This page uses content from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC BY-SA.


 Portal WikiProject Environment Talk page 


Welcome to the Environment Portal
(image link)


A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism or population, and consequently includes the factors that have an influence in their survival, development, and evolution. A biophysical environment can vary in scale from microscopic to global in extent. It can also be subdivided according to its attributes. Examples include the marine environment, the atmospheric environment and the terrestrial environment. The number of biophysical environments is countless, given that each living organism has its own environment.

The term environment can refer to a singular global environment in relation to humanity, or a local biophysical environment, e.g. the UK's Environment Agency.

Selected article

Participation in the Kyoto Protocol: dark green indicates countries that have signed and ratified the treaty, yellow indicates those that have signed and hope to ratify it, and red indicates those that have signed but not ratified it.
Kyoto Protocol is an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change international treaty on climate change, assigning mandatory emission limitations for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the signatory nations. The Kyoto Protocol establishes legally binding commitments for the reduction of four greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride), and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) produced by "Annex I" (industrialized) nations, as well as general commitments for all member countries. It works on an emission allowance scheme.

Kyoto includes defined "flexible mechanisms" such as Emissions Trading, the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation to allow Annex I economies to meet their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limitations by purchasing GHG emission reductions credits from elsewhere, through financial exchanges, projects that reduce emissions in non-Annex I economies, from other Annex I countries, or from Annex I countries with excess allowances. In practice this means that Non-Annex I economies have no GHG emission restrictions, but have financial incentives to develop GHG emission reduction projects to receive "carbon credits" that can then be sold to Annex I buyers, encouraging sustainable development. In addition, the flexible mechanisms allow Annex I nations with efficient, low GHG-emitting industries, and high prevailing environmental standards to purchase carbon credits on the world market instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions domestically. Annex I entities typically will want to acquire carbon credits as cheaply as possible, while Non-Annex I entities want to maximize the value of carbon credits generated from their domestic Greenhouse Gas Projects.

Did you know...

Current events

Selected biography

James B. Harkin, also known as the Father of National Parks, was a Canadian-born journalist turned bureaucrat with a passion for conservation but also widely renowned for his commodification of the Canadian landscape. Harkin was able to acquire an appointment to be the first commissioner of the Dominion Parks Branch in 1911. During his career, Harkin oversaw the establishment of national parks that include Elk Island, Mount Revelstoke, Point Pelee, Kootenay, Wood Buffalo, Prince Albert, Riding Mountain, Georgian Bay Islands and Cape Breton Highlands. The creation of the Wood Buffalo National Park sparked huge debate with local indigenous groups and the rippling effects of that debate are still being dealt with today.

Selected image

Moofushi bleached corals.JPG
Credit: Bruno de Giusti

Coral bleaching refers to the loss of color of corals due to stress-induced expulsion of symbiotic unicellular algae. It can be caused by sedimentation, change in pH, change in water temperature, or pathogen infections. When coral bleaching occurs, the productivity of the coral reefs are lost.

Selected organization

The Brundtland Commission, formally the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), known by the name of its Chair Gro Harlem Brundtland, was convened by the United Nations in 1983. The commission was created to address growing concern "about the accelerating deterioration of the human environment and natural resources and the consequences of that deterioration for economic and social development." In establishing the commission, the UN General Assembly recognized that environmental problems were global in nature and determined that it was in the common interest of all nations to establish policies for sustainable development.

The Report of the Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, was published in 1987. It was welcomed by the General Assembly in its resolution 42/187. The report deals with sustainable development and the change of politics needed for achieving that. The definition of this term in the report is quite well known and often cited:

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:
  • the concept of 'needs', in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
  • the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."

Selected quote

Sir David Attenborough
Were we and the rest of the back-boned animals to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well.

Main topics

Things you can do

  • This list is transcluded from the tasks list page. To edit the list, click here

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:

Related categories

Related articles

Related portals


Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:






Learning resources