Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Earth Day?

by Anton Antonio
April 28, 2015

“Environmental science is a discipline that attempts to understand and explain environmental issues and tries to find solutions to problems caused by the interaction of human society with the natural world.  It is a composite science that draws knowledge from the natural sciences and the social sciences such as economics, political science and sociology.  Ecology forms the central core of environmental science as a discipline.”  (Antonio, 2015)  Here, the term “discipline” was used in the context of it being “a branch of knowledge typically one studied in higher education”.  However, there is another definition and meaning to the term “discipline” which is “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour using punishment to correct disobedience”.  “Discipline” as I will later discuss is a key concept to true and genuine environmentalism.

April 22nd is known as Earth Day for this year, 2015.  Earth Day is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform “acts of service” to Mother Earth.  Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, waterways clean-up, conducting various programs for recycling and conservation, using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches.  Some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming, reverse environmental destruction and implement measures to mitigate climate change.  Mainstream media often run environmental-awareness type of documentaries, films and shows.  In celebrating Earth Day, some groups also organize “fun runs” to raise funds to support their pro-earth and pro-environment advocacies, programs and activities.

Last weekend (April 25th and 26th), two major “fun runs” were organized in celebration of Earth Day.  Again, please allow me to say that in such celebration, we are expected to perform “Acts of Service” to Mother Earth.  While I do not question the aims, objectives and motives of the organizers, which are most likely all for the benefit of Mother Earth, I strongly question the “discipline” factor these activities encourage.  The “fun runs” resulted to plastic cups littered all over the events’ venue; the route of the “fun runs”.  This is hardly an “act of service” to Mother Earth for three reasons: (a) the encouragement of the use of plastic materials which we all know are non-biodegradable; (b) the failure to educate the participants on the benefits of sound solid waste management practices; and, (c) the failure of these Earth Day events to encourage a strong and committed environmentalist mentality among its participants.  The Machiavellian doctrine that says “the end justifies the means” should never apply to environmental matters.

As I’ve mentioned earlier “discipline” is a key concept to true environmentalism.  Discipline, as an academic study, trains the individual’s mind to think and reason on the side of Mother Earth… and discipline, as a practice and regulatory system, also increases the level of awareness of individuals on what is good or bad for the environment.  These two types of disciplines were absent particularly in the recent Earth Day events called “fun runs”.  It shows that there really is a need to re-educate people on environmental matters so we could all view our responsibilities and our “acts of service” to Mother Earth with more circumspection (meaning: prudence or the quality of being wary and unwilling to take risks) and critical thinking (meaning:  the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment).

After this weekend of Earth Day runs, one can only ask:  “How much plastic trash do we have to deal with, with such activities, if every day of the year was Earth Day?”

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)


Antonio, A. C. (2015). “The Scope of Environmental Science”.  Retrieved on April 28, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-scope-of-environmental-science.html

Monday, April 27, 2015

Classification of Land Use

by Anton Antonio
April 2, 2015

The term “land use” is the human use of land that involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as settlements and semi-natural habitats such as arable fields, pastures, and managed forest or woodland.  Land use refers to the past, present and future use of the land regardless of the present legal status and use of that particular land.

Land uses can be classified as protection and production uses based on the planned objectives:
  1. Protection Land Uses – those that are directed toward the protection of the land itself.  All the resources found in these lands are deemed protected such as natural parks, natural monuments and wildlife sanctuaries.
  2. Production Land Uses – refers to uses that are oriented toward the utilization of the land and the resources found there for commerce and profit or for simple daily subsistence.

Production land uses can further be classified into consumptive or non-consumptive uses:
  1. Consumptive Uses – also called extractive uses, are those that necessitates the removal of a particular resource or portions of a resource from the land for the purpose such as cultivation, grazing, logging, fuelwood gathering and collection of medicinal and food products.
  2. Non-consumptive Uses – also called non-extractive uses, refer to land uses that do not involve the removal of any part or portion of the land.

The primary purpose of classifying land uses is protection and conservation for protection land uses.  On the other hand, the principle of sustainable development is the rule used in production land uses.  Such are the aims and objectives in the classification of land use.

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)

Sunday, April 26, 2015


by Anton Antonio
April 1, 2015

The term “progress” is a transitive verb that means a forward movement toward a place or the process of improving or developing something over a period of time.

Man’s progress from being a cave-dweller to the sophisticated person that he is in modern time came about in a very long period of time.  His intelligence and ingenuity led him to initially invent, discover and produce hand tools to improve his hunting system and food production techniques.  Eventually, he was able to discover medicines to minimize and control death by diseases and produce more nutritious food to build healthier societies.  His developed knowledge on engineering also allowed him to build better dwellings.  Man has managed to make his life luxurious and comfortable but at what price?

Man’s progress however is also the reason why he abused his environment and over-utilized his natural resources.  It took some time but finally man realized the abuse and neglect.  And now that man is aware of what he has done, what’s next?  Do we proceed on our dangerous ways in the name of progress?

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Forest Management Tenurial Instruments

by Anton Antonio
March 31, 2015

One of the biggest and contemptuous issues in upland management is tenure.  Security of tenure provides upland communities with an incentive to invest in sustainable management of the lands, waters and other resources found in the uplands.  It should be noted that forestlands are owned by the State.  This public policy made participation of upland communities and other legitimate stakeholders in upland management very precarious.  In the 1990s however, tenurial instruments were developed to allow private sector participation.

Forest tenurial instruments are used by the State to allocate public forestlands to individuals, organizations and other entities for effective and responsible sustainable management.  Sustainable management, in this sense, means the priority is on forest conservation over resource extraction.

