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Über dieses Buch

This book contains some of the papers which were presented at the NATO Science, Environmental Security, Advanced Research Workshop on "Implementing Ecological Integrity: Restoring Regional and Global Environmental and Human Health" held in Budapest from June 26 to July 1, 1999. All papers presented are summarized in the Introduction and, in some cases, shorter versions are published. A mUltidisciplinary core of American and Western European participants had met over the preceeding years to discuss the concept of ecological integrity. The term "ecological integrity" is found in environmental policy documents but, generally, is not defined. It competes with other recent terms, or environmental narratives, such as "ecosystem health" and "sustainable development" and also with older ones such as "conservation". Therefore, it is deemed important not only to sort out the definitions of these concepts but also to find out whether their practical implications differ. Moreover, it was interesting to find out whether participants from Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) and, more generally, from NATO partner countries would be, first, responsive to this concept and, second, would hold different views of it. This explains the broad, albeit not always consistent, range oftopics which are covered in this book. The core group learned that CEEC and other NATO partners participants were responsive to the concept but that they were less exclusive of human influence.





The impact of human beings on our planet has been so extended and amplified by technology that our presence as a species can no longer be considered part of natural evolutionary ecological processes. What is more, our impact on the planet fundamentally threatens our own environmental security (Colborn et al., 1996; Lubchenco, 1998; McMichael, 1995, Pimentel, 1996). Natural processes supporting the existence of various ecosystems and the diversity within and among ecosystems, which is a prerequisite for their resilience, are now at risk.
Philippe Crabbé, Lech Ryszkowski, Laura Westra

What is Global and Regional Integrity ?


Chapter 1. The Global Integrity Project and the Ethics of Integrity

Despite the bad press that generally followed the most recent occurrence of E1 Niño, on Nov. 1st, 1997 the Italian News Channel (RAI), and the U.S. Sunday Report, on Nov.2, showed a marvel engendered by El Niño: the flowering of the Chilean desert. It is important to note this example because it shows clearly why the insistence on largely unmanipulated (if not “intact”, “pristine”, or “virgin”) systems is so vital to the understanding of integrity and to life on Earth. A seemingly barren desert area in Chile, without a discernible complement of species in recent times, changed dramatically after El Niño. Because the latent biological processes specific to deserts were present there, the unusual rains brought in by El Niño, produced a wonderland of flowers and grasses, with all the accompanying complementary species of insects, such as bees, ants and butterflies, and an abundance of other species.
Laura Westra

Chapter 2. The Coming Change in the Environmental Protection Paradigm

Human beings have long regarded nature as a hostile power, as both an unpredictable and alien force. Securing food and shelter was an arduous and indeed often dangerous task. More recently, with the growth in human population and the emergence of powerful technologies, we have started to regard nature as a material resource to be exploited for substantial gains. Exploiting nature was the main goal of military conquest and of industrial and commercial development.
Lech Ryszkowski

Chapter 3. Approaches to Ecological Integrity: Divergence, Convergence and Implementation

Today citizens of the richer countries live longer and are better housed, fed, educated, travelled and informed, on average, than in any previous age. Moreover, globally there is some progress in several welfare measures, such as increasing life expectancies, decreasing infant mortality, and rising incomes. Yet even as our lives improve, the world deteriorates. In fact Sieswerda (dy1999), in a study designed to identify negative health impacts correlated with the loss of ecological integrity, found instead that “conversion of natural areas to human use was associated with improving health…” If the integrity of a landscape is identified with its natural biodiversity and functionality, then clearly these conversions mark a loss of ecological integrity. Such gross correlations between human progress and a deteriorating world pose the question: If our lives are improving, then why worry about ecological integrity?
Peter Miller

National Parks in Eastern Europe


Chapter 4. Ecosystem Integrity and its Implementation In Eastern Siberia

Integrity is a key characteristic of any ecosystem and determines its value to a considerable extent. Methodologically, we might declare conservation of ecosystem integrity, regardless of its level (global, regional, or local), as the most important strategic objective. In order to conserve the integrity of an ecosystem, we need to specify its level, size, and type. This problem does not have a universal solution. The choice depends on various natural peculiarities of the territory as well as on certain socio-economic variables. But in many cases it is reasonable to choose river watersheds or lake basins as “political and ecological areas” (Cherkashin, 1996).
Irina Glazyrina, Tatyana Strizhova

