Category Archives: Ecological Services

Eat Your Genes: How Genetically Modified Food is Entering Our Diet (S. Nottingham)

Author

Stephen Nottingham

Keywords

Agricultural Improvements, Genetic Engineering, Increasing Yields, Herbicide Resistant Crops, Insect Resistant Crops, Modified Insect Baculovirus, Designer Food, Engineered Plants, Ecological Risks, Risks to Human Health, Ethical and Moral Issues, Patenting, Regulation, Genetically Modified Organisms, Food Products, Marketing Approval, Europe, Labelling, Impacts on the Third World

Abstract

The food that we eat is increasingly being produced using biotechnology. Genetically modified crops, which were first grown commercially in 1996, covered over 58 million hectares worldwide by 2002. Transgenic microbes, fish and animals are also being developed for food production purposes. Eat Your Genes describes the genetic engineering techniques used in agriculture. It explores the food industry‘s commercial motivations, why certain crop modifications have predominated, and the importance of patenting to the genetic engineering enterprise. Genetically modified (GM) food has entered our diet through a wide range of processed foodstuffs.

This book explains how crop segregation and labelling are central to the debate, and outlines the development of consumer resistance to the marketing of GM food in Europe. The potential health and ecological risks, the ethical issues, and the implications for both industrialized and developing countries are examined. The author argues that genetic engineering is still a long way from meeting its promises of feeding the world‘s hungry and contributing to a more eco-friendly agriculture.

The issues surrounding GM food affect us all. Consumer choice, health and safety, the environment, the freedom of traditional breeders to improve major food crops, and justice towards the Third World are all at stake. As the public debate over the desirability of GM food continues, this is the book to help you think through what is involved.

Citation

Stephen Nottingham, Eat Your Genes: How Genetically Modified Food is Entering Our Diet (Zed Books, 2003)

Book

Eat Your Genes: How Genetically Modified Food is Entering Our Diet

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Food is Different: Why We Must Get the WTO Out of Agriculture (P.M. Rosset)

Author

Peter M. Rosset

Keywords

Trade versus Development, Trade Negotiations, Trade Liberalization, King Cotton, WTO Negotiations, Liberalized Agricultural Trade, Policy Alternatives, Different Agriculture

Abstract

Why does our global food system gives us expensive, unhealthy and bad-tasting food, where we pay more for packaging and long-distance shipping than we do for the food itself? Why do farmers and peasants from around the world lead massive protests each and every time the World Trade Organization meets?

In this book, global food and farming researcher-activist Peter Rosset explains how the runaway free trade policies and neoliberal economics of the WTO, American government and European Union kill farmers, and give us a food system that nobody outside of a small corporate elite wants. This is an essential guide that unravels and demystifies the confusing negotiations at the WTO, and the debate over agricultural subsidies, revealing the bankruptcy of major government positions from both the North and the South. What is at stake is the very future of our global food system and of each country‘s unique food and farming systems. This book sets out an alternative vision for agricultural policy, taking it completely out of the WTO‘s ambit. Food is not just another commodity, to be bought and sold like a microchip, but something which goes to the heart of human livelihood, culture and society.

Citation

Peter M. Rosset, Food is Different: Why We Must Get the WTO Out of Agriculture (Zed Books, 2006)

Book

Food is Different: Why We Must Get the WTO Out of Agriculture

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A Modern Approach to Water Management: The UNECE Protocol on Water and Health (F. Bernardini)

Author

Francesca Bernardini

Keywords

Environmental law, health, MEA, MDG, sustainable development, UNECE Protocol, water, water ecosystem, water management, WHO.

Abstract

The Protocol on Water and Health to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes entered into force in August 2005. It is jointly serviced by the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

The main aim of the Protocol is to protect human health and well-being by better water management, including the protection of water ecosystems, and by preventing, controlling and reducing water-related diseases.

The Protocol recognises that engaging in intersectoral partnerships and increased coordination greatly enhances sustainable development. It is closely linked to the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), more particularly, the Protocol offers a platform to go beyond MDG target 10, since its final objective is to grant access to drinking water and sanitation to everybody. The Protocol takes into account differences in health, environmental and economic conditions in the region, and gives State Parties the freedom to establish their priorities tailored to their specific situations.

