Coral article in Newsweek

Mike Risk riskmj at
Mon Nov 5 09:21:23 EST 2001

Hi Ursula.

While commendable, this article is somewhat out of date. Name of the mag
could be Newsdecade.

Tumbak is at or very near the global centre of marine biodiversity, so we
should all be concerned about what goes on there. Threats to the reefs in
the region have been well-documented elsewhere, especially by Tom Tomascik.

There are some success stories. Educational programs involving the ethnic
groups making up Indonesia's "sea gypsies" (Bugis, Badjo, etc) have had some
impact. In addition, there are two programs with (at least in part) foreign
funding that make the rest of them look like the disgraceful pork-barrel
lashups they really are. Kehati is an NGO working on marine programs, using
primary education as a major tool. Mark Erdmann's work out of Bunaken on
cyanide-fishing is having some impact. In addition, USAid funds a
community-based program in Blongko, on Sulawesi, that has been extremely
effective. They brought in masks and flippers, showed the village what the
reef looked like-village set up and now polices their own marine reserve.

This and some other success stories were documented in a TV special, People
of the Reefs, shown last January on Vision TV. This has some spectacular
footage of fish bombing. Someone may have taped a copy you could lay your
hands on.

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