Chapter 5. The Regional Scope of Implementing Global Ecological Integrity: The Šumava Mountains

The Czech Republic, a relatively small country of Central Europe, has few wilderness areas. Its landscape is deeply marked by human activity. The effect of human activity can be traced back to the medieval period, no less than one thousand years ago (Smetánka, 1992). Since this period there have been many changes in the structure and function of the Czech landscape, but these changes have not threatened the main characteristic of the Czech landscape—the heterogeneity of the ecosystem in a comparatively small land area (78,894 km2). Ecological heterogeneity has traditionally been connected with cultural heterogeneity (Lapka, 1994).
Eva Cudlínová, M. Lapka, J. Boháč

Chapter 6. Natural Transborder Parks: The Direction of Biodiversity Preservation in Romania

The Iron Gates Natural Park is situated in southwestern Romania, along the Danube river, and covers an area of 115,655.85 ha (according to the draft bill of the Conservation Law by the Commission for Nature Conservation of the Romanian Parliament).
Maria Pătroescu, Laurenţiu Rozyłowicz

Chapter 7. State Parks — as a Model of Nature and Culture Protection and Sustainable Development

The aim of the system of protected areas in Lithuania is to preserve not only our natural but also our cultural heritage. The system aims to protect the ecological balance, to preserve biological diversity and the genetic fund, to guarantee the restoration of natural resources, to finance research work on tourism, and to monitor the state of the environment. Lithuania’s system of protected areas consists of:
Conservation areas created to protect the unique characteristics of the natural and cultural landscape, containing strictly regulated nature reserves, managed reserves and protected landscape objects (monuments).
Preservation areas created to protect against the harmful effects of human activity on our natural and cultural heritage. All kinds of protected zones (protected conservation zones, integrated protected areas, protected landscape objects, surface-water bodies, watering places, karst regions, and so on) are included in this category.
Natural resource restoration areas created for the restoration, increase, and protection of natural resources. Protected natural resource plots (timber lots, berry and mushroom habitats, herb habitats, and animal biotypes) are included in this category.
Integrated areas created to allow a combination of conservation and preservation with recreation and human activity (agriculture, forestry, etc.), managed under a general protection and use program. Parks, both national and regional, as well as biosphere
monitoring territories (biosphere reserves and biosphere polygons), are included in this category.
Rima Kitovienė

How do We Measure Ecological Integrity?


Chapter 8. Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ecological Integrity: Insights from an Ecosystem Approach

A new understanding of complex systems, and in particular ecosystems, is emerging (Kay, 1984, 1997; Holling, 1986; Kay et al., 1994, 1999). The hierarchical nature of these systems requires that they be studied from different types of perspectives and at different scales of examination. There is no correct perspective. Rather a diversity of perspectives is required for understanding. Ecosystems are self-organizing. This means that their dynamics are largely a function of positive and negative feedback loops. This precludes that linear causal mechanical explanations of ecosystem dynamics will suffice. In addition emergence and surprise are normal phenomena in systems dominated by feedback loops. Inherent uncertainty and limited predictability are inescapable consequences of these system phenomena. Such systems organize about attractors. Even when the environmental situation changes, the system’s feedback loops tend to maintain its current state. However, when ecosystem change does occur, it can be very rapid and even catastrophic. When precisely the change will occur, and what state the system will change to, are often not predictable. Often, in a given situation, there are several possible ecological states (attractors), that are equivalent. Which state the ecosystem currently occupies is a function of its history. There is not a “correct” preferred state for the ecosystem. This enhanced understanding of ecosystems, as complex systems, forms the backdrop for elaboration, in this paper, of the concept of ecological integrity.
James J. Kay, Henry A. Regier

