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71 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

What are the 7 planning and management debates?

1. Gov't vs. individual control

- gov't trying to push ideology on us and force us to behave in a way that they deem is appropriate

2. Competing public values

- e.g. oka crisis (expand golf course onto area traditionally used by mohawk people, did not consult them)

3. Uncertainty and action (don't have all the info)

4. Gov't jurisdiction

5. Protection against selfish actions (tragedy of commons)

6. Best means to an end

- people often agree on the end goal, issue is the means to get there

7. Political power relationships

- indigenous groups/homeless lack political power

What are the three over-arching methods for implementing change?

1. Regulation: precautionary principle

2. Education: public participation

3. Economic: ecosystem services

What are the two definitions for precautionary principle?

- If there are threats of serious/irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shouldn't be a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation

- when an activity raises the threats of harm to human health or environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically

What are the key elements of the precautionary principle?

- Recognition of potential harm (prove it is safe)

- Recognition of uncertainty (no evidence)

- Recognition that action is warranted (we should act)

What are the key concerns of the precautionary principle?

- Precludes progress

- ignores benefits and trade-offs

- focus on health/environmental not economic implications

- ill-defined

Who is the public in terms of public participation?

Those with an interest in a decision, other than a proponent, operator, or responsible authority

Why might the public have an interest in something?

- Proximity

- Economics (property values)

- Use (amenity value)

- Social + environmental issues (acceptable risk)

- Values

What is the ecosystem service approach and the four benefit categories?

Benefits people derive from ecosystems, useful to people and nature (should be valued)

- provisioning services: supply of goods

- regulating services: ranges of functions carried out by ecosystems (carbon storing)

- supporting services: indirect linkages to other services (formation of soils)

- cultural services: contributes to needs/desires of society (not really direct material benefit)

What are the criticisms of ecosystem services?

- quantifiability of certain services

- measuring services

- lack of knowledge of certain processes

- perceptions of 'human-nature' relationships

- perceptions of value (selfish, altruistic, bio-centred)

What are the three application methods of ecosystem services?

- Calculating true cost of g/s (including true economic + environmental cost would be a lot higher)

- political context (cost-benefit analysis)

- payment for ecosystem services (paying stewards to manage the ecosystem)

In the Guma Valley Water Company video, what happened?

- use a meter to determine how much to pay and then bill the ppl

- part of money collected for drikning water should be used to conserve and manage the natural resource

What is environmental assessment?

The process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made

What are the 4 objectives of an environmental assessment?

- Provide info for decision-making that looks at biophysical, social, economic, and institutional consequences

- Promote transparency + participation of the public in decision-making

- Identify procedures and methods to monitor + mitigate adverse consequences

- Contribute to environmentally sound + sustainable development

What are factors considered in an environmental assessment?

- environmental effects

- socio-economic effects

- significance of those effects

- mitigation measure to address effects

- public comments

- alternative means of carrying out project

What are the levels of participation in EA?

- Passive participation/information reception

- Participation through consultation

- Interactive participation (negotiation, mediation + co-management)

What is the canadian environmental assessment act?

- prevents environmentally harmful activities/projects and identify alternatives

What were the levels of environmental assessment prior to 2012?

Prior 2012: three levels of EA

- Screenings

- Comprehensive studies

- Review panels

What were the key changes with the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in 2012?

Changes post-2012

- project list approach

- allows for provincial substitutes

- reduced timelines

- reduction in factors considered

What happened in the prosperity mine case study?

- project was to construct a copper mine with life of 20 years

- went through EA process, where both provincial and federal assessment were made

- federal decision = refused

- provincial decision: effects were justified based on economic impacts

- might have been approved past 2012

What were the four major impacts as a result of the prosperity mine project?

1. Fish + fish habitat: destruction of fish lake

2. Traditional lands: tsilhqot'in ppl use to maintain culture + heritage

3. Land claims/rights

- had already been established as Tsilhqot'in territory, and they were in the process of completing a claim about their rights to use fish lake

4. Grizzly bear pop

- cumulative impacts of lobbying, roads, and mining

What is climate and climate change?

Climate: average day-to-day weather conditions + seasonal variations for a particular place or region

Climate change: a long-term shift or alteration in climate of a specific location, region, or entire planet

How is Weather different from climate?

weather = atmospheric conditions in a specific place at a specific time (short period of time) whereas climate = long-term avg day-to-day weather conditions

What is the difference b/w climate change and global warming?

