It arouses our natural curiosity, encourages our ability to enquire, to pose questions, and to conduct research required to obtain answers. This approach leads to the construction of hypotheses, theories and laws that help us to explain natural phenomena, to understand human activities in relation to natural phenomena, and through this to meet the challenge of survival and progress in a diverse and changing world. The environment and natural resource base of the caribbean are critical for the welfare of caribbean people.
Natural resource and environmental management and conservation are pre-requisites for sustainable development in the region. Achieving sustainable development requires an appreciation of the value of natural resources and the environment, and the development of the knowledge base and skills required for effective management. A firm grounding in these skills, knowledge and attitudes is provided through a study of environmental science. Environmental science is an interdisciplinary subject which draws on the content of several disciplines to offer a balanced scientific and holistic perspective of environmental issues.
It provides knowledge, skills and attitudes to identify, prevent and solve environmental problems and thereby prepares students for ultimate careers in diverse fields of relevance to environmental management and to sustainable development of the caribbean region. This cape syllabus in environmental science presents a coherent course of study which provides a specific knowledge base of the environment and which facilitates the development of related skills and attitudes. The syllabus takes into account the requirements for tertiary education at regional and international institutions.
It is intended for a wide range of students, including traditional sixth form students, part-time, mature and private students. This syllabus will contribute to the development of the ideal caribbean person as articulated by the caricom heads of government in the following areas: respect for human life and awareness of the importance of living in harmony with the environment; multiple literacies; independent and critical thinking and the innovative application of science and technology to problem solving.
Based on the unesco pillars of learning, this course of study will also contribute to a person who will learn how to do, learn to live together and learn to transform themselves and society. Cxc a25/u2/10 1 ¦ aims the syllabus aims to: 1. Stimulate interest in the environment; 2. Develop an understanding of the interdisciplinary and holistic nature of the environment; 3. Develop knowledge and understanding of environmental issues and principles and the ability to apply these to environmental management, particularly in a caribbean context; 4.
Develop the ability to identify critical research questions and formulate hypothesis or guiding statements. 5. Develop the ability to collect, collate, analyze and interpret environmental data; 6. Develop the ability to communicate environmental information and ideas logically and concisely in a variety of forms; 7. Provide an understanding of interactions between people and the environment; 8. Increase an awareness of the importance of living in harmony with the environment; 9. Recognize and evaluate the socio-economic, political and ethical issues in environmental science;
Foster positive attitudes, values and commitment to identifying, solving and preventing environmental problems; 11. Develop an understanding of how natural resources and the environment affect quality of life and the quest for sustainable development in the caribbean. ¦ skills and abilities to be assessed the skills and abilities which students are expected to develop on completion of the syllabus have been grouped under three main headings: (i) (ii) (iii) knowledge and comprehension; application of knowledge; practical abilities. Cxc a25/u2/10 2 knowledge and comprehension
The examination will test candidates’ skills and abilities to: (i) define terms and explain concepts; (ii) describe processes; (iii) state principles and properties; (iv) explain interactions and inter-relationships. Application of knowledge the examination will test candidates’ skills and abilities to: (i) analyze and discuss different environmental situations; (ii) evaluate and justify options (for the use of resources); (iii) compare and contrast alternative solutions to environmental problems; (iv) select techniques and methodologies appropriate to different environmental situations; (v)
Suggest possible solutions to specific environmental problems; (vi) draw inferences from environmental data. Practical abilities the examination will test candidates’ skills and abilities to: (i) select techniques, designs, methodologies and instruments appropriate to different environmental situations; (ii) use instruments to measure environmental parameters; (iii) collect and collate data; (iv) analyze, interpret and present data; (v) use quantitative techniques appropriately; (vi) develop appropriate solutions to specific environmental problems. Cxc a25/u2/10 3 ¦ pre-requisites of the syllabus
Any person with a good grasp of the contents of the caribbean secondary education certificate (csec) integrated science or physics or chemistry or biology or geography or agricultural science syllabuses, or the equivalent, should be able to pursue the course of study defined by the syllabus. However, successful participation in the course of study will also depend on the possession of good verbal and written communication skills. ¦ structure of the syllabus the subject is organised in two units. Each unit contains a body of knowledge and skills drawn from several disciplines that impact on the environment.
