[Coral-List] Coral Conservation versus Public Relations-Guana Cay Issue

Michael Risk riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca
Tue Mar 14 14:59:50 EST 2006

Hello Todd.

Thanks for the input.

In a perfect world, what you propose would be the answer. It is always
more pleasant to work with developers and educate them as you go-some
of them are in fact quite concerned about the environment.

That has been tried in this case, and has not worked. This company has
a long history of noncompliance. They have shown not the slightest
inclination to budge from their original plan, which-to summarize-has
an 18-hole golf course, a 400-slip marina, several hundred estate homes
and a hotel, on a piece of land that wouldn't make a decent dragstrip
and is 100m wide at its most narrow. (I forget the exact size, but it's
tiny.) The fringing reef, along with the turtle nesting areas, is about
20 metres from the edge of the golfcourse.

They have been offered mediation-refused.
They have been offered a joint reef-monitoring program-refused.
Thye have refused to scale back the development, and refused any
meaningful scientific or societal debate. Instead, for example, they
began parts of the development before approval had been given. They
have bypassed the community now living on that island, and are now
embarked in a full-bore PR campaign.

So I would propose to you that these are Bad Guys, with whom no
negotiation ever would have worked. 

There will be a spectrum of developer mindsets: some will be so green
as to make us proud. With some, we will be able to work, to convince
them to accept modest requests that pay big biodiversity dividends.
With others, the role of the concerned scientist is clear: make such a
huge stink that the bastards give up and go elsewhere. And then we hope
the next bunch are more reasonable.

(Can you say "bastards" on coral-list? If so, I have some more words
that may fit in this case...)


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