FAQ on Environmental Protection and Sustainable Real Estate Development - Part 1 of 2

[Basic Knowledge for Brokers]

Real estate service practitioners play an important role in environmental sustainability and ecological balance. The consultants ensure that man-made projects and done in the right place and the right manner. The appraisers ensure proper valuation of real estate. The brokers have conscience and they make individual decisions which real estate development to sell and which not to. When the buying and selling stops, the environmentally destructive real estate development projects stops.

Required YouTube1: Ang Aking Kubo (Song by Gary Granada)
Required YouTube2: Kalikasan (Lecture by Gary Granada)
Required YouTube3: Karaniwang Tao (Song by Joey Ayala)


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What is Ecology?

The word was first defined just over a hundred years ago by the German zoologist Ernst Haeckel. He based it on the Greek work “oikos” meaning home, and wrote: “by ecology we mean the body of knowledge concerning the economy of nature—the investigation of the total relations of the animal to its inorganic and organic environment.” This is basically the same definition as the one used today—the study of the relationships of organisms to their environment and to one another.


What’s the difference of Ecology from Environmental Science?

Environmental Science covers all the sciences—including ecology, geology and climatology or phenomenology—that deal with the environment. Hence, ecology is but a branch or part of environmental science.


What is Ecosystem?

§ Ecosystem is an interacting system of community plus its habitat. In other words, ecosystem is a single interacting unit composed of groups of individuals within a physical setting (or habitat, surroundings or environment).

§ A pond is a familiar ecosystem, with the plants and animals and a bacteria forming the community, and the water, the dissolved salts and gases, and the mud of the bottom being elements of the rest of the system. We can recognize communities and ecosystems of various scales, from the stomach of a cow, with its interesting populations of microorganisms, on up to the earth itself, the largest ecosystem with which we are familiar. (the entire global environment supporting life from the depths of the oceans and as far down in the soil as organisms occur up to the highest part of the atmosphere occupied by organisms termed ‘biosphere.’)


What are the two stages of habitat selection?

§ The areas are visited on the basis of their general appearance, structure or landscape

§ Again visited for examination of details, before the organism actually settles on the selected area.


What is Spacing in relation to organization in populations?

Spacing (also called pattern), refers to the positions of members of a population relative to their neighbors.


What are the basic kinds of Spacing?

§ Random- where there is no pattern in their spacing in relation to their neighbors

§ Clumped- where the individuals in the population to aggregate in bunches or clumps with empty spots between

§ Even- a distribution in which the individuals are spaced more regularly than in a random distribution. In the honeycomb, we see the most extreme case of even spacing, in which each individual is equidistant from six others


How to change the formula of “one ill, one pill, one bill”?

It has been suggested that students in medical schools should be taught the observation that “disease is a biological expression of maladjustment” and this phenomenon against which they are going to fight all their lives cannot be understood without an ecological study in depth (that includes the environment, the host, and the culture).


What are the types of interaction in ecosystems?

§ Action- where the environment acts upon the organism in a community in many ways, such as: effects of temperature, wind light, humidity and soil moisture

§ Interaction- where the organism in turn react upon the environment. This meaning of the term reaction—the effects of organisms upon their physical environment occurs only in ecology, such as pollution

§ Coactions- the effects of an organism has on another, such as predation, disease, competition, parasitism, commensalism, and mutualism.


What is pollution?

Pollution is the unfavorable modification of the environment as a by-product of man’s activities. This is the same as saying that pollution consists of man’s reactions (to big environment), in which sense, pollution is a natural activity.
What are the reasons why man’s reaction to his environment has become a serious matter?

§ Man has become a cosmopolitan species, occurring over the who surface of the globe; no other species is so widely distributed

§ Humans are larger both in physical size and number

§ By utilizing energy subsidies, mainly from fossil fuel, man can exert effects (produce reaction) on the environment many times greater than a comparable animal which uses only the energy from its own metabolism


What are predators, parasites and pathogens (viruses and disease)?

§ Predators, parasites and pathogens are organisms making a living at the expense of other organisms, their prey or hosts.

§ Predators usually kill or eat their prey, which are about the same size or smaller that the predator. Cats prey on mice; hawks on snakes, and so on.

§ Parasites are generally smaller in comparison to their hosts and do not kill or eat them, but obtain their food from body fluids or in some other non-fatal way—tapeworm, ticks, etc.

§ Pathogens are microorganisms, usually bacteria or viruses, that sicken the host by living within it—polio virus, tubercle bacilli, etc.


What are the other kinds of coactions?

§ Commensalism - commensals may be microorganism such as the coliform bacteria that live on your intestine, a slightly larger mite, which live in the oil glands around your nose, or ordinary-sized animals such as the house mice and house sparrow that live in or on your house rather in or on you. Individuals of commensal species gain some advantage from the relationship.

§ Mutualism- both individuals benefit from the association. (i.e.) the association of the alga and the fungus to form a lichen; the relationship between the termites, which like most organism, cannot digest wood, and the protozoans which live in their guts, can; so is the relationship between the rhinoceros and the tickbird, which rides around eating ticks and other insects off the rhinoceros. The word ‘symbiosis’ has sometimes been used to describe the relationship termed ‘mutualism.’ Symbiosis comes from roots meaning “to live together”.


What are the bases for the structure and functioning of a community and the ecosystem?

§ The interactions between the organisms and the environment—action, reaction and coaction are the basis for the structure and functioning of the community and the ecosystem.


What is the new concept of pollution?

§ Pollution is harmful to humans and the natural system on which humans depend on
§ Pollution is for the most part preventable
§ The prevention of pollution should be a cost of doing business, like paying salaries and buying raw materials


What kinds of pollution are there in the environment?

Water pollution

§ Sewage and other organic wastes (such as wood fibers from paper mills)
§ Pathogens (mostly bacteria and viruses) from human wastes
§ Toxic materials (such as mercury, pesticides, and petroleum)
§ Chemicals (usually phosphorus or nitrogen)
§ Waste heat (thermal pollution)

Atmospheric pollution

§ Burning of fossil fuels in homes, factories, power plants, and automobiles
§ Irradiation of the primary pollutants by sunlight producing photochemical smog
§ Formation of sulfuric acid in the atmosphere from sulfur-containing pollutants—acid rain.

§ Buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to industrialization—greenhouse effect.


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