Human beings depend on the ecosystem to survive. Plants, animals and humans
interact with one another in the environment. Misuse and overuse of earth's
resources can cause negative effect on the ecosystem.
There are many human
activities that can and have caused negative effects on the ecosystem.
In the first instance, there is the deforestation or clearing of natural
forests. In the name of development, land is cleared for construction projects,
mining, timber production, building of dams and draining of wetlands
Such activities result in flash floods, landslides and soil erosion. Wild
animals are robbed of their natural habitats. With less trees, there is an
increase in carbon dioxide but a decrease in oxygen production.
Man's need for food keeps on escalating. In the second instance, farmers use
excess chemical fertilisers: nitrate, phosphate, herbicides and pesticides.
What follows next is the excess fertilisers are washed into lakes and rivers,
thus stimulating algae growth. At the same
time, the water quality in these waters is affected and fish die. Overuse of
herbicides and pesticides produce toxic that affects the food chain which
filters into agro-based food products, ending up in the human body.
In the third instance, man's switch from agricultural to industrial based
economic activities, from horse drawn carriages to motor vehicles, and open
burning have produced various air pollutants.
In the air there is invisible carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, oxides of
hydrogen, carbon particles, lead and carbon monoxide. We get smog (eg. the
yearly haze) and acid rain. Then we experience heat because of the greenhouse
effect and ozone depletion.
In the final instance, man dumps domestic and industrial waste. In addition,
we have an improper and inadequate sewage system.
The ecosystem (the air and the waters) is endangered with chemical-polluted
waters or micro-organisms that are dangerous to health as well as
emitting foul and
What can we do to ensure a balanced ecosystem ? Concerted effort is needed to
develop and manage a viable system to protect the ecosystem.
First, there should be enforcement of environmental laws. Implementation of
laws to control pollution eg. Environmental Quality Acts 1974 (water quality)
and1989 (waste treatment) should be strictly enforced, without fear or favor.
Second, there should be the preservation and conservation of the forest.
Where deforestation has taken place, it should be followed by reforestation. In
areas where land has been laid bare, there should be preservation of soil
through the use of good farming techniques.
Third, further to agricultural policies, there should be biological pest
Next, every citizen, from the young to the old, should be educated on the
benefits and ways of recycling, reusing, reducing and renewing in and of the
Last, but not least, technology has to be stringently and systematically
applied to the ecosystem. There should be catalytic converters to clean up the
gases released. There should be more people using unleaded petrol and even
better, biofuel. There should be more sewage treatment plants.
In conclusion, knowing about the abuses of the ecosystem while implementing
steps to ensure a balanced ecosystem is not enough. What is more urgent is for
constant co-operation plus action by all Earth's residents.