Ecology and Society - Assignment Example

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Swallow, Beria Leimona, Thomas Yatich, and Sandra J. Velarde. In the context of global warming and climate change issues, wide varieties…
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Add (Add (Add Information) (Add Ecology and Society: Article Review “The conditions for functional mechanisms of compensation and reward for environmental services” is a research article written by Brent M. Swallow, Beria Leimona, Thomas Yatich, and Sandra J. Velarde. In the context of global warming and climate change issues, wide varieties of environmental protection mechanisms are being developed periodically. However, there is no commonly accepted mechanism for managing natural resources in a better way and thereby promoting long term sustainability of the environment. Throughout the article, the authors try to identify the best mechanism for ensuring environmental sustainability. For this, they mainly evaluate the mechanisms of compensation and reward for environmental services (CRES) very closely. In this article, the authors debate whether or not the CRES mechanisms will more effectively contribute to environmental sustainability when compared to conventional mechanisms.
While deeply analyzing the article, it seems that the authors greatly support CRES mechanisms in order to promote environmental sustainability. The writers hold the view that financial incentives are the best way to motivate people as this method adds value to the quality of people’s daily life. Compensations and rewards would not only greatly influence people but also significantly contribute to better human-environment interactions. The conventional institutional arrangements developed to manage ecosystems include ‘individual behaviour regulations, preservation of particular resources or ecosystems, and enhancement of collective investment in infrastructure’ (United Nations). However, the article writers indicate that those conventional mechanisms often fail to accomplish desired outcomes. They present CRES mechanisms as a better alternative to conventional environmental sustainability practices. Referring to the findings of Swallow, some writers argue that CRES addresses “voluntary and traditional agreements that are negotiated among ecosystem stewards, beneficiaries of environmental services, and intermediaries” (Swallow, Leimona, Yatich and Valerde). Whereas the traditional techniques give emphasis to regulative policies, the CRES mechanisms positively influence people to regulate their actions themselves.
In order to identify the conditions under which CRES mechanisms are more likely to be effective and functional, the authors apply theories of institutional change and policy diffusion (deductive approach). In addition, they also analyze a number of case studies as part of the inductive approach to evaluate the functionality of CRES mechanisms. On the basis of the deductive approach, the case writers have formed eight hypotheses. These hypotheses indicate the view that the demand for environment services are increasing day by day in the context of ‘population growth, demographic shifts, and/or degradation of ecosystems’ (2). The authors strongly argue that this condition would in turn contribute to new demand for CRES institutions. The functionality of CRES mechanisms will depend on the culture of the society to a great extent. In order to justify their views, the researchers illustrate the CRES strategy used for the watershed conservation and restoration in Heredia municipality of Costa Rica. They also discuss the same strategy used in regions like Philippines, Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa to preserve natural resources and enhance environmental sustainability. As Swallow et al. conclude, scarcity of environmental services, influence of international organizations, favorable government policies and public attitudes, and protection of individual and group property rights are important elements determining the functionality of CRES mechanisms (2-5).
Works Cited
Swallow, Brent M., Beria Leimona, Thomas Yatich, and Sandra J. Valerde. “The conditions for functional mechanisms of compensation and reward for environmental services.” Ecology and Society 15.4 (2010).
United Nations: Sustainable Development. “United Nations conference on environment & development. (1992): 1-352. Web. 18 August 2012. Read More
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