Moreover the Protocol displays innovative features of modern environmental law:

It provides for the establishment of a mechanism for review of compliance of a non-confrontational, non-judicial and consultative nature which will significantly increase its effectiveness;
It includes provisions for international cooperation and international support for national action to support its implementation.
This article reviews the decisions taken by the Protocol’s Parties at their first meeting in January 2007 which set the future direction of work and establish the institutional architecture of the Protocol.

Citation

(2007) 3(2) Law, Environment and Development Journal 234

Paper

A Modern Approach to Water Management: The UNECE Protocol on Water and Health

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Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: A Manual for Assessment Practitioners (N. Ash)

Author

Neville Ash

Keywords

Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, Human Well-being, Stakeholder Participation, Governance, Communication

Abstract

Designed by a partnership of UN agencies, international scientific organizations, and development agencies, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) is the most extensive study ever of the linkages between the world’s ecosystems and human well-being. The goal of the MA is to establish the scientific basis for actions needed to enhance the contribution of ecosystems to human well-being without undermining their long-term productivity. With contributions by more than 500 scientists from 70 countries, the MA has proven to be one of the most important conservation initiatives ever undertaken, and the ecosystem services paradigm on which it is based provides the standard for practice. This manual supplies the specific tools that practitioners of the paradigm need in order to extend their work into the future.

The manual is a stand-alone “how to” guide to conducting assessments of the impacts on humans of ecosystem changes. In addition, assessment practitioners who are looking for guidance on particular aspects of the assessment process will find individual chapters of this manual to be useful in advancing their understanding of best practices in ecosystem assessment. The manual builds on the experiences and lessons learned from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment global and sub-global assessment initiatives, with chapters written by well-known participants in those initiatives. It also includes insights and experiences gained from a wider range of ecosystem service-focused assessment activities since the completion of the MA in 2005.

Citation

Neville Ash, Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: A Manual for Assessment Practitioners (Island Press, 2010)

Book

Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: A Manual for Assessment Practitioners

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The Law and Policy of Ecosystem Services (J.B. Ruhl, et al)

Author(s)

J.B. Ruhl, Steven Kraft, Christopher Lant

Keywords

Ecosystems Services , Ecology, Geography, Economics, Law and Policy, Property Rights, Regulation, Social Norms, Water, : Blue, Conservation Reserve Program 1985-2006, Erosion, Riparian Buffers, Common Agricultural Policy,European Union, Agricultural Watershed, Wetland Mitigation Banking, Ecosystem Market, Pollution Trading, Carbon Trading, Global Warming, New Law and Policy,. Trade-Offs and Transitions, Instruments and Institutions

Abstract

The Law and Policy of Ecosystem Services is the first comprehensive exploration of the status and future of natural capital and ecosystem services in American law and policy. The book develops a framework for thinking about ecosystem services across their ecologic, geographic, economic, social, and legal dimensions and evaluates the prospects of crafting a legal infrastructure that can help build an ecosystem service economy that is as robust as existing economies for manufactured goods, natural resource commodities, and human-provided services. The book examines the geographic, ecological, and economic context of ecosystem services and provides a baseline of the current status of ecosystem services in law and society. It identifies shortcomings of current law and policy and the critical areas for improvement and forges an approach for the design of new law and policy for ecosystem services.

Included are a series of nine empirical case studies that explore the problems caused by society’s failure to properly value natural capital. Among the case study topics considered are water issues, The Conservation Reserve Program, the National Conservation Buffer Initiative, the agricultural policy of the European Union, wetland mitigation, and pollution trading.

The Law and Policy of Ecosystem Services is a groundbreaking look at the question of whether and how law and policy can shape a sustainable system of ecosystem service management. It is an accessible and informative work for faculty, students, and policy makers concerned with ecology, economics, geography, political science, environmental studies, law, and related fields.

Citation

J.B. Ruhl, Steven Kraft, Christopher Lant, The Law and Policy of Ecosystem Services (Island Press, 2007)

Book

The Law and Policy of Ecosystem Services

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