To Bali or not to Bali....

Clovis B. Castro cbcastro at
Mon Sep 20 15:49:50 EDT 1999

Dear Colleagues, 

I believe Dr. Erdmann presented some good points in his comments of the
next ICRS "problem", although also with a strong emotional bias. By now, I
received several replies from my initial message. Some went directly to the
list, others did not. Emotionally speaking, the only two messages pro-Bali
came from people working in Indonesian institutions.

I agree that "ordinary" political issues should not prevent the selection
of a country to host an ICRS. Also, the rotation of host countries seems to
be a good policy. The only point I disagree is the comparison between the
effects that bad environmental or economic policies have on people with
direct manslaughter (by the thousands). Things may not be black and white,
but when a plebiscite is followed by the massacre of those who won it
(amost 80% of the votes) - this does not configure an ordinary situation.
In the latter case, I believe there is plenty of reasons to reject a
country as an ICRS host. 

I believe most reef scientists would realize the difference between the
Indonesian people, its government, and extremists. 

However, the most important contribution given by Dr. Erdmann was on the
time needed for a decision. Dr. Erdmann pointed out two coming events that
might change a decision of turning down Bali. (arrival of the international
peace-keeping force, which already happened; and the Indonesian
presidential election, due next November). I would not be sure what to do
if it depended on my decision alone. Also, I do not know the deadline for a
decision on Bali's Symposium. Is this a case where the later is the better?
What about postponing the symposium for a few months? We could gain much
needed time for a sound decision.

Best regards,
Dr. Clovis B. Castro
Museu Nacional/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Departamento de Invertebrados
Quinta da Boa Vista, Sao Cristovao
20940-040 - Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil
email: cbcastro at
fone +55-XX-21-5681314 ramal 261
celular +55-XX-21-99740913
fax: +55-XX-21-5681314 ramal 213

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