What is Ecocide? Causes, Effects, and Solutions

destruction of the ecosystem

INTRODUCTION

Anthropogenic activities are destroying the environment of the planet Earth.

Check out  Why Ecocide Should Be Made an International Crime?

ECOCIDE

This term is defined as the degradation and deterioration of the environment by humans to such an extent that its consequences are leading to biodiversity decline and health problems among humans.

This concept could be further elaborated as an introduction of invasive species at certain places to control pests. What happens next is the endemic species become extinct gradually.

EXAMPLES OF ECOCIDE

Few main examples of ecocide are mentioned below.

  • Agent Orange Vietnam
  • Bee Colony Collapse
  • Oil exploitation of Niger Delta
  • Fukushima’s Debris
  • Palm Oil Indonesia
  • Alberta Tar Sands

CAUSES OF ECOCIDE

The causes of ecocide include natural events as well but nowadays frequent natural disasters are happening due to human-induced climate change. Human actions or indirectly human greed for power and wealth has led to ecocide.

1. Fossil Fuel Exploitation: Almost every sector of the world somehow is dependent on fossil fuels. The fossil fuel reserves and capitalism are correlated to each other that cause ecocide.

2. Capitalism: It is often thought of as a key cause of ecocide. The private ownership regarding the production of livestock, commodities, etc by using global commons is a real threat to the ecosystem.

3. Industrialization: The spread of industries with the excuse of meeting the needs of the growing population has also led to ecocide. The second major industry contributing to environmental pollution is the fashion industry.

4. Grain Farming: Global grain farming is one of the causes of ecocide. Perennial crops are favored while annual crops can lessen the burden on natural reserves. The negative consequences of grain farming are visible such as the application of chemicals, pest and disease control, invasive species, etc.

5. Economic Stability: Natural reserves are being overly exploited for economic stability. The mining of precious metals is causing extreme damages to the environment.

6. Warfare Tactics: One of the causes of ecocide is warfare tactics. The expansion in nuclear weapons despite the fact that nuclear war is nothing but a disaster. The example of Agent Orange Vietnam war should never be forgotten.

EFFECTS OF ECOCIDE

Human actions have negative effects on every aspect of the ecosystem.  The effects of ecocide are numerous.

1. Climate Change: Fossil fuel combustion and industrialization have led to climate change. Human activities are responsible for releasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that cause a rise in the temperature of the Earth – global warming.

2. Biodiversity Decline: The incidents of wildfire due to human error, hunting, and poaching, illegal trade, climate change, the introduction of invasive species, all these factors are resulting in biodiversity decline.

3. Environmental Pollution: The discharge of chemicals from industries into water bodies, air, the soil is causing water pollution, air pollution, land pollution, etc. Plastic waste production is threatening marine life. Deforestation for agriculture, land use purpose is playing its role in environmental degradation too.

4. Depleting Natural Reserves: Overexploitation of natural reserves for industrial purposes, human population use, and economic growth has resulted in depletion.

5. Human Diseases: The new and dangerous diseases are present in the world again due to human activities. The ongoing example is coronavirus pandemic – wildlife-human interaction.

6. Frequent Natural Disasters: The ecocide by human actions has led to frequent events of natural disasters.

SOLUTIONS TO ECOCIDE

The possible solutions to ecocide are listed below.

1. International Crime: Ecocide should be legitimized as an international crime.

2. Annual Crop Production: To limit the deteriorating impacts of agricultural activities on the environment, annual crops should be produced.

3. Sustainable Practices: International organizations are setting sustainable approaches and trying to attain these goals to lessen the negative consequences of human activities.

4. Ban on Bioweapons: There should be a ban on the use of bioweapons. There are countries that still use bioweapons.

5. Zerowaste: It could be a possible solution to ecocide. Plastic waste is already killing aquatic life.

CONCLUSION

Ecocide should never be taken lightly. The current generation is experiencing the extreme events of climate change. It all makes sense that anthropogenic activities have destroyed the environment of the Earth and the process is still proceeding. Now the consequences are inevitable. The described solutions can mitigate but the damage is irreparable.

Also, check out What’s Green Gentrification? Its Causes and Negative Impacts

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