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

Peter Sale sale at uwindsor.ca
Wed Oct 22 12:11:17 EDT 2014

Hi Francesca,
I generally agree with your sentiments regarding western economic systems 
and consumerism, but I also believe we have to work with the tools and 
social systems we have rather than the ones we might want, and I think you 
have misunderstood the way in which I see marine spatial planning (MSP) to 
be a useful tool.

In a sense, in the approach we advocated in our 2014 Mar Poll Bull 
article, MSP is being used as a Trojan horse to bring about effective, 
long-lasting, integrated effort by the assortment of local and national 
administrative agencies with management responsibilities in the coastal 
ocean or upland to it, the agencies in neighboring political entities - 
towns, provinces, nations - with similar management responsibilities, and 
the full suite of stakeholders - fishers, tourism operators, aquaculture 
ventures, etc, and local residents.  Bringing all these groups together in 
a sustained way would lead to a more holistic, and regionally scaled 
approach to coastal management that is clearly necessary, and frequently 
not achieved.  There may be other tools for achieving this, but I've not 
yet heard of any and MSP seems useful.

Meaningful improvement to coastal management will still require real, 
committed leadership among these groups, and such leadership can rarely be 
brought in from outside (although outside agencies can nourish and support 
leaders).  That leadership must be capable of bringing real governmental 
commitment and financial support for the efforts undertaken.

In one sense, the zoned map generated by MSP is almost irrelevant beside 
the building of effective, committed collaborative work to improve and 
sustain management.

I think that while we probably cannot bring our management of ALL the 
coastal tropics to a desired level of effectiveness without some radical 
changes to economies and our consumerist culture, it should be possible to 
make real improvements at a significant number of localities where the 
leadership exists and the stars are aligned to favor such change.  A 
greater percentage of regions with effective coastal management than we 
have at present is a goal worth working towards.

Finally, I'd love to work with my local community (and I do) but we do not 
have any reefs near here!  Those of you who do live in the tropics have a 
big challenge, but it is not impossible.  And all of us can continue the 
other battle -- to get the world off carbon-intensive fuels. 

Peter Sale

sale at uwindsor.ca                 @PeterSale3
www.uwindsor.ca/sale           www.petersalebooks.com

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