[Coral-List] Why we are failing to repair coral reefs

Nicole Crane nicrane at cabrillo.edu
Sat Nov 1 00:46:55 EDT 2014

Hi all,

This is great stuff

I have mentioned our work in the Micronesian outer islands before, but I 
felt compelled to address this critical issue here.  We have run into 
the very same issues - reef management is also about population 
management, waste management etc. etc.  most of those 'other' issues are 
really NOT 'other' to the overall goal, but are not covered under the 
funding mechanisms we generally get funded under.

But...I have realized that as trust is built directly with communities, 
and they are empowered with knowledge and information to address reef 
issues, the 'other' issues always come up, and it gives us the excellent 
opportunity to discuss these issues with community members, and 
emphasize how interconnected they all are. In our case (as I imagine in 
many others) the people are well aware of them, and end up addressing 
them as a part of a larger effort to enhance their standard of living, 
and their connections with their traditions.

It is often all about trust, and open dialog.  We don't always need 
multiple NGOs, but a good communicator who can really galvanize a 
community.  If only scientists (or at least scientists interested in 
applying their science to conservation/management issues) were trained 
in these approaches and how to address these issues, we would probably 
be moving forward more quickly.  Social scientists and natural 
scientists have tracks that rarely overlap.  Herein lies one of the 
major problems - in my opinion.

Anyway, I have cc'd this to our Micronesian Colleague John Rulmal, who 
is truly on top of these issues, and he may have some further insights 
(I am quite sure he does).

Our website again is onepeopleonereef.ucsc.edu  and facebook at One 
People One Reef


