Good Consulting Report Of Environmental Finance Problem Report Example
Human beings depend on the environment for various services. The biosphere and its ecosystems provide these services. The ecosystem is characterized by cycling of elements through air and waterways. The ecosystems provide direct or indirect support to human well-being. Four types of ecosystems services include provisioning, cultural, regulating and supporting services (Barbier & Heal, 2006, p. 2). Provisioning services include food, fiber, timber, water and medicines. Regulating services arise from the initiatives aimed at regulating the ecosystems processes. They include climate regulation, water purification, natural hazard mitigation, waste management and pest control. Cultural services include intellectual, recreational and spiritual development. Supporting services include the ability of the ecosystems to provide habitat for migratory species, facilitate soil formation and recycling of nutrients (Worm et al., 2006, p. 789). These benefits are derived from all ecosystems around the world. Indonesia’s tropical rainforest covers 60% of the Indonesia and it is the third largest in the world. Thus, the centrality of the rainforest ecosystem to the country’s economy and global environment cannot be gainsaid. This paper is developed against this background. It is a consultative report that identifies key ecosystems services provided because of the protection of the Indonesian rainforest. It explores the existing and emerging risks that are associated with the degradation of forest ecosystems across the globe. Lastly, the paper explores the role of market and governments in the provision of ecosystem services.
Existing and emerging risks of degradation of nationally and internationally. The ecosystems services include recreational services and timber.
The tropical rainforest provides a suitable environment for recreational services. It is commonly called the tropical rainforest heritage of Sumatra (TRHS). The rainforest has three different national parks. These parks include Gunung Leuser, Kerinci Seblat and Bukit Barisan. The parks are distant part, providing various visitors with a diversified experience of the recreational services in the rainforests. The total area of the rainforest is 2.59 million hectares. This significant area of land provides enough ground for the protection of the TRHS (Hicthcock & Meyers, 2006, p. 2). The site displays the need for long term conservation efforts due to strategic location in the biota of Sumatra. There are endangered species of animals in this site. There are varied animals, vegetations and natural resources in the rainforest. It is estimated that 10000 species of plants are found in this ecosystem including 17 endemic genera. In addition to the high number of plants, various animals also inhabit this rainforest. Over 200 species of mammals and 580 species of birds are found in this habitat, making it an international tourist destination.
Rare species of mammals such the orang-utan is found in this rainforest. Other animals include rhinos, elephant, and sun-bear. Gung Kerinci provides a beautiful view for many tourists. It is the highest volcanic mountain in Indonesia and found within the tropical rainforest. Other physical features such as Lak Gunung Tujuh as well as many other volcanic lakes exist in the rainforests (Hitchcock, 2006, p. 3). In addition, there are several waterfalls, rocky backdrops and cave systems. The three national parks found within the rainforest are protected. THRS also exhibit altitudinal zone of vegetation. Thus, the significance of this rainforest in promoting recreational activities for the people of Indonesia and the world community at large cannot be underestimated. In this regard, the site provides a suitable recreational hotspot and provides an opportunity to collect revenues from the high number of visitors that visit the rainforest fro recreational expeditions.
Source of Timber
The Tropical rainforest heritage of Sumatra consists of many indigenous trees that provide timber for human use. Ecosystems consist of natural waterways that generate an ecological cycle. This cycle maintains the natural growth of plants and vegetation inside it. In this regard, indigenous trees that grow naturally in the ecosystem have been exploited by human beings for timber and wood (Hitchcock & Meyers, 3). Many cartels have existed in the country and take part in an organized cutting of trees for timber production. However, the protection efforts by the government and the presence of the highly protected national parks in the ecosystems have tried to reduce the effects of illegal logging.
Categorization of the ecosystem services
These two ecosystem services can be categorized according to the four types of ecosystem services mentioned earlier. Recreational services that the rainforest provides fall under the umbrella of cultural services. Cultural services include recreational, spiritual, intellectual and aesthetic satisfaction. These cultural services enable people to connect and identify with their cultures. On the other hand, timber falls under provisioning services. These are direct services that people obtains from the ecosystem. Other services in this category include food, water and fiber.
Existing and emerging risks
Despite the significant role that the rainforest play to the cultural and economic development of Indonesia, various risks may jeopardize the gains so far achieved in terms of protection and preservation of the rainforest ecosystem. The rainforest is threatened by the activities of illegal loggers that have destroyed the originally beautiful ecosystem and reduced it to remnants (Hitchcock & Meyers, 2006, p. 4). Conservation efforts in the last fifty years have been marred by destruction. There have been plans to build roads in the area. This is seen as a way through which illegal loggers would have an easy access into the ecosystem and engage in activities that may jeopardize the gains. Road access enhances encroachment and poaching that can destroy the remaining species of plants and animals. This consequently affects the integrity of the rainforest. Agricultural encroachment has also been touted as a major setback to the conservation efforts taking place in the rainforest.
