According to the Niagara Escarpment Commission, “The Niagara Escarpment stretches 725 km through Southern Ontario’s landscape, from Queenston in the Niagara Region up to Tobermory in the Bruce Peninsula. It stands prominent against Ontario’s rather flat topography. It is not only a prominent and significant feature in Ontario’s landscape, but is also recognized on a national level as one of Canada’s premier biosphere reserves, highlighted by UNESCO”.
UNESCO biosphere reserves are considered some of the major ecosystems in the world. According to UNESCO, biosphere reserves are “sites of excellence where new and optimal practices to manage nature and human activities are tested and demonstrated”. However when an individual’s actions are expected to negatively impact the Niagara Escarpment, limitations must be imposed on the individual in order to preserve the biosphere for the greater good of the world. Humans must respect and follow the regulations of an UNESCO biosphere reserve in order to maintain it. Before one looks to expand on the Niagara Escarpment, economic, social, cultural, and environmental factors should be considered.
Economically, new land expansion is always viewed as beneficial. When companies or industries look to build new factories or houses, their end goal is always to make a profit. However, individual advancement in this case has to be sacrificed for the greater good of the rest of the stakeholders. For example, mining industries and residential lots have been looking to expand into the Niagara Escarpment for years, but due to the strict regulations set by UNESCO, many applications of expansion have been denied. This is because although economically land expansion would be beneficial, but socially, culturally, and environmentally, this land expansion would be harmful to the Niagara Escarpment. Because of this, other options must be considered and expansion could be relocated elsewhere (where there is no UNESCO biosphere reserve). It is foolish to only think about the economic benefits of industrial and residential expansion in Niagara Escarpment, and not consider other factors, because such land is priceless. The value of industrial and residential expansion is only short-sighted; mistakes can have long-lasting negative impact on other factors. For example, the Atlantic North-West Cod Fisheries collapsed in 1992 due to economic greed. Because fisheries wanted to make more profits and increase their sales, the cod in the Atlantic were fished at a rate where their population could not regenerate. As a result, the ecosystem in the Atlantic was damaged extensively to the point where cod populations had only started rebounding in 2010, and 35,000 fishers and plant workers from over 400 coastal communities became unemployed.
Furthermore, these companies looking to expand into the Niagara Escarpment should exercise corporate social responsibility. They must consider the impact of expansion for all stakeholders, such as the...