Answer the questions Essay Example

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Environmental Management

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ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT

Introduction

Other than sites that the government has rendered illegal for economical use such as construction of buildings, there are other sites that are truly unbearable for use either for commercial or domestic purposes. For example, consider the hill towns in Europe that have been there hundreds of years ago andstill exist today still clinging to the precipitous hillsides(Healey 2011, p. 250)Poor sites, especially those meant for building may be sold cheaply, but they are accompanied with other costs, for example hiring Geotechnical engineers to offer advisory services. The entire process finally becomes very expensive compared to selecting a suitable site without considering the initial cost.

The Land (7aB) is located close to an industrial area called Wollongong; a city that is approximately 50km to the south of Sydney. The land can easily be developed since it is close to a developing city in which there are many economic activities taking place (Healey 2011, p. 54) The land can benefit by constructing rental buildings that can be accessed by people working in the city. However, the site has floods that occur in the Macquarie Rivulet, kanahooka and koonawara thus making it unsuitable for construction. For the land to potentially benefit from the city, it must possess suitable characteristics such as having proper drainage systems to prevent high water tables. The site is challenged by lack of some suitable demographic characteristics suitable for development for example drainage systems.

Limitations of the sites for the proposed changes

  1. The land (7aB) is said to be the catchment of Lake Illawarra and this makes its water table to be very high. Such high water tables are unsuitable for construction of buildings.

  2. The site hasFlood plains that occur in the Mullet Creek, Macquarie Rivulet, Kanahook and Koonawarra thus making the soil highly variable with seasonal waterlogging. The site cannot be used for buildings due to the high level of the watertable.

  3. Another limitation is that Berkeley is located in low volcanic hills. These hills have highly reactive sub-soils and therefore the site is not suitable for economic use.

  4. Research indicates that the geology of the land that surrounds Primbee Bay is Budgong Sandstone that is highly volcanic. The sandstone gradually weathers to a soil with subsoil having greater than 30 percent clay.

  5. Although the presence of a lake in an area serves as a source of economic activities, for example, irrigation and fish farming, Lake Illawwara is relatively shallow thus cannot serve this area in any valuable economic activity.

Impacts of these limitations on each other

Any piece of land requires having an economic value, however small it may seem. Suitable land sites also provide conditions for development. However, this is not the case with the land (7aB) in which there is challenges like water logging, being situated in volcanic hills that produce reactive soils. Lack of suitable soils for cultivation reduces the diversity of the people living in such areas. The situation is made worse by the fact that the soils are not suitable for construction of buildings in the area. Therefore, the proposal of constructing a hotel may not be material enough in the current situations. Another impact is that the size of the lake cannot support the plan of extracting sand for use in construction in the Wollongong city. The lake is small and therefore it will support construction for a short period of time and then become insufficient for the work. Due to the reduced value of the site, it is difficult to implement the proposals because there will be limited returns compared to the investment cost involved. Although land use and planning are an integral responsibility for central and local government, state policies and local efforts are significant in ensuring growth in rural areas. This involves taking into consideration the individuals who will directly contribute to the development of such areas (Randolph 2004, p. 142)

Sustainability of the proposals

Some of the general responsibilities of the local council’s environmental committee are monitoring activities of the environmental services and projects,consulting with the Rural Affairs Committee on any issue that has an effect on the rural residents, local businesses or any other associated industrial activities (Swaify 2008, p. 63). In regard to this, the two proposals need to be sustained regardless of the inconveniences from the environment.

Extraction of sand from Lake Illawara

Sand is an economic product that is valuable only when put into use in constructions. Its extraction from the lake should be controlled in order to have only authorized people trading in the product. Too much extraction without control will lead to only a few people benefiting from the product unlike when it is under control so that the benefits are spread to all people in the area through other development activities affecting the community at large (Suthar 2012, p. 123)

The construction of a small resort hotel

Construction of the hotel in such areas requires a lot of care considering the risks involved in the waterlogged areas. A hotel is meant for all public services and therefore environmental conditions must be considered before constructing the hotel. Such conditions include the water table of the area and the ability of the soil to support the building for the longest time possible. Research is required to give information about environmental, economic, governance and the social activities in the area in order to evaluate the benefits of the hotel as well as evaluating all the costs involved in such an activity (Healey 2011, p. 135).

Advantages and disadvantages for the community

Advantages

Source of income: The community will be able to generate income by extracting sand from the lake and selling it for construction in the nearest city. Sand is a readily available product on this site which does not require any technical modification. Being a natural resource in the area, it will help the community to self employ themselves because the market for the natural resource is also readily available.

A source of employment: Building a hotel will provide employment opportunities for the surrounding community. Hotel businesses in areas with natural resources and attractive sites, for example lakes are attended by people from all parts of the country, including foreigners from other countries(Bezuidenhout 2010, p. 84). Since it will serve many customers, it will also be able to employ many employees, thus it is an advantage to the surrounding community.

Disadvantages

Draining the lake: Extracting sand from the lake may trigger the community to draining the lake in order to get more sand. Draining the lake means that activities like irrigation will no longer get sufficient water, thus affecting farmers in the area (Riordan 2000, p.23).It will also affect the attractiveness of the area for example, people touring the area will not find it interesting if there is no water in the lake.

Displacement of people: Building the hotel will mean that drainage systems should be constructed to reduce water logging in the area. This may lead to displaced of some people from the area as well as affecting those people who cultivated in the water logged areas since they will not be able to cultivate anymore. A local or international hotel targets many customers, thus a larger area will be required to accommodate all customers (Bezuidenhout2010, p. 153) People living in the surrounding areas will also be displaced in order to provide space for the construction of the hotel.