The following are the legal tenurial instruments given by the State:
  1. Timber License Agreement (TLA) – a license issued to corporations to cut trees in no more than 100,000 hectares of forestlands using selective logging technique (a management technique which involves the removal of mature, sickly and defective trees while leaving an adequate number of healthy residual trees to assure future crops of timber and forest cover for forest conservation.  The TLA system has been phased-out by government to favour the Integrated Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) which is also a forest development initiative.
  2. Community-Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA) – a production sharing agreement between upland communities and the government to develop, use, manage, and conserve a specific portion of a specific forestland.  The CBFMA is consistent with principles of sustainable development and pursuant to a community resource management framework which encourages communities living within the forest area to actively participate in the sustainable management of the forest area.  The CBFMA exempts the holders from paying rent for the land and paying forest charges on timber and forest products harvested from plantation.  This effectively encourages tenure holders to establish forest plantations.
  3. Socialized Industrial Forest Management Agreement (SIFMA) – an agreement between the government (through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources or DENR) and a natural or judicial person the right to develop, use and manage a small tract of forestland (1 to 10 hectares for individuals or single families and 10 to 500 hectares for associations or cooperatives) consistent the principle of sustainable development.  The SIFMA (like the CBFMA) is also a production sharing agreement which encourages investments from the private sector.
  4.  Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and Certificate of Ancestral Land Title (CALT) – are certificates issued by the DENR to an indigenous community or people declaring, identifying, and recognizing their claim to a territory they possessed and occupied and used communally or individually in accordance with their customs and traditions.  The CADT and CALT encourage the indigenous peoples communities to engage in economic activities to increase their income in a sustainable way.  These tenurial instruments are consistent with the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) enacted in 1997.
  5.  Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) – a 25-year production sharing agreement between the DENR and an individual or a corporation to develop, use, and manage a specific tract of forestland.  The IFMA was developed to replace the TLA and therefore carried the sustainable management principles of the TLA; especially the selective logging system.

These are the forest management tenurial instruments.

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Tutulog-tulog sa Pancitan!

by Anton Antonio
April 25, 2015

Last April 13, 2015, I posted these photos (taken by my granddaughter Z Antonio-Perez) on my Facebook wall.  Posting these pictures of me sleeping on a bench on social media was first intended just for laughs… and I’m sure my Facebook friends got some form of entertainment out of them.  I even captioned them: “Tutulog-tulog sa Pancitan” which means (in the Pilipino language) “indolently (meaning:  lazy or purposely avoiding work and duty) sleeping on the job”.  Unknown to many, however, these pictures are microcosms (meaning:  a situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger) of sad realities amongst us.

What then is the microcosm of these photos?

Before I get crucified for what I am about to say, please allow me to state “na ako po ay isang Pilipino at buong lugod kong pinagmamalaki ang aking bayan at lahi… at higit sa lahat, mahal ko ang bayan kong Pilipinas” (that I am a Filipino and declare with loyalty that I am proud of my country and race… above anything else, I love the Philippines).

Sa pamumuno ni dating Pangulong Fidel V. Ramos, ang Fort Bonifacio ay isinapribado upang makalikom ng sapat na pundo upang maisakatuparan ang AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) Modernization Program.  Dalawang pangulo (Joseph E. Estrada at Gloria M. Macapagal-Arroyo) na ang nanungkulan bilang lider ng ating bayan pagkatapos ni Pangulong Ramos ngunit wala ni isa sa kanila ang nagpatuloy sa programang ito.  At ang naging resulta ay ang ating pangkasalukuyang sandatahang lakas na pinakamahina sa ASEAN Region.  Sa ilalim ni Pangulong Benigno S. Aquino III, ganito pa rin ang kalagayan natin… pero di natin sya nasisi dahil sa kakulangan ng pundo ng gobyernong minana nya.  Tinatakot, dinuduro, kinukutya at binabale-wala tayo ng Malaysia sa usaping Muslim Mindanao at China sa usaping Spratly.  Kung sana moderno ang ating sandatahang lakas, hindi sana tayo napunta sa kaawa-awang kalagayang ganito.

Isa sa mga pangunahing gawain ng isang pangulo ay pangalagaan ang ating kasarinlan at lupain.  Kung sila man ay katulad kong tutulog-tulog sa pancitan, obligasyon natin bilang mamamayan ang gisingin sila at ipabatid sa kanila ang ating damdamin.  Ang pangulo, higit sa pagiging bahagi ng suliranin, ay pwede nating maging kakampi sa pagbalangkas ng solusyon.  Bukod-tanging sya ang may kakayanang ibahagi ang ating yaman sa mga bagay na tunay na kapakipakinabang.

Kung tayo ay nagkaisa sa mga usaping EDSA 1 at 2, corruption, PDAP at DAP scams, atbp., hindi ba natin kayang magkaisa muli para sa nationalismo laban sa mga banyaga?  Hindi ba natin kayang maginggay para sa nationalismo laban sa manlulupig?  Ipabatid na po natin ang ating saloobin… o tularan na lang po ninyo ako na tutulog-tulog sa pancitan.”

(Under the leadership of former President Fidel V. Ramos, Fort Bonifacio was privatized in an effort to raise enough funds for the AFP Modernization Program.  Two presidents came after President Ramos (Joseph E. Estrada and Gloria M. Macapagal-Arroyo) but not one of them pursued this program.  As a result, our armed forces remain to be the weakest in the ASEAN Region.  Under the leadership of President Benigno S. Aquino III, we are still in the same predicament… but who could really blame him for inheriting a bankrupt government.  We are being threatened, bullied, mocked and disregarded by Malaysia and China on the issues of Muslim Mindanao and Spratly Islands respectively.  If only we had a modern armed force, we would not be in this pathetic situation.  The president, more than being part of the problem, could be our ally in the solution.  He has the power to put our resources where they count and make a difference.

