Geography | Sustainable Systems | Assignment


Added on  2022-09-22

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Sustainable Systems
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Geography | Sustainable Systems | Assignment_1

Question 1.
This question requires a discussion of environmental issues facing the future generation of
Australia, and how any 3 of the raised issues are being tackled presently. (excluding depletion of
ozone layer and climate changes).
Besides depletion of ozone layer and climate change, Australia is experiencing a myriad of
challenges that are likely to affect its future generation. These are environmental issues including
fresh water conflicts, Biodiversity loss due to over-extraction of resources like fisheries, forestry,
mining, oil and gas industries, pollution of lakes, pollution by uranium waste from mines (Asia
Energy Corporation, 2006). Also, high levels of acidic soils since no renewal of soil strata as
there are no volcanic activities.
Environmental problems dues to rapid growth in the mining sector.
Australia is one of the richest countries in terms of mineral resources, producing significant
amounts of uranium, copper and coal in the world market. This extraction of mineral resources in
the mining sector presents a number of environmental challenges that would spin overtime and
its effects not only felt now, but also with the future generation.
There are political policies that are predominantly dominated by expansion of liquified natural
gas, coal and CSG mining. The government continues supporting these mining activities by
provision of port infrastructure even though there are serious concerns about the social and
environmental impacts associated with such activities. Some of these coal mining projects are
situated near populated urban areas and agricultural farms, resulting into conflicting interests by
the environmentalists.
These mining activities have considerable effects to the quality and quantity of underground
water resources. During purification of coal, the waste may also be released to nearby rivers
polluting water bodies and causes clogging, causing depletion of oxygen. This kills aquatic life
and results into disturbance of the marine ecology. Similarly, the use of coal and related products
are responsible for emission of greenhouse gasses normally causing a chain of environmental
issues, and its effects can be felt many generations later.
Geography | Sustainable Systems | Assignment_2

Exploration of other mineral resources like uranium may have far reaching consequences to the
current and future generation. Pits left after extraction of uranium may expose the nearby
communities to such toxic levels to extent of causing genetic problems which will be passed on
to the future generation. It is therefore clear that exploitation of mineral resources especially coal
and uranium in Australia presents a number of social and environmental problems that will affect
the future generation if no adequate measures are put in place to address them.
Conflict in the marine fisheries
The Australian fishery products are supplied to both the domestic and international markets.
Over the past years, there is a notable reduction in the stock of seafood as a result of
overexploitation, creating concerns on the ecological sustainability of global fisheries. Some
harvesting practices cause a destruction of marine habitats and even extraction of untargeted
species, setting imbalance in the marine ecology. With these issues largely remaining
unaddressed, a destruction of the marine environment remains a potential issue that could
adversely affect the future generation.
Loss of biodiversity
This results from human beings engaging in activities like over-hunting causing a depletion in
the hunted species. The common fire regimes in Australia has caused significant loses in the
number of species as well as vegetation which may not be replenished in decades to come. With
the increase in population, there is more demand for food and shelter causing humans to invade
the reserved areas. This disruption in the natural ecological systems cause migration of animal
species while some are hunted and reduce in number. The destruction of natural ecosystem
consequently holds grim hopes for the future generation.
How the government is addressing these environmental issues in Australia
Amidst all these environmental challenges, the Australian government is working around the
clock to ensure that there are policies implemented to mitigate the effects of the above issues on
the environment for the benefit of the current and future generations (Alistair J. Hobday and
Jan McDonald, 2014). Since some of the environmental problems are of global concerns, a
concerted effort with both regional nations and international organizations is necessary for
successful implementation of the proposed policies.
Geography | Sustainable Systems | Assignment_3

A number of international agreements have been signed and implemented to protect against
destruction of the environment, for instance, the Commonwealth Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Policies around acquisition and reservation of public land is a controversial issue that the
government is overseeing as a measure of protecting farmers and land ownership from the
interested developers. This is aimed at ensuring that land use does not result into negative
environmental impacts. Similarly, there has also been policies on water law reforms.
Finally, the Australian government has always been on the forefront of efforts to reduce the
effects on protected species and habitats, subjecting fisheries to stringent control measures. The
Fisheries Management Act 1991(111) undertakes strategic environment assessment so as to
examine the impact of fishery activities to the ecosystem.
Question 2.
The question requires a description of the impacts of COVID-19 to the environment (water and
The outbreak of covid-19 has resulted into a number of changes in the natural environment.
Within weeks of its declaration as a global pandemic, factories were shut down following
lockdowns in various countries. Planes were equally grounded as travels were restricted with
some countries having total lockdowns with no planes in and out of the country. With this
reduction in travels and industrial processes, there has been a significant reduction in the
emissions of greenhouse gases.
A notable observation is made in the air quality with tremendous improvements due to the fewer
planes and vehicles on the road. In an ongoing project collecting data for assessing the impacts
of covid-19 to the environment, (Noui, 2020) postulates that air pollution in China and Italy
have dropped drastically, benefiting individuals with respiratory conditions as they can now
breath clean air.
Geography | Sustainable Systems | Assignment_4

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