Unit 1 addresses ecology, human population and natural resource use, while unit 2 deals with agriculture, energy, and environmental pollution. A unit comprises three modules, each requiring 50 hours. The total time for each unit, is therefore, expected to be 150 hours. Each unit can independently offer students a comprehensive programme of study with appropriate balance between depth and coverage to provide a basis for further study in this field. Unit 1: ecology, human population and natural resources module 1 module 2 module 3 – fundamental ecological principles – human population and the environment
Sustainable use of natural resources unit 2: agriculture, energy and environmental pollution module 1 module 2 module 3 – agriculture and the environment – energy and the environment – pollution of the environment in this syllabus, the specific objectives which are denoted by an asterisk (*) are particularly suitable for practical exercises. However, the project need not be limited to these objectives. Cxc a25/u2/10 4 ¦ unit 1: ecology, human population and natural resources module 1: fundamental ecological principles general objectives on completion of this module, students should: 1.
Understand the basic ecological concepts; 2. Understand the processes that govern the interactions of organisms with the biotic and abiotic components of their environment; 3. Understand the relationship between people and the environment; 4. Acquire knowledge and develop practical and analytical skills. Specific objectives explanatory notes students should be able to: 1. Differentiate between key ecological terms and concepts; ecology: species, population, community, ecosystem, biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, habitat, niche, biome, ecotone. 2. Explain the relationship between living organisms and
Their environment; (i) the biotic and abiotic environments. (ii) tolerance ranges and limiting factors. (iii) ecological niches: (a) (b) cxc a25/u2/10 5 fundamental niche; realised niche. Unit 1 module 1: fundamental ecological principles (cont’d) specific objectives explanatory notes students should be able to: 3. Outline the importance biogeochemical cycles; of (i) carbon cycle. (ii) nitrogen cycle. (iii) phosphorus cycle. (iv) water cycle. Include basic chemical equations and formula for biogeochemical cycles. 4. Explain the significance of biogeochemical cycles to organisms; 5. Explain how energy and nutrients
Flows within ecosystems; food chains and webs. (iii) trophic levels. (iv) ecological pyramids. (i) competition. (ii) predator-prey. (iii) discuss types of interactions between organisms in communities; productivity ecosystems. (ii) 6. (i) of symbiosis: (a) commensalism; (c) and parasitism; (b) producers mutualism. 7. Explain how ecosystems are selfsustaining; ecological succession and climax communities. 8. Explain the process of natural selection and adaptation to the environment; natural selection, evolution and adaptation. Cxc a25/u2/10 6 unit 1 module 1: fundamental ecological principles (cont’d)
Specific objectives explanatory notes students should be able to: 9. Determine population size appropriate sampling methods; 10. Using population sampling methods for moving and non-moving organisms (for example, quadrats, transects, capture, mark, release, recapture). Calculate species diversity; where biotic potential. Exponential population growth. Environmental resistance. (i) human beings as part of the natural ecosystems. Benefits of natural ecosystems. (iii) evaluate human interactions within natural ecosystems; (i) anthropogenic impact on ecosystems and biodiversity and the need to maintain its
Integrity. Explain the concept of carrying capacity; 14. Community and ecosystem stability. (ii) 13. Diversity between species. (iii) identify factors affecting population growth in a natural ecosystem; (ii) (ii) 12. Analyse the relationship between species diversity and ecosystem stability; (i) (iii) 11. D – species diversity n – total number of organism of all species n – total number of organism of a particular species diversity within species. 15. Investigate at least two ecosystems in a territory;* cxc a25/u2/10 consider both terrestrial and aquatic (freshwater and marine) ecosystems. 7 unit 1
Module 1: fundamental ecological principles (cont’d) 16. Measure and discuss environmental parameters in a given habitat;* 17. Apply scientific method to experimental design and analysis; 18. See suggested teaching-learning activities. Present and interpret data using appropriate charts, table, graphs. Suggested teaching and learning activities to facilitate students’ attainment of the objectives of this module, teachers are advised to engage students in the teaching and learning activities listed below. 1. Define environmental science 2. Formulate hypothesis, develop guiding statements and generate and interpret data.
