in coastal regions and in small islands
|SECTION I||PILOT PROJECT PRESENTATIONS||CSI info 10|
DO NATURAL SCIENTISTS EXPECT FROM SOCIAL SCIENTISTS (AND VICE-VERSA)?
OF THE RÍO
DE LA PLATA
J. Calvo, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay
ABOUT THE ECOPLATA PROJECT
EcoPlata Programme dates
back to 1989 when a General Agreement on Co-operative Development between the
Canadian and Uruguayan governments was signed. A research programme, named EcoPlata,
began operating in July 1994, with as its main aim to understand the effects
of environmental factors and human activity interacting in an important area
of the Uruguayan coastal zone. A secondary aim was to strengthen and develop
human resources in the scientific and fishing communities and prevent the depletion
of natural resources.
Río de la Plata is a river located on the east coast of South America, covering
an area of about 38,800 km2 and draining a 3,170,000 km2
(the second largest one in the continent)”1.
This drainage basin occupies part of the territories of five countries and it is
surpassed in size only by the Amazon River basin. The natural and anthropogenic
changes experienced in this basin, and their interaction with the surrounding
sea, can potentially affect the most relevant characteristics of the estuary and
hence will ultimately affect the lives of over ten million people living in the
region has been recently affected by a series of radical changes framed within
the global context of local opening and economic liberalization. At a more local
level, a steady process of integration is evidenced in the economy through the
birth of the economic union called
MERCOSUR (Southern Cone Common Economic Market) which encompasses the two
main countries in Latin America, Argentina and Brazil, and their two other partners,
Uruguay and Paraguay, which have less economic and demographic weight.
are important projects for investment in infrastructure which are associated
with this process of integration, namely the building of a bridge over the Río
de la Plata to connect the cities of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Colonia
(Uruguay); a deep-water harbour on the Uruguayan Atlantic coast; the
construction of the Buenos Aires – São Paulo (Brazil) highway; an increase in
urban development on both sides of the river; a project to access the upper
sections of the river for maritime traffic (Hidrovía). An increase in maritime
traffic and tourism is also expected to bring increased potential for tourism.
These coastal areas and the surrounding bodies of water are home to significant
biodiversity which is threatened by the non-sustainable use of the area. In the
management area the main problems requiring attention in a first approach are:
limited capacity to assess and survey the current state of the coastal
markedly limited experience in environ-mental management and planning.
INCORPORATING SOCIAL SCIENCES IN A BIO-OCEANOGRAPHIC PROJECT
first two phases of the EcoPlata
Project (EcoPlata I and II) have been mainly oriented towards marine biology
and oceanography. In July 1998 the participating institutions2
into a new phase: “Support for the integrated management of the Río de la Plata
Coastal Zone” (ICZM), where social scientists became involved in the project.
The practice of ICZM requires information from both the natural and social science
fields, an open and participatory decision-making process with capacity for
conflict resolution, as well as adequate communication with those involved at
the private and public levels.
a first approach, from July to November 1998, the EcoPlata Project undertook a
diagnostic assessment to identify areas for pilot ICZM programmes. The School of
Social Sciences of the University of the Republic investigated socio-demographic
and socio-economic factors. Indicators were identified relating to population
and environment, based on census data and in-depth interviews, and a public
opinion survey yielded information on concerns and disposition of the
a year of collaboration between scientists from the social and natural sciences,
the results are both positive and promising. A
productive multidisciplinary dialogue developed. However, major problems relating to the
multi-institutional dimension emerged:
Conflicts between research and
main innovation implemented in the new phase of the EcoPlata Project was the
incorporation of social scientists, who came with their own aims and activities,
and viewed their incorporation in the project as a positive symptom of a change
which opened new paths into research and management. On the other hand, the
natural scientists had not clearly specified what was required of the social
scientists and did not understand their issues and methods. Because of this, the
“social element” seemed to constitute a hazy field which needed demarcation.
Some examples follow:
Some language problems:
Budget problems (when the social
sciences are not as economical as they seem to be): Stemming from a lack of
knowledge of the methods required to explore the socio-economic aspects of the
project, there seemed to be an underestimation on the part of the natural
scientists of the costs involving in carrying out socio-demographic research.
SOME LESSONS LEARNT
preceding examples might prove useful for future collaboration. Conflicts
between research objectives and management objectives still exist. However, the
dialogue between institutions is better now than at the beginning of the
project, and this is the result of the creation of an Inter-institutional
Technical Group (GTI)3 which
has served to avoid some of
the conflicts between management and research.
problems were eventually overcome by an agent who did not belong to any of the
participating institutions, but who had enough technical skill to merge the
different proposals into one which would satisfy all those involved. The lesson
to be learnt here is that the Inter-institutional Technical Group needed a
General Co-ordinator who would at times play the role of referee, and who should
preferably be an independent party with a high degree of political and technical
authority to implement executive decisions.
similar solution was found to back up the position of the social sciences in the
project elaboration phases. Here, external agents, who did not belong to the
participating institutions, and who knew of similar examples where the
socio-economic contribution was beneficial to a project, were involved in the
conflicts, stemming from the absence of a common code of communication, as well
as from the lack of knowledge about the aims and methods of the various
disciplines, seem to be heading towards a positive resolution. Greater
understanding between the different scientists resulted from various horizontal
exchanges and seminars and interdisciplinary workshops. A healthy team spirit
emerged and participants stopped seeing themselves as members of different
scientific or institutional “clans” but rather as part of a cooperative
can be directed at both natural and social scientists. Resource management
agencies in many countries are exclusively staffed by natural scientists. Those
responsible for management must be made aware of the need for social science
expertise. After all, natural resource management is not so much management of
resources as it is management of people. Social scientists, on the other hand,
remain largely unaware of the role that social science has to play in resource
management. Few social scientists work on resource-related issues and when
invited to attend such meetings they are conspicuous by their absence.
