Wednesday, June 19, 2024

European hemeroby approach for appropriate measuring

Human Impacts on Nature
European hemeroby approach for appropriate measuring
Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman
Nature conservation anchors a discourse that articulates a nexus of nature-culture-artificiality-stability-biodiversity. The concepts of human disturbances have been enjoying increasing popularity in the discussion of biodiversity conservation. Anthropogenic behaviour that harms nature” or “human activities contrary to nature” leads to unnatural conditions. The notions of pure naturalness are totally dogmatic and the present environmental conditions are the products of a plethora of human disturbances. Human activities are the result of evolution of the other life forms in the biosphere. The Homo faber (“man the maker”) plays the most significant role on the highly complex manipulations of the nature.
Hemeroby approach
The term hemeroby derives from the Greek hemeros (cultivated, modified and disturbed) and this work is not found in English dictionary. At first a Finnish botanist Jaakko Jalas introduced this term in ecology to classify the plant species based on the share in neophytic species. German ecologist Hubert Sukopp (1966) expanded this term to measure the degree of naturalness and human impact on the environment. Another German ecologist Ingo Kowarik (1990) defines hemeroby as “the sum of the effects of past and present human activities on the current site conditions or vegetation, which prevent the development to a final stage”.
Europe has developed two main concepts for assessing the human impacts on habitats and vegetation: 1) historical concept (comparison of vegetation and habitat with pristine nature/untouched nature) and 2) status-quo oriented concept (This is the hemeroby concept, which assesses the human impacts and naturalness of a site without reference to former conditions). It is obvious to have knowledge on the improvable “primal condition” of the nature to define “naturalness”, “close to nature” “unnaturalness” and “human impacts” in accordance with historical concept. In this concept, “back to nature” means no more return than the pre-human (unknown) condition of the nature; The hemeroby concept has the advantage of excluding the dogma of pure natural (pre-human and unknown) conditions. The hemeroby approach is an essential tool for the ecological analysis.
The levels of hemeroby are measured on the basis of the proportion of neophytic and therophytic species, soil characteristics and land use patterns. There are seven levels of hemoroby which determine the degree of human impacts on a specific landscape.
Actually the hemeroby scale depends on the vegetation coverage and the properties of habitats. Natural plant communities are sensitive to changes in the hemeroby scale (intensity of anthropopression).
How to use in Bangladesh
Most of the European countries use the hemeroby to study the dynamics of plant communities in urban areas and to assess the human disturbances on different habitats. It describes the spectrum of severity of human impact for any particular plant community. The writer assessed the dynamics of Oak dominated natural forest reserves of Central Europe. He found 12.8% increased stand volume and 8.6% deadwood (indicator of naturalness) volume in 10-year pure natural conditions (Botanica Helvetica, 119:2329). Those natural reserves are ahemorobic (disturbance free) habitats, which is an illusion in our country.
The levels of human impacts have never been determined in our country. The writer measured the human impacts on the biodiversity of Dipterocarpus forests of Bangladesh during his PhD programme (Rahman et al. 2007, Rahman et al. 2009, Rahman and Vacik 2009) giving attention on the floristic composition and species richness, and ignoring the habitat and landscape conditions. He developed a very new and self-explanatory disturbance index based on the diversified disturbance gradients. These works can be the baseline of hemeroby assessment in Bangladesh.
To measure the scale of hemeroby it takes qualitative and quantitative assessments of human impacts on the flora and habitats. It has been argued that quantitative assessment is highly complex and costly. The emphasis on qualitative assessment is understandable and cost effective as hemeroby is a new concept that should first create support among crucial stakeholders, generate knowledge in order to be able to set priorities, and disseminate information to the general public to increase awareness.
The parameters differ from landscape to landscape, ecosystem to ecosystem and country to country based on human impact and habitat conditions. The writer focuses a set of parameters from the viewpoint of our perspectives (Figure 1).
The qualitative value of each parameter can be compiled in a matrix and thereby the different levels of hemoroby can be assessed (Figure 2).
How to decrease severity of human disturbances
On the basis of hemeroby assessments the following conservation strategies can be adopted: a) establishing at least 01 hectare pure natural habitat within each protected forest to promote ahemerobic condition, which will serve the reference value of naturalness; b) building bridge between human and nature by removing the ideology from and the demystification of the phenomena of nature and human; c) pragmatic-sustainable development; d) maintaining equilibrium between the stability and sustainable productivity of the environment; e) adopting scientifically and economically congenial strategies for biodiversity conservation; f) protecting habitat, landscape, biodiversity to attain the goals that were outlined in the “Convention on Biodiversity”; g) ecosystem management through participation of all stakeholders; h) creating public relations for nature conservation; i) minimizing the use of chemical fertilizers; j) prohibiting the application of long residual and acute toxic pesticides; k) protecting habitat fragmentation; l) increasing urban vegetation; m) establishing more botanical park in each city and town; n) minimising soil pollution; o) afforestation, reforestation and vegetation in the denuded area; p)stopping clear felling; and q) eco-friendly garbage management.

Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman is a biodiversity specialist, NDC, Jhalakathi Collectorate.
E-mail: mizan_peroj @yahoo.com

Related News

Stakeholders on St. Martin’s demand stringent action against plastic pollution

Environment Desk : dhakamirror.com Stakeholders have stressed that raising awareness alone is not enough to tackle plastic pollution on the country’s only coral island, Saint Martins, and are advocating for restrictions on plastic use and penalties for non-compliance. At a panel discussion entitled “Plastic Free St Martins” on Wednesday, they called for strict limits on ... Read more

Amazon deforestation down by a third in 2023, says Brazilian government

Environment Desk : dhakamirror.com Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon fell by 33.6% in the first six months of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s term compared with the same period in 2022, the government says. Its suggests the rainforest shrank by 2,649 sq km this January-June, down from 3,988 sq km in those six months last ... Read more

Half of world’s largest lakes, reservoirs losing water, Study finds

News Desk : dhakamirror.com More than half of the world’s largest lakes and reservoirs have lost significant amounts of water over the last three decades, according to a new study, which pins the blame largely on climate change, intensifying concerns about water for agriculture, hydropower and human consumption. According to a team of international researchers, ... Read more

Waterways disappear as rivers die

World River Day today Rashad Ahamad Inland waterways, once the prime mode of transportation in Bangladesh, have declined fast as many rivers, canals, and other water bodies have disappeared in riverine Bangladesh over the past decades. Due to geographical location, inland waterways were the main mode of transportation in Bangladesh, a country part of the ... Read more

Chattogram city produces 249 tonnes of plastic waste every day

Will generate 428 tonnes by 2052 News Desk : dhakamirror.com Chattogram city produces 249 tonnes of plastic waste every single day — 56 percent of which remains uncollected and littered in the environment, according to a new study. “Of the plastic waste, the most are sachets, single-use utensils, and personal care items, ” the study ... Read more

Non-stop river pollution threatens water security

World Environment Day Non-stop river pollution threatens water security Laws, rules, HC directives go in vain Rashad Ahamad No pragmatic step is yet to be taken to protect the four rivers surrounding Dhaka even after declaring them ecologically critical 13 years ago. In September 2009, the Department of Environment declared the four rivers Ecologically Critical ... Read more

Air pollution takes 3 years off life in Bangladesh

Impact on life expectancy in Bangladesh worse than in India, Pakistan, Bhutan Mohammad Al-Masum Molla Air pollution cuts the average life expectancy of a person in Bangladesh by almost three years, said a global report. It is higher than in India, Pakistan, Bhutan, and Afghanistan. Nepal, with air pollution-linked life expectancy loss of 3.05 years, ... Read more

Rain at the summit of Greenland for the first time on record

Something extraordinary happened recently. On August 14, 2021, it rained at the highest point on the Greenland Ice Sheet for several hours — the first rainfall event in recorded history, and air temperatures remained above freezing for about nine hours. The record-breaking rain is the latest in a string of warning signs about how climate ... Read more

