Environmental well-being: the contribution of geoscience

Author : Antony R. Berger
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 9-16
Volume Number : 43
Year : 1999
DOI : https://doi.org/10.7186/bgsm43199902

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 43, Dec. 1999, pp. 9 – 16

Environmental well-being: the contribution of geosciences


528 Paradise Street, Victoria BC V9A 5E2 Canada. Email: aberger@uvic.ca


Abstract: Economic and social problems and issues need to be set within the wider context of the environment, not the other way around, as traditional in public policy. Although knowledge of the composition and dynamics of the Earth‘s surface are fundamental to environmental planning and management, geoscience data and concepts are commonly ignored. One way for geoscientists to contribute to sustainability is through the application of geoindicators, a concept developed recently by the lUGS Commission on Geological Sciences for Environmental Planning. Geoindicators can help to assess changes in ecosystems and landscapes from some earlier condition. They focus on earth processes that can induce significant change in terrestrial environments in less than 100 years. Geoindicators can help to counter the common belief that nature left alone is stable and unchanging and that only humans perturb some sort of natural balance. Failure to recognize the importance of natural change can lead to environmental policies that miss the mark by attempting to manage changes that cannot or should not be stopped.