Economics of ecosystems
Arrow et al. (2015 p. 520) argued that national and international polices have fundamentally ignored the economic role of the environment. They observed that the rise in income leads to a corresponding rise in environmental degradation after which the environmentally quality improves. In developing countries, increase in economic growth has been described as acceptable in light of the prevailing pursuit of basic amenities. Arrow et al. (2015, p. 520) added that in cases where there has been a decline in emission with increased income, such decline has been due to environmental legislations. In some cases, market based incentives have used to minimize environmental impacts. The danger with such legislations and undertakings is that certain international consequences have been ignored.
The rise in income results from increased economic activity. The increase in economic activity consequently implies human beings frequent engagement with the environment. These activities disturb the ecological systems that offer a variety of services (Arrow et al., 2015, p 521). This resource has the ability to produce the fundamental needs if put into good use. However, irresponsible use of the ecosystem hinders its ability to supply all the needs of human beings without putting their lives at risk. Arrow et al. (2015, p. 521) concluded that unless human activities are sustainable, the ecological systems upon which their economies rely on are jeopardized. Thus, a resilient ecological system must exist to support unsustainable human practices.
Barbir and Heal (2009, p. 4) argued that due to the range of services that ecosystems provide, there exist complex ecological processes. Thus, policies aimed at protecting and regulating the ecosystem should be well-thought to ensure that multiple services are generated with multiple benefits. In this regard, an integrated ecological-economic model of the lake system can be used to capture the functioning and dynamics of the lake ecosystem. This model would focus on complex relationships that exist between hydrological flows, the recycling of nutrients and changes in the land use.
Role of Market based instruments (MBIs)
The use of market based instruments in the conservation of environment was suggested by Robert (2001, p. 1). MBIs are regulations that encourage behavior on the pollution control methods. These policies encourage firms and carry out pollution control initiatives to meet overall environmental goals. These policies allows for a certain level of pollution to be achieved at minimal costs. To achieve this goal, MBIs offer incentives for efforts that realize the greatest reductions in pollution. The firms that achieved reduction in pollution must used the cheapest means to attain that goal. MBIs equalize the amount that various firms utilize in the reduction of pollution. Despite its success, implementation of MBIs has been met by political obstacles. The politics surrounding greenhouse emission has played a role in frustrating effective implementation of MBIs.
Role of governments
The government has a role to play in the management of ecosystems. This is because the ecosystems form important part of the national ecological systems that are likely to be exploited if control and regulatory mechanisms are not put into place. A Millennium ecosystems assessment was set up with the purpose of providing an integrated assessment of the consequences of change in the ecosystems for the ultimate goal of promoting human well being. A framework of assessment was developed to achieve this purpose. It incorporated governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector as well as scientists (ecosystems and human well being approach: a framework for assessment 2). The assessment aimed at discovering options that can attain human development and sustainability of goals without compromising the ability of the ecosystems to self-regulate. In this regard, governments must balance growing demands for fundamental human wants and economic growth with the need for environmental protection. Governments must also understand the existing tradeoffs that are involved. These tradeoffs can occur across sectors. The decision of stakeholders concerning the environment should be the focus of governments.
The Indonesian rainforest comprises is a giant ecosystem that supports the lives of many plants and animals. The benefits of the ecosystems are myriad and range from supporting, cultural, provisioning and regulating services. In this regard, its contribution to the global environment is significant. Preserving this ecosystem should be the focus of most governments and international agencies. A collaborative framework of engagement is needed to reduce the impacts of the risks and threats in the rainforest. Agencies such as Rhino Protection Unit, Tiger Protection and WWW Elephant Patrol should work together towards reducing poaching activities. Enforcement of various conservation laws would help minimize the adverse effects of degradation. Conserving this ecosystem would yield ultimate economic value and restore sustainability.
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Barbier, E. B., & Heal, G. M. 2006. Valuing Ecosystem Services. The Berkeley Electronic Press.
Ecosystems and human well-being approach: A framework for assessment. Print.
Hitchcock, P., & Meyers, K. (2006). Report on the IUCN-UNESCO World Heritage Monitoring Mission to the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, Indonesia. IUCN.
Robert, N.S. 2006. Experience with Market-Based environmental policy instruments. Resources for the future. Discussion Paper 01-58
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