populations, these impacts may ultimately lead to their extinction. 

•Habitat fragmentation – Ecosystems and the communities and species they support need to be able to interact and exchange genetic material with other ecosystems, communities and populations of species in order to remain viable.  Also, species need to be able to shift their ranges in response to climate change, allowing their continual adaptation. If a specific natural area is broken up into smaller isolated pieces, eventually species will disappear and certain functions will be lost. For example, a large intact wetland can fulfill its functions far better than a wetland that is divided into two pieces; when a pollinator is isolated from the crops it pollinates, those crops will cease to reproduce. 

•Loss of species - For example increased traffic or pollution or infrastructure (e.g. powerlines) may cause death of individuals within local populations. This effect, together with loss and fragmentation of habitat, may lead to extinction of highly threatened species.

•Pollution of soils, air and water through waste disposal, emissions and wastewater or effluent discharge; in particular toxic, hazardous or radioactive wastes.

•Erosion of soils through poor surface or stormwater drainage, dust and particulate pollution.

•Blasting and vibrations may have negative effects on sensitive animal species (e.g. crocodile deaths).

•Noise and lights of the mining and associated activities may have negative impacts on wildlife, particularly at night.

•Changes to available surface water and/ or groundwater resources as a result of mining and associated activities making use of these resources, with subsequent impacts on both terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity that relies on these water resources.
 

B.INDIRECT OR INDUCED IMPACTS:

•Alien invasive organisms can be introduced to mine sites; they can transform natural habitats and oust local indigenous species.

•Loss of species, for example the plants and animals endemic to a particular habitat will not be able to survive if that habitat is destroyed or altered by mining.

•downstream effects on water flow and quality as a result of the mine using local water resources and/ or discharging wastewater and pollutants into surface water and/ or groundwater.  These downstream impacts affect human communities and ecosystems

•Effects Beyond the prospecting or mining site - on natural areas beyond the site boundaries as a result of air- or water-borne pollutants.

•delayed impacts on the quality of water resources from the gradual pollution and leaching of pollutants through the soils or waste material (e.g. acid mine drainage from dumps containing iron pyrites).  Impacts on water resources inevitably result in negative effects on both terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity through pollution pathways.

•Displacement effects on Biodiversity where local communities have to move on to, or focus on, other natural areas in the vicinity to find wood, clear land to grow food, etc., thus increasing the overall impact on Biodiversity.

•Increased access to previously inaccessible areas, as well as in-migration of mine labour may lead to an influx of people, more destruction of natural habitat, an increased use (and pollution) of water resources and poaching.
 

C.CUMULATIVE IMPACTS:

•The combined or added impacts of mining itself, the associated infrastructure and activities, and the influx of people with their own set of impacts, are often far greater than the narrow impacts identified for individual activities.

•Where a proposed mine or prospecting area is one of a number of current or anticipated proposals in the same area, the sum of the impacts of all activities can be highly significant and will greatly increase the effects on Biodiversity.


  1. 5.BIOFUELS - A biofuel is a fuel that contains energy from geologically recent carbon fixation. These fuels are produced from living organisms. Examples of thiscarbon fixation occur in plants and microalgae. These fuels are made by a biomass conversion (biomass refers to recently living organisms, most often referring to plants or plant-derived materials). This biomass can be converted to convenient energy containing substances in three different ways: thermal conversion, chemical conversion, and biochemical conversion. This biomass conversion can result in fuel in solid, liquid, or gas form. This newbiomass can be used for biofuels. Biofuels have increased in popularity because of rising oil prices and the need for energy security. However, according to the European Environment Agency, biofuels do not necessarily mitigate global warming.[1]

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Video created to highlight the fact that world leaders, irresponsible corporates and mindless 'consumers' are combining to destroy life on earth. It is dedicated to all who died fighting for the planet and those whose lives are on the line today.

Projects :


FRACKING : Karoo - Elephant Coast (Pending)

GMO Foods : South Africa (Pending)

PESTICIDES AND FERTILISERS : Elephant Coast (Pending)

MINING (Dunes) : Wild Coast (Pending) - Mtunzini - Richards Bay (Pending)

BIOFUELS - Mozambique (Pending) - South Africa (Pending) - Africa (Pending)