Paul Andreas Fischer
Professor Katlyn Morris
International Environmentalism: CBD to Marine Expansion
Sustainability efforts today are not only being led by scientists, but also by storytellers. There is still a place for scientific progress in the field, and books written by academics such as E. O. Wilson do lend both a level of credence and outreach not just to communities in America, but also in more severely impacted areas, but perhaps because of the dominance of scientific evidence the field has experienced the largest period of growth in human history. There are a few critical techniques which develop an effective agency or community in preserving the natural resources which have been made available to a government or people.
The late 1980s saw the rise of businesses compliant with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and represented an attempt by the private sector to outgrow the problems such as health consequences and ecological destruction which were being and continue to be experienced (Morris et al., 9). By protecting national rights to contaminate areas with pollutants, the CBD proved too narrow in its approach. This signified a significant improvement to early environmental efforts which relied heavily on governmental agencies to achieve specific goals such as the creation of an endangered species list and promotion of the framework for global co-operation on matters of natural concern.
None of this was lost in importance, however, and each provided important precedence for the international explosion of preserved natural resources. Beginning during the Presidencies of George Bush and Bill Clinton, the definition of protected areas was expanded to include significant amounts of marine territories. For the first time, the actions of those who hoped to conserve the environment began to match the expansion of industrial concerns.
Technically existent since 1958, with the Law of the Sea (Board OSNRC, 146), current news has seen the establishment of record marine preserves established under George W. Bush and Barack Obama in the United States. American efforts have led internationally, but a resolution in 1994 by the UN created a legal obligation for the creation of such reserves, an extremely effective measure (149). That legislation represented a trend of growth which has continued unchecked and which saw the size of marine reserves increase by ten-fold from 1970 to the date of signature.
Board, Ocean Studies, and National Research Council. Marine Protected Areas: Tools for Sustaining Ocean Ecosystem. National Academies Press, 2001.
Morris, Katlyn, Nelson, Ingrid, Mendez, Ernesto, Ali, Saleem. (2015). International Environmental Studies (1st). USA: Cognella.