Question 1. Ecology.
Ecology is the science of the interactions of living organisms and their communities with each other and with the environment. The term was first proposed by the German biologist Ernst Haeckel in 1866 in his book General Morphology of Organisms.
Ecology is a biological science that studies the structure and functioning of superorganismal systems (populations, communities, ecosystems) in space and time in natural and human-modified conditions.
Question 2. Ecology and its role in the implementation of the concept of sustainable development.
Ecology is a fundamental natural science discipline that has its own objects, tasks and research methods. And if the importance of this science is recognized, it is necessary to correctly use its laws, concepts and terms.
Ecology is closely connected with both natural and human sciences (chemistry, mathematics, physics, geography, medicine, economics, law, etc.).
The role of environmental knowledge in human life has always been enormous. During the period of hunting and gathering, knowledge about the way of life of animals and plants was transmitted orally from parents to children and was enriched through experience and observation.
Gradually, people began to accumulate knowledge about the optimal timing of sowing and harvesting, about the properties of soils and fertilizers, about the influence of plants on each other, about the nutritional needs of animals, and so on.
When ecology was formed as a science (early 20th century), its role in practice increased dramatically.
It became possible to predict the consequences of economic activity and give recommendations on how to develop agriculture and industry, to fish without depleting natural resources and without disturbing natural communities.
The use of natural resources by a person with complete ignorance of the laws of nature often leads to severe, irreparable consequences. A striking example is the Aral Sea crisis.
If states have borders, then nature does not have them. Air masses and water move long distances.
Due to environmental illiteracy and in pursuit of momentary profit, many do not want to think about the future, and all our negative interventions in the harmony of nature will return like a boomerang, and in the end, the person himself will suffer.
Theory and practice have shown that the environmental component is an integral part of human development. From an ecological point of view, sustainable development must ensure the integrity of biological and physical natural systems.
Sustainable development is the development of society in which the conditions of human life improve, and the impact on the environment remains within the economic capacity of the biosphere, so that the natural basis for the functioning of mankind is not destroyed.
With sustainable development, needs are met without prejudice to future generations.
Of particular importance is the viability of ecosystems, on which the global stability of the entire biosphere depends. Moreover, the concept of “natural” systems and habitats can be understood broadly to include human-made environments such as, for example, cities.
The focus is on maintaining the self-healing capabilities and dynamic adaptation of such systems to change rather than keeping them in some “ideal” static state.
Degradation of natural resources, pollution and loss of biodiversity reduce the ability of ecological systems to self-heal.
Question 3. Principles of sustainable development of ecology.
Sustainable development is connected with the solution of three hierarchically interconnected problems. According to R. Kostanz and K. Folke, they boil down to maintaining:
1. The sustainable scale of the economy, which would be consistent with its ecological life support system;
2. Equitable distribution of resources and opportunities not only within the current generation of people, but also between current and future generations, as well as between humans and other biological species;
3. Efficient distribution of resources over time, which would adequately take into account natural capital.
The sustainable development of the planet’s civilization presupposes the existence of a single and specific system of values and attitudes, which states could be guided by when forming their national strategies.
In the declaration approved at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, 27 principles of sustainable development were formulated, which are a meaningful component of a new mechanism for global partnership, the conclusion of international agreements that ensure respect for the interests of all and protect the integrity global system of environmental protection and development. The most important principles are:
1. Ensuring the right of people to a healthy and fruitful life in harmony with nature;
2. Meeting the needs of present and future generations in the areas of development and the environment as an integral part of the right to development;
3. The inalienable sovereignty of states over their own natural resources, while respecting the principle of not causing damage to the environment beyond the limits of national jurisdiction;
4. Consideration of environmental issues with the participation of all interested citizens and ensuring that each person has access to information related to the environment, the wide provision of such information to the population;
5. Adoption of effective legislative acts in the field of environmental protection and national laws regarding liability for damage caused by environmentally harmful activities;
6. International environmental cooperation in the context of sustainable development aimed at: eradicating poverty;
7. Recognition of common duties and responsibilities in the field of environmental protection;
8. Building scientific capacity;
9. Creation of a favorable and open international economic system;
10. Counteracting or obstructing the movement and transfer of environmentally hazardous and harmful activities and substances.
These principles laid the foundation for providing the world community and individual states with sustainable development by legal and other means.