Discuss current environmental issues and highlight the importance of adopting an interdisciplinary approach. 4. Sample an ecosystem to determine population density and distribution. 5. Conduct study visits, to identify species diversity. 6. Investigate environmental parameters in a natural aquatic environment. 7. Create models of existing ecosystems in a specific location. 8. Create food webs and analyse possible disruption of feeding relationships. 9. Study the source(s) and distribution of a country’s freshwater supply and its level of dependence on natural water cycles. 10.
Visit to an ecosystem to identify and quantify human use of its components. Cxc a25/u2/10 8 unit 1 module 1: fundamental ecological principles (cont’d) resources botkin, d. , and keller, e. Environmental science: earth as a living planet, new york: john wiley and sons, 1997. Chiras, daniel d. Environmental science. Action for a sustainable future, united states of america: the benjamin/cummings publishing company inc. , 1994. Cunningham, w. And saigo, b. Environmental science. A global concern, new york: mcgraw hill, 2001. Ehrlich, p. And ehrlich, a. The population explosion, new york: simon and schuster, 1990.
Jackson, et al. Global issues 1999-2000, guilford, ct: duskin publishing group inc. , 1998. Jordan, c. Conservation, new york: john wiley and sons, 1995. Miller, g. Tyler living in the environment, principles, connections and solutions: wadsworth publishing, california, 1994. Nebel, b. And wright, r. Environmental science: the way the world works, new jersey: prentice hall, 1997. The cropper foundation (tcf), 2009. Sustainable development. Terms and concept: a reference for teachers and student. Port-of-spain, trinidad biodiversity of the caribbean. A learning resource prepared for eastern caribbean states, canada: ekos
Communications inc. 2009. Websites: www. Redlist. Org/info/captions www. Biomeso. Net [email protected] Org cxc a25/u2/10 9 unit 1 module 2: human population and the environment general objectives on completion of this module, students should: 1. Understand the historical and geographical trends in human population growth and consumption patterns; 2. Understand the socio-environmental impacts related to population growth; 3. Understand the factors that affect the growth rate of human populations; 4. Appreciate the need for sustainable development; 5. Acquire knowledge and develop practical and analytical skills.
Specific objectives explanatory notes students should be able to: 1. (i) (i) age and sex structure. Fertility rates. (iii) mortality rates. (iv) life span and life expectancy. (v) immigration. (vi) emigration. (vii) 10 dependence of people on ecological systems and processes. (ii) cxc a25/u2/10 abiotic and biotic factors that affect the distribution of population and their activities. (iii) explain the demographic characteristics of human population; adaptation of people to the environment (including but not limited to how people adapt to the environment, crops they grow, culture, clothes, shelter).
Assess the relationship between people and the environment; doubling time. Unit 1 module 2: human population and the environment (cont’d) specific objectives explanatory notes students should be able to: 3. Describe historical trends in human population size; compare historical and current trends in human population growth. 4. Describe the current geographical distribution of human population growth; current geographical distribution of human population growth: (i) (ii) age and sex structure. Fertility rate, mortality rate, birth rate, (i) population size and growth rate.
