Natural Capital-Based Societies in the Tropics

As the tropics are exposed to large amounts of solar radiation, solar energy amelioration is highly important in tropical ecosystems. Among mechanisms of high solar energy amelioration, the water cycle is the first function that removes solar radiation energy in the form of latent heat through evaporation at the sea surface and evapotranspiration from forests. The carbon cycle is the second function as it fixes solar radiation energy into carbohydrates in plants (and forests) through photosynthesis. In addition, forests have a function in the water–carbon linkage, and it is assumed that the water–TREE–carbon linkage is a key function in the tropics, where a TREE (a simplified forest function) is a bioapparatus that serves as natural capital. The TREE model includes functions such as solar panels (leaves), batteries (stems), air conditioning (evapotranspiration), carbon sequestration (biochar), fertilizer production (N2 fixation), water dams (water reserves in the soil), and soil conservation (through the application of organic matter). As the water–plant–carbon linkage depends on solar energy input, the natural ecosystems in which this system occurs are defined as “Sun Harvesting Ecosystems,” and the human societies that depend on these ecosystems are defined as “Harvesting Sun Societies.” Ideal Harvesting Sun Societies depend on natural capital and target the development of “carbon-neutral societies.” Harvesting Sun Societies should use small amounts of energy from hydropower and biomass. Here, we propose to call this new earth management system, which depends on natural capital, “Envelopment Mechanisms.” “Harvested Sun Societies” depend on natural resources and target carbon-negative economies. Harvested Sun Societies rely on fossil fuels and industrial renewable energy (mainly solar panels and wind power). Here, we propose to call these destructive earth management systems, which depend on natural resources, “Development Mechanisms.”
  • Authors: Osaki, M., Tsuji, N., Kato, T., Yamanaka, M.D., Sulaiman, A., Silsigia, S., Wetadewi, R.I.
  • Author Affiliation: Hokkaido University, University of Malaysia Sabah, P.T. Wana Subur Lestari, and P.T. Mayangkara Tanaman Industri, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Indonesian Institute of Sciences-LIPI, Peatland Restoration Agency
  • Subjects: ecosystem management, tropical forests, solar radiation, biomass, carbon sequestration, tropics
  • Publication type: Chapter-R
  • Source: Osaki, M., Tsuji, N., Foead, N., Rieley, J., (eds). 2021. Tropical Peatland Eco-management. 197-245
  • Year: 2021
  • ISSN: 978-981-334-654-3
  • DOI:
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