[Coral-List] Comparative analysis of impact of siting and construction decisions on ecosystems

RainbowWarriorsInternational southern_caribbean at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 6 14:03:38 EST 2010

Dear listers,

In the Caribbean the construction of resorts and other amenities near the coasts on on the shorelines/beaches has caused considerable damage to the coastal and marine environments.

Yet trying to make an inventory and do  a rigorous comparative analysis on a country by country basis has proven very difficult over the last 10 years or so.

Now as I see it there are several interlocking issues, and they should provide some grounds for coming up with a methodology to do this study.

During the siting phase, which supposedly includes performing an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and often also a Socio-Economic Impact Assessment (SEIA), parameters are defined to gauge in assessing potential impact, and somewhere in this process baseline studies of coastal and marine areas will come into play as well.

As soon as a resort or other tourism related building project is finished a multiplier effect takes place, in that typical companies in the supply chain to hotels may also locate around, near or at the same location, as will often do waters ports and other recreational facilities all bringing their share of environmental impact and adding to stress factors.

My questions are as follows:

1. What legislation besides the Coastal Zone Management Act and legislation for conducting EIAs for siting and construction of resorts, and other near shoreline buildings exist in the continental US and e.g. in Hawaii?
2. Do EIAs and other impact assessment tools anywhere in the USA also make use of the Cartagena Convention, and its SPAW and LBS protocols, which are ratified instruments in most Caribbean nations?
3. Do checklists exist of species and ecosystem parameters to gauge the effects of leisure, tourism and waters ports activities, and in particular "threshold" values to redflag and categorize levels of severity of impact, and are these typically included in baseline studies?

We have had so many complaints lately about reckless siting and construction of resorts around the Caribbean through other mail lists that I feel some kind of concerted effort to document this in a fashion utilizing scientific and legal instruments like EIAs is in order.

Any reports, references, case studies would be very welcome.

Milton Ponson, President
Rainbow Warriors Core Foundation
(Rainbow Warriors International) Tel. +297 568 5908
PO Box 1154, Oranjestad 
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean 
Email: southern_caribbean at yahoo.com    http://www.rainbowwarriors.net

To unite humanity in a global society dedicated to a sustainable way of life


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