social science perspective may avoid the tendency for presenting project results
in terms of cost/benefits analysis. Results must be productive but not
disconnected from people. The identification of common goals among institutions
is a way forward to co-ordinate activities between scientists of various
backgrounds, so that they can approach issues with a complementary perspective
rather than in a conflict modality. Issues in this difficult dialogue include
how to develop a common language, successful communication, and adequate human
resources. Persons with inter-disciplinary training often make very good
in some instances, science-based understanding of coastal environments would
benefit from the “wisdom” of local communities.
1. Lopez Laborde, J. “Geomorphology and Geology of Río de la Plata”, in
P.G. Wells and G.R. Daborn (1998) The Río
de la Plata, an environmental overview (page 1), Dalhousie University.
2. The EcoPlata Project is currently being developed within an inter-institutional
framework in which the following institutions participate:
Army Oceanography, Hydrography and Meteorology Service (SOHMA),
National Fishery Institute (INAPE), National Administration for the Environment
(DINAMA), Ministry of Housing, Territory and Environment, School of Social Studies
and School of Sciences of the University of the Republic. As their Canadian
counterpart, the project incorporates scientists from the University of Acadia,
Dalhousie University, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Geological
Survey. Canada’s International Centre for Research on Development (ICRD),
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UNESCO through its Montevideo-based
office and its Coastal Regions and Small Islands Unit (CSI) are also co-operating
in the financial and organizational areas of the project.
3. An Inter-institutional Technical Group (GTI) meets on a weekly basis and
works as a technical liaison among the various institutions, serving also as an
interface among technicians and the project’s Board of Directors.
DECISION-MAKERS WITH SCIENTISTS
TOOLS FOR MANAGING BEACH EROSION IN THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN
project entitled “Coast and Beach Stability in the Caribbean” (COSALC) has
been active since 1985 and has as its goal to develop in-country capability so
that island states can measure, assess and manage their beach resources within a
framework of integrated coastal management. Three case studies on reconciling
decision-makers with scientists are presented from Anguilla, Grenada and
CASE STUDY 1:
COASTAL DEVELOPMENT IN ANGUILLA
management practice: promoting beach conservation and reducing shoreline erosion
by placing new buildings a “safe” distance from the active beach zone.
CASE STUDY 2:
management practice: reduce shoreline and beach erosion by stopping beach sand
mining and promoting the use of other building materials.
1950 – 1979
1990 – 1992:
CASE STUDY 3:
management practice: Changing attitudes to beach sand extraction.
1950 – 1998:
LESSONS LEA RNT
RECONCILING DECISION-MAKERS WITH SCIENCE: SUMMARY OF LESSONS LEARNT FROM THE 3 CASE STUDIES
examples were given of similar experiences of responses to coastal erosion/
natural hazard impact in other countries. In particular, the varying degrees of
availability and enforcement of regulations was emphasized. However, it was felt
that in some contexts, one should not wait for completely appropriate political
conditions to be established. Rather community-based education on coastal
erosion awareness should be developed. In other instances, governments do not
carry out appropriate development in sensitive coastal areas, i.e. they provide
a bad example by building in exposed areas and the local population then
follows. It was concluded that
lack of constructive political will could annihilate several years of
awareness-building efforts in one day.
AUTHORITY AND POWER WITH RESOURCE USERS:
AUTHORITIES AND PROTECTED AREAS IN JAMAICA
political context plays an important role in the management context. The
Jamaican government has taken a wise decision to establish co-management of its
protected areas. However, it was noted that not all practices are transferable.
Portland Bight area of Jamaica is rich in natural resources, especially in the
biodiversity of its flora and fauna as seen by the extensive wetland, seagrass
and mangrove areas, wide coastal shelf and high endemic level. Portland Bight is
also a multiple use area with many impacts: housing and marijuana plantations
which destroy forests and increase agricultural runoff, land-use conflicts,
over-fishing, and pollution by oil spills and sewage.
of natural resources must be treated as a social science and co-management
adopted as the operative philosophy: top-bottom approaches fail and more
horizontal approaches making reference to stakeholders are required. There is a
need to develop co-management mechanisms such as co-management councils for
fishermen, foresters, citizens, etc.; such councils should develop their own
legal status and operating regimes.
example is the Fishers Council, comprising 32 members, which issues permits,
determines user-fees and fishing practices including regulations and penalties.
Penalties were the hardest to negotiate (up to $100,000 or one year in prison).
Established regulations are not yet laws, but game and fishing inspectors have
been appointed – fishers who act as wardens to regulate other fishers. In
addition, family ties influence people’s attitudes, a bad attitude is shameful
to the rest of the family.
all these arrangements are in place, then and only then, the scientist comes in
to provide the best available data and monitoring. The Portland Bay management
plan calls for continuous monitoring of natural resources (e.g. botanical study,
coral reef study, fish stock assessment, socio-economic study). Videos for
public education can help transfer the experiences of such projects.