One of the primary duties of the President is to protect our nation’s sovereignty and territory.  If they are sleeping on the job, it is our obligation as citizens to wake them up, remind them and let them know how we feel.

If we were able to unite on issues like EDSA 1 and 2, corruption, PDAP and DAP scams, etc. can’t we not unite in the name of nationalism against foreign interest?  Can’t we make the same noise for nationalism against foreign intervention?  Let us all speak up now or would you rather be like me who is indolently sleeping on the job?)

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)

Land and Ocean Temperature Anomalies?

by Anton Antonio
April 22, 2015

“Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions (therefore, more or fewer extreme weather events).  Climate change is caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics, and volcanic eruptions.  Certain human activities have also been identified as significant causes of recent climate change, often referred to as “global warming.” (Antonio, 2014)  Global warming is a gradual increase in the overall temperature of the earth’s atmosphere generally attributed to the greenhouse effect caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and other pollutants.  “Gradual increase over a period of time” seems to be the defining characteristic of global warming.  Having said this, what happened in the 1st Quarter of 2015 should not be considered global warming; perhaps, a land and ocean temperature anomaly?

Data made available by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) indicated that the months of January, February and March 2015 are the warmest months ever recorded.  According to NOAA, March 2015 was the warmest month on record so far at 1.53 degrees Fahrenheit which is above the 20th Century average and beating the 2010 average by 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit.  The JMA also found that March 2015 was the warmest month in its database.  These records were established with both agencies using different methods in gathering and analyzing global temperature data and information. 

It should be noted that both NOAA and JMA commented that the temperature conditions in the months of January to March 2015 are clear signs of global warming trends.  Sadly, these months make these increases in average temperature a clear case of global warming and/or climate change… and not just simple cases of land and ocean temperature anomalies.

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)


Antonio, A. C. (2015). “Global Warming and Cooling”.  Retrieved on April 22, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2015/03/global-warming-and-cooling.html

Antonio, A. C. (2015). “Proposed Policy Responses to Global Warming”.  Retrieved on April 22, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2014/04/proposed-policy-responses-to-global.html

Antonio, A. C. (2015). “The Greenhouse Effect”.  Retrieved on April 22, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-greenhouse-effect.html

Antonio, A. C. (2015). “Climate Change”.  Retrieved on April 22, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2014/04/climate-change.html

Thursday, April 23, 2015

BBL and Spratly: Environmental Issues Too

by Anton Antonio
April 23, 2015

Lately, I have been posting several infographics on social media (particularly Facebook) on two issues:  (1) the BBL or Bangsamoro Basic Law; and, (2) the Spratly Island group.  One of my close friends, who critically follows my blogsite (http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/), called to say that these issues are “hardly environmental” or, at the very least, environment and natural resources management related.  I should say that, on the surface, he is right… but digging deeper will reveal some obvious connections.

The Spratly Island group is presently being contested by several ASEAN countries and the most powerful nation, China, in Asia.  The Asian Maritime Transparency department at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) recently released satellite imagery showing the extent of the transformation of the Fiery Cross Reef (Kagitingan Reef) wherein China is building an airstrip.  In other islands of the Spratly’s, China is also busy building other structures from reclaimed land.  These reclamation activities being conducted by China in the West Philippine Sea has contributed greatly in increasing the tension and straining its relationships with other ASEAN-member nations primarily the Philippines and Vietnam.

Although this, on the surface, is a purely territorial-diplomatic issue, the reclamation works is definitely an environmental concern.   At present, there is little access to the Spratly disputed area since China has already established its military and naval presence aimed at protecting their land reclamation crew and equipment… this makes it difficult to accurately calculate the area and extent of coral reefs damaged by such activities.  A loose estimate is that over 300 square kilometers of coral reefs has so far been destroyed.  The Spratly Islands have traditionally been rich fishing waters only because of the marine biodiversity in the area.  Land reclamation could only result to the destruction of coral reefs and eventually the loss of marine habitat and marine life in the area which may take a lifetime to fully recovery.

“The successful extraction of palladium in the Philippines will make it the biggest producer of this commodity at 3.8 million metric tons.  The estimated revenue from palladium production in the Philippines is US$ 9.8 (or an estimated PhP 410 trillion) per year in net profit.  This will be enough to catapult Philippine economy to 1st World status.” (Antonio, 2015)  “Fossil fuel is said to be peaking (if it has not peaked yet) and alternative sources of fuel are critical.  Deuterium is a not-too-distant future hope for the Filipino people which could make the Philippines one of the richest countries in the world.”  (Antonio, 2015)  Both palladium and deuterium are suspected to be of abundance in southern Philippines.  This provides a multi-billion dollar motive for anyone to be interested in.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), as crafted by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), does not seem too acceptable for a lot of reasons on top of which some provisions being unconstitutional.  The peace process that also resulted to the BBL was substantially lacking since it was not participatory, inclusive and consultative.  From the reaction of some Senators and Congressmen, the BBL will only pass if the cessation-potential provisions are deleted… something not acceptable to the MILF.

More often, perceptions are more important than the actual truths.  The secessionist movement in Mindanao is perceived to be all about power and control over people, territory and resources.  The leading proponent for control of Muslim Mindanao is the MILF simply because they have the most number of arms in that island.  It is also perceived that the MILF is a satellite group sponsored and supported by a foreign country… making the MILF’s strength and existence an offshoot of foreign interest.    It is a widely accepted perception that the MILF is just a frontline group being used and exploited by some foreign country.  And the perception of a foreign country exhibiting keen interest in Mindanao could only be attributed to its desire to exploit and overexploit whatever resources that could be found there.  But can we really trust some foreign race to take care of our environment and natural resources?

With all these in the background, I still believe that the BBL and Spratly are environmental issues too.

