There have been many problems such as poverty, pollution, inequality, climate change, etc. which are strongly entangled together. In 2015, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) set the agenda called SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) which is composed of 17 Goals and 169 targets to end such problems. SDGs have replaced MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) which ended in 2015. ‘No poverty’, ‘zero hunger’, ‘good health and well-being’, ‘quality education’, ‘gender equality’, ‘clean water and sanitation’, ‘affordable and clean energy’, ‘decent work and economic growth’, ‘industry, innovation and infrastructure’, ‘reduced inequalities’, ‘sustainable cities and communities’, ‘responsible consumption and production’, ‘climate action’, ‘life below water’, ‘life on land’, ‘peace, justice and strong institutions’, ‘partnership for the goals’ are the main 17 goals.
In ecosystems, as far as I know, moderate amounts of waste could be resources for other individuals. And the individuals make waste and others use it again… that is how an ecosystem circulates and balances itself. Nature and human beings have maintained such balance for thousands of years or for more until two hundred years ago. Afterwards, along with dramatic development of civilization and technology, the human population has exponentially increased and spent substantial amounts of resources. The population gets larger, and inevitably has made overwhelming wastes and pollutions.
Leonardo Da Vinci – painter, architect, cartographer, botanist, musician, engineer, and inventor – said all the things in the universe are connected in different matters and in different shapes. He told that in order to see the real world, we have to one step back and to entangle everything together.
After struggling decades with sectoral programs and respective analysis for those global problems, people came up with totally changed methodology. Rather than one-aspect approaches, we need approaches from diverse aspect as well as border-breaking among disciplines. In this regards, integrated landscape approach showed up and has gained increasing interest. As one of the students studying landscape ecology, I totally agree with the fact that landscape scale of integrated research is required to achieve the sustainable development goals as well as what Leonardo Da Vince said. I think all of the 17 goals are heavily related to land, where we live on, and experts from diverse disciplines and stakeholders should gather to come across creative solutions.
Currently there are many integrated landscape initiatives (ILI) especially in Africa, Latin America and South Asia. Government, indigenous groups, Local farmers and producer association participate in initiatives. They mainly obtain investment on agriculture, forestry, conservation, natural resources management, livelihoods and human well-being and multi-sectoral coordination and planning.
However, most of these initiatives are discussed and executed focusing on limited region (Africa, South Asia and Latin America) on the earth. It might be because those areas urgently need integrated landscape scale management and investment. Next steps are to spread such integrated solution to all the corners on this beautiful planet. We should let all people perceive current problem and it will lead to efficient, eco-friendly land use.
I just started first semester in Landscape Ecology for master’s degree in Germany. For bachelor’s I have studied landscape architecture, in which I should always consider human effects against conservation, biodiversity and climates, etc. During bachelor’s, I got more interested in how do we mitigate human effects on nature, in how ecosystem interact within itself and in how each different regional ecosystems affect human unequally, and in how can we make sustainable development for earth ourselves. These curiosities are the motivation that makes me do my best for current study.
From the beginning of civilization, it seemed impossible to make surplus food provision for thousands of years. Finally we human beings made it (unfortunately there are still numerous people in hungers) and this led to significant progress in civilization. And now, we have much heavy and complicate task for our future. My dream is to contribute myself to achieve this task, which is of entire human beings, sooner. Surely, we must be able to overcome facing problems as like our fathers and grandfathers did.