[Coral-List] Chinese Fishers Destroying SCS reefs as anti-ivory action boosts giant clam market...

David Obura dobura at cordioea.net
Thu May 5 02:01:36 EDT 2016

Hi John, apologies for this public post, but reacting to Johnny Langenheim’s posting of the link to your blog post on the above …

Your motivation for linking the giant clam issue to the gap in ivory supply resulting from the recent upsurge in activism and enforcement to stop poaching elephants is understandable. But to blame the entire upswing of clam harvesting on successful elephant conservation is disingenuous and doesn’t really help (we should congratulate and emulate, not lament!). Even worse, putting the onus on “global NGOs” committed to elephant conservation to also take up giant clam protection misses the point entirely.

While some global NGOs are clearly central to current success in the elephant scene, it is really the commitment of national NGOs, individuals and government employees (particularly rangers) that bear the brunt of this work, and the very high personal risk.

Just like with climate change, overpopulation and other pressing issues facing coral reefs, it is upon US to get up and do something about it!! Not some amorphous entity out there that will solve the problems! The conclusions in Carin Jantzen’s and Sarah Frias-Torres’ posts (‘Coral reefs in the face of climate change’, 4/5 May) are right on – let’s not fiddle while our Rome burns! We need to build OUR champions, OUR institutions, OUR networks and REALLY support countries and individuals that are the engine of successful action (rather than doing what we have done in the coral reef world, which is to often compete with one another as our science and conservation agenda has matured)

I know you know this and already do this John – but the title and first and last paragraphs of your 3 May blog post just don’t help!! Mine is really a general call for many with technical and public platforms that social media provide - you have great platforms to reach out and do it really well, but I do feel it is worth being self-critical and reaching for the best standard that coral reefs urgently need – to raise the game, and how our work delivers on action, at every step!

David Obura

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