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)


Antonio, A. C. (2015).  “Deuterium”.  Retrieved on April 23, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2015/04/deuterium.html

Antonio, A. C. (2015). “Palladium”.  Retrieved on April 23, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2015/04/palladium.html

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


by Anton Antonio
April 20, 2015

Palladium is a chemical element with the symbol “Pd” and atomic number 46.  In 1803, William Hyde Wollaston discovered this rare and lustrous silvery-white metal.  Wollaston named it after an asteroid called “Pallas”.  Palladium is a chemical element composed of platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium commonly referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs).  The PGM have very similar chemical properties but palladium, however, is the least dense and has the lowest melting point among the PGMs.

Palladium has a variety of applications.  Palladium plays a key role in the technology used for fuel cells which, combined with hydrogen and oxygen, produce electricity, heat and water.  It is also used in electronics, dentistry, medicine, hydrogen purification, jewelry and other chemical applications.  Most of the supply of palladium is used in catalyctic converters which converts up to 90% of harmful gases from automobile exhaust (such as hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide) into less-harmful substances (such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapour).

Following the discovery of the world’s biggest palladium reserve in the coastal areas of the Islands of Romblon, Mindoro, Panay and Negros in the Visayan group of islands in the Philippines, the country has the potential of being the richest country in Asia.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently concluded a 3-year study detailing the 8,450 square kilometer palladium deposit lying below the Visayan Sea, Sibuyan Sea and Tablas Strait; all within the Philippine archipelago.

At present, the biggest producers of palladium is Russia (44%), Africa (40%) and the rest come from the United States and Canada.  The successful extraction of palladium in the Philippines will make it the biggest producer of this commodity at 3.8 million metric tons.  The estimated revenue from palladium production in the Philippines is US$ 9.8 (or an estimated PhP 410 trillion) per year in net profit.  This will be enough to catapult Philippine economy to 1st World status.

This is really good news for the Philippines.  However, are we ready for sudden wealth?  Are we matured enough (socio-economically and politically) for prosperity?  Are we really ready for palladium?

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


by Anton Antonio
April 19, 2015

More than two decades ago, Dr. Nona Calo of Butuan City (in Mindanao Island, Philippines) hypothesized that a very large deposit of deuterium can be found in the Philippine Deep.  The Philippine Deep is a body of water, practically considered an abyss (meaning:  a hole so deep or space so great that measurements are hard to be taken), located on the western shore of the Philippines adjacent to the Island of Mindanao… more particularly, the Province of Surigao del Sur.  The Philippine Deep is the largest trench in the world… 868 miles long, 52 miles at the widest point and 2 miles at the deepest point and 10,057 kilometers below sea level.

Deuterium was first discovered by an American chemist Harold Urey in 1932.  Deuterium or “heavy water” is composed of two isotopes of hydrogen and an oxygen atom with a chemical formulation of D2O or H3O.  More hydrogen in its composition means that deuterium is heavier than ordinary water (H2O) or saltwater which causes it naturally sink to the deeper parts of the ocean; normally on deep ocean trenches. 

Deuterium can be obtained from a depth of more than 7 kilometers where the ocean pressure is 10,000 pounds per square inch or PSI.  What is amazing about deuterium is that at room temperatures or normal atmospheric pressure, deuterium atoms are electrolyzed (meaning:  a process of producing ordinary tap water by dissolving sodium chloride) naturally out of water dispelling hydrogen gas.  This phenomenal natural process needs no expensive electric power-consuming electrolysis to artificially separate hydrogen from oxygen in ordinary water.  Presently, deuterium is used in the production of hydrogen (Li-Hy) fuel used in Canada, United States, Germany and Sweden to provide fuel for transportation (cars, trucks, jet planes and spacecrafts.

Extraction and mining technology for deuterium has not been developed to the 10,000 depth level.  The cost of technology available is quite prohibitive at present.  The more advanced countries, however, are in a “race” to provide a more affordable technology to mine deuterium.  If and when this technology is made available, the Philippines will be in a position to utilize such technology for economic advancement.

Fossil fuel is said to be peaking (if it has not peaked yet) and alternative sources of fuel are critical.  Deuterium is a not-too-distant future hope for the Filipino people which could make the Philippines one of the richest countries in the world.  However, the question that lingers in the minds of Filipinos are: Are we ready for sudden wealth?  Are we matured enough (socio-economically and politically) for prosperity?  Are we really ready for deuterium?

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Isoresource and Isorevenue

by Anton Antonio
March 30, 2015

Natural resources can also be considered as products and commodities too… although we should not lose sight that they are finite and must be utilized with sustainable development in mind.  The fact that they are finite should make it imperative (meaning: crucial and of vital importance) to decide on the best possible outputs/products given a set of inputs/materials.  An isoresource and isorevenue analysis will be a good tool in determining these outputs.

The isoresource curve, in Economics, is also called a production-possibility frontier (PFF), a production-possibility curve, production-possibility boundary, or product transformation curve.  It is a graph that shows the maximum combinations of two outputs that can be produced given the available resources.  It is also a graph representing production tradeoffs of an economy given fixed resources.  On the other hand, an isorevenue live/curve shows combination of two outputs that will give the best revenue given the cost and prices of the outputs. 

Using these management tools, upland and marine resources could be managed to come up with the best input and output combinations to minimize cost and maximize profitability.  This is on the pretext that natural resources are finite.  The combination represented by these curves point towards indicators that show where an economy or an upland business venture decides on its priorities or product/output mixes.  These curves give better choice in the production of more capital goods and fewer consumer goods or vice versa.  This is the importance of graphs with curves called isoresource and isorevenue.