AND PARK AUTHORITIES ALONG THE ANDAMAN
AND ENCOURAGING WISE PRACTICES
Moken people, the “Sea Nomads” of the Surin Islands in Thailand, have
preserved their traditional way of life due to the protection afforded by their
distance from more densely inhabited regions. Their area has been a National
Park since 1981 and is about to be designated a World Heritage site. The area
became popular with Thai tourists about 15 years ago. It is the best diving site
in Thailand but still not much frequented by foreign tourists.
present, the national park authority are concerned with the Moken’s extraction
of certain species, e.g. sea cucumber, top shells, green snails, and other
decorative shells which they gather for commercial purposes. Thus, the park
authority exerts a ban on gathering these species. As a result, the Moken no
longer have a source of income to buy rice and other necessities. The “Moken
Fund” was set up by the park superintendent as a means to provide necessities
for the Moken, but it was terminated due to some misunderstandings.
has not been a definite policy about local people living in protected areas. The
Moken existence in the Surin Islands is considered a “privilege” by some.
Thus, the second phase of the Andaman Pilot Project has been carried out with
three main objectives:
In November 1998, the project
co-ordinators organized two meetings which brought together stakeholders of the
Surin Islands to discuss relevant issues and to seek commitment and support from
first meeting “Identifying Participatory Sustainable Development Options for
the Moken of the Surin Islands” was held in Bangkok as a brainstorming session
for government officials, academics, and NGO workers to identify crucial issues
leading to the strategic goal of sustainable development options for the Moken.
second meeting “Towards the Strategic Goal of Sustainable Development for the
Commitment and Support” was a participatory workshop, held in the Surin
Islands, and attended by participants from the first meeting and the Moken
representatives. The activities include the evaluation of the Moken’s
potential in organising tourism activities and the confirmation of commitment
and support by each party.
Commitment and Support” was a participatory workshop, held in the Surin
Islands, and attended by participants from the first meeting and the Moken
representatives. The activities include the evaluation of the Moken’s
potential in organising tourism activities and the confirmation of commitment
and support by each party.
discussion briefly addressed the balance between the “carrot and stick”
approaches to resource management. Local communities in Jamaica enforce their
own regulations, even when offenders are members of family or friends, because
their direct livelihood is involved. On the other hand, in the Philippines, even
though fishers know when a practice is bad (e.g. dynamite fishing), they still
implement the practice, hence the need for the “stick” approach.
presentations raised the wider issue of conflicts arising from local populations
having to adapt to external pressures from outsiders, e.g. Hong Kong companies
operating in the North West Territories in Australia. In the case of the Moken
people in the Surin Islands, even though they are partners in the conservation
of the marine park, it is the park authorities who decide on the activities
(selling crafts to tourists, acting as guides). The Moken cannot benefit from
available funds to develop their own activities as they are not Thai nationals.
In this respect, the sustainability of eco-tourism was questioned. In whose
terms is it sustainable, especially viewing the particular impact on the local
JUSTICE O N THE MARGINS O F A MEGACITY: ALTERNATIVE LIVELIHOODS IN JAKARTA AND PULAU
H. Sangkoyo, School of Social Science & Planning, Melbourne, Australia
the capital city of Indonesia, is a large tropical megacity with a population of
more than 20 million people. In the bay north of Jakarta lies a chain of small
islands, the Pulau Seribu, which are heavily impacted by Jakarta’s activities.
Since the 1980s, there has been a major influx of poor migrants into the Greater
Jakarta area which has raised the population density significantly. Against a
background of mass poverty and in the absence of critical basic services for
many of the city’s residents, as well as absence of any strategic approach by
the state to manage the environment or the economy, the spread effect of the
fiscal crisis, which started in 1997, has dealt a serious blow to the region.
high population growth rate, together with the expansion of Jakarta City, has
led to serious pollution and over-exploitation of coastal and marine resources.
This has included deterioration of the coral reefs, mangrove clearance for fish
pond development, and pollution of Jakarta Bay from the sewage, sedimentation,
agricultural and industrial effluents, and solid waste from the Greater Jakarta
the islands, the Pulau Seribu, there are a variety of issues that need
addressing. Some of the islands have disappeared as a result of dredging. The
national park has no proper management; as a result the wildlife sanctuaries,
although protected by law, are destroyed by development. The reefs are declining
and so too are the fisheries on which many of the islanders depend for a
efforts have failed to solve these problems because of fragmented resource-use
policies, inability to integrate policies and programmes, and insufficient
land-use planning at the city and local levels. In addition, the suppression of
political rights and the absence of basic rights for the local Kampong
communities have compounded the situation.
UNESCO-CSI initiative has tried to address some of these problems by focusing on
community-based management, assisting some of the poorer communities to manage
their resources and clean up the environment, and promoting changes in
lifestyles through educational campaigns. Other collaborative efforts have also
adopted a community-based approach by developing social safety nets and
food-for-work programmes, an advocacy network against destructive fishing in the
Pulau Seribu, and revision of the Basic Agrarian Law.
COASTAL URBAN VILLAGES IN THE NATIONAL
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
the perspective of a land owner and a social scientist, the author focuses on
the environmental impact associated with the increased pressure from newly
arrived people and investors in the Port Moresby area in Papua New Guinea,
especially the effects on the Motu Koitabu coastal urban villages.
