[Coral-List] sustain vs. sustainable development

JKoven at aol.com JKoven at aol.com
Sun Feb 26 18:05:29 EST 2006

 Yes, Jim, "sustainable" and "development" ARE  oxymorons.  It all depends on 
what level of income/development the community stakeholders need to produce 
from their reefs, absent other income sources.  Their choices are often limited 
- they can bring in tourists/divers or over-fish, even though that diminishes 
or damages the resources. 
Reefs provided sustenance for entire island communities for millenia - they 
can't now sustain other urban communities with growing populations.  The needs 
of these stakeholders has changed over the past 50 years - they want to send 
their children to schools off-island, they want the same techological 
"improvements" in their lives that those in the urban areas have and to catch up with 
the 21st century world. 
Both climate change and over-fishing have  affected many Pacific reefs that 
have not been subjected to gross land-based pollution.  Nothing the 
stakeholders of small islands can do will change the global climate picture and fishing 
is part of their culture.  The search is on for other ways to sustain the way 
of life they wish to have, without further destroying fisheries and thus reefs.
It's interesting that outrigger canoes once sped villagers to other islands.  
Then came the diesel powered boats - slower and costly, although one was less 
dependant upon weather and perhaps drier upon arrival.  Now faster fiberglass 
boats are the thing.....they travel as swiftly as an outrigger in a decent 
wind, but leave one beholden to the fuel companies.  Progress? 
Joan Koven
Astrolabe, Inc.

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