Chapter 9. Ecological Functions and Integrity: Approaches to Valuation

Within the context of understanding how we measure ecological integrity, and its relationship to regional and national economies, this paper has the following three objectives: (1) To introduce the concept of functional integrity in ecosystems and its means of measurement; (2) To begin quantitative analysis of the effects of anthropogenic activities on ecosystem function and integrity in comparison to variability induced by natural disturbances; and (3) To explore the relationship between regional or national loss of integrity and the corresponding changes in economic welfare measures.
Orie L. Loucks

Chapter 10. Rare Species Indicate Ecological Integrity: An Example of an Urban Nature Reserve Island

Ecological integrity is a complex notion referring to the quality of an ecological system. Wild ecosystems are considered to possess complete ecological integrity. Undisturbed by humans, such ecosystems follow their natural path of succession and evolution. If perturbed, they have a high capacity to return to this path (Westra & Lemons, 1995).
Ferenc Samu, Csaba Szinetár

Chapter 11. Systems Modeling of Brazilian Sustainability with Emergy Flows Diagrams

Rapid and uncontrolled population growth, low average income per capita, industrial development dependent on external market, and extensive degradation of natural resources— this is Brazil in the end of the 20th century. The country, known to be the “lungs” of the planet, is loosing its Amazonian tropical forests at an extremely high rate, up to almost 30.000 square km per year as in 1994/19952. Deforestation, and erosion of agricultural lands become a danger already for the living generation. From another side, very heterogeneous income distribution, prevailing of young people in the age structure of Brazilian population, and low educational level of more than 50% of them, are respectively the factors of escalating severe socio-economic problems.
Paul Safonov, Vito Comar, Enrique Ortega

Chapter 12. Ecological Functions and Socioeconomic Values of Critical Natural Capital as a Measure for Ecological Integrity and Environmental Health

To implement ecological integrity and restore environmental and human health, the concept of “sustainable development” is an important guiding principle. One of the first, but not much cited, references to the concept of “sustainable development” is the one given by IUCN, UNEP & WWF (dy1980) in their World Conservation Strategy: “the management of human use of the biosphere so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefit to present generations while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of future generations”. Since then, many other definitions have been given, for example by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987, and at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. Unfortunately, most definitions did not explicitly mention the need to conserve the natural resource base. In its follow-up document to the World Conservation Strategy, Caring for the Earth, IUCN therefore expanded the concept to: “improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems” (IUCN, UNEP, WWF, 1991). An even more precise definition was given recently by Hueting and Reijnders (1998) who defined sustainability as “the use of the vital functions (possible uses) of our biophysical surroundings in such a way that they remain indefinitely available”.
Rudolf de Groot, Johan van der Perk, Anna Chiesura, Sophie Marguliew

Human Health and Integrity


Chapter 13. Strategies for Assessing the Health Impacts of Global Environmental Change

The meaning of the word “environment” is rather elastic. Today, there is an emerging recognition that we must differentiate two qualitatively distinct sources of environmental influence upon human health. One of these two domains is very familiar: there is a range of local physico-chemical and microbiological agents in the environment that are a source of direct-acting health hazard. These direct impacts arise via injury, toxicity, nutritional deficiency or infection. Less familiar, yet more fundamentally important, is the set of ecological and geophysical systems and processes that provide nature’s “goods and services”. These include climatic quasi-constancy, food yields, the supply of clean freshwater, and the healthy functioning of natural ecosystems. These are the foundational systems of the biosphere, and their disruption or depletion can affect health in ways that tend to be less direct, and sometimes less immediate, than the effects of specific “traditional” hazards.
Anthony J. McMichael, R. S. Kovats

Chapter 14. Environmental & Human Health Aspects of Burning Arsenic Reach Coal Ecology Restoring Issues

The following story illustrates a complex ecological approach to solving problems with both environmental and social dimensions. The Russian Czar used to get rid of his rebellious officers by ordering them to duty in the Black Sea region in the foothills of the Caucasus. Thanks to its marshland character, this area was known for its high incidence of malaria. It was merely a question of time before the officers contracted this disease, which remains dangerous today.
Vladimír Bencko