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Biogeochemical Cycle

By Anton Antonio
March 29, 2015

“Your dream becomes like oxygen.  You need it to breathe.  You need it to grow.  You need it to live.”  This is what the country’s prima ballerina, Liza Macuja-Elizalde, told the graduates of School of Humanities and the John Gokongwei School of Management of the Ateneo de Manila University during their graduation yesterday (March 28, 2015).  Well… what did Ms. Macuja-Elizalde mean?  She may not be aware of it but she was talking of the biogeochemical cycle.  She used terms like “oxygen”, “breathe”, “grow” and “live” as essentials to life… elements that somehow completes a biogeochemical cycle.

Biogeochemical cycle describes the movement of nutrients and chemical elements between living and non-living elements of the atmosphere (includes the different layers of air), lithosphere (includes soil, rocks and sediments), and hydrosphere (includes bodies of water).  In addition, the biological components (such as animals, fungi, plants, etc.) contain the chemicals in organic form.  The atmosphere provides oxygen, carbon and nitrogen for the living organisms while the lithosphere provides the nutritional requirement of plants to grow (such as phosphorous, potassium, sulphur, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, cobalt, etc.)  The biogeochemical cycle is recognized as the life support system on earth.

“Biogeochemical Cycle” is a term derived from the Greek word “bios” (meaning: life), “geo” (meaning: earth), “chemeia” (meaning: alchemy), and “kyklos” (meaning: wheel, circle or cycle).  Expanding their meaning even more: “bios” refer to all the living organisms that participate in the biogeochemical cycle; “geo” refers to the non-living components that are also part of the biogeochemical cycle for their primary function of storing nutrients; “chemical” refers to the chemical process of converting chemical elements from one state to a more useful form to support life.  All of these terms are supportive of each other and are vital cogs in the biogeochemical cycle.

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Forest and Human Society

by Anton Antonio
March 28, 2015

Forests are very important to human societies.  It is noteworthy to state that many countries have already adopted measures to curb the depletion of their forest cover.  These reforestation programs are geared towards addressing what each country defines as the causes of forest loss and degradation.  Most, if not all, plans, projects and programs, revolve around efforts on reforestation and forest plantation establishment.  The Philippines has its own “National Greening Program”.

Having stated that the forest is important to human society, the problem actually is on the way society view the forest.  The more accepted view of forest is focus on the tangible products that the forest provides such as wood and timber.  There is less emphasis on the intangible provisions such as clean air.  Apparently, there is more focus and recognition to the “goods” rather than the “services” the forest provides to human society.

This widely held worldview that focuses too much on the “goods” rather than the “services” may prove contrary to the reforestation effort.  So long as human society fails to recognize the importance of “services” over “goods”, man will always view the forest as a mere source for products and not a provider of services.  This, unfortunately, will be detrimental to the forest and human society.

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Upland Management Strategies

by Anton Antonio
March 27, 2015

Upland management strategies involve the formulation and implementation of the major goals and initiatives taken by an organization’s top management on behalf of the stakeholders, based on consideration of resources and an assessment of the internal and external environments (meaning:  strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) in which the organization operates and competes.  To tailor-fit the management strategy, the vision, mission, goals and objectives have to be considered… the strategy must be responsive to the needs of the upland community to be benefitted by the program or project.

Management strategies are a set of activities that are designed to accomplish set goals and objectives over a definite period of time using specified resources.  At present, the following are the commonly used strategies in upland management:
  1. Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) – for a more detailed discussion on the CBFM, please refer to the following links: (a) http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2015/03/community-based-forest-management.html and (b) http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2014/05/cbfm-and-participatory-management.html
  2. Agroforestry – a land use management system in which trees are grown around or among crops or pastureland.  It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, and sustainable land use systems.
  3. Reforestation – the action of renewing forest cover by natural seeding or by artificial planting of seeds or seedlings (meaning: young trees).  Reforestation involves the planting of tree species and other associated vegetation in previously forested areas, more often areas declared as protected.
  4. Forest Plantation Development – involves the establishment of man-made forests for the purpose of producing forest products such as timber, rattan, bamboo, barks, vines, medicinal plants and extracts.  This strategy has been adopted by timber exporting countries in Europe, Northern America and New Zealand.
  5. Forest Protection – a strategy that aims for the preservation or improvement of a forest threatened or affected by abuse through overextraction and overutilization.  Forest protection is an integral component of protected area management.  Forest protection deals primarily with the prevention, detection and control of illegal forest activities such as illegal logging and poaching.
  6. Eco-Tourism – this strategy is all about uniting environmental conservation, strengthening of local communities, and sustainable travel.  Those who implement and participate in eco-tourism activities follow the following eco-tourism principles:  (1) Minimize impact and (2) build environmental and cultural awareness and respect.  Eco-tourism refers to the use of the forest as a recreational and environmental education resource.
  7. Biodiversity Conservation – as a strategy involves the management of forests to ensure the protection and maintenance of the variability of ecosystem types, species, and genetic resources.  Biodiversity conservation aims to preserve the variability among living organisms in the forest ecosystem including the variability within and between species within and between ecosystems.
  8. Tenurial Instruments – are legal documents considered as the act, fact, manner, or condition of holding something in one’s possession as real estate and occupancy of public land.  In these areas, the harvesting and utilization of forest products is allowed but subject to certain conditions and limitations.  This is also an accepted upland management strategy.

Just my little thoughts…

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Antonio, A. C. (2015). “Community Based Forest Management”. Retrieved on March 27, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2015/03/community-based-forest-management.html

Antonio, A. C. (2014). “CBFM and Participatory Management”. Retrieved on March 27, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2014/05/cbfm-and-participatory-management.html

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Hydrologic Cycle

by Anton Antonio
March 26, 2015

Have you ever wondered why it becomes very humid after a sudden rain in a long dry spell?  Humidity, in this case, is the result of processes such as evaporation, transpiration, condensation and precipitation.  These processes are part of the hydrologic cycle or what is also commonly called “the water cycle”.

