Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands

Conclusion of the panel: Reflections about the Ecoplata Program's results and suggestions about the new institutional model and financing means

By Dirk Troost

Thank you Mr. Chairman. I would like to join my panel colleagues in thanking you for the invitation to be able to say a few concluding words, and I will go over my notes which I have written down over the last two days and this morning. Earlier today, I forgot to ask you, or suggest to you, that if you wish to be included in the Wise Coastal Practices forum, which has one message every 14 days, do not forget to give me your e-mail address. Secondly, I feel very at home with the three flags in the back, the Uruguayan, the Canadian, and the United Nations flag. Thirdly, I have one concern, though, on the panel; I just came out of Cuba, and in Cuba the panel would have had a better gender balance.

As far as developing activities, I think it is very important that one has a three-pronged approach: brain sharing, cost sharing, and credit sharing -these are very important for all institutions around the world, including UNESCO. Mr. Leis this morning asked me about unwise practices, and I promised to come back to that. Maybe, unwise can be replaced with the word predatory, so then we talk about predatory tourism, which is rather unwise, or predatory sand mining, predatory waste disposal, predatory fisheries, etc., rather than precautionary tourism, sand mining, fisheries, etc.

Things have to be more controlled in this world of globalisation. We have the world-wide web, WW\W; once I saw it referred to as the World Without Walls, and I think that where there are less walls, you need more rules, regulations and enforcement. I think that ECOPLATA is lucky, in the sense that there seems to be a balance between land, sea, and people. I believe that the land and the sea are so well represented, because you have the unique combination of a director of ECOPLATA, Walter Couto -an agronomist, the sea well represented by Bob Fournier -an oceanographer, and the people in this room, like we heard this morning: the inhabitants of certain municipalities, NGO's, government institutions and university people. One of the university people made some, for me interesting, reference to the cultural, or archaeological dimension, which, besides the natural and social sciences, incorporates the cultural dimension, to which I referred in my speech this morning. In tourism, it is very important to have this archaeological dimension, and indeed, together with my colleagues in the sector for culture of UNESCO, we have included it in the Portland Bight project in Jamaica. One of my other colleagues in Jamaica keeps telling that fisheries management is not the management of fish, it is the management of people, of fishermen and fisherwoman, the management of change, the management of social transformations.

The "ECOPLATA 200 I" conference is allowing all of us an opportunity to evaluate, refocus, and advance the ECOPLATA endeavour and its very interesting pilot projects, in a long-term manner. Finally, Mr. Chairman, colleagues and friends, there are always five priorities, as far as I can see: the first priority is substance, the second priority is substance, the third priority is substance, the fourth priority is funds, big funds, because you need also small seed funds to develop the substance. The fifth priority is structure, and I am confident that with the proposals and reflections made by Mr. Gabito and Mr. Fournier this morning and earlier in the Conference, the structure will come in order and be established in an optimum way, because this meeting has proven that it will be substance-driven. Thank you Mr. Chairman.

at the Conference "ECOPLATA 2001 - Integrated Coastal Management" (Montevideo, 14-15 May '01)


 

En cuanto al desarrollo de actividades creo que es muy importante lo que está sucediendo en muchas instituciones donde se propone el enfoque desde tres puntos de vista: distribución intelectual distribución de costos y distribución de méritos; muy importante en todas las instituciones alrededor del mundo, incluyendo UNESCO. Tal vez el término "prácticas insensatas" se puede definir con la palabra "predatorio" y así hablar de un turismo predatorio, lo cual sería una práctica insensata, o de una minería arenera predatoria, o una pesquería predatoria. Las cosas tienen que estar más controladas en este mundo de globalización, donde hay menos barreras necesitamos de más reglas, regulaciones y controles. Creo que ECOPLATA es muy afortunada con respecto al balance de tierra y mar, tan bien representado por la combinación del coordinador, Walter Couto, Bob Fournier y las personas en este salon. Esta mañana se hizo una referencia muy interesante, para mí, sobre la dimension cultural, o arqueológica, que aportan junto a las ciencias naturales, las ciencias sociales. Creo que incluir la dimensión arqueológica es muy importante para el turismo. Un colega en Jamaica me dijo que el manejo de pesquerías no es el manejo de los peces, es el manejo de gente, de los pescadores, pescadoras, el manejo de un cambio, el manejo de transformaciones sociales. Puedo ver que ECOPLATA 2001 nos permite a todos un período de evaluación, reenfocar; y relanzar ECOPLATA y sus interesantes proyectos piloto hacia el largo plazo. En lo que a mí concierne, siempre hay cinco prioridades: la primera es la substancia, la segunda es la substancia, la tercera es la substancia, la cuarta son los fondos o capital y la quinta es la estructura. Confío en que con las propuestas hechas por el Sr. Gabito y Sr. Fournier, la estructura se ordenará debidamente y de forma óptima, ya que esta reunion ha probado que será la sustancia la que impulse las acciones.

 

 

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