Our world architect exhibits a design that results to an element of interdependency between human beings and environment. In other words, we live in one world with a complex life support system. Thus, the biosphere supports many life forms and many species in an ecosystem. In many cases ecosystems are faced with danger to be destroyed and their entire content. In reaction, legislative efforts of preservation have always been faced with various ethical challenges which are in conflict with various social groups.
Confronted with this situation, the outstanding questions remain to be: do we protect the biosphere at all costs? Should we disallow traditional practices that relates to fishing, pollution or cultivation in the name of environmental protection? Should the management and conservation of our ecosystem be dictated by international goals to protect the biological diversity, biosphere and global climates? Should conservation policies be informed by the international professional bodies such as ecologists?
(Robert, Jose, 2007) These are some of the many ethical questions that face native ecosystems conservation efforts in present world when there is climatic, human inversion and overexploitation of natural species threats. Therefore it is a daunting challenge to conservationists of the beautiful sceneries and source of our scientific discoveries. Galapagos Island remains to be one of the major Ecuadorian national heritages estimated to have a Marine Reserve that covers 133,000 square kilometers (Amanda and Durham, 2008).
The amazing side of Galapagos regards the presence of numerous species of reptiles, birds, and mammals that inhabit the terrestrial areas of the Archipelago that depend directly on the sea for their survival. Additionally, there are over 57 species of birds that live in the Galapagos Island of which more than 30 of them depend on the ocean to obtain food. At the same time, Galapagos remains to be second world largest sanctuary for threatened whales and turtle’s species (Amanda and Durham, 2008, p. 173).
Currently, there are various threats to this sanctuary and marine reserve as a result of overfishing of turtle and shark species, illegal poaching due to high demand for local products such as sea cucumbers and shark fins, oil spill and eco-tourism interference, and other inorganic substances such as boat paint and substances dropped by visitors to the island. As a result, there is increasing need to protect the biodiversity considered to be the world second largest that scientists estimate that retained an amazing nearly 95% of their initial biodiversity.
Conservation issues There are various issues which usually arise in most cases that relate to conservation efforts. According to Amanda and Durham, (2008) states that the source of these issues which most of them are ethical ones is because humans share the biosphere with many other species; and human beings are the dominant member of the global biotic community. As a consequence, the status of humans raises ethical questions about our right to alter the biosphere in ways that harms the life support systems of the other species.
However, the focus of conserving Galapagos Island remains on the effect of visitors or tourists and the native fishermen and poachers. Ecotourism There is no doubt that ecotourism has brought huge benefits to the Ecuadorian government evident by the flocking of the 60,000 tourists with their dollars annually to the island (Robert, Jose, 2007, p. 364). Despite this great economic benefit to Ecuador that also remains the only practical way of supporting the Galapagos National Park, there are various unwanted and harmful products and by-products from the tourists if not operated responsibly.
Some of these harmful products and by-products are introduction of plants and animals from the mainland, oil spills, contamination from boat paint and engines, drain on the fresh water supply and overused sites (Amanda and Durham, 2008). As a matter of fact, legislation is necessary to protect and ensure tourists be responsible for their actions and contribute to the conservation efforts. The rule enacted regarding food and live substances transfer is vital control tool that shall safeguard the species from harmful materials and eliminate competition from other plants and animals.
Through this protection the Galapagos Island shall be protected from these foreign factors. On the other side, the tourists should be given a chance to carry their own food if they so wish to facilitate their pleasure, gratification and entertainment; but there should be a parameter that measure and determine the level of harm to the ecosystem of either living organisms or the food substances carried. Since other substances may be necessary to add value to the heritage rather than bear destructive domain. Moreover, it should be noted that humans have ethical responsibilities with regards to the biosphere.
While at the same time individuals have ethical responsibilities to sustain the life support systems of other individuals and the communities they live in. But the central part, Ecuadorian government has ethical responsibilities not to damage the Galapagos heritage and thereby reduce the life support system of its countries and the attached scientific and economic gains. Therefore, the government should adopt restrictive mechanisms in relation to excess tourists in order to control the damage caused by large numbers, as it is easier to monitor and control small load of visitors than many.
Thus, this shall keep tourism at sustainable levels by adopting policies that limit the number of tourists, restriction on the type of tourism development, and at the same time it shall facilitate close monitoring of tourist impacts. Over fishing Overfishing is a major problem since many fishermen do not allow the government to monitor their catch; hence they end up catching more than 80 metric tons (Amanda and Durham, 2008). Unfortunately, this over-fishing by locals by excessive catching of the Sea cucumbers and lobsters and illegal industrial fishing that comes in search of rich catches like sharks solely for their fins.
This threatens to undermine the marine ecosystem that has exceeded the limits recommended by specialists’ remains to be a major threat. Yet it remains a booming source of income to the locals who have no sufficient land to continue with other economic activities and the poachers. For the Galapagos Marine Reserve fishermen requires to be monitored, discourage loglining fishing and be regulated on their quantity of catch, while at the same time the illegal fishing industry should be barred on the strength of international law enforced by the UN (Robert, Jose, 2007).
However, the alternative remains limited to the local fishermen rather than venture into service industries and commercial sectors and the government should create more opportunities. In conclusion, there are various conservation ethical issues that surround and tend to hamper conservation efforts. These issues however should not deter global efforts that need to be directed towards conservation of the Galapagos and other world’s remnants of ecosystem heritage.
It’s a point of worth to note that the conservation efforts are not only directed to Galapagos, but also in other parts of the world like southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada where land degradation and resources depletion are threat. Another region is island of Surtsey and New Zealand; both adhere to restrictions to curb environmental damage. References Amanda, W. H. & Durham, (2008), Ecotourism and Conservation in the Americas: Boston, CABI. Robert, J. W. & Jose, F. (2007), Island Biogeography: Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation: Oxford, Oxford University Press.