Check out what happened in the world of science and international politics in Q1 2024!
Knowledge article main photo
Do people have impact on how the ecosystems look?

In 2002, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen put forward the view that we have left the Holocene era and entered a new era known as the Anthropocene. The change was attributed to far-reaching environmental effects resulting from rapid human population growth and advances in economic development around the world. The term has been informally incorporated into the geological literature by various researchers, essentially meaning the current global environment that is heavily influenced by human activity [1].

Before the Industrial Revolution, the world’s human population was about 300 million in 1000 AD, 500 million in 1500 AD and 790 million in 1750 AD, as documented by the United Nations in 1999. During this period, energy consumption was largely limited to firewood and human labor. Evidence found in Holocene strata indicates a gradual increase in human influence, although human remains and artifacts are rare. 

Some researchers have argued that the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from the early to middle Holocene, ranging from about 260 to 280 parts per million, contributing to climate warming during this epoch, was a consequence of human-induced deforestation [1]. While human activity has left its mark on Holocene strata, it has not created entirely new and globally distinctive environmental conditions that would significantly alter stratigraphic signals. In an era of such rapid change, does ecology still play a role?

What is the ecology?

The concept of ecology was introduced in the second half of the 19th century by Ernst Heinrich Haeckel, who coined it, drawing from the Greek term οἶκος, which means “dwelling” or “habitat” [2]. In the field of ecology, scientists delve into two basic questions – they seek to understand what regulates the presence and abundance of organisms, and the goal of their research is to explain the complex interrelationships between living things and the abiotic environment. These interrelationships require special attention because they are of obvious importance in all biological research. Physiological processes in living beings are closely linked to fluctuations in their environment. The growth and development of organisms are influenced by environmental factors. The distribution of plants and animals depends on environmental changes, and the environment itself plays a key role in the survival of populations [2].

The individual or the whole – the image of ecology in the modern world

Due to the vast area that needs to be explored, research results in ecology often focus on populations. In ecological terms, a population refers to a group of individuals belonging to the same species living in a common geographic area. Population ecology does not focus solely on the assemblages of organisms in natural ecosystems, but also extends to organisms that develop in human-influenced environments. In particular, an important aspect of the development of ecology has been the study of insects present in agricultural crops, as well as insects involved in disease transmission among domestic animals and humans [2]. Nowadays, research on this scale is classified as a separate field of science, including but not limited to applied entomology – their research methodology is generally based on basic ecological principles.

Caring for the environment – what is the legislative case?

Numerous laws, such as the Environmental Protection Law and the Nature Conservation Law, emphasize the importance of protecting the quality of the environment. In addition, the National Environmental Policy has also been enacted. These legislative documents contain specific definitions and terminologies that include the adjective “ecological”. For example, they refer to the ecological review, which is described in Articles 237 and 238 of the Environmental Law as a comprehensive description of an operating technological facility. This review includes detailed information on the technology used to construct the facility, the surrounding environment, the potential environmental impacts it may have, and measures to mitigate those impacts [2].

The third generation of law marks a significant shift toward addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our time, particularly in the field of environmental law. With growing awareness of the catastrophic effects of human activity on our planet, there has been a paradigmatic shift from the traditional legal framework to a more holistic and sustainable approach. The new generation of environmental law focuses not only on regulation and protection, but also on restoring, protecting and promoting environmental sustainability.

Ecologist = scientist or environmental activist?

The Dictionary of Polish Language defines “ecological” as: “1. pertaining to the relationship of external conditions to plant and animal life, 2. related to the protection of the environment, 3. produced from natural ingredients”. Thus, the adjective has a much broader meaning and can be applied to basically any issue related to the environment, environmental protection and efforts to improve its quality [2]. According to the Dictionary of the Polish Language, ecology includes not only scientific research, but also activities and initiatives to protect the environment. Hence, in public discussions, the term “ecologist” is often associated with an environmental defender or activist, rather than a scientific researcher.

Does the city have an impact on ecology? 

Urban ecology – a sub-discipline of ecology –- studies the structure, dynamics and processes of urban ecological systems. In addition, it deals with the distribution and abundance of plants and animals in cities at different levels: organisms, populations and ecological complexes. The concept of urban ecosystems, includes everything from local areas (such as parks) to entire cities. This has led to the development of topics such as urban entomology. It focuses on insects found in urban environments and the factors affecting their populations.

Urban ecology now includes observations of the relationships between organisms in urban areas and their interactions with the urban environment. It examines how these relationships affect exchange of information, the flow of energy, and circulation of matter in urban ecological systems and between urban and non-urban systems [2]. Moreover, it integrates concepts from the social sciences, considering urban buildings and infrastructure along with individual organisms and ecological complexes. 

Do Polish people care about ecology?

A survey conducted in October 2020 on behalf of the Ministry of Climate and Environment revealed some noteworthy findings regarding the environmental awareness and behavior of Polish residents.More than 96% of respondents said they regularly segregate waste. Regarding climate change, 94% of survey participants considered it an important or very important issue.In addition, more than 3/4 of Poland’s residents expressed a desire to increase spending on clean energy, and nearly 6 in 10 respondents said they intended to switch to a greener energy source for their stoves. These results underscore the positive environmental awareness and willingness to adopt sustainable practices among the surveyed population [3].





Zuzanna Czernicka
I am deeply immersed in the dynamic world of banking and FinTech. My focus encompasses critical areas such as foreign exchange, payments, and the cutting-edge landscape of FinTech regulation. My academic interests span a broad range of topics including electronic payments, Open Banking, blockchain impacts, the DeFi ecosystem, NFTs, ICOs, and tokenization. I am dedicated to understanding and analyzing the new regulatory frameworks shaping the FinTech world. Currently, I am writing my Bachelor\'s thesis on the robo-advisory services. This work reflects my commitment to understanding and contributing to the regulatory frameworks that are vital for the growth and governance of emerging financial technologies.
Written by:

Zuzanna Czernicka

Leave a comment