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Katie D'Innocenzo
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I think what Bess pointed out from the Coastal Capital: Belize article about when the data and information gathered is sufficient to actually form policy is really important. I think, in general, there is a lot of resistance in forming policies to protect these ecological goods and services because, at least in the short term, it is cheaper to keep doing things the way they have always been done. We talked earlier in the week about necessary changes in livelihood, which is just one of the things that may be halting policy action. While pushing for policy is essential, continuing to grow catalogues of information, like the MESP database we looked at today, will also continue to have a positive effect on conservation efforts. I think it's fairly obvious from literature that currently exists that conservation efforts need to move to the forefront of policymakers minds and agendas, but in all likelihood they will not and so I think continuing to expand, broaden and deepen the literature relating to this work is still necessary. In regards to the marine protected areas management in Belize, I think our conversation about changed in livelihood is more than relevant. As Corinne pointed out, the lack in supervision of these MPAs allows for damaging illegal activity to the reefs. I don't think the citizens of Belize intentionally want to destroy the reefs - they are there to make money from illegal fishing, etc. I think retraining programs would benefit in this situation as well, since simply protecting the areas may not be enough. By showing people that they can make a living while adhering to protection laws, I doubt they would choose the illegal route.
Toggle Commented Apr 26, 2013 on Un Belizeable!!!! at Jolly Green General
Pendleton, Atiyah and Moorthy put together a paper that lays out the main issues with research surrounding coastal and marine management: there is not enough data and the data/research currently out there is not easily accessible and available. I think it's fairly obvious to anyone who looks closely at coastal and marine policy that the literature and research is simply not substantial enough to carry the necessary weight when it comes to policy decisions. These authors point out four main problems with current literature: Assets have not been studied thoroughly, recently enough, over an acceptable geographical span or with a sufficient variety of methods. Essentially, the more complete and thorough data gathered on coastal and marine economic goods and services, the more likely policy will be implemented in order to optimally protect and preserve these ecosystems. The authors suggest that by utilizing use and non-use value as well as stated and revealed preference methods of assessing economic value a more substantial methodological breadth can be achieved. By expanding this idea to include more up to date and geographically diverse data as well as creating a data base that allows this research to be more readily available, both in peer reviewed and raw or working form, the authors believe the inadequacy of current coastal and marine management literature can be solved.
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2013 on testing at Jolly Green General
Cheung and Sumaila’s article highlights one of the most important dilemas in conservation economics. While it is clear that drastic changes need to take place in order to serve ecological benefit, the short and long term economic welfare of the NSCS region is in jeopardy. As stated in the conclusion, alternative livelihoods are necessary in order to allow the possibility of sustainable fishing in the future. While short term pains such as training programs may need to be suffered, the eventual long term gains should outweigh these. The article discussing the gap between WTA and WTP I found particularly interesting. Not surprisingly, the results from the WWF experiment showed that people tend to stick with the "norm" or what is already in place. Those within the WTA framework were more likely to donate, in my opinion, because the donation had essentially been put into place for them. Furthermore, straying from this norm is displeasing from a moral standpoint since it is seen as taking money from a charitable organization. The final paper regarding manmade technologies as replacement for the many ecosystem services provided in tropical seascapes reminded me of discussions surrounding the land ethic developed by Aldo Leopold I had in a philosophy class last semester. Not surprisingly, the study concludes that these ecosystem services cannot be readily replaced. In our discussion of Leopold's land ethic, we talked about the inability for man to fully understand and recognize the extent of the many parts of different ecosystems. And to imagine an understanding of this so deep and correct as to replace these ecosystem services with manmade structures is simply laughable in my mind. In addition, as Bailey pointed out, the cost for such an endeavor would be astounding.
Toggle Commented Apr 24, 2013 on Three more for Wednesday at Jolly Green General
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Apr 23, 2013