[Coral-List] Remnancy vs resiliency Part 3: making a list

Christopher Hawkins chwkins at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 23 18:32:01 EST 2006

  I think there is some stimulating conversation emerging.  This is one of the great things about the List, in my opinion.  I may not be into everything coming down the pipe, but I like to hear about what is going on in coral reef research and management that differs from what I am working on.
  Two strings of thought:
  1.  Regarding the remnancy vs. resiliency vs. no remnancy or resiliency exchange, the items being placed on Phil's "list" in the past couple of days have little do directly with that topic.  Some good and passionate comments, though.  Let me offer some of my own about resilience.  First, much of what I have read here has been rather negative and has been from a more academic standpoint.  Gregor stated that prospects for applications of resilience are "nil".  I can't help but wonder if we are approaching the concept from vastly different viewpoints or understanding.  I say this because as a recent manager-type in the South Pacific, and having attended a resilience workshop in Palau, I can absolutely see potential practical applications of what I learned and observed.  For example, published research is forthcoming about a stand of corals that seems to do better than surrounding areas when threshold temperatures are exceeded.  There is also ongoing research regarding micosporine-like
 amino acids, and if there differences in the levels of this "sunscreen" between species.  The application for both of these to management is to protect these potentially special places in case of mass mortality elsewhere.  
  The representative areas portion of the resiliency concept also seemed to hold promise for conservation activities.  On the high islands where I worked last, there were areas of fairly constant wave action, areas that are shaded most of the day, and areas in the middle of upwelling.  All places to be considered for inclusion when designing a system of MPAs.  
  Now, debate may be centered on whether or not this is resilience.  For example, my neighbor, the redheaded Irishman, might not fair so well under the hot equatorial sun.  He would, arguably, do much better under a tree.  Is he now a resilient person?  No, he hasn't really changed.  But then the extrinsic nature of the resiliency concept says that he won't die of skin cancer if he stays under that tree, and hence will be able to (or at least in a position to!) pass along on his genetics.  Owing to not being dead.
  Most of the people I am know who are doing work on resiliency, and it is being done in a variety of locales-especially in the Pacific, haven't responded to this debate, probably because they are busy doing something else: undertaking and trying to publish research.
  2.  Regarding Alina's comments:
  I like to remember a quote that begins the Kennedy and Thomas Model of resource management: " 'Everything is' is one extreme.  'Nothing is' is another.  Between these two I teach the truth of interdependent origination."--The Buddha. (Kennedy and Thomas, 1995).
  Now, I may not be a practicing Buddha, but I do know that managing from an extreme is not going to fly, and that telling people wholesale that they cannot go to a reef or cannot eat seafood (I know, Alina's comments were stated in a way to challenge ourselves) are non-starters.  That's why it is called resource management and not resource dictatorship.
  Fortunately or un, most of us live in democracies.  And we have to keep working at our science, our message, and our management approaches.  The easy way out is to put up a sign and that says, "Sorry folks, ocean's closed".
  Ph.D. Student in Human Dimensions of Marine and Coastal Ecosystems
  Department of Natural Resources Conservation
  University of Massachusetts, 160 Holdsworth Way
  Amherst, MA 01003

Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. Make PC-to-Phone Calls to the US (and 30+ countries) for 2¢/min or less.

More information about the Coral-List mailing list