Fertility rate; mortality rate; migration rate, birth rate. Percentage increase in population (iii) 7. (i) (ii) 6. Doubling time (i) culture. (ii) religion. (iii) level and cost of education. (iv) social and economic status of women. (v) availability of pension schemes. (vi) level of affluence. (vii) interpret demographic tables, graphs and charts; in developed nations. (ii) 5. In developing nations; economic development. Calculate changes in demographic characteristics; assess the factors affecting population growth rate; cxc a25/u2/10 11 unit 1 module 2: human population and the environment (cont’d)
Specific objectives explanatory notes students should be able to: 8. Assess the effectiveness of population control methods and measures; population control measures: (i) (ii) 9. Indirect – natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes). (i) assess the relationship between population growth and poverty; direct – family planning measures and methods, government policies the indices of poverty: (a) access to education; (b) access to health care; (c) access to basic needs such as food, housing, water. (ii) (iii) 10. Describe variation patterns; in current human environmental impacts of population
Growth (for example, deforestation in haiti. Include social, biological, economic, physical considerations). (i) geographical consumption per capita, gross gross national gnp), human (hdi), gender (gdi). Domestic product and product (gdp and development index development index consumption patterns as quantified by statistics on: (a) (b) per capita fuel consumption; (d) per capita greenhouse gas emissions; (e) 12 per capita food consumption; (c) cxc a25/u2/10 per capita water consumption; per capita waste production. Unit 1 module 2: human population and the environment (cont’d) specific objectives
Explanatory notes students should be able to: (ii) 11. Explain the principal ways in which people impact negatively on the environment; current trends in per capita consumption particularly influenced by lifestyles in developed and developing countries. Environmental impacts of over consumption in developed and developing countries. (i) (ii) pollution. (iv) introduction of exotic species. Change in lifestyles. (ii) the use of substitutes. Application of environmentally friendly technology. (iv) efficient use of natural resources, for example, recycling. Refer to module 3, specific objective 10.
Explain the relationship between population growth and sustainable development. Cxc a25/u2/10 (i) causes of urbanisation. (ii) 14. Explain the environmental impacts of urbanisation; (i) (iii) 13. Explain how the impacts mentioned in specific objective 11 may be mitigated; habitat destruction. (iii) 12. Overexploitation. Environmental impacts of urbanisation (including but not limited to sanitation, water supply, traffic congestion, housing, pollution, health care). (i) concept of sustainable development. (ii) goals of sustainable development. 13 unit 1 module 2: human population and the environment (cont’d)
Population growth and changing consumption patterns as constraints to sustainable development in a finite world. (iv) strategic imperative for sustainable development #4 “ensuring a sutainable level of population” (our common future, brundtland report, 1987). Suggested teaching and learning activities to facilitate students’ attainment of the objectives of this module, teachers are advised to engage students in the teaching and learning activities listed below. 1. Study a local population based on census statistics; generate population age structure, for all individuals and separately by sex. 2.
Calculate crude birth rates, age-specific birth rates, total fertility rates, crude death rates, agespecific death rates, infant mortality rates, percentage annual increase in population size, and doubling times for populations. 3. Interpret world population data sheets, as produced, for example, by the population reference bureau inc. 4. Arrange a debate on high population growth or high consumerism as principal causes of global environmental problems, using, for example, reports from the 1992 rio conference. 5. Conduct case studies of population size management and of related changes in consumption patterns. 6.
Organise a debate on the definitions of development and sustainable development, and on the question of what constitutes an acceptable standard of living. 7. Discuss the main issues addressed by: (i) the 1972 stockholm conference; (ii) the 1980 international union for the conservation of nature (iucn) world conservation strategy; (iii) the 1987 brundtland report (our common future); cxc a25/u2/10 14 unit 1 module 2: human population and the environment (cont’d) (iv) the 1992 united nations conference on environment and development (the rio conference); (v) the 1994 united nations conference on small island developing states;
The 2002 world summit on sustainable development johannesburg. Resources chiras, d. Environmental science. Action for a sustainable future, united states of america: the benjamin/cummings publishing company, inc. 1994. Cunningham, w. And saigo, b. Environmental science, a global concern: sixth edition, new york: mcgraw hill, 2001. Ehrlich, p. And ehrlich, a. The population explosion, new york: simon and schuster, 1990. Jordan, c. F. Conservation, new york: john wiley and sons, 1995. Miller, g. Tyler living in the environment, principles, connections and solutions: wadsworth publishing, california, 1994.
