Grade 9: Eco-assignments
1) Distinguish between what is considered a developed country and what is considered a developing country.
a) Indicate the measure of sustainable practices that were applied in getting developed countries where they are today. What are they doing to recover the damage that was caused to the environment as a result of their industrial practices?
b) Indicate the efforts being applied in developing countries in an effort to participate in the global arena. How sustainable are these ventures in terms of environmental health?
2) Discuss the role of science and technology in improving agricultural yield as it applies to the Green Revolution by referring to genetically modified seed, demands on water, monoculture practice, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
a) By referring to required methods and practices that are essential to the success of Green Revolution whether Green Revolution practices are sustainable in the long run.
b) Discuss the effects that Green Revolution projects has had on South African society by comparing the assistance to prosperous commercial farmers to that of agrigarian communities.
i) Refer to the effects on previous social structures
ii) Refer to access to capital and debt
iii) Refer to food security
In 1652 Jan Van Riebeeck came to set up a vegetable garden to serve a trade route used by the Dutch East India Company. The initial relationship that developed between the new colonialists and the hunter-gatherer Khoisan and Khoekhoe people who has been living here fore centuries was one of Bartering. The colony grew and in the early 1700’s independent farmers (trekboers) began to push north and east. However, trading with the Xhosa people to the east was mixed with animosity and continuous warfare. Attempts from the British who took over from the Dutch only lead to more conflict.
Then in the 1800’s more colonists arrived – mainly Dutch, German and French Hugenots. As they moved inland (the Great Trek) regular clashes occurred with Zulu king, Shaka and his successor Dingaan. The British then annexed Natal and two Boer republics formed on the highveld, the Orange Free State and the South African Republic.
With the discovery of diamonds and gold, clashes between the Boers and the British were intensified. After many efforts from both sides and much suffering inflicted on women and children (both black and white) everything finally culminated in British victory, in early 1900.
As you can see, the early history of South African has been marked by conflict over territory.
a) Up until this point, do you think that the environment suffered as a result? Please explain your answer.
b) Up until this point, do you think that the tradition and culture suffered as a result? Please explain your answer.
British victory left control in the hands of white authorities. African people were barred from being members of parliament. Although the South African Native Congress formed already on 1909 and went to London to plead their case, it would be an up-hill battle to be recognised as equals. The newly formed African National Congress went again to London in 1912 to protest against the land grab, but still in 1913 the land Act reserved 90% of the country for whites. Protests against passes, strikes against poll taxes and mine worker strikes became the order of the day.
In 1934 South Africa became independent from Great Britain. The United Party came into being but was soon replaced with the National Party, and apartheid became official government ideology. In 1944 the ANC Youth League was formed with Nelson Mandela as secretary resisting repressive laws such as the Group Areas Act, the Population Registration Act and Separate Amenities Act. Three decades of crisis resumes marked by various tactics, ranging from prosecution to changing the composition of the senate, resumed to ensure white rule. The ANC, PAC and other organizations were banned, forcing them to go underground. Organised boycotts, resistance and strikes followed culminating in a state of emergency. Finally the tide began to turn when in 1990 political prisoners were release and restrictions being lifted. In 1994 the first democratic election was held and as result the ANC came into power with Nelson Mandela as president.
After South Africa had been organised under one ruling Party, prospects for the majority did not improve.
a) Explain how a number of challenges arose that prevented the majority to maintain their traditional way of life, such as such as: loss of ownership of land and; new settlement structures; labour in mines far away.
b) Explain how this increased rural depopulation and increased urbanization adding to the misery of many.
c) Explain how the natural environment of South Africa suffered as a result.
1) To remain healthy and strong, animals and humans require vitamins and minerals. Green plants (with chlorophyll) are the only living organisms that are capable to absorb these elements from the soil in which they are rooted.
a) Explain the process of decomposition that enables nutrients and elements to be returned to the soil and to make it fertile.
b) Explain the importance of good quality soil in order to maintain healthy plants and animals in the ecosystem.
2) Soil pollution happens as big concentrations of chemicals accumulating in it becomes to high, causing soil to become unproductive.
a) Explain how this could happen when chemical fertilizers and pesticides are being used to encourage growth.
b) Explain how this can happen as a result of irrigation of arid areas.
3) Explain how soil health suffers as the interdependencies of various organisms in the soil are no longer made possible as a result of the use of synthetic chemicals.
4) Humans are considered the ecological dominant species on earth. As a result the influence we are able to exert on the environment is far greater than that of other species. Explain the negative impacts that the following human-induced challenges are having on the health of the environment:
a) Introduction of alien species
b) Pollution of the land water and air
d) Habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity
e) The use of fossil fuel (coal, oil and gas) to satisfy our energy needs
5) In pre-historic past, the Earth has experienced changes to its environment that lead to the gradual formation and extinction of many species. However, never in its existence has it been exposed to such a drastic destruction of species as we are experiencing currently.
a) Explain the ripple-effect that the extinction of one species has on other species in the same ecosystem. You can for expel refer to the bleaching and ultimate death of corral reefs.
b) Mention the causes and possible ways in which future impact could be alleviated.
1) Most systems whether they are mechanical (motorcar engine) or environmental (hydrological cycle) or financial (money), need to circulate to be effective. If a dam has no outlet the water in it will become stagnant and of no use to plants or animals. By pointing out how the hoarding of money is blocking the flow of money, compare it to an ecosystem. In your answer relate processes like inputs and outputs, goods and services, factors of production, consumer expenditure, wages, rent and dividends that occur between households and enterprises.
2) Explain the difference between hoarding on the one hand and the role of saving and investment on the other in an economy, by comparing it to natural elements like vlei’s, dams, ice-caps and other.
3) If a country does not have a strong production sector, it would be unable to invest in itself. The country will have to import goods at huge amounts (and with huge impact on the environment) that could otherwise have been produced at a much lower cost and benefiting its own people. By referring to economic prosperity, economic growth and global competition discuss to the following:
i) Alleviate the pressure on the environment
ii) Move us closer to our sustainable goals
iii) Applies to BUY PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN initiatives
Based on the responses / suggestions you received from your neighbourhood improve or make alterations to your product. Always keep in mind the effects that your production decisions will have on the natural environment.
Re-calculate a viable selling price for your product by taking into consideration the following:
• The cost of the ingredients/parts of the product
• The time it takes to produce / assemble the product (labour)
• Transport costs to collect the ingredients/parts and to deliver
• Remember to add the costs of improvements and the extra labour involved
• A profit
Re -design and print a flyer promoting your product by e.g.:
• Listing the advantages
• Offering various shapes / colours / sizes
• Offering extra’s e.g. neat casing for battery or decorated bottle for soap…
• Remember to include the improvements that you have made to your product
Go again from house to house to promote your product and get orders from the community. If they (family and friends) are willing they could pay you an advance to purchase the materials / products required
Produce in bulk