Diversity Protection

Protecting our key pillars: Biospheric services / Biodiversity / Cultural diversity

Orientation: Security – how ecologically and socially conscious is the sourcing of the raw materials?

Context statement: In the broadest thinking terms, life on our planet  relies on the interlocking of three key pillars: healthy Biospheric services, the biodiversity of life and the vital cultural diversity of humans.

Guiding Question: To what extent does the sourcing (cultivation and extraction) of the raw materials necessary to produce a product (or facilitate a service) enhance the diversity of life, that is, aids the greater biospheric services of the planet, the localised eco systems (species and habitat protection) and preserves the associated knowledge, customs and prosperity of the indigenous cultures of the territory? 


1. Biospheric services 

To what degree is the sourcing of raw materials relevant to the product or service benign, degrading or enhancing to:

- Primary production (photosynthesis) of  food webs.

- Oxygen production, climate maintenance and atmospheric quality and regulation.

- The global hydrological system; land surface coverage / regulation, purification.

- Pollination.

- Biological control of pests and diseases.

- Pollutant absorption and waste recycling.

- Nutrient cycling, regeneration and maintenance of soils.

- Raw materials production (lumber, fodder, biomass, fuel).

Orientation: Water is becoming increasingly scarce in parts of the world creating desertification and islandisation in some areas. Certain crops use large amounts of water compared to others. Grazing live stock is using otherwise valuable, plantable land (along with large volumes of water) in order to supply the demands of Western diets. The extensive use of fossil fuels interferes with the natural waste sinks and cleansing capacities of the Biosphere and the subsequent plastic by-products has resulted in the ubiquitous presence of non-biological plastic particles throughout our land and seas.


2. Biodiversity

To what degree is the sourcing of raw materials relevant to the product or service benign, degrading , or enhancing in regards to:

- The diversity of other species in the area

- The protection of keystone species

- Global protection of species and their habitat to prevent extinction.

- Migration routes of species

- Enabling balanced eco-systems native to the area

- The preservation of terrain vital to stabilising weather patterns, protecting against storms and cyclone, tsunami and erosion

Orientation: The increased farming of palm oil in Indonesia, Borneo and Malaysia is seriously threatening the habitat of the Orang-utan. Global warming has resulted in the melting of polar ice caps, critically threatening the survival of the polar bear, and marine turtles have become endangered due to off shore oil and gas exploration destroying foraging and nesting habitats. The Amazon rainforest is a treasure trove of extreme biodiversity and houses a massive natural chemical factory wrapped up within its various species; and the biomimic potential contained here (which is of incredible value to humanity) is disappearing. Removal of terrain (such as mangroves for fish farming) leaves coastal areas highly exposed to tsunamis  while the growing use of mono crops (and their dependence on fertilisers and pesticides) causes the depletion of natural diversity found in life. Globally, our oceans are drastically over fished without evidence of genuine concern for the breeding cycles of fish or the possibility of species extinction.


3. Cultural diversity

To what degree is the sourcing of raw materials relevant to the product or service benign, degrading , or enhancing in regards to:

- The protection of peoples and their habitat, ensuring their customs and cultural identities stay intact and preserving the knowledge inherent to indigenous people concerning the natural environment.

- Fair remuneration for raw materials and services supplied by indigenous people or localised base supplier

- Allowing for the sovereign rights of indigenous people / localised people to manage their own resources.

- The encouragement of  farming and fishing initiatives which create work for local people while utilising natural resources in ways that ensure sustainability of supply and local self sufficiency. Such initiatives embody and protect the cultural / ancestral knowledge of indigenous people and their community

- Wider cultural values which honour the richness of  ancestral heritage and the celebrate tribal customs of people in the area

Orientation: there is an immense amount of valuable and practical knowledge contained within the diverse cultures of peoples throughout the world. The spread of dominant Western culture over recent decades has meant that this diversity is slowly disappearing, and with a loss of culture is also the loss of ancient wisdom of intimate  concerning the species and habitats of our world. For instance, the nomadic people of the Sahara know how to survive in their extreme terrain while the elders of Papua New Guinea know the names and uses of 2000 different plants in their jungle. In Japan, the elders of Okinawa  practise traditional ways that  enable them to achieve exceptional longevity. In areas all across the world indigenous people are becoming increasingly separated from the land and sea from which their knowledge originates and pertains.