Reflect: Sovereignty is a bedrock principle of international relations and foreign policy. However, sovereignty does not imply that all countries have the same capacity to create, implement, and enforce effective laws within their territory. Regrettably, many countries are currently unable to protect some of the most important natural resources within their own national boundaries. In particular, many poor, developing countries struggle to preserve and conserve some of the most important environmental resources that make up their natural wealth. In addition, many wealthy, developed countries exploit critical natural resources unsustainably in the name of profit, economic development, and/or poverty alleviation. International environmental agreements to protect these resources from degradation and over-exploitation may be signed, ratified, and endorsed but it does not mean that all countries have the capacity to implement, monitor, or enforce the statues of these agreements. As a consequence, the carrying capacity and ecological health of our planet often remains in jeopardy.
Write: You will be assigned to research a specific natural resource based on the first letter of your last name. Use information in the reports from the World Wildlife Fund and Environmental Policy Index (Links to an external site.) to research your assigned natural resource and address the points below:
- If your last name begins with A, B, C, D, or E, you must research healthy forests.
- If your last name begins with F, G, H, I, or J, you must research sustainable fisheries.
- If your last name begins with K, L, M, N, or O, you must research clean air.
- If your last name begins with P, Q, R, S, or T, you must research potable water.
- If your last name begins with U, V, W, X, Y, or Z, you must research arable land.
In your initial post of at least 250 words, using the required resources and any additional credible resources that would enhance the strength of your argument, complete the following:
- Describe the way human influence has altered the global health and overall abundance of your assigned natural resource:
- Discuss what can be done to improve the abundance and health of your assigned natural resource.
- Explain if an international global environmental agreement would help improve the health and overall abundance of your assigned natural resource.