Chapter 15. The Problem-Solving Approach in a Community- Lead Pollution Chronic Exposure Situation

Since 1989, one of the most frequently debated public health issues in Romania is that of environmental risks. Lead pollution remains one of the most serious health risks for communities and for industrial workers. In fact, lead pollution has ceased to be just a local or national public health problem. It has become a health problem of global dimensions.
Ian S. Bocsan, Mariana Vlad, A. Sinca

Chapter 16. Mothers and Mother Nature: Attachment, Detachment and Human Ecological Integrity

Ecological integrity requires sustainable technology and social integrity. Social integrity requires psychological integrity. This in turn requires the integrity of the mother-child relationship, the integrity of attachment. Technocratic birth and early separation from the mother may distort attachment that is basic to social behaviour, to the shaping of the so-called Internal Working Model (IWM) (Bowlby, 1973).
Imre Lázár

Chapter 17. A Decisional System for the Ethical Evaluation of Animal Experiments

Animals experimentation has been an important research tool for more than 100 years (Fuchs, 1995). Most animal experiments are performed in medical, biological, veterinary and agricultural science. The vast majority of animals are used for medical research and safety testing.
Vitalja Šimkevičiene, Saulè Ulickienè

How do We Implement Integrity?


Chapter 18. The Use of Existing Legal Tools to Protect Ecological Integrity

The Integrity Project has examined the concept of ecological integrity as a first step in operationalizing it for practical use. It is not enough, however, to simply operational ize the concept to protect ecological integrity. To achieve the goals of the global ecological integrity discussed in the Integrity Project, additional programs, legislation, and finances will be necessary. Yet, once the concept of integrity is operational ized, it could be applied in some existing programs.
Donald A. Brown

Chapter 19. A Behavioural Approach to Understand the Distinctive Influence of Environmental Instruments on Ecological Integrity

“Ecological integrity should be defined as an ecosystem’s undiminished ability to continue its natural path of evolution, its normal transition over time, and to recover successionally from perturbation” (Westra et al., 1998). Following that definition, the members of the Integrity Project initiated in 1992 by Laura Westra concluded that: The concept of ecological integrity should be understood to be a species of an “ecosystem, approach” to understand humanenvironment interactions with an added normative element. That is, the concept of ecological integrity entails protection of ecosystems at a level that would preserve the integrity of the ecosystem. By contrast, the concept of “ecosystem approach” is understood to require analysis of human induced impacts on entire ecosystems but does not specify what level of protection should be achieved through policy implementation. Governments could, for instance, adopt an ecosystem approach to assure that water quality meets drinking water standards. Yet managing a water-shed to meet drinking water standards would not necessarily prevent channelization of a river, a dramatic modification to the ecosystem that could severely degrade benthic biota. By contrast, the concept of ecological integrity should be understood to entail an ecosystem approach that targets protecting or restoring the integrity of an ecosystem as its goal. (Brown et al., 2000)
Caroline Gallez

Chapter 20. The Water Conflict in the Middle East: A Test Case for International Intervention

The connection between water resources, the environment, and the danger of ecological collapse due to lack of water is well known in the Middle East (Allan and Mallat, 1995, 4-5). Such a danger also exists in other dry areas of the world. However, I shall argue in this paper that the current water shortage in the Middle East is distinctive since the traditional means for coping with such a situation—preserving the integrity of water resources and life systems—are no longer adequate. In order to maintain the integrity of natural resources, minimal conditions must exist that make such preservation possible; such conditions no longer exist in the Middle East.
Shyli Karin-Frank

Chapter 21. Instruments for Management in Integral Environment Policy

Industrial development has been marked by several environmental crises. Each of the latter coincided with a new expansion of resources consumption from outside the industry where growth was initiated. This type of growth required an increasing interaction between natural environment and resources consumption (Kresacthenko, 1991). In general we believe that the creation of a new environmental situation through industrial production means the following:
  • •People’s dependence for goods and services moves from nature to society;
  • • conflict areas are moved by national economies from the overlapping system space “nature-society” inside the system “individual-society”.
Igor Malakhov