New Guinea comprises 3,000 ethnic groups with two fifths (80) of the world’s
languages. The Motu Koitabu are the traditional land owners of the cities. The
arrival of migrants to the cities generates housing problems (40% are squatters)
and in parallel creates competition for mangrove wood, which is now used as a
building material, reducing its availability as firewood for the host
population. The disposal of non-biodegradable garbage near houses is a cause of
bad smell and creates conditions for the spread of typhus and cholera.
environments are also under threat from other wealthy outsiders who invest large
amounts of money to reclaim coral reefs for the building of marinas.
demand for sea cucumbers (a delicacy on the Malaysian and Japanese market)
depletes the resources, and locals invest in diving equipment to benefit from
this lucrative activity. With no formal training many divers die from
decompression and bombing.
question is raised of why the Motu Koitabu people are not consulted on the
developments that will ultimately have an impact on their lives. It was further
noted that awareness campaigns are needed to help them make informed decisions.
participants pointed to the importance of community participation in management.
The example of oasis management in Egypt showed that people’s participation,
especially women, is of paramount importance. This approach to the sustainable
management of fragile ecosystems in the desert could be transferred to sensitive
coastal areas. Demonstrating the short-term benefits of community-based
involvement often has a snowball effect, wherein more and more people want to
learn about ways in which they can benefit.
reference to a lack of response from governments in the face of oil spills, it
was suggested that local communities could find information on the internet
about ways to cope with pollution instead of waiting for help from the
lessons to be learnt from the unwise practices were discussed, e.g. destructive
fishing in Samoa and mangrove depletion in Nigeria. Regarding fishing
activities, reference was made to the positive impact of transferring
responsibility for resource management to local population in Samoa, Chile and
Mauritius. The importance of maintaining continuity with traditional fishing
practices was also noted.
CULTURAL HERITAGE, COASTAL
EROSION AND WASTEWATER TREATMENT: TOWARDS AN INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR ALEXANDRIA,
a marina in Alexandria’s Eastern Harbour is an important issue for UNESCO as
it fits within its mandate to promote the integrated development and management
of coastal areas. This includes, among other things, the need to conserve
coastal (onshore and underwater) cultural heritage.
response to the recommendations of the International Workshop on Submarine
Archaeology and Coastal Management (SARCOM 97), organized by the University of
Alexandria, the Supreme Council of Antiquities and UNESCO, in Alexandria, Egypt
in April 1997, and upon the request to UNESCO by the Egyptian Supreme Council of
Antiquities, an evaluation mission recommended various actions to protect the
area of the Citadel, Pharos Lighthouse underwater site and the Eastern Harbour.
main objective for the future development of the Citadel and Pharos Lighthouse
sites is to develop an integrated plan for their preservation and touristic use.
In this respect it is sensible to incorporate into this plan the underwater
archaeological site known as the “Palace of Cleopatra”, situated within the
Eastern Harbour. All three sites are located in close proximity to each other
and would favour the concept of a unique cultural theme park in the form of a
combined “open-air and open-water” museum or marine archaeological reserve.
determine the feasibility of establishing such a park, experts in environmental,
oceanographic and archaeological fields were consulted. The underwater sites
need to be surveyed using advanced techniques to obtain a precise overview of
the distribution of the archaeological items. In addition, the current practice
of discharging untreated sewage into the Eastern Harbour and other adjacent
near shore sites is an obstacle to the development of sustainable tourism. It
was recommended that UNESCO’s
International Hydrological Programme (IHP) contribute to the development
of an integrated urban water management plan for Alexandria, including the assessment
of the wastewater problem.
the full cultural value of the archaeological sites has been established, a
brain-storming task force with representatives from all interested organizations
should be set up to work out a long-term plan. Implementation of this plan may
eventually involve some offshore constructions and hence requires a
comprehensive knowledge of the oceanography, geology and sediment dynamics of
the wider region. Consequently, a carefully designed data collection programme
should be implemented after a decision is taken concerning the future of the
necessary data include:
detailed historical account of the site;
and compilation of all the data currently available in the various institutes and
geological site survey of the wider region to establish the subsurface lithology
and stratigraphy of the bedrock, sediment distribution and thickness;
bathymetric survey of the area;
collection of a long-time series of nearshore currents and seasonal wave climate
coupled with meteorological data;
At a later stage, hydraulic
modelling using the collected environmental data.
actions were undertaken during the latter half of 1998. Two UNESCO consultants
visited Cairo and Alexandria between September 11–18, 1998, to examine the
The feasibility of establishing an underwater museum at the site of the
archaeological remains believed to be the ancient Alexandria Lighthouse off the
Alexandria coast near the eastern and western harbours in the locality of the
Qait Bey Fort.
A proposed strategy for the establishment of such a museum including different
display alternatives and a management scheme for tourists’ access to the site.
UNESCO consultant on hydrology was requested to evaluate and develop an
integrated urban water management plan for Alexandria, including the assessment
of the wastewater problem. He studied the impact of the urban water drainage
from Alexandria on the project area. He pointed out that three outlets of
untreated sewage water are now draining into the sea, one very near to the area
of the project.
roundtable meeting on “Underwater archaeology and coastal zone management of
the Qait Bey area” (in Alexandria) was organized by the UNESCO Cairo Office in
collaboration with the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Alexandria on 16
September 1998. The aim was to bring all concerned parties together in the
presence of the two UNESCO consultants on underwater archaeology and the one on
hydrology, to discuss their findings. Visits were also made to the site of the
Qait Bey Fort, the underwater site next to it and the Roman theatre, where
archaeological objects taken from the underwater site are housed.
found that the site is of principle significance and is of unique importance on
a global scale. It is feasible to establish a submarine museum on the site
because of its proximity to the shore and to the other underwater archaeological
remains in the Eastern Harbour. Also the Qait Bey Fort would be a convenient
place to house support facilities and to function as an orientation centre for
the proposed underwater museum; the fort could become a living museum in its own
right. Experts stressed that the project cannot succeed without solving the
UNESCO Cairo Office (UCO) and the Supreme Council of Antiquities agreed in
principal to share the costs of the next step, including the collection of data
required for the development of the project. It has also been agreed that at
least one other roundtable meeting be held during December to discuss a draft
plan of action being prepared by the UCO consultant.
UNSUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUSTAINABLE:
CASE O F THE ALANG
INDUSTRY IN GUJARAT,
H.C. Dube, Department of Life Sciences, Bhavnagar University, Gujarat, India
Alang and Sosia Ship-Breaking Yard (ASSBY) is located on the coast of Bhavnagar
district, in the Gulf of Cambay , 56 km south of Bhavnagar City in the state of
Gujarat, India. The Gulf of Cambay is known for its high tidal range, which is
around 10 metres. The vast expanse of intertidal zone gets exposed during
ebb-tide which makes it convenient for ship-breaking activities, whereas the
high tide makes it possible to accommodate big ships. Alang and Sosia combined
boast the biggest ship-breaking yard in the whole of Asia. Today this activity
is conducted in 182 plots around the year. ASSBY impacts different groups of
people depending on their interests.
are basically four interest groups directly involved in and affected by the
ship-breaking activity. They are the Government of Gujarat through the Gujarat
Maritime Board, the ship-plot owners, the workers or labourers, and the
villagers in the ASSBY area.
four interest groups have diverse cultures and sometimes conflicting interests.
The wise practice in this case would be to create a common culture for a common
future on the lines of sustainable development.
CONCERNS OF THE GUJARAT MARITIME BOARD
CONCERNS OF THE SHIP-BREAKING MANAGEMENT
CONCERNS OF THE WORKERS
plot holders employ some
30,000 workers directly for ship-breaking activities. There may be an equal
number of workers employed in ancillary activities. The direct workers are
migrant labourers mainly from Utah Pradesh, Bihar, and Orissa. They are young
men, almost 70% of them stay in rented shanty dwellings available near
Most of them do not have potable water. Their monthly income from ship-breaking
activities is around Rs. 3600 per person. This amount is on the high side for
such manual, casual and hazardous work. The concerns of this labour group are:
living conditions with clean water, air and accommodations.
Safe, healthy and standardized working conditions.
CONCERNS OF THE ASSBY VILLAGES
are around ten villages in the vicinity of
ASSBY, each having a population of about 1,000 residents. All these
villages are near or on the seashore and within a radius of 12 km from ASSBY.
A majority of the people from these villages are from the “Koli caste” which
is a socially and educationally disadvantaged group, popularly known as “bakshipanch”
in Gujarat. Paleval (brahmin), Garasia (kshatria) and Kharak (agriculturist)
are three other significant groups in these villages. The villages are part
of Talaja taluka. Their main concerns are:
grab new life chances provided by ASSBY, in terms of small odd jobs, ancillary
economic activities, tea shops, eateries, sundry provision shops and other such
small businesses. Different ethnic groups have different life-chance biases.
of water and fuel resources, degeneration of the resource base in general, and
salinity ingress in well water.
like the new opportunities, but do not like the damage to ecology, yet they do
not understand the relationship between the two.
WISE PRACTICE AWARENESS PACKAGE
interests of all the four concerned groups have to converge at one point and
that point is sustainable development. A free dialogue and resultant
understanding will help in evolving a common culture and a shared programme.
from the above-mentioned groups, there are some peripheral groups who have a
partial interest in ASSBY
from their own vantage points. These groups are:
people’s representatives, media persons and non-governmental organizations
awareness programme is not just an academic endeavour, it is supposed to bring
the participants to a level of cognition, transfer information and form relevant
attitudes or change attitudes. Furthermore, it should prepare participants to
change the situation for the better and to prepare common ground where various
stakeholders can interact and participate in the sustainable development programme.
the universal cultural and historical significance of the site of the Alexandria
lighthouse and the economic implications of tourism for Alexandria and Egypt at
large, a major international effort appears necessary. In particular major
sewage and engineering problems must be solved. It is estimated that no tourism
project, such as an underwater marine museum, could realistically be developed
before 10 years or so. A major constraint is to have agreement among all the
issue of the ship-breaking/building impact on the natural environment and the
population is also a concern in Bangladesh, especially the problem of knowing
what the old ships carried (e.g. chemicals). There should be an assessment study
of potential hazards and damages but this is an economic issue in developing
countries where the industry completely controls access to shipyards. A major
problem is indeed the awareness of population and availability of data. A
possible solution may be to increase pressure on governments or to involve
participants pointed to the different visions of sustainable development
according to one’s own economic situation: rubbish in one area becomes
resources in others.
MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS IN SAMOA:
FUTURE FOR CULTURE-BASED
P. Varghese Department of Education, Apia, Samoa
Samoa, the great majority of the population reside in and around coastal areas
and have maintained a traditional way of life as subsistence farmer/fisher folk.
Samoan culture and traditions are very strong and alive despite the conflicts
between traditional and modern practices. The subsistence fishery continues to
be crucially important to the majority of those living in rural areas.
is largely lacking in exploitable natural resources. The main industry, copra,
failed in the 1980s because of the collapse in export demand. The economy of
Samoa was severely affected by severe cyclones in 1990 and 1991. A catastrophic
fungal blight in 1992 destroyed the nation’s staple food crop, taro. The
cultivation of taro is still not possible without the use of fungicides.
basic social unit in a village, the aiga (extended family), is headed by the
matai (chief). Like most others in Polynesia, Samoan society had no central
political authority or government. Political organization rests largely upon the
village council in which the heads of the extended families and their chiefs
join in dealing with local problems and order.
