[Coral-List] Reef Decline: the root cause

Pete Raines psr at coralcay.org
Mon Sep 15 07:35:14 EDT 2008


A pdf of the paper by Peter Sale (Sale 2008. Management of coral reefs:
Where we
have gone wrong and what we can do about it, Mar. Poll. Bull. 56: 805-809)
can be found on page 4 under 'Latest news' on the Coral Cay Conservation
website (www.coralcay.org).


Pete Raines
Coral Cay Conservation

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Today's Topics:

   1. Reef Decline: the root cause (sale at uwindsor.ca)


Message: 1
Date: Sat, 13 Sep 2008 15:41:42 -0400
From: sale at uwindsor.ca
Subject: [Coral-List] Reef Decline: the root cause
To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
	<OF0AC25427.E7129B13-ON852574C3.0065D309-852574C3.006C328A at uwindsor.ca>

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"

The recent comments on the list concerning the global decline of coral
reefs and the real cause (i.e. Homo sapiens in all his/her non-sapient
glory) have been an interesting read.  Some of you may have seen my recent
article in Marine Pollution Bulletin on the subject, now extended by
Stephen Jameson's piece he circulated a couple of days ago.  Elsevier
would not give me permission to post my pdf on my website, however I will
fill any requests for it: Sale 2008. Management of coral reefs: Where we
have gone wrong and what we can do about it, Mar. Poll. Bull. 56: 805-809.
 (I believe it is posted on the website of Coral Cay Conservation -- an
NGO that I am not affiliated with -- Elsevier gave them permission before
refusing me.  Such is the logic of publishing houses!)

In June of this year, UNU-INWEH published a lengthier document, freely
downloadable from our website titled:  "Stemming Decline of the Coastal
Ocean: Rethinking Environmental Management".  In this article the authors,
all of whom have considerable coral reef experience, try to go beyond
enumerating the many ways in which human actions degrade coastal marine
environments, to identify what specifically is wrong and why, and make
recommendations on what can be done to improve the situation.  We find
fault with just about everybody engaged in coastal management or use --
from the local managers and governments to industry, international NGOs,
multinational agencies (read UN, World Bank, etc), and even local
communities both on coasts and in developed nations far from coasts.  But
we also make suggestions for action that each of these groups might take
on to improve the currently rather poor situation.

Now is not the time to give up on people or our social structures just
because they have been working very ineffectively to manage our impacts on
the environment.  Now is the time to inform, educate, and encourage
changes to behavior (individual, communal, and corporate).  I personally
cannot believe that we humans are not a lot more capable of managing our
impacts on the biosphere than our present and past behavior suggests.
Hopefully my optimism is not misplaced.

To download "Stemming decline" go to www.inweh.unu.edu, click on "Coastal
Zone Ecosystems", and go down to bottom of the page.

Peter F. Sale
Assistant Director
International Network on Water, Environment and Health
United Nations University  (UNU-INWEH)


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