How to best use money in order to support green areas?

Posted:  March 22nd, 2011 by:  The Environment Site comments:  0

I believe that CO2 levels have increased in the atmosphere since the 19th century, and I believe that one of the noblest ways to counterweight mankind’s CO2 emissions is to support green areas: nature reserves, national parks, botanical gardens, urban parks and single trees. These may help the solution of other environmental problems as well, like land degradation. That’s why I have begun to think on how to make green areas more prevalent. No doubt that in our times, this needs money, and the money should come from the taxpayers as well as those altruistic people who voluntarily support environmentalism.

At the national level, a state can do at least two things from the taxpayers’ money. The first is to reclaim the ownership of the land by buying it from individuals. The second is to lease the land: pay its owners if they use the land as green area. We can see that the first solution would be nicer in the long run, because that way the state would have to pay less annually, as the market value of leasing land might be higher than the upkeep, and it may even go up in the future. By the way, the state could support the green areas of individuals with a very small amount of money, or at least it should not demand taxes for those lands. It is probable though that a state will not have enough money for financing green areas.

The help of altruistic people may save the situation. Their money should be used at least as fair as the money of the taxpayers. The land of Nature should be bought for Nature for ever instead of leasing from individuals or states again and again. It should be 100% guaranteed that the land which has been bought for Nature remains the property of the environmentalist causes and every people. For example, it could be given to an organization like the UNEP, just with 100% sure and just management of rights. That way, more people would feel like giving money for saving the environment, and in time, the areas of Nature would be larger and larger again.

At the international level, it would be the best if every country would have green areas in the same high proportion. Otherwise all the countries should pay a fund annually which would support green areas in countries which have more green areas, easing the sacrifices of greener countries this way. But then it would not be the direct monetary interest of the payer countries to preserve Nature in the countries with green areas, because if the natural reserves were destroyed, they wouldn’t have to pay. An international law which governs the minimal size of green areas in a country would be better.

There is a Hungarian proverb which is in connection with this problem, in English it says “The common horse has scars on his back”. It may even happen in the local scale, because it is not the interest of the local, unemployed people to preserve the nature reserves near them. That’s why I suggest letting local people benefit from the blessings of the green area, independently of their proprietary rights. There is another Hungarian proverb which is in connection with this, in English it says “The land is of those who maintain it”.
Written by Arpad Fekete, a member of TheEnvironmentSite.org. This article is in the public domain.

Picture Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianrevivalnetwork/2724978790

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