TRADITIONAL FISHING PRACTICES
fishing resource sharing is at the heart of traditional practices involving
the whole or most of the community. Utilization of most resources was carefully
controlled and protected by taboos and folklore. The socio-cultural conditions
in the coastal communities were such that custom and tradition were strong enough
to support and enforce management practices. This has declined, however, as
the fisher now thinks more of his personal gains. For example, palolo (sea worm)
is a Samoan delicacy; knowledge and information about it are passed on from
generation to generation. Traditionally palolo was not to be sold for money
but today it is available in the markets.
population growth, urbanization, more effective techniques for fishing and
storage, use of destructive fishing techniques such as explosives and poisons,
the introduction of commercial fisheries and loss of essential fisheries habitat
have placed considerable pressures on Samoa’s inshore fisheries, rendering
them unsustainable. Many mangrove swamps and marshes, which are important
nurseries for many species of fish such as the mullet, trevallies and crab, have
been drained and reclaimed. Clearing of mountain slopes and forests has created
serious soil erosion problems with disastrous effects on inshore reefs.
Significant areas of coral reefs and lagoons have been degraded by destructive
fisheries management is being undermined by such factors as the emphasis on
production, participation in the modern economy, an increased capacity for
fishing, a lack of information on which to base management and the destabilising
effect of the cash economy. The knowledge that took centuries to accumulate is
rapidly discarded as people adopt more contemporary ways of using their marine
resources. There is little chance for the future generations to enjoy a healthy
marine environment and plentiful seafood unless effective sustainable management
plans are put in place.
Government, through its policy initiatives and institutional measures, has shown
its commitment to the conservation and protection of the local environments
(e.g. Lands, Surveys and Environment Act, Fisheries Act, World Conventions and
Fisheries Act allows some village regulations to be made into by-laws. It gives
government recognition to these laws and enables the village to prosecute and
punish offenders accordingly. Many of the laws set by the Government are hard to
enforce and monitor. By-laws, on the other hand, are created by people with a
real interest in the management and conservation of fishery resources. The
village will therefore be more inclined to act on breaches of these laws.
Village Fisheries Extension Programme, developed by the Department of
Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries, assists village communities to carefully
examine their situation, and to plan actions that will allow lagoons and reefs
to recover, and eventually fish catches to improve. It seeks to establish
community fishing practices which result in the maximum productivity and
sustainability of marine resources. This programme is different in that it
acknowledges that the real solution to the problem lies in the hands of village
people and their Fonos (Village councils).
village decides what its major concerns are, and what action needs to be taken.
The Fisheries Division assists the village to assess its marine environment, and
to decide on practical ways to make improvements. It provides technical support
for the village to draw up its own “Village Fisheries Management Plan”.
helps create awareness of mismanagement. An integrated approach is used to teach
relevant environmental issues at various age levels. Schools are encouraged to
participate in various national awareness campaigns. A multi-sectoral approach
is often used in organising and co-ordinating such activities. A UNESCO project
in marine science curriculum materials for South Pacific Schools through support
from AIDAB produced six student text books and their teachers’ guides.
Inservice training workshops were run in 1997 for about 40 teachers from various
secondary schools and a set of books were supplied to each secondary school.
These books were well received by the teachers.
development – everyone talks about it with authority, yet no one can provide a
clear way of achieving it. It has become a “pie in the sky” which everyone
strives for. It is clear that for Pacific Island countries to achieve
sustainable development, cultural aspects and traditional practices must be
woven into the approach and planning of relevant activities” (Vili A. Fuivao,
Director, South Pacific Regional Environment Programme). One of the greatest
challenges the Pacific island nations have to face, at the approach of the
twenty-first century is to ensure that the limited natural resources on which
they depend continue to be available in acceptable quantities.
WORDS AND WAYS:
J. Wiener, Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine, Port au Prince, Haiti.
Haitian coastal and marine resource user, be she/he a fisher, a charcoal
producer (cutting mangroves), a hotelier or a sports fisher is very aware of
resource degradation and loss. Although there are usually more than adequate
laws concerning the use and management of coastal and marine resources, these
laws and regulations are pretty much ignored. The lead governmental agency
responsible for enforcement, the Ministry of Agriculture, has an extremely
limited staff (2–3 agents for 1,771 km of coast), and virtually no resources
to perform its enforcement role. These problems have led to an attitude where
there is virtually a free-for-all concerning resource use, and no one is willing
to speak up against “renegade” resource users because they will not find any
legal support. Attitudes of “I can’t stop someone else from making a
living”, “the sea is for everyone”, and “if I don’t take it someone
else will”, are common and pose major problems in terms of resource
management. There is such rampant poverty that it is difficult, if not
impossible to tell a fisher, for example, to throw back a short lobster, or a
lobster caught out of season, when he has a family to feed today. It is
difficult to think of tomorrow when you are hungry today.
is, on the part of most users, an awareness of pollution, over-fishing, and
sedimentation problems affecting the coastal and marine environment. Although
there is this awareness, it is usually basic, and there is little local
knowledge in terms of “true” science, biology, and ecological causes and
fishers have the basic knowledge handed down from generation to generation by
others (family, friends) which allows them to fish; basically in the same way as
the generation which preceded them. This knowledge may include fishing zones,
how to make traps, when to fish, etc.