Global warming is talking about increase in avg global surface temp, not including info about changes in precipitation, seasonal variations, and it does not imply a uniform warming across the globe

What is the greenhouse effect?

The solar radiation that passes through the atmosphere, some of it is absorbed and re-emitted in all directions by greenhouse gas molecules, trapping in the heat and bouncing it around

What is the evidence of climate change?

- rapid increase in carbon dioxide levels over the past 100 years, associated with human activity and burning of fossil fuels

- glaciers melting

- rising sea levels

In the Manila case relating to floods, has tropical cyclone occurrence become more frequent? What about the intensity?

Not significantly, but an increasing number of people affected. Previous heavy rainfall happens less, but very heavy rainfall is increasing

What are two flooding examples mentioned in class before?

Tropical Storm Ketsana: one day of rainfall was more than the average monthly rainfall

Southwest Monsoon Rainfall: 7-day rainfall

How do you calculate risk using the integrated risk framework?

relationship b/w hazard, exposure, and vulnerability

What are four other factors attributing to the worsening of floods in Metro Manila?

1. deforestation in river watersheds

2. outdated drainage structures

3. decreased channel capacities

4. disappearing small rivers (housing + other uses)

What are three conclusions to be noted from the Manila case study?

1. climate change has complex impacts on temp, precipitation and hazards

2. impacts of changing temp, precip and hazards highly linked to development processes

3. development processes + human activity increases risk of climate change impacts

What is one of the major difficulties working against sustainable human use of oceans?

lack of understanding of oceanic ecosystems

What are the five key ocean management challenges?

1. Fisheries

2. Pollution

3. Energy

4. Coastal dev

5. Climate change

How sustainable is our current harvest levels for fishing?

current harvest levels are 2.5x what a sustainable yield should be

What is a shifting baseline?

- with no prior information, we have to take the earliest rate as our baseline to compare today's stocks in fish, but perhaps the historical level was much different (decline in avg size of fish)

What is prey switching?

A predator species having a primo target prey that they target until depletion, then switch to the next most beneficial species

- fisheries do this by targeting most profitable species

- fishing down the food chain

What is bycatch?

Non-target species that may be caught and killed in the fishing process. 1/4 of what we are catching is tossed away as garbage b/c it was unintentionally caught (e.g. dolphins)

What is the ocean known as?

Ultimate pollution sink --> all polluted water and airborne contaminants eventually makes its way back into the oceans

What are the two forms that chemical pollutants come in?

Toxic materials

- endocrine disruptors --> feminization of species + hermaphroditism


- oxygen depletion --> nutrient enrichment = algae blooms = decomposition = less oxygen --> increasing number of males

What are the three potential pollution sources of energy?

1. Oil rig spills

2. Chronic drilling pollution

3. transportation accident

How many of the world's mega cities are coastal?


In the East Coast Fisheries case, what were the factors in the collapse of the cod industry?

- foreign overfishing

- domestic overfishing

- imperfect science + management *assumptions on how much was available was incorrect

- inappropriate incentives for processing plants + fish workers

*go't provided incentives to establish fish processing plants near fisheries

- changing environmental conditions

*water was colder than other years

- predators

*may impact recovery

What are the lessons from the east coast fishery case?

Fisheries management requires:

- scientific understanding of the biophysical resource system

- greater appreciation of traditional or local ecological knowledge

- understanding of history, culture, economy, and politics of the region, as well as federal and provincial fisheries and regional dev policies

What areas have seen the most deforestation and what is the current trend?

- most loss occurred in temperate latitude

- more recently, losses in temperate latitude reduced, accelerated deforestation in tropical regions

Why is it difficult defining deforestation rates?

many diff definitions of a forest

- closed forest = at least 20% crown cover

- open forests = 5-20% crown cover

e.g. spain: using switzerland's definition, forested land is 5% larger, but using UK's definition, forested land is 8% smaller

How much has to be cut down for a forest to be considered deforested?

What are the two deforestation methods?


- entire stands of trees felled + removed

Selective logging

- harvest of selected trees of various ages

- expensive

- biodiversity loss minimized

What is the hypothesis for the impacts of deforestation?

Deforestation and forest management practices have an impact on both risk and impacts of hazardous events

e.g. indonesian forest fires, mangrove forests + storm barriers, deforestation + landslides

What are fire sources for forest fires?

- numerous ignition points = human induced

- conflicts over land tenure

- slash + burn agriculture

- oil palm plantations + clearing of land

- damage and logging

What are the key parameters that impact energy absorption for coastal forests?

forest width, tree density, age, tree diameter, tree height + species composition

What is waste and what does defining it depend on?

