Switch to text mode
Republic of the Marshall Islands Biodiversity Clearing House Mechanism
RMI Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination (OEPPC)

banner of the RMI biodiversity CHM website
rounded cornerrounded cornerRMI flag
RMI State Emblem
pixel element pixel element
rounded corner rounded corner
pixel element
Changes in population and lifestyle

Invasive species are often introduced into new places because people's lifestyles have changed. Tramp ants tend to "sneak" into an area, hidden amidst lumber and other building material. If people were not to import these supplies, but only used local biological resources, the ants would never be able to make inroads.

Yet when too many people are crowded onto one small bit of land, the biological resources are not sufficient for all. What is there is quickly depleted and outside supplies must be brought in. Furthermore, the land which previously served as farmland for a small population is now cleared to make room for more houses, again precipitating more dependence on imported resources. Much of this imported foodstuffs are packaged in "non-environmentally friendly" containers - styrofoam, plastic and such which do not simply decompose into the soil as do native and traditional materials.

Without the green farmlands nearby, some persons tend to seek out greenery by planting flowers and other vegetation around their homes. This often leads them to import ornamentals, which all too often turn out to be invasive species that proceed to take over what little remaining native and traditional plants there may have been.

In the Marshall Islands, threats to biodiversity and traditional lifestyle are often aggravated by a breakdown in family structure. The change from a subsistence economy to one based on money obviously means fewer people are in the natural environment, tending to the land, gathering local materials, and in the process, teaching their children and grandchildren the names and useful properties of the plants and animals encountered.

In the old ways, everyone had to work together to provide not only for their immediate family, but also their extended family or "bwij." This was a "share and share alike" arrangement, which also translated into little waste of the resources. It also meant that the youngsters could see the relevance of learning the traditional knowledge. In an urban setting, children may not come to appreciate the value of certain trees, animals and traditional harvesting and fishing methods.

Another problem which comes with the deviation from the old ways is the adoption of modern technologies that are not always in accord with sustainable and traditional practices. In fact, some of the new techniques can be downright destructive. For example, the fruit of the "wop" tree was a traditional means of stunning fishes. While quite effective, eventually the stupefying effects did wear off, so that any fishes and other species of marine life not gathered were able to recover. However, in modem times, chlorine bleach has been used instead. The targeted fishes are similarly knocked out, but any other fishes that come in contact with the bleach, as well as nearby coral and other species, will likely be killed in the process. (According to current RMI law, however, neither "wop" nor bleach is a legal fishing method.)

back to top

menu itemAdvanced search
menu itemHome
menu itemNews
expanded menu itemOverview of local biodiversity
menu itemRelatively non-dangerous environment
menu itemTerrestrial and aquatic biodiversity
menu itemMarine biodiversity
menu itemFlora
menu itemFauna
menu itemEcosystems of Marshall Islands
expanded menu itemNational implementation
menu itemIntroduction
menu itemInternational legislation
menu itemRelevant excerpts from C.I.T.E.S.
menu itemNational legislation
menu itemCBD Website
menu itemBiodiversity strategy and Action Plan (pdf)
menu itemCapacity Building Needs Assessment (pdf)
expanded menu itemNational Initiatives
menu itemEcotourism
menu itemCommunity based resource management
menu itemTraditional knowledge and practices
menu itemEnvironmental education
expanded menu itemPublications
menu itemReports
menu itemSearch for RMI biodiversity publications
expanded menu itemThreats to Biodiversity
menu itemIntroduction
menu itemInvasive species
menu itemCase 1: snails...
menu itemCase 2: invasions of plants
menu itemCase 3: ants - environmental disasters
you are hereChanges in population and lifestyle
menu itemCase: albatrosses and man
menu itemNuclear testing and the biota
menu itemCase: radiation and the biota
menu itemClimate change
expanded menu itemRMI natural resources database
menu itemSearch the database
menu itemOverview of Atols and Islands
menu itemBrief Overwiew of Flora
menu itemBrief Overview of Fauna
menu itemNative Vascular Plants of the Marshalls
menu itemPlants of the Marshall Islands
menu itemSnails of the Marshall Islands
menu itemArachnids and Myriapods of the Marshall Islands
menu itemInsects of the Marshall Islands
menu itemFishes of the Marshall Islands
menu itemReptiles and Amphibians of the Marshall Islands
menu itemBirds of the Marshall Islands
menu itemMammals of the Marshall Islands
menu itemEcosystems of Marshall Islands
menu itemSpecies Deemed Worthy for Conservation
menu itemProtected Species
menu itemEndemic Species and Subspecies of the Marshalls and Micronesia
menu itemEndemic Species of the Marshalls
menu itemSome Pestiferous and Potentially Pestiferous Species
expanded menu itemMisc. datasets and maps
menu itemGIS resources
menu itemVideostreams
expanded menu itemPartners and links
menu itemLinks to explore
menu itemConvention on Biological Diversity
menu itemUnited Nations Development Program
menu itemRMI Environmental Program
menu itemRMI Iokwe Online
menu itemPlants and the Environment of the Marshall Islands Website
menu itemPacific Biodiversity Information Forum
menu itemWorld Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC)
menu itemGlobal Environmental Facility (GEF)
menu itemCHM sites worldwide
menu itemContacts
menu itemFeedback
menu itemCopyright
menu itemAccessibility
menu itemDisclaimer
menu itemPrivacy

What's new

rss feed RSS

03 Nov 2008
New publications available check it!

Read more show more

28 Oct 2008
List of legislative documents has been updated check it!

Read more show more

29 Jul 2008
New feature - RSS feed check it!

Read more show more

31 Mar 2008
Featuring new section - videostreams check it!

Read more show more

rss feed RSS

pixel element
rounded cornerrounded corner
pixel elementpixel element
bulletHOME bullet NEWSbullet OVERVIEW OF LOCAL BIODIVERSITY bullet NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION bullet NATIONAL INITIATIVES bullet PUBLICATIONS bullet THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY:[ Introduction ::: Invasive species ::: Case 1: snails... ::: Case 2: invasions of plants ::: Case 3: ants - environmental disasters ::: you are hereChanges in population and lifestyle ::: Case: albatrosses and man ::: Nuclear testing and the biota ::: Case: radiation and the biota ::: Climate change ] bullet RMI NATURAL RESOURCES DATABASE bullet MISC. DATASETS AND MAPSbullet PARTNERS AND LINKS bullet CONTACTS bullet FEEDBACK bullet COPYRIGHT bullet ACCESSIBILITY bullet DISCLAIMER bullet PRIVACY bullet
pixel element
GEF logo and link
pixel element
©RMI Office of Environmental Planning and Policy Coordination (OEPPC)      Last update: 2 October 2008 
pixel element
Documents.rdf.xml | Multimedia.rdf.xml
pixel element
Design & programming by ekoinf.net