on naming and classification of fish and other marine resources has shown there
are differences among names given to different fishes even by members of the
same fishing community. The differences in general, almost disappear with the
size and thus the commercial value of the fish. So, while small “useless”
fish such as squirelfish, damselfish, and hamlets may be classified as rébéka,
bouki, pé, sélinet,
or simply réjet (rejects) as a
group, larger more commercially attractive fishes have a more distinctive and
uniform classification; such as dorad (dolphin),
tiara (wahoo), sad
(snapper) or nëg (grouper).
are also classified by location such as fliet
(in the water column), zèb (in
sea grasses), or roch (in rocky
areas or coral reefs). The fish are also classified commercially as pwason
rouge, pwason blanc, by most users, or pwason nwa (réjet).
Pwason rouge (red fish) would
include the larger more commercially attractive fishes such as tuna, wahoo, or
snapper. Pwason blanc (white
fish) includes triggerfish, larger parrotfish, surgeonfish, and some of the
smaller snappers. Pwason nwa (black
fish) includes tangs, hamlets, sergeant majors, and the other smaller fish
usually classified as réjet.
Pwason rouge is usually sold to higher class markets, hotels, and
private citizens. Pwason blanc is
sold to a more middle class market, and pwason
nwa is usually eaten by the fishers themselves, or sold to the poorer
sector of the market.
is important to note that various sizes of the same fish may be classified
differently according to this system. Different life stages of the same fish may
also cause a change in the classification. An example is the Scaridae
(parrotfish) in which the initial phase may be classified as flérin,
pé, rébeka (pwason
nwa). As it grows it may eventually climb the classification scale to pwason blanc, and depending on the species and size, even up to pwason
limit resource over-exploitation, education is needed that combines, in an
integrated way, traditional (empirical) and scientific knowledge, in particular
by putting in writing oral traditions. Fishers often have an intimate
understanding of fish behaviour. However, some of the knowledge is transmitted
only to a few selected persons.
relationship between poverty and environmental exploitation was further
discussed. In Nigeria for example, fish rejects are transformed into poultry
feed and very little is therefore wasted.
societal terms, it was pointed out that at extreme levels of poverty, the value
system must be challenged and possibly adjusted or changed through a sort of
ethnic/social engineering. It is particularly important to change people’s
attitudes of “laissez-faire” towards environmental damage and depletion of
resources, because otherwise the situation will only get worse. This requires
education of fishers and communities to help improve their own understanding of
Since industrial and social parameters are the driving factors of change maybe these indicators of change should be considered before we look at bio-indicators.
PEOPLE INVOLVED: COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN
SUSTAINABLE COASTAL DEVELOPMENT
INDIAN OCEAN EXAMPLES
or shared development is a process that allows populations, communities or
countries to express their views and increase their autonomy. Through
negotiation, their role is no longer passive or servile, indeed they become
active contributors. Participation is part and parcel of the process of
sustainable integrated management of coastal areas. It involves training
populations in order to perpetuate and sustain certain actions.
TACTICS FOR SHARED DEVELOPMENT
judicious process of consultation combined with prolonged observation and
analysis should precede the definition of projects. Beforehand it is also
necessary to consider the following:
of different participants and target groups
planning and organization of a project should remain flexible so as to give
people a genuine opportunity to participate in the different phases of the
project. Experimentation and research should strongly influence the direction to
be taken and continual changes may have to be made throughout the duration of
the project. Those responsible for the project should avoid adopting a
all stages of the process of integrated management of coastal areas, legality
and legitimacy should be a main objective. This may be achieved through the
combined framework of local governance, which constitutes the body of
institutional arrangements including governmental and non-governmental
structures, the legal framework and traditions and social standards of the local
communication and arrange contacts between concerned parties whilst adapting
material means and utilizing mediators according to the specific situation.
and interpret data.
hidden agendas in order to discover obvious problems that have not been
discussed during the workshops.
Identify common aims, so as to avoid non-sustainable compromises.
STRATEGIC THOUGHT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION
problems by determining those responsible.
objectives that lead to integrated actions.
out the people to be mobilized.
the means to be put into action.
Identify the necessary tools.
example of strategic thought was given by the author concerning the management
of domestic waste and the maintenance of beaches in the Itsandra Bay area
(Comoros). In reference to both these objectives, he described the problems,
actions, means, contributors and tools involved. He pointed out that successful
management is achieved with the help of the collaborative committee and through
the action of members of the villages of the bay.
order to allow populations to participate it is necessary to:
all points of view so as to act wisely.
every possible dimension: environmental, social, cultural, economic.
support to principal participants: for example, women, young people and all
collaboration and persuasion as a means of dealing with dissension: hence the
need for mediators.
new technologies and inventions.
contacts with various partners: ministries, institutions, projects, communities
local environmental projects in concert with communities.
list is non-exhaustive since universal concepts to encourage the participation
of populations do not yet exist.
APPROACHES IN ARTISANAL COASTAL FISHERIES IN LATIN AMERICA
systems in Latin America are affected by increasing land- and ocean-based
activities: tourism, recreation, fishing, mariculture, domestic and industrial
waste disposal, military activities, transportation, mining and energy
industries. When unplanned, these activities impact on and threaten
biodiversity, including economically important species. Small-scale, artisanal
fisheries constitute an important socio-economic component of the Latin American
and Caribbean fisheries. These fisheries provide an important source of
employment and represent a key source of high quality food, generating important
direct incomes to artisanal communities and elevated export revenues to the
countries of Latin America. These fisheries could be characterized by six
contrasting phases which describe the long-term landing and export value
the majority of the cases, only the first three phases occurred and several
coastal fisheries are, at present, dramatically overexploited and have
collapsed. One of the main causes for these collapses is that fishers have not
been included in the discussions about management. Here two cases are presented
in which experimental and co-management practices were used.
