Biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat

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  1. Context

Introductory sentence: Biodiversity is the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat.

Background: A high level of biodiversity is usually considered to be necessary to sustain life and the health of an ecosystem.

Introducing the problem: However recent research into biodiversity shows is declining; in fact the rate of decline is increasing in many parts of the world. (World Wildlife Fund, 2013)

Reasoning: The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has a ‘Red List’ of many endangered species which it brings to the attention of countries to encourage protection of important habitats and action to prevent extinction. (IUCN, 2013) This is why the United Nations has called for a decade of action on biodiversity. This shows that there is a real problem and that there is a responsibility for individuals, local organisations and businesses, governments and international organisations to take action. (must be supported by SR).

Include evidence of Global and National perspectives.

Connection to local perspective: These issues also affect Kazakhstan. For example the pink flamingo of the Nura River Basin is an endangered species. (The World Bank, 2013) There are many others. (ACBK, 2013)
Causes of the problem: According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF, 2013), the main causes of declining biodiversity are:

    • climate change

    • pollution

    • illegal wildlife trade

    • invasive species

    • deforestation

    • intensive farming

    • over-consumption.

Reasoning of the link between causes, problem(Biodiversity) and action(problem): Many organisations and people are trying to do something about declining biodiversity. The World Wildlife Fund, New Internationalist (New Internationalist, 2013) and other environmental groups, alongside the UN and the World Bank, make it clear that these causes are linked to our lifestyles, particularly in those parts of the world which have become richer or are developing through processes linked to industrialisation and urbanization (causes link to life).
This shows that it is the way of life in many parts of the world which causes problems for biodiversity (link between cause and problem). Therefore we should all be encouraged to take personal responsibility for our actions and to live in ways which protect the environment and increase biodiversity (claim for action).
Actions from SR: Many environmental organisations suggest that we should use fewer resources and recycle, manufacture goods in ways which don’t produce pollution, choose food and goods which don’t travel far to reduce carbon emissions, eat less meat and more organic food, and take other forms of action in our everyday lives.
Process focusing according to one instrument(solution, action): The United Nations also suggests that action should be taken at all levels – internationally, nationally, by organisations locally and by individuals in the community. However, the scope of this research was too small to explore all of these possible types of action in detail. Therefore the research concentrated upon action by individuals (argument).
(counterargument) However many people do not seem to care about the problem and do nothing to improve the situation. For example, research shows that only 1% of agriculture worldwide is organic and only a few people choose these products regularly. (Organic World, 2012)

The purpose of this research is to find out the reasons why so many people don’t take action.
Research Gap (this instrument (solution, action) hasn’t been addressed): There has been little previous research into this issue; however one article from the UN sponsored association of environmental groups Principles for Responsible Management Education project (UNPRME, 2012) suggests that the main reasons for people not taking this instrument (solution, action) are:

    • Lack of awareness about the issue of declining biodiversity in general

    • Lack of education and guidance about what to do at a personal level

    • Feeling that the contribution of one person is too small to make a difference

    • Lack of availability of environmentally friendly goods and services

    • Fear of being seen as strange or different by other people

    • The expense of environmentally friendly goods and services

Research design overview: The research was therefore designed to explore the issue of declining biodiversity and public opinion about the need to take action. By researching people’s attitudes to taking action and barriers to action it may be possible to discover new ways to encourage individuals to do something about declining biodiversity.
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