Waste: left-over, redundant product or material of no or marginal value for the owner and which the owner wants to discard

depends on:

- time (new product, war)

- location (rural/small town vs. urban)

- culture (food)

- social conditions (poor vs. rich)

What is solid waste?

mainly solid, but also sludge and chemicals, distinct from wastewater and airborne waste

What are the waste management systems?

- in-house waste handling

- littering/unmanaged waste handling

- return system

- municipal waste management

- industrial waste management

- hazardous waste management

What are the problems + solutions of waste management?

1. excessive packaging

- solution = enhanced waste management policies --> waste reduction

- e.g. pay as you throw, extended producer responsibility

2. waste diversion

- 60% of materials that could be recycled are being recycled in household

- only 30% for multi-family dwellings

- solution = waste diversion (reusing, recycle, compost, source separated organics)

3. Lack of knowledge

- solution = education & more detailed signage

What happened in the 2004 tsunami recovery in Indonesia in terms of waste management?

- piles of debris around the city --> trained people to be carpenters, using tsunami wood debris to rebuild products

What are eco industrial parks?

EIPs are integrated self cycling industrial clusters that share and reuse waste and energy resources more efficiently and effectively than participating factories would be able to on their own

- based on industrial symbiosis (engaging traditionally separate industries in a collective approach to competitive advantage

What are the advantages of EIPs?

- capable of greater scale of efficiency improvements than stand alone company improvements

- Kalundborg saves a lot of money per year (13.3-15 million)

- significantly reduces material demand

What are the disadvantages of EIPs?

- difficult to implement

- large capital investment involved

- geographically limited

- success at kalundborg yet to be reproduced in another EIP

What is the waste management hierarchy?

Source reduction & reuse --> recycling/composting --> energy recovery --> treatment & disposal

What are the ecosystem services of the atmosphere?

- blocks UV radiation

- moderates climate/temperature

- redistributes water

What is air pollution?

Any substance that ppl introduce into the atmosphere that has damaging effects on living things and the environment

What are the types of air pollution in canada?

- criteria air contaminants

- persistent organic pollutants

- heavy metals

- toxic air pollutants

What are the sources of air pollution?

- primary air pollutants

- secondary air pollutants: photochemical pollution (formation is facilitated by sunlight)

How does air pollution travel?

- diffusion

- convection

- wind patterns

Why was the montreal protocol successful?

- agreement on scientific evidence

- ozone depletion threatens all

- relatively few CFC-producing companies

- substitute chemicals available

- companies involved

How was the montreal protocol different from kyoto protocol?

- less certainty about causes and consequences of GHGs

- risks of CC not evenly distributed

- GHGs emitted worldwide (comparied to CSCs, you have few companies you can target)

- resistance to renewable energy sources

What are the critical ecosystem services that coral reefs provide?

1. Regulation of environmental disturbances

2. Treatment of organic wastes

3. Production of food

4. Creation of recreational opportunities

What are the main causes of sea-level rise?

1. Thermal expansion of seawater

2. Melting of ice in land-based glaciers

3. over-pumping of ground-water supplies that eventually run off into the ocean

What are the impacts of higher sea levels?

- increases impact of storm surges

- accelerate habitat degradation

- alter tidal ranges

- exacerbate flooding

- change sediment and nutrient circulation patterns

- displace approx. 1mil ppl

What are some social implications of the development of agriculture?

- more reliable food supplies permitted growth in pops

- sedentary life = more possible b/c ability to store food = establishment of larger, permanent settlements

- not everyone had to be involved in food-making process

- promoted increasing trade --> development of roads/rail connections --> consumption of energy

What has the livestock revolution led to?

- reliance on industrial feedlots

- industrial systems of livestock production depend on outside supplies

- number of farmers declined, size of average farm increased

What are some forms of land degradation in Canada?

Soil erosion: agricultural activities remove natural vegetation that tends to bind soil together

Soil compaction: break down soil structure and inhibit the throughflow of water, occurring from frequent use of heavy machinery on wet soils or overstocking with cattle

Soil acidifaction and salinization: acid precipitation + fertilizers, reducing crop yields, leading to nutrient deficiencies. salinization is the deposition of salts in irrigated soils, leaving soil unfit for growing most crops

What is the difference between bioaccumulation and biomagnification?

Bioaccumulation: chemicals gradually accumulating over time in tissues of organisms as they grow

Biomagnification: concentrations of chemicals multiplying with every step in the food chain