Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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A specialist from Canada contributed to the development and refinement of CSI’s scope and objectives during the Experts Meeting (Paris, November 1996). A scientist from Canada was contracted to finalize the publication ‘Mangrove Ecosystems in Latin America and Africa’ (May, 1996). The International Development Research Council (IDRC) was one of the co-sponsors of the international conference ‘Towards Sustainable Development of the Rio de la Plata Coastal Zone’ (ECOPLATA’96, Montevideo, Uruguay, November 1996) and published the proceedings as ‘Rio de la Plata: an Environmental Overview’. A Canadian specialist was invited to give a series of lectures on coastal biology at the UNESCO Chair, University of Concepción, Chile (November, 1996) and another specialist lectured at the UNESCO Chair in ‘Coastal Management and Sustainable Development’ at the University of Dakar, Senegal (February, 1997). A resource person from Canada attended the seminar on the ‘Study and Management of Coastal Regions of Haiti’ (Port-au-Prince, Haiti, December 1996). A specialist from Canada attended the workshop held in Jamaica on ‘The Use of Natural Coastal Resources at CARICOMP Sites: monitoring, community-based management and socioeconomic/cultural aspects’ in May 1998. One person from UNESCO-Paris visited a Cree Indian community in Canada in July 1998 to explore possibilities for collaboration in cultural diversity-biodiversity activities. An intersectoral pilot project involving a Cree Indian community was launched as part of the MOST ‘Circumpolar Coping Processes Project’. A Canadian was invited to the ‘World Conference on Science’ to speak on traditional ecological knowledge in a session on ‘Science and Other Systems of Knowledge’ held in Budapest (Hungary) in June 1999. Two Canadians organized a session on ‘Water and Indigenous Peoples’, held in The Hague (The Netherlands) in March 2000. 

A paper relevant to Canada ‘Paradise Lost: How Marine Science Failed the World’s Coral Reefs’ was posted on the web-based discussion forum ‘Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ in September 2000. A joint project to document traditional fishers’ knowledge at the University of British Columbia and Oweekeno National Fisheries was described in: Indigenous Fishers’ Knowledge: Ownership, Predicaments and Research’ in January 2002. A paper describing the groyne systems in the St. Lawrence Estuary was posted in March 2002: ‘More on Soft Engineering for Erosion Control: Vetiver Grass, Groynes, Awareness Building’.

A conference on ‘Putting Fishers’ Knowledge to Work’ was held in Vancouver in August 2001. It was co-sponsored by UNESCO-CSI.

A paper on the UNESCO-CSI Small Islands Voice project ‘Civils Society’s Perspective on Environment and Development Issues’ was presented at the ‘Islands of the World VII conference’ held at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada in June 2002. It described the project that was designed to elicit the views of people from small islands on environment and development and allow them to exchange their ideas with the rest of the world. 

As part of the ‘Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems’ (LINKS) initiative, to integrate indigenous knowledge into development and conservation, a project on ‘Cree First Nations of James Bay, Quebec, Canada’ was initiated in 2002. The aim is to use indigenous knowledge to assess the environmental and social impacts of large-scale development.


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