On 10/31/14, 12:46 PM, Douglas Fenner wrote:
> Very good, well said!!  Thank you!  One NGO that helps the local community
> with family planning, is "Blue Ventures" which works in SW Madagascar.  If
> you search on Blue Ventures, their website should pop up.  I said several
> times in my recent posts, that just providing birth control to those that
> want it but can't afford it, can make a real positive difference.
>      Thanks for all you do!
>     Cheers,  Doug
> On Thu, Oct 30, 2014 at 5:29 AM, Naneng Setiasih <nsetiasih at coral.org>
> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> Thanks David to raise the issue of population.  Totally agree, with
>> Indonesia's population getting close to 300 million, I always wonder if
>> what ever we are doing now will ever be enough.  I am working with a
>> community in a small village, with about 2000 people, 50% of them younger
>> than 17 years old. Their resources, of course already very depleted, and
>> will continue so once this 50% of the people get married, and have another
>> kids.
>> Many environmental NGOs do not take population issue under their agenda,
>> as it is not "conservation".  A totally legitimate reason,  However, it
>> does not mean that we can not build a strong link with NGO who does that,
>> and align our program in a "applicable" way.  Seems easy,   But in
>> reality,  when an NGO does do it, they do it outside their ToR, outside
>> their main funding from donors.  So, those who actually doing it, doing it
>> more at their personal interests (and thus, they tend not to have a
>> personal social life themselves ;))
>> When I talked to collegues from funders, who by the way, have different
>> departments within their organization including family planning, health,
>> education, and environment, they said, it is complicated, as many of the
>> departments are "independent".
>> I do realize it is complicated, but, we HAVE to do this.   So I guess,
>> until people's mindset change, what we can do is to seek for other NGOs who
>> are doing social, family planning, and health issue that work in your area,
>> or interested in working in your area, and then align our work with them.
>> If anybody knows good NGOs/programs about social, family planning, and
>> health issue   and are keen to build collaboration with conservation
>> organization in any place in this world, please do share... (in my case,
>> coral triangle)
>> Regards
>> Naneng Setiasih
>> Coral Triangle Regional Manager
>> Coral Reef Alliance
>> On Oct 30, 2014, at 6:01 PM, Sue Wells wrote:
>>> Peter's very good article in ISRS's newsletter Reef Encounter on what
>> can be
>>> done for coral reefs and the subsequent discussion have been very timely.
>>> In Peter's recent post, he mentions the effectiveness - or not - of MPAs
>> for
>>> coral reefs.  There is now a rapidly growing literature reflecting the
>>> strenuous efforts around the world to improve MPA management.  This is
>> still
>>> very far from perfect, but I think we have moved on from the 1990s, when
>>> Graeme Kelleher and others (myself included) reviewed the status of MPAs
>> and
>>> came to the rather gloomy conclusion about their management as cited by
>>> Peter.  Next month, the World Parks Congress takes place in Sydney
>>> http://worldparkscongress.org/, at which  many of the initiatives to
>> create
>>> well-managed MPAs, including those for coral reefs, will be presented and
>>> debated under the leadership of IUCN's World Commission on Protected
>> Areas -
>>> Marine.  There will be sessions on effective protected area management,
>> on
>>> scientifically sound methods for assessing this, and on incentive
>> schemes to
>>> promote good management.   Managing an MPA effectively is far from easy
>> as
>>> many readers of the Coral List will know - in my experience, creating a
>> new
>>> MPA is often much easier and leads to more publicity and media attention,
>>> than the long hard slog of managing one well.
>>> In his article, Peter is also right that MPAs are not the only tool for
>>> long-term management and that we need more, broader, integrated
>> approaches
>>> such as Marine Spatial Planning.  This approach is also growing rapidly -
>>> for example, UNESCO has just launched a new guide:
>> http://openchannels.org/msp-eval-guide/homepage?utm_source=OpenChannels+Comm
>>> unity+Members
>>> <
>> http://openchannels.org/msp-eval-guide/homepage?utm_source=OpenChannels+Com
>> munity+Members&utm_campaign=aec5d9e974-Literature_Update_10_29_2014&utm_medi
>>> um=email&utm_term=0_96f5655e1e-aec5d9e974-107711417>
>> &utm_campaign=aec5d9e974-Literature_Update_10_29_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_t
>>> erm=0_96f5655e1e-aec5d9e974-107711417
>>> Whether we can get good management in place fast enough to prevent their
>>> decline is another matter, but the tools are being made available to
>> help us
>>> do this.
>>> And I would like to support Alina in her posts about population size, and
>>> also consumption which I think has to be linked with this if we are to
>> have
>>> an equitable world.  We absolutely have to be aware of this.  In the UK,
>>> many conservationists are supporting organisations working on this (e.g.
>>> http://www.populationmatters.org/) - that is something we can all do.
>>> In the spirit of not wanting to give up just yet, best wishes,
>>> Sue
>>> Sue Wells
>>> 95 Burnside
>>> Cambridge CB1 3PA
>>> Mob: 07905 715552
>>> e-mail: suewells1212 at gmail.com
>>> Message: 5
>>> Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2014 15:58:15 -0400
>>> From: Peter Sale < <mailto:sale at uwindsor.ca> sale at uwindsor.ca>
>>> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Why we are failing to repair coral reefs
>>> To:  <mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
>> coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov,
>>> <mailto:gbustamante09 at gmail.com> gbustamante09 at gmail.com
>>> Message-ID:
>>>                <
>>> <mailto:
>> OFDEB246F7.B0AB4277-ON85257D7F.006D6C12-85257D7F.006DB65C at uwindsor..c
>>> a> OFDEB246F7.B0AB4277-ON85257D7F.006D6C12-85257D7F.006DB65C at uwindsor.ca
>>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
>>> Georgina, and coral-liat,
>>> Just a quick response to your plea for positive messages.
>>> There is an amazingly positive message that we can deliver, that has
>> largely
>>> gone neglected.  That is that local effort addressing local causes of
>> reef
>>> degradation have positive effects, and may even bolster the capacity of
>> the
>>> reef system to withstand the effects of climate change by making the reef
>>> community more resilient.  There is no reason to give up on reducing
>> fishing
>>> pressure where reefs are overfished (nearly everywhere), reducing
>> pollution,
>>> and channelling coastal development in environmentally sustainable
>>> directions.  All these actions will reduce the pressures on reefs which
>>> cause much of the degradation presently seen.
>>> My earlier post to coral list was a call on us (the scientists and
>>> managers) to stop being complacent, comfortable with small-scale,
>> temporary
>>> improvements in reef condition, and be willing to talk about our failures
>>> and work harder for real successes.  As one clear piece of evidence of
>> the
>>> complacency, I suggest we need look no further than the numerous 'paper'
>>> MPAs that exist on reefs.  When Graeme Kellerher first coined the term
>>> 'paper park' in approx 1990, some 90% of MPAs were effectively
>> unprotected.
>>> In the 25 years since, I doubt the 90% has been very much reduced.  Yet
>> if
>>> just half the unprotected protected areas were to become protected, it
>> would
>>> vastly expand the area of reef under real protection.  Why have we
>> turned a
>>> blind eye for so long, and why are we not now collectively demanding
>> better
>>> performance by each of us and by others?
>>> There is lots of room for optimism about the fact that we can do
>> something
>>> for reefs.  There is unfortunately room for pessimism that, until now, we
>>> don't seem to care enough.  Getting younger people motivated to show us
>> up
>>> as the relatively poor performers we have been would be a great
>> achievement,
>>> and is a very positive step.
>>> Good luck,
>>> Peter Sale
>>> <mailto:sale at uwindsor.ca> sale at uwindsor.ca                 @PeterSale3
>>> <http://www.uwindsor.ca/sale> www.uwindsor.ca/sale
>>> <http://www.petersalebooks.com> www.petersalebooks.com
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>> _______________________________________________
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Nicole L. Crane
Cabrillo College
Division of Natural and Applied Sciences
nicrane at cabrillo.edu

Oceanic Society
Senior Conservation Scientist

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