GEOG 302 Lecture Notes - Lecture 7: Kibera, Human Ecology, Sustainable Development

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23 Jul 2016
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- Other humans are also part of our ‘environment’ and their viability (capacity for growth) influences
our viability through social and physical links
- Managing the envr means managing the ecosystem, with its social and cultural components- the
socioecosystem
- Education/employment/political stability/governance are parts of the socioecosystem just as much
as water and air are
- We in Montreal are part of a socioecosystem in Kibera through commerce and trade/culture and
education, global governance (historical legacy, current aid), churches/NGOs/UN agencies, etc
- The challenge of urban informal settlements (slums) is huge and growing. The challenge is complex-
creativity, adaptation, commitment, are all needed.
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What is sustainable development?
Sustainable development is not static; it is a matter of human ecology.
o Ecological systems: biodiversity loss and system collapse
o Climate systems: reduced productivity, more extreme events
o Health systems: pandemics
o Cultural and social systems: our ecological niches are defined by cultural systems like
shelter, stability, predictability, violence/war. Different cultural communities share one
world.
o Economic systems/trade: also a part of human ecology- trade diversifies ecological niches
(trade being physical or a service)
Organisms influence the environment
- Ameliorative (make better): we make it better for our own use only
- Damaging: hurt other species (clearcut forests to plant corps), our own species (overgrazing cattle),
or self (pollution)
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