9ICRS and East Timor

Precht, Bill Bprecht at pbsj.com
Wed Sep 15 15:43:12 EDT 1999

Something to Think About:

As much as I am in favor of protecting and restoring coral reef

and as much as would like to go to Bali in 2000(in fact I'm planning on it).

The question here is more profound...

The ISRS needs to seriously review the ramifications(social, moral,
political, economic...)of holding our next meeting in a country that does
not view all races, creeds & religions equally. These very items were raised
at the ISRS meeting in Panama...

We also need to be concerned with the safety and well-being of ALL of our
international members.

I hope the ISRS (and the organizing committee) has a "back-up" plan.

If the situation in Indonesia gets worse (and it very well may), we will all
be faced with some difficult personal decisions.

William F. Precht

-----Original Message-----
From: Lida Pet-Soede [mailto:lidapet at ibm.net]
Sent: Monday, September 13, 1999 11:06 PM
To: Clovis B. Castro; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: 9ICRS and East Timor

Clovis Castro wrote on Monday, September 13, 1999 9:13 PM
> Have any of you gave some thoutght on what are you going to do in October
> 2000?
> By that I mean: if the situation in Indonesia, and particularly in East
> Timor, does not reach a good solution, will you still consider attending
> the symposium?
> I have been looking forward to attend the 9ICRS. However, I am currently
> having second thoughts about participating (as a tiny protest against
> current practices in Indonesia) - the situation in that country (and TV
> images don't let us forget) is dramatic.

He is right about the situation being dramatic but let's not forget one
thing. There are already a lot of reasons given why conservation of the
reefs is difficult/impossible(?!) and so on. Let's not add another reason
the list. Especially now Indonesia is going through rough times, the
national and internation attention tends to get focussed on other things
than on Indonesias most important marine asset. By participating in the 9th
ICRS you'll cast a must stronger signal pro the importance of coral reef
science and conservation than by boycotting it.

There is another point I like to make. There have been lots of speculations
on what the recent monetary crisis in Indonesia would mean to the use of
destructive fishing practices (DFP), for the continuation of research
projects and governmental and non-governmental marine conservation
projects. DFP are still there but so are the conservation and research
projects, COREMAP is just one example . There are a lot of Indonesian and
foreign people putting their knowledge, experience and commitment into
adressing the problems that face Indonesia's coral reefs. Let's support
that by sharing your experience, knowledge and enthousiasm at the 9th ICRS.

Lida Pet-Soede
Coastal Fisheries Biology and -Management expert

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