Nebel, b. , and wright, r. Environmental science: the way the world works, new jersey: prentice hall, 1997. Wwf, iucn, unep caring for the earth: a strategy for sustainable living, 1981. Websites: www. American. Edu/ted/hp21. Htm www. Undp. Org/gef/ www. Un. Org. Esa/esa/sustdev/docu ments/agenda21/index. Htm the cropper foundation (tcf), sustainable development. Terms and concept: a reference for teachers and student. Port-of-spain, trinidad: 2009. Cxc a25/u2/10 biodiversity of the caribbean. A learning resource prepared for eastern caribbean states, 2009. Canada: ekos communications inc. 15 unit 1
Module 3: sustainable use of natural resources general objectives on completion of this module, students should: 1. Be aware of the major ‘natural resources’ in the caribbean; 2. Understand the factors affecting natural resource use and the environmental impacts of their use; 3. Be aware of measures and tools available for sustainable use and conservation of natural resources; 4. Understand the value of natural resources; 5. Understand the concept of ecological sustainability and implications for natural resource use; 6. Acquire knowledge and develop practical and analytical skills. Specific objectives
Explanatory notes students should be able to: 1. Explain the term natural resources; temporal dimensions and limitations placed by technology. 2. Differentiate between renewable and non-renewable natural resources; exhaustible and inexhaustible resources; (i) types and examples of natural resources: renewable and non-renewable. (ii) types and examples of exhaustible and inexhaustible resources. (i) consumptive quarrying). (ii) non-consumptive use – bioprospecting, ecotourism, research. 3. Differentiate between the consumptive and non-consumptive use of natural resources; cxc a25/u2/10 16 use (logging, fishing,
Unit 1 module 3: sustainable use of natural resources (cont’d) specific objectives explanatory notes students should be able to: 4. (i) identify the major categories of natural resources in caribbean countries; biodiversity: (a) species (b) genetic (c) ecosystems: forest; coral reefs; wetlands; seagrass beds; mangroves; freshwater and marine ecosystems. (ii) (iii) (i) livelihood (income generating activity). (ii) foreign exchange earner. (iii) food security. (iv) raw material for industrial processes. (v) recreation. (vi) sacred and spiritual value. (vii) assess the importance of natural resources in the caribbean;
Soil, landscape and seascape, (beaches, cliffs, mountains). Ecosystem value. Identify the location and distribution of natural resources in the caribbean; 6. Minerals and hydrocarbons: bauxite; gold; sand and gravel; oil; natural gas. (iv) 5. Water as a resource, for example, waterfalls, lakes, streams, groundwater. (viii) intrinsic value. (ix) cxc a25/u2/10 17 research and teaching. Unit 1 module 3: sustainable use of natural resources (cont’d) specific objectives students should be able to: 7. Evaluate factors affecting natural resource use in the caribbean; explanatory notes (i) political – government policies on
Natural resource use: (a) (b) (ii) economic policies; environmental and natural resources policies. Economic: role of foreign investment; export of natural resources as primary products; sectoral activities tourism, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, national debt. Refer to explanatory 8. Access the environmental impact of natural resource use including tourism; (i) development specific objective note (iv). 10, biodiversity: (a) habitat disruption destruction; and (c) 18 and (b) cxc a25/u2/10 species depletion extinction; disruption processes. Of ecosystem unit 1 module 3: sustainable use of natural resources (cont’d)
Specific objectives explanatory notes students should be able to: (ii) water as a resource: (a) (b) (iii) pollution and depletion of surface and groundwater, degradation of water, depletion of aquifers. Human health risks (water borne disease) watershed destruction. Minerals and hydrocarbons: (a) (b) dust and noise pollution; (d) pollution from the discharge of process chemicals; (e) sedimentation and siltation; (f) beach loss and change in river course; (g) oil spills; (h) human health risks; (i) 19 transformation of landscape (c) cxc a25/u2/10 physical conversion of vegetation and land; social dynamics (displacement of
Communities and introduction of new settlements). Unit 1 module 3: sustainable use of natural resources (cont’d) specific objectives explanatory notes students should be able to: (iv) soil, landscape and seascape: (a) (b) (v) soil, landscape seascape: (e) and (i) transformation of natural landscape to built environment; (f) cxc a25/u2/10 degradation and destruction of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves the broad concept of natural resource conservation including: management; rehabilitation; restoration; preservation; conservation (in-situ and ex-situ). Reasons for resource conservation: (a) ecological: depletion or