Chapter 22. Design of Sustainable Development Strategy for a Region

The real impact of a given policy for sustainability very much depends on the local conditions under which it is to be be implemented, and appropriate modelling is required to account for these local conditions.
Vladimir Gurman, Elena Ryumina

Chapter 23. Global Bioethics: A Suggested Distinction Between Ethic and Morality

Religious ethics, medical ethics, political ethics, environmental ethics, business ethics, bioethics: a never-ending sequel of terms that began in 1892, when Felix Adler (1851-1933), questioning Christian and Jewish control of moral dogmas, established the Society for Ethical Culture in New York.
Brunetto Chiarelli

Chapter 24. The Conception of Natural Goods in Economics

The integrative conception of nature developed by Westra (dy1994) can be expressed in positive terms, and most studies in this book tend to express it in some such way. We can argue for this integrative conception indirectly as well, by underscoring the weaknesses of its rival. Its rival is one of the most influential ways of thinking about nature in economics, the Cartesian conception of nature. It is this concept of nature that I should like to examine here. According to numerous ecophilosophers, Descartes—or the general Cartesian picture of nature—is responsible for the present environmental crisis (Grey 1991). The Cartesian conception encourages economic participants to use natural assets without limitation, and it prevents an understanding of the essence of environmental degradation and precludes the search for adequate environmental solutions. Therefore, the statement and critique of such a conception is absolutely necessary to formulating any alternative conception of nature (Drengson, 1989).
János I. Tóth

Implementing Ecological Integrity in Agriculture and the City


Chapter 25. Agriculture, Food, Populations, Natural Resources and Ecological Integrity

Currently, global food shortages are critical, with more than 2 billion humans malnourished worldwide—the largest number ever (FAO, 1992a, b; Nesheim, 1993; McMichael, 1993; Maberly, 1994; Bouis, 1995; WHO, 1996). Increasing human populations, especially in urban areas, and increasing food, water, air, and soil pollution by pathogenic organisms and chemicals, are causing a rapid increase in the prevalence of disease and number of human deaths (WHO, 1992, 1995; Murray and Lopez, 1996; Pimentel et al., 1998b). An estimated 40,000 children die each day due to malnutrition and other diseases (WHO, 1992).
David Pimentel, Clive A. Edwards

Chapter 26. A Human Ecological Assessment of Economic and Population Health

This paper starts from the premise that the current sustainability dilemma is at least partly rooted in gross popular ignorance of basic human ecology. Indeed, it is a deep irony of the human-induced environmental crisis that people have a dismally ill-developed understanding of themselves as ecological beings. The Cartesian dualism that underpins western scientific culture has created a wide psychological barrier between humans and the rest of nature, a barrier that prevents people from fully understanding their biophysical selves. The problem for both ecological integrity and economic sustainability is, that “no amount of ethical axiology, or legal, policy, and technological engineering, is going to solve problems that are misunderstood” (Drengson, 1989).
William E. Rees

Chapter 27. Discourse of A “New Alliance” Between Neo-Classical Environmental Economics and other Environmental Narratives

How do we implement the Principle of Ecological Integrity (Westra, 1994)? Does the latter only require the setting up of ghettos of protected Natural Areas as if the world were to become some kind of zoo in which what is left of Nature is to be set behind bars while mankind, as its custodian, is left outside looking in? In the affirmative, is there anything left to be done outside the cages besides enforcing the no-trespassing signs? More than half the population of the world lives in cities and the trend in urbanization is increasing. Can and should this trend be reversed? Is ecological integrity relevant at all to an urbanized world?
Philippe Crabbé



Although we cannot predict the future, we know that it will have to conform to the laws of nature and of dynamic systems, to the restrictions of a small planet, to the constraints of ecological systems and the availability of resources, and to the peculiarities of human individuals and human society. This constrains future development to certain riverbed—not everything is possible, and many paths that seem possible at first sight turn out to be inconsistent and impossible if their whole-system implications are considered. (H. Bossel, Earth at a Crossroads, Cambridge University Press 1998)
Philippe Crabbé, Lech Ryszkowski, Laura Westra


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