Management plan for the construction of a small resort hotel

The main objective of this plan is to utilize the land that lies idle in the area. The first step will be to reduce water logging in the area before constructing the hotel. According to (Swaify 2008, p. 214)the actual activities that keep a business alive, maintain its standing with community need to be carried out effectively and efficiently without delay. Construction of the building must be done efficiently since it affects the affairs of the community. After reducing the water levels in the area, the community will get involved in the construction work to erect the buildings. The hotel may be used to serve tourists visiting the lake and other natural environments.

The effect of the management plan on the impact of extracting sand

Extracting sand has a short life span and therefore the economic impact of the proposal will only be felt for a short period of time, unlike construction of a hotel which will remain in operation for many years and therefore its economic impacts will be felt for a longer period of time (Riordan 2000, p. 87). This will enhance development, whereas extracting sand from the area is like selling raw materials to another area whereby it enhances the development of another area which is Wollongong city.

Question two

Limitations of the site

  1. Location: the land is located in the lower reaches of catchments of a large river. This shows the risk associated with any construction intended in the site

  2. The site also lies on a peninsula where sandstone outcrops.

  3. The site has sandy soils which are approximately 10m deep. Sandy soils are not suitable for construction of buildings since it offers weak support.

  4. The sandy soil is also highly plastic

Impacts of the limitations on the proposals

Construction of townhouses: construction of houses requires a strong foundation that can support them firmly. For example, constructing town houses requires a strong foundation since these buildings are permanent and building them is aimed at serving the public interest. The site lies on a peninsula in which sandstone outcrops. This affects the efficiency of building construction since it indicates that the underground is composed of sand soil that is not suitable for construction (Riordan 2000, p. 108). This proposal aims at restoring the heritage house to function as a conference or a reception facility. This building is situated in an area where mangroves have dominated. Removing these plants from this area is a challenge that and may not be possible to permanently remove them.

Restoration of the foreshores into parkland: constructing parklandat the center of mangroves is also not easy considering that the public is the target for the parkland. The soil is sandy which does not support cultivation. Parkland requires some trees which might not be well supported by the soil (Roberts Randolph & Chiesa 2006, p. 346)

Suitable proposal for the site

Construction of townhouses that has designated areas of open space and recreational facilities is the suitable option for the site. This proposal provides more economic and social activities compared to restoring the foreshores (Riordan 2000, p. 49). Having townhouses means that more be accommodated in the building while at the same time there are open spaces and other recreational facilities for more activities. Equivalent to the second proposal, the heritage house will also be put into use through restoration and be used as a reception/conference facility. This increases the utility of the site by including many social and economic activities within the same area unlike the second proposal which only involves two activities that is parkland and a restaurant.

Management plan for the proposal

The whole process for proposal two aims at improving the living standards for the community in this area. The first step is to ensure that the buildings are constructed properly by removing the sand soil part which is not suitable for construction of buildings. These houses will be used to accommodate people within the locality and then the restaurant will be used to serve the visitors who are not permanent in the site. Revenue generated from the activities will be used to develop the site gradually until it becomes suitable for all economic activities without fear of the foundation.

Suggested development

Investing in Biochar: it is a substance that is known for its ability of enriching soil fertility and retaining water for a long time. This substance is created through a process called Pyrolysis and it exhibits unique properties that help in combating future dry spells {Healey 2011, p.134). Therefore, various crops can be grown using this substance, regardless of the type of soil they are being grown in. Sandy soil will therefore not hinder any economic activity related to cultivation since the substance can help the soil to improve its water retention ability.

Conclusion

Land and environmental management are often managed in order to acquire multiple benefits. Such benefits include: biodiversity conservation, agricultural production,soil health,water quality and supporting human life. To achieve the aforementioned benefits, the best site must be chosen. In situations where the site is not fit for use in any beneficial activity, it should be transformed to ensure it is productive. For example, where the land cannot be cultivated, it can be used as a site for construction of buildings which can be used in other economic activities

In our case, proposals have been written in order to try to develop the sites. The sites are faced with imitations that hinder any form of investment. However, there are ways in which the sites can be put into use by reforming their current states. Such reformations may include removing the mangroves and sand soil that lies on the surface in order to be able to construct commercial buildings like a hotel as it has been proposed. Using the land for such economic activities will contribute to the development of the region and improve the living standards of the people within the region.

Sustainable land management entails managing natural resources without damaging biological diversity. Therefore, using the resources for economic development should not degrade future productivity of the region for example, extracting sand from the lake should not affect the life span of the water source because it may be used for other purposes like irrigation. Control of land use is significant in order to sustain its users in their current and future lives.

References

Bezuidenhout, S., 2010.Advantages and disadvantages associated with the implementation and integration of environmental management systems in small businesses. New Hope, PA: Nicholas BrealeyPub..

Healey, J., 2011. Sustainable land management. Thirroul, N.S.W.: Spinney Press.

Randolph, J., 2004. Environmental land use planning and management. Washington: Island Press.

Riordan, T., 2000. Environmental science for environmental management (2nd ed.). London: Prentice Hall.

Roberts, M. C., Randolph, J. C., &Chiesa, J. R., 2006. A land suitability model for the evaluation of land-use change. Environmental Management, 3(4), 339-352.

Suthar, S., 2012.Land management. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Swaify, S. A., 2008. Multiple objective decision making for land, water, and environmental management: proceedings of the First International Conference on Multiple Objective Decision Support Systems (MODSS) for Land, Water and Environmental Management: Concepts, Approaches, . Boca Raton, Fla.: Lewis Publishers.