Let us define these terms (plus some other hydrologic terms) in an effort to better understand the hydrologic or water cycle:
  1. The Hydrologic Cycle or Water Cycle – the sequence of conditions through which water passes from vapour in the atmosphere through precipitation upon land or water surfaces and ultimately back into the atmosphere as a result of evaporation and transpiration.  It is also the cycle of processes by which water circulates between the earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and land, involving precipitation as rain and snow, drainage in streams and rivers, and return to the atmosphere by evaporation and transpiration.
  2. Evaporation – the changing of a liquid into a gas, often under the influence of heat.  A process driven by radiant energy that brings water from the ocean and other water bodies to the atmosphere.
  3. Transpiration – the act or process or an instance of transpiring; especially the passage of watery vapour from a living body (plants) through a membrane or pores.  Approximately 90% of the water that reaches the atmosphere come from plants.
  4. Condensation – the process that converts water vapour into droplets on a cold surface when humid air is contact with it.  Water molecules aggregate from vapour to liquid or solid when saturation concentration is exceeded.
  5. Precipitation – is the end process and product of the water cycle wherein rain, snow, sleet, or hail or any kind of weather condition, to include chemical reaction, return back to earth’s surface from the atmosphere.

Terms Nos. 2 to 4 are the processes involved in the water or the hydrologic cycle.

Just my little thoughts…

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Expansion Path

by Anton Antonio
March 25, 2015

Upland resources management also follows standard management and economic principles.  It is therefore equally important to be aware of the input combinations to use for optimal profitability which could be represented in a graph with an expansion path.

In economics, an expansion path (commonly called a scale line) is a curve in a graph with the quantities of two inputs, typically capital and labor, are plotted on the axes.  The path connects optimal input combinations as the scale of production expands.  The expansion path indicates the combination of two (or more) inputs that the upland business enterprise should choose in its cost outlay changes while prices of inputs remain the same.  It connects the different least cost combinations for different cost outlays.  The expansion path illustrates how output expands when other input prices remain the same or constant.  It further shows how the input combinations vary with a change in output or cost outlay.

Expansion path is the line formed by joining the tangency points between various isocost lines and the corresponding highest attainable isoquants.  When the production function is homogenous (meaning: similar or of the same kind) and factor prices are given, the expansion path is a straight line through the point of origin.  If the production function is not homogenous, the optimal expansion path will not be linear.

This management tool is important with the many products that can be produced in the upland.  There is no better way to decide on the inputs needed than the use of the expansion path.

Just my little thoughts…

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Objectives of Community Based Forest Management

by Anton Antonio
March 24, 2015

The key objective of the Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) program is economic self-reliance through the improvement in the general quality of life of upland communities.  The CBFM aims not only to provide additional livelihood opportunities to upland dwellers but also to develop and encourage alternative, non-forest based related livelihood activities in the upland communities.  The ultimate objective is for these upland communities to be self sufficient with other livelihood activities while gradually reducing their dependence on the forest and its products and resources as livelihood and economic goods offered in the market.

The CBFM is a long term program that aims to teach sustainable forest management to participating upland communities.  The introduction of new agroforestry technology will increase the level of awareness among the upland dwellers on the possible alternative business opportunities as they wean away from their traditional dependence on the forest for survival.

The following are the objectives of the CBFM program, among others:
  1. Preservation of forest resources;
  2. Protection of the forest;
  3. Rehabilitation of degraded forests;
  4. Increased level of forest  management skills;
  5. Stable water supply;
  6. Reduction of illegal logging activities;
  7. Reduction of poverty;
  8. Organized approach to social services;
  9. Increase employment and livelihood opportunities;
  10. Greater upland productivity;
  11. Increased revenue and income for upland dwellers;
  12. Increased revenue and income for local government units in terms of forest charges sharing;
  13. Stable market prices for forest related products; and,
  14. Steady supply of forest and forest-related goods and products.

These are the long-term goals and objectives of Community Based Forest Management.

Just my little thoughts…

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Balance of Nature

by Anton Antonio
March 23, 2015

“Balance of Nature is a theory that proposes that ecological systems are usually in a state of homeostasis (meaning: the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements especially as maintained by physiological processes).  This simply means that a small change in some particular parameter will be corrected by some negative feedback that will bring the parameter back to its original point of balance with the rest of the system.”  (Antonio, 2015. “Old Earth”. http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2015/04/old-earth.html)

Life on Mother Earth depends on the balance of nature.  “It depends on the delicate balance between the centripetal force of the sun on earth and the centrifugal force of earth as it revolves around the sun.  It also depends on the continuous supply of radiant energy from the sun.  Too much or too little energy will cause catastrophic consequences to life on earth.

This delicate balance has been nurtured by the pre-historic animals that inhabited the planet long, long, long ago before us.  The beginning of human civilization did not alter the way planet was --- humans and animal predators both hunted for food and lives in caves.

As human toolmaking ability improved human beings with their intelligence have been able to invent better tools for hunting.  Primitive tools like ax and spears greatly improved their hunt.  With the discovery of fire, a New World of comfort started to emerge.

Domestication of plants followed.  This was the start of human modification of the environment.  Men cleared the forest to plant crops for food.  Clearings continued in search of better cultivation.  Forest gave way to sedentary agriculture and this was the beginning of forest destruction.

Animals were also domesticated.  To make this possible, the natural environment had to be modified once more to give way to grazing areas.  Because of low population density at that time, the environment was still able to recover.  Balance of nature was maintained.