THE YELLOW CLAM
yellow clam Mesodesma mactroides is
a sedentary bivalve distributed along the warm temperate intertidal zone of the
Atlantic coast of South America. This species is artisanally harvested (shovels
and hand-picking) on sandy beaches of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. In Uruguay,
the historical phases of the yellow clam fishery closely resemble those
described earlier. Landings of yellow clam catches presented low levels before
the decade of the 80s, in which statistical coverage of the activity did not
exist. The expansion phase began in the 80s, when landings increased up to 3.5
times in five years (from 62 tonnes in 1981 to 219 tonnes in 1985). Catches
decreased more than 100% from 1985 to 1986, and in the first quarter of 1987
only 11 tonnes were caught (overexploitation phase). Then the fishery was closed
for 32 consecutive months, from April 1987 to November 1989. This idea was
promoted by resource biologists, as a management experiment to investigate the
effects of fishing activities on the demography of the yellow clam. During the
closure of the fishery, the interaction between resource users, coastal marine
authorities and fishery biologists during the experimental process was
identified as a wise practice. The small and well-defined group of local fishers
was specially involved in enforcing regulations in order to set up an accurate
control of the experiment. The National Institute of Fisheries approved and
encouraged the scientific initiative (i.e. a good political climate was in
experiment provided significant information from an ecological point of view.
The long term study has shown that fishing can influence the demography and
abundance of shellfishes, beyond the effects of exploitation, thus highlighting
the ecological implications of humans as top predators in the system, and also
as a source of physical disturbance associated with harvesting. Experimental
manipulation of the fishery allowed identification of the positive and negative
effects of fishing, with meaningful management implications. The fishery was
reopened from December 1989 onwards, and two additional operational management
strategies were implemented:
a minimum catch volume per fisher, priority was given to those fishers with
longer activity in the fishery;
a spatial management scheme, considering habitat heterogeneity, which accounts
for spatial and temporal variations in resource abundance and in the fishing
strong and rapid resource recovery was reflected in the high catch per unit
effort achieved by the fishers when the fishery was reopened during the summer
of 1990. Allocation of property rights to each fisherman resulted in a useful
mechanism to avoid “the tragedy of the commons”, to maintain the stock at
desirable levels and to improve the quality of life of fishers (these last two
elements are two quantitative indicators). Thus, the stabilization phase
occurred after the fishery was closed. In this period, the catch per unit of
effort was two times higher than in preclosure years.
a decision of the management body, the fishery was left as an open access system
since 1992, which determined another collapse a year after. Thus, the 6th
fishery phase, the “consolidation” period, was not completed because of an
unwise decision by the government authority.
COASTAL ARTISANAL SHELL FISHERIES IN CHILE
Chilean benthic fauna is diverse. Over sixty species of invertebrates generate
annual landings of about 150,000 tons, with an export value exceeding 100
million dollars. Harvesting is restricted to artisanal divers and coastal
subsistence food gatherers. In the past 15 years, a number of shellfishes have
been overexploited and in some cases, the fishery has collapsed. Fishery
closures were unsuccessful, and thus extensive illegal activities occurred along
the coastline. In 1991, the Chilean Fishing and Aquaculture Law was approved. It
incorporates main fishery and ecological knowledge developed by local
scientists, such as the implementation of marine reserves and Marine
Exploitation Areas (MEAs). Access to these MEAs, defined over small coastal
segments (i.e. < 100 ha of sea bottom), was granted only to organized
artisanal communities, and for 2 years on the basis of management and
exploitation plans previously agreed by the fishers, the maritime authorities
and the scientists.
involvement improved the effectiveness of shellfish management programmes and
constitutes an effective tool by which fishers, scientists and managers could
interact to improve the quality of the regulatory process. Co-management of
small coastal MEAs resulted in larger catches, catch per unit of effort and net
economic revenues perceived by the fishers as a result of higher quality of the
product (individual sizes) when compared with open access fishing grounds.
Promising results on natural re-stocking of shellfishes in coves or
“caletas” with organized fisher communities offer hopes for the future
sustainable use of benthic resources. Co-management provides fishers the
possibility to share in the decision-making. Indeed, the perception of ownership
by the fishers is one of the most important focal points that determined the
success of this wise management practice developed in Chile.
cases represent successful co-management pilot experiments. But there is a
problem of scale that precludes the extent of generalization to other cultures
and regions. Each region has its own way of achieving their respective wise
question was raised as to whether the project in the Comoros would be
sustainable once outside funding ceased. It was felt that self-financing efforts
such as ecotourism and craftsmanship development might assist in making this a
regards the South American fisheries co-management projects, the importance of
political will for project success was emphasized. The success and acceptance of
fishery closures may also depend on whether fishers have alternative sources of
two speakers in this session addressed the theme from different standpoints
depending on personal backgrounds, the social sciences and the natural sciences,
and it was interesting to see the areas of similarities and differences in the
discussion on the presentations several participants saw the need to develop
some clear perspective from this meeting especially in view of all the divergent
and thought-provoking input.