[Coral-List] 50 Reefs Initiative

Matt Nolan mpnolan at lbl.gov
Thu Mar 2 11:33:39 EST 2017

Another important "companion" list of 50 reefs may be reefs who have
some bonafide measurable economic value to the surrounding communities
but are in danger of being destroyed to the point of no longer being
of value.

Reefs that would likely end up being  the concrete examples of
destroyed due to cause A, destroyed due to B, etc.

Communities where as the reefs are destroyed the economic  harm done
as as result of there destruction can be measured.

It would become the Handbook of Failure.


 I am unfamiliar with the protect/preserve 50 reefs effort.

However, there are advantages to be gained if governments have to
compete to get "their" reefs on the list.  Although the scientific
community may have good metrics for a purely scientific placement on
the list I think one would be wise to have some subset of them
be politically suggested as the resources allocated to aiding the
rescue effort may be enhanced due to competition to be on the list.


A parallel effort may be a list of shame.  It was obvious but nothing
was done.  Look at the awful result and the failures. Potential
resources to help save what is left may be gained by competition to
not be on this list.  With potential to be removed if some subsequent
positive behaviours was provided to serve as reparation.

My opinion is the science of economics and psychology will be more
important than science of reefs if the competition for the resources
needed is to be won.

So ask yourself when was the last time you reached out to your
economics/psychology colleagues and posed the problem to them.

Life is competition.

For instance, one might expect the economics scientist
to suggest some really obvious candidates for the list that should be
initially left off because they are more likely to be negotiated on to
the list with a positive effect on the size of the resources to
implement solutions increases.

On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 6:49 AM, Carin Jantzen <carin.jantzen at gmx.net> wrote:
> Hi Nadia and all the rest,
> I really do appreciate your response, I am totally with you!
> This initiative is a very brave one, I think, to be realistic while
> being realistic will make you a doom teller for many is not easy. The
> more I respect the way they did it (great outreach too!), and in my
> opinion you are right, the public will rather see it as good news
> 'something will be done, now they know what to do'.
> In a way, I assume you can never discus enough how do realize such an
> effort and there is so much one needs to consider, when making such
> choices, but at one point, you need to do it. And yes, we probably don’t
> know enough (maybe we will never...) to make sure it is the right
> choice. But choices we will need to make. And many more to come. What to
> protect, which species to take care of... I really wished this would be
> different, but we must also say goodbye to the naive thinking 'in one
> way or the other things wont end up too bad'. Even in best case
> scenarios regarding slowing down climate change, we will have a lot of
> challenges coming up. Not 'only' the bad status of our environment, but
> climate refugees, wars of water and whatever grim threats we will have
> to face...
> Of course, I dont suggest to sit there and do nothing. No, we need to
> fight, like never before, however, we need to be realistic in doing so.
> We will also have to make decisions what to fight for, because we wont
> be able to safe all that would be worth saving. And in doing so, we will
> know that some of our decisions will be wrong.
> I was very touched by what James Balog said about climate change in
> 'chasing ice': that we have managed to change the chemistry of the air
> we are breathing. It always reminds me about the extent of what we have
> done to our planet. Keeping this in mind, we need to act and try to safe
> what we can, while we can.
> Best,
> Carin
> Am 01.03.2017 um 22:59 schrieb Nadia Jogee:
>> Hi All,
>> I too am responding due to the ‘Speak Up’ thread. I am an early career
>> conservationist and therefore often feel intimidated (for good reason) by
>> the discussions on this thread despite always reading them. So here I am
>> speaking up.
>> As for the 50 reefs initiative I must say I’m on the fence. As previously
>> discussed there are many pros and cons.
>> I feel strongly that we must accept that the world is changing and we do
>> not have an infinite supply of resources. Therefore our efforts must be
>> focused on the areas where they will be most effective. Yet, I can see that
>> disregarding 90% of our world's reefs seems incredibly pessimistic. These
>> issues have been discussed in depth in previous responses so I won’t
>> reiterate what has been said. What I will do is just add a couple of
>> comments.
>> As well as my academic career I have spent time working in public
>> aquariums. I feel strongly that in order to make any real conservation
>> impact we must impress upon the public WHY it is important to protect
>> ecosystems. Without funding from wealthier countries, countless projects
>> around the world (and not just coral related) would not be occurring.
>> However, people need a reason to invest and to lobby their governments into
>> caring and contributing. Now, I can’t speak for every country, but I feel I
>> can comment about the British public. People feel disillusioned by hearing
>> how dire the situation is. They want to hear good news; they like to hear
>> success stories. Unlike the research community I generally feel the public
>> won’t think about the other 90%, I may be wrong here, but I think they’ll
>> hear that we’re saving the ’50 most pristine reefs’ and feel good about
>> that. Saying we need to save ‘ALL reefs’ sounds like an undoable task, but
>> the 50 most pristine, ‘well ok, that’s achievable!’ (Especially considering
>> I once asked a group of 30 university undergrads how many reefs they
>> thought there were in the world and the average answer was around 50!)
>> They’ll feel like we’re getting somewhere, rather than constantly telling
>> them doom and gloom. That I think is a good thing and I think that the 50
>> Reefs initiative could just be the start of a much wider project. With the
>> correct public backing it can surely be expanded.
>> Secondly, I would point out that although I don’t know how exactly they are
>> going to assess which are the 50 they will be focusing on, I feel that not
>> all 50 should tick the same boxes. We need a variation. We should choose
>> reefs that are currently showing no signs of bleaching, but not so
>> economically important, whilst working with reefs that are being bleached
>> that are economically important. It would seem foolish and insulting to
>> ignore the millions of people who rely on reefs that are being damaged
>> severely. Yet I see it as critical to protect reefs that may act as refugia
>> for future reefs, even if corals do not expand from those geographical
>> regions for millennia.
>> So as I say I’m on the fence with this one, but keen to see how the project
>> will develop. I also say good luck to the team pursuing this endeavor, any
>> publicity and conservation efforts is much needed and admired. As a
>> community we should be supportive of one another, sharing information and
>> offering constructive advice. Of all the sciences, conservation science is
>> one of those that can do without the selfish needs to publish first, which
>> I have seen leads to lack of cooperation. Instead we need to be supportive
>> of others’ projects as long as we can see some worth and there’s no doubt
>> that the 50 Reefs project has much.  (Though I appreciate as an early
>> career conservationist my mortgage doesn’t depend on the pressure to
>> publish, only my chances of a PhD studentship!)
>> Best wishes,
>> Nadia
> --
> Dr. Carin Jantzen
> Marine Ecologist & Author
> SECORE Media & Public Relations
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

More information about the Coral-List mailing list