As population increased, more and more pressure was placed on the environment.  The need was felt for more houses, stronger materials for protection against enemies, irrigation canals for agriculture and large grazing areas for animals.  Despite this, no serious damage was made on the environment’s capacity to regenerate.  It could then be said that for a long time, humans lived in harmony with nature.

It was only during the end of the agricultural revolution and the advancing industrial revolution that the impact of humans on the environment was significantly felt.  There were two sides --- the positive and the negative effects.”  (Florece, Espaldon, Cuevas, Sierra & Medina, 1999)

The operative character of the balance of nature is “equilibrium among interdependent elements in the environment”.  “Charles Robert Darwin once said: ‘Nothing exists for itself alone, but only in relation to other forms of life.’” (Antonio, 2014)  This is what it is all about; balance of nature.

Just my little thoughts…

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Antonio, A. C., (2014). “The Benefits We Derive from the Forest”.  Retrieved on March 23, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/search?q=charles+darwin

Antonio, A. C., (2015).  “Old Earth”. Retrieved on March 23, 2015 from http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/2015/04/old-earth.html

Florece, L. M., Espaldon, M. V. O., Cuevas, V. C., Sierra, Z. B. & Medina, C. P. (1999). “Principles of Ecology”. University of the Philippines Open University, Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Old Earth

by Anton Antonio
March 22, 2015

Have you ever wondered how old is the earth?  Compared to human life, the earth is definitely old and still getting older.  Scientists estimate the age of Mother Earth to be somewhere in the vicinity of three billion years.  Three billion years in existence is mind-boggling (meaning:  having a very powerful or overwhelming effect on the mind: amazingly or confusingly large, great, etc.) especially if we think of Mother Earth providing the same number of years she will continually be providing us a habitat… a home.  The life of Mother Earth, however, depends on the balance of nature.

Balance of Nature is a theory that proposes that ecological systems are usually in a state of homeostasis (meaning: the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements especially as maintained by physiological processes).  This simply means that a small change in some particular parameter will be corrected by some negative feedback that will bring the parameter back to its original point of balance with the rest of the system.  “It may apply where populations depend on each other, for example in predator/prey systems, or relationships between herbivores and their food source.  It is also sometimes applied to the relationship between the Earth’s ecosystem, the composition of the atmosphere, and the world’s weather.  The Gaia Hypothesis is a balance of nature-based theory that suggests that the Earth and its ecology may act as co-ordinated systems in order to maintain the balance of nature.  The theory that nature is permanently in balance has been largely discredited, as it has been found that chaotic changes in population levels are common, but nevertheless the idea continues to be popular.  During the latter half of the 20th Century the theory was superseded by catastrophe theory and chaos theory.” (Wikipedia)

Old Mother Earth, as we may now call her, will only grow older and survive another three billion years of existence if man is able to strike an environmental equilibrium… a balance of nature.  This will increase the chances of survival of a place we call home… a place we now consider old earth.

Just my little thoughts…

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Isoquant and Isocost

by Anton Antonio
March 21, 2015

The combination of upland products considered for production and marketing is important in maximizing profitability in any upland business endeavour.  Perhaps, maximizing the utilization of land also takes precedence considering that land is finite and limited.  This, however, does not mean sustainable development (meaning:  the ability of the present generation to provide for their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to provide for their own needs) should be thrown out of the window.

In the determination of exactly what products to be produced, an input-input relationship case of production could be used.  This will help determine the following:

  • The combination of two inputs that will minimize production cost when the output level is fixed, given the prices for the inputs; and,
  • The combination of two inputs that will produce the highest output is the cost outlay (meaning: budget) is fixed, given the prices for the inputs.

A graph (meaning: a diagram showing the relation between variable quantities, typically two variables, each measured along one of a pair of axes at right angle) is the most effective tool that will provide guidance to managers in determining the product mix.

Isoquant (Greek word “iso” meaning: “equal”) is a curve that shows different combinations of two inputs that will result in the same level of output.  In economics, an isoquant is a contour line drawn through the set of points at which the same quantity of output is produced while changing the quantities of two or more inputs.  Isocost, on the other hand, is a line that shows the combinations of two inputs that the budget can afford, given the cost outlay and the prices of the two inputs.  The isocost line is combined with the isoquant line to determine the optimal production point at any given level of output.

Again, graphs and diagrams with their isoquants and isocost, are just tools to provide guidance in deciding on the quantity and type of products that needs to be produced.  This is the importance and significance of an isoquant and isocost.

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at http://antonantonio.blogspot.com/.)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Land Use Planning

by Anton Antonio
March 20, 2015

Why is land use planning important?  Land is a finite resource even when man has developed the technology to reclaim land from the sea.  Dredging (meaning: the process of cleaning out the bed of a harbour, river, or other area of water by scooping out mud, weeds, and rubbish with a dredge; and, bring up or clean something from a river, harbour, or other area of water with a dredge), however, is a human intervention that has serious marine habitat consequences.  Land reclamation may not be the right direction in solving land limitation.  It is therefore important to manage existing land areas through land use planning.

Land use planning is the process of determining the ideal combination of protection, preservation and conservation as opposed to utilization of land resources in a particular area.  The aim of land use planning is the sustainable development of goods and services as to guarantee the long-term availability of the resources akin to this specific area.  Included in the identification of the right land use strategy, the following activities are involved:

  1. LAND CAPABILITY CLASSIFICATION – Land capability is the ability to accept a type and intensity of land use permanently, or for a specific period under a certain management without long term degradation (Houghton and Charman, 1986).  Land capability classification is a process that determines the bearing capacity of the land identified for a particular land use.  The process includes the subdivision of an area into homogenous units based principally on these units’ biophysical features.  Although there are several ways to assess land capability, the main purpose of these classification methods is to group all units of land areas that have similar ability to sustain protection and production strategies.
  2. IDENTIFICATION AND ASSESSMENT OF POTENTIAL LAND USES – This activity is aimed at establishing the suitability of each land use option to a particular area and identify alternative land use strategies if the initially identified land use will not support long-term land use goals.
  3. SELECTION AND ALLOCATION OF THE BEST LAND USES – After identifying the best (therefore, having passed the initial and alternative land use selection process) land uses, a consensus must be secured from all the stakeholders in adherence to the concept of participatory approach.  Actual selection and allocation of the best land uses can ideally made by the actual stakeholders who will be involved and benefitted by the project.