Degradation of natural resources and the threat to sustainable development; conservation of components of life support systems; conservation of endangered and threatened species; (b) ethical: sacredness; right to exist; (c) aesthetical value. Beach erosion (h) degradation and destruction of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves soil degradation, erosion and sedimentation; soil productivity (g) (ii) beach erosion (d) justify the need for natural resource conservation; soil degradation, erosion and sedimentation; soil productivity (c) 9. Transformation of natural landscape to built environment; 20 unit 1
Module 3: sustainable use of natural resources (cont’d) 10. Describe measures and tools available for natural resource management and conservation; (ii) use of substitutes for nonrenewable resources; use of appropriate technology. Refer to module 2, specific objective 12. Reduction and minimisation of waste – recycling of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes. (iv) use of economic instruments: user fees; taxes; penalties; incentives; economic valuation of natural resources; environmental accounting and greening of national budgets. (v) land use planning and zoning regulation;integrated development planning and integrated
Coastal zone management. (vi) 21 rates and techniques for exploitation of renewable resources; sustainable yield management. (iii) cxc a25/u2/10 (i) environmental impact assessments (a brief introduction to eia as a planning and decision making tool to natural resource management and conservation). Unit 1 module 3: sustainable use of natural resources (cont’d) (vii) protected area systems (international union for the conservation of nature (iucn) classification): a. Role; b. Ecotourism (viii) community based natural resource management (participation, monitoring and evaluation). (ix) environmental legislation,
Policies and plans (sustainable development plans, natural environmental action plans (neap), forest management plans, integrated coastal zone management plans; enforcement and implementation. (x) education, public awareness, advocacy and training. (agenda 21, chapter 36). International environmental and conservation agreements. (xi) (a) (b) 22 united nations convention on biological diversity (uncbd); (c) cxc a25/u2/10 united nations framework convention on climate change (unfccc and kyoto protocol); united nations convention to combat desertification (unccd); unit 1 module 3: sustainable use of natural resources (cont’d)
Specific objectives explanatory notes students should be able to: (d) specifically protected areas and wildlife (spaw); (e) ramsar convention; (f) marine pollution (marpol). 11. Analyse the effectiveness of measures implemented for natural resource management and conservation; refer to so 10 12. Describe ways in which indigenous people have used and managed their natural resources. (i) agriculture: rotation of fields during slash/burn activities, use of organic fertilizers, intercropping; (ii) use of forest: timber and non-timber forest products (ntfps); (iii) fishing: traditional fishing methods (iv)
Case studies from belize, dominica, guyana, st. Vincent and the grenadines and suriname. Suggested teaching and learning activities to facilitate students’ attainment of the objectives of this module, teachers are advised to engage students in the teaching and learning activities listed below. 1. Case studies of community based natural resources management, for example, forest, wetlands. 2. Research on indigenous people and natural resources. 3. Field exercises: species identification; visit to industry; visits and assessment of community based natural resource management initiatives, visit to indigenous communities.
Cxc a25/u2/10 23 unit 1 module 3: sustainable use of natural resources (cont’d) 4. Discuss the main issues relating to the natural obligation under unfccc, unccd and the uncbd. 5. Visits to or lectures by representatives of natural resource agencies. 6. View videos and slides of natural resource management activities and protected areas. Resources bossi, r. And cintro, g. Mangroves of the wider caribbean: toward sustainable management, barbados: caribbean conservation association, 1990. Chiras, d. Environmental science. Action for a sustainable future,
United states of america: the benjamin/cummings publishing company inc. , 1994. Cunningham, w. And saigo, b. Environmental science, a global concern, new york: mcgraw hill, 2001. Cutter, s. And william, r. Exploitation, conservation, preservation: a geographic perspective on natural resource use, john haynes – bohaham, 2001. David, b. , breton, i. Brom, d. , and horne, m. Wasted resource management; resilience, adaptation and community diversity, canada: idrc international development research centre. Ehrlich, p. And ehrlich, a. The population explosion, new york: simon and schuster, 1