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The Theory of Biotic Regulation of the Environment as a Framework Concept for Integrated Environmental Policy: An Analysis of Russian Scientific-Political Discourse on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Environmental Services

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Efremenko, Dmitry
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1140
Sector: Global Commons
General & Multiple Resources
New Commons
Information & Knowledge
Region: Former Soviet Union
Subject(s): IASC
environmental policy
climate change--frameworks
adaptive systems--frameworks
environmental change
Abstract: "The paper highlights the relevant aspects of Russian scientific-political discourse on biodiversity, climate change and environmental services during the last decade. The core of the discourse is so call Theory of biotic regulation of the environment (BRET) developed by V. Gorshkov, V. Danilov-Danilian, K. Losev, A. Makarjeva. This theory may be formulated with the following major propositions: - Natural ecosystems that are undisturbed by humans create and control their environment. They maintain it in a state optimal for the whole environmental community and, up to a certain threshold, compensate for all deviations from that optimum. Such biotic regulation occurs on both local and global scales. - Biotic regulation is performed by the complex coordinated functioning of all species in the natural ecological community. The information needed to ensure such functioning is contained in the genomes of species. Stabilising natural selection protects this information from spontaneous decay. Evolution proceeds in the direction of enhancing the regulatory potential of the community. - Information fluxes that are processed by the natural biota while performing environmental control exceed the information fluxes that modern civilisation would ever be able to process by orders of magnitude. This means that the biotic mechanism of environmental stabilisation is unique and cannot be replaced by a technological one. - Anthropogenic transformation of natural ecosystems completely destroys the regulatory potential of the ecological communities on a local scale and continually weakens the global power of biotic regulation. Anthropogenically disturbed and artificially created biological systems are not only merely deprived of regulatory abilities but themselves act as powerful destabilisers of the environment. - Environmental parameters that are favourable for life on Earth are physically unstable. Without the stabilising impact of natural biota the environment and climate of Earth would rapidly degrade to a state prohibiting human existence. "According to protagonists of BRET this theory must be used as a framework concept for integrated environmental policy on both national and international levels. In particular BRET offers additional opportunities to overcome conflicts between major multilateral environmental agreements such as Convention on Biodiversity, UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol etc. If BRET will be international corroborate, it needs to formulate new international political-economic and legal agenda for environmental services."

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