Human societies have always had environmental impacts; the major differences between early human civilizations and our contemporary problems are the scales at which humans impact the environment (local/regional/global) and rates of environmental degradation. Human impacts have been magnified by various interconnected factors including population growth and mass consumption. This has led to habitat loss/fragmentation, soil erosion and nutrient depletion, biodiversity loss, water deficits and contamination, food shortages and famines, unsustainable food systems, toxic emissions, chemical pollution, and heavy reliance on nonrenewable resources. Thus, human populations, natural resources, technologies, development, and environmental health are closely/inseparably interrelated. The “environment” is increasingly being managed to meet the goals of sustainability, although the effectiveness of environmental management is debatable.

In an example of ecosystem restoration, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife ...

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