[Coral-List] Subject: Further comment on management of coral reefs

David Fisk davefisk at gmail.com
Sat Nov 8 23:37:33 EST 2014

I would wholeheartedly support Peter Sales parting comment on
multinational/BINGOs (Big NGO's) in particular re the 'well-worn' ways of
implementing projects that are almost guaranteed to fail.

There have been many times when in discussion with staff from said BINGO's
where I have been bluntly told that they don't see the point of having
active and practicing marine biologists in their teams (and in the field)
as they consider 'managers' are more important and anyway they can
'contract' biologists for specific questions to answer, when there is a
problem. While working with communities and getting them engaged is
critical it will not necessarily mean success without concomitant up to
date biological information on reef status.

The issue is, problems become apparent to non biologists (I am generalising
I know, as there are lot of terrific managers out there) commonly after it
is too late to change a project focus. A good biologist in the field can
often identify and pre-empt specific problems that are starting to show
thereby affording time to act before it is too late.

The result is, major projects run by BINGO's (usually with a long list of
'hangers-on' organisations that get their logo on the front page for
sometimes little input or use of their own money) are often run under
somewhat questionable paradigms and aims that are out of date and not up
with the times. Very often, reef management problems can be addressed if
sufficient fore warning is available, but you need those experienced 'eyes'
in the field all the time, not behind a desk in major capital cities
looking after the paperwork.

Dave Fisk (flak jacket also applied)

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