This, in a nutshell, is the importance of land use planning.

Just my little thoughts…

Note:  Today, April 11, 2015, there is an on-going conference of Planners (provincial, municipality and city) at the Benguet State University in La Trinidad, Benguet tackling the land use problem of Baguio City.  Hopefully, a framework on how to address this problem without compromising the landscape ecology of the summer capital of the Philippines can be agreed upon.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Rock Cycle

by Anton Antonio
March 19, 2015

Environmental science is multidisciplinary in character and, therefore, includes geology.  One of the important geologic processes is the Rock Cycle.  The Rock Cycle is a basic concept in geology that describes the dynamic transitions, through geologic time, among the three major existing rock types --- sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks.  These transitory stages either alter or destroy rocks as they are forced out of their equilibrium conditions.  This cycle is the slowest of the earth’s cyclic processes.

The following are basic descriptions of the types of rocks that are products of the geologic process called the rock cycle:
  1. IGNEOUS ROCKS are formed when molten rock materials (magma) are forced up from the earth’s interior.  The driving forces for changes in rock composition and form are the water cycle and plate tectonics.  After magma cools and solidifies, rocks are produced.  These rocks are important since they carry with them mineral resources for use in different applications by man and consumption of both plants and animals.
  2. SEDIMENTARY ROCKS are formed from sediments through the process of erosion and compaction.  Some sedimentary rocks, like limestone, are considered important natural resources with so many useful applications.
  3. METAMORPHIC ROCKS are the resultant products when a pre-existing rock is subjected to high pressures of compaction, high temperatures, chemically active fluids and substances, or a combination of these agents.  Common examples of metamorphic rocks are coal, slate and marble which have important human use and application.

The accompanying image is a good infographic for the Rock Cycle.

Just my little thoughts…

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by Anton Antonio
March 18, 2015

“Community is commonly defined as a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.  Community is also a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, aspirations and goals.  This is how we would characterize community.  In ecology however, a community is an assemblage or associations of populations of two or more different species occupying the same contiguous geographical area and in a particular period of time.  The term community, in natural and environmental sciences, has a variety of applications.  In its simplest form, it refers to groups of organism in a temporal period and spatial area.”  (Antonio, 2015)  Communities can also be characterized as organized groups of organisms that interact with the same or different species and fulfilling different roles towards each other.  The interaction between organisms living together in close and mutual association or two or more dissimilar organisms typically to the benefit and advantage of both organisms is called symbiosis.

The operative characterization of the term symbiosis is interaction.  The most common types of interaction are:
  1. COMPETITION – Competition in biology, ecology and sociology, is a contest between organisms, animals, individuals, groups, etc., for territory, a niche, or a location of resources, for resources and goods, mates, for prestige, recognition, awards, or group or social status, for leadership.  Intraspecific competition is competition among members of the same species while interspecific competition is competition between individuals or groups belonging to different species.
  2. PREDATION – Predation is the act of killing and eating other animals or the act of preying on other animals.  In this type of interaction, the predator is the only one benefitted while the prey is adversely affected.
  3. MUTUALISM – Mutualism is regarded as the most ideal relationship since interacting individuals or groups are benefitted and favoured.  Mutualism is the doctrine that states that mutual dependence is necessary to social well-being.
  4. COMMENSALISM – In ecology, commensalism is a class of relationships between two organisms where one organism benefits from the other without affecting it.  Next to mutualism, commensalism is second most ideal form of interaction of organisms in an ecosystem.
  5. AMENSALISM – Amensalism is a relationship between two species of organisms in which the individuals of one species adversely affect those of the other and are unaffected themselves.  Amensalism is often called antibiosis (meaning: a biological interaction between two or more organisms that is detrimental to at least one of them) or allelopathy (meaning: a biological phenomenon by which an organism produces one or more biochemicals that influence the growth, survival, and reproduction of other organisms).

The foregoing types of interaction between organisms generally characterize symbiosis.

Just my little thoughts…

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cultural Assimilation

by Anton Antonio
March 17, 2015

Every society has its own distinct culture.  Constant exposure to other cultures will cause different cultures to influence each other or even fuse to form another culture or sub-culture.  This long-term exposure could lead to either acculturation or assimilation.  Cultural assimilation is more likely to happen when societies share common and mutual traits or identify themselves with the same collective goals and aspirations.

Cultural assimilation occurs when there is a fusion of two or more cultures that it will be hard to determine which culture became dominant.  The result is the development of multi-cultural and multi-ethnic societies.  Cultural assimilation is the process by which an individual’s or a group of individuals’ language and/or culture come to resemble that of another group.  Cultural assimilation is often referred to as immigration diaspora (meaning: the dispersion of any people from their original homeland) or native residents that come to be culturally dominated by another society.  Full cultural assimilation occurs when the new members of a society, belonging to another group, become indistinguishable from the members of the group.

Cultural assimilation finds relevant application in the fields of psychology, anthropology and sociology.  Environmental science, being multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary by nature, traverses these fields.  It is also said that environment and man are inseparable and interdependent elements in an ecosystem.  Socio-cultural concepts are therefore important to consider in environment and natural resources management studies; specifically, but not limited to, cultural assimilation.

Just my little thoughts…

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