Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
colbartn.gif (4535 octets)


Work in progress ( 28th April 2000)

Extracts selected for:
"Wise Practices in Coastal Tourism Development in Protected Areas"
21-27 MAY 2000

(username = csi , password = wise)
reactions/responses to <moderator@csiwisepractices.org>



Furthering wise sustainable development practice in coastal regions and in small islands (figure)

Early Nov. ’99 communication to launch reaction/response phase

Geographical index of Example Wise Practices, focusing specifically on TOURISM, and reactions/responses from around the world.

Work-in-Progress Paper – January 2000
- List of characteristics for wise practices
- List of topics & approaches covered by the example wise practices

End April ’99 Communication to launch web-based discussion forum


Figure 1.  Furthering wise sustainable development practice in coastal regions and in small islands


E-Mail To Individual Contributors Sent Early November 1999

Dear ….

            First of all I would like to thank you for your excellent, thought-provoking contribution to the Web-based facility on example wise practices (EWPs).  A total of  48 EWPs were posted together with a similar number of  reactions and responses.  These EWPs contain a considerable volume of information pertinent to sustainable human development in coastal regions and small islands. Besides serving as concrete examples, these wise practices and their discussion permit us to re-examine and re-focus CSI's activities particularly as they relate to the pilot projects and the UNESCO Chairs.

            While the forum has generated some discussion and responses we feel that the EWPs already posted deserve further consideration and thought. We are therefore re-opening the discussion forum starting from today until mid 2000. During this period we are asking that you respond, react or comment on any of the EWPs or their reactions/responses already posted.

            (personalized paragraph)  

            For this discussion phase we have re-organised the Web-based forum in order to make it easy to use. Just access http://www.csiwisepractices.org (username= csi, password= wise) and you will see all EWPs displayed by geographical region. Display of the EWPs by topic and approach (select 'set preferences' at the top of the opening page) is also possible. You can directly post a reaction or response via the form at the end of each message or by sending them to <moderator@csiwisepractices.org>.

            I would be grateful for your acknowledging receipt of the present message and look forward to reading your reactions and responses to the forum.

Best personal regards,

Dirk G. Troost
Chief CSI

Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands (CSI)
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)
1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France
Fax: +33 1 4568 5808/06

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Geographical index of Example Wise Practices, focusing specifically on TOURISM, and reactions/responses from around the world.