Emissions of CO2 driving rapid oceans ‘acid trip’

The world’s oceans are becoming acidic at an “unprecedented rate” and may be souring more rapidly than at any time in the past 300 million years. In their strongest statement yet on this issue, scientists say acidification could increase by 170% by 2100. They say that some 30% of ocean species are unlikely to survive ... Read more

Warming trees limit warming – a little

Warmer temperature prompts trees to release aerosols which in turn stimulate cloud formation. And that can help to cool the temperature, at least modestly. Trees may provide the Earth with a little shade from global warming – indirectly. European and Canadian researchers report that they have found what engineers like to call a negative feedback ... Read more

Evaluating services of forest

Biodiversity contributes considerably to economy and environment Dr. M. A. BASHAR In developing countries, the necessity of publicising services of forests is severely lacking. This sector must be given attention with special emphasis. The country like Bangladesh has to be very serious in all respects to understand and exercise the services offered by the forests. We ... Read more

What the outcome yields for Bangladesh?

Doha Climate Conference What the outcome yields for Bangladesh? Md. Mahfujur Rahman Thirty-seven industrialized countries had been accused of releasing Greenhouse gases in Kyoto Protocol under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Signatory members to the UNFCCC have been meeting annually in Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess progress in dealing with ... Read more

Down with the hills!

Probir Kumar Sarker Though Bangladesh is prominently a plain land, its Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Rangamati, Khagrachhari, Bandarban and Sylhet have hilly areas with forests and rich biodiversity. These areas are full of natural resources fulfilling needs of the people and other living species. But at present, the destruction of hills in every area has become ... Read more

A prerequisite for sustainable development

Natural Resource Governance A prerequisite for sustainable development Rukshana Sultana The constitution of Bangladesh — article 143– illustrates that all natural resources on land and underground minerals and other things of value underlying the ocean within the territorial waters, or the ocean over the continental shelf of Bangladesh, are the properties of Bangladesh. In general, ... Read more

Contemplating mitigation measures

Global Warming Contemplating mitigation measures Md. Atikur Rahman All things that make up the environment are interrelated. The way in which people, animals and plants are related to each other and to their surrounding is known as ecology. The ecosystem is a complex web that links animals, plants and every other life form in the ... Read more

Save Savar from further degradation

Probir Kumar Sarker Over the recent years, Savar is experiencing immense pressure of new industrial, commercial and residential establishments. But most of these have already been done or are underway indiscriminately haphazardly, and by violating the environmental laws and ignoring overall public convenience, not to speak of the care for future growth. It has been a ... Read more

Save Sonadia, save Sundarbans

Sourav Mahmud Sonadia Island is one of the biodiversity hotspot of Bangladesh. In 1995, the Government of Bangladesh included a provision for the declaration of Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) in the Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act. Twelve sites are classified as ECAs and guidelines exist to control further damage to these areas. Sonadia is considered ecologically ... Read more

Ramsar Convention: Our obligation

Dr. M.A. Bashar It is learnt from newspapers very recently that in the Sundarbans area three large constructions will take place which are very dangerous and detrimental to normal functioning of the mangrove forest ecosystem. It means that the interactions between biotic and abiotic factors will be seriously hampered in the ecosystems conservation. The projects ... Read more

Legal response to loss and damage

Climate Change Legal response to loss and damage Hafijul Islam Khan The adverse impacts of climate change have continued to devastate the lives and livelihoods of millions of people and inflict large economic losses. According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there has been a global increase in weather ... Read more

Corals of St.Martin’s at stake

Global Warming and Over-Exploitation Corals of St.Martin’s at stake Dr. Anisuzzaman Khan Honey comb corals around Saint Martin’s island are under stress due to coral bleaching. While the COP 17 — UN climate convention — was being held in Durban of South Africa, a Nature Watch Team (NWT) of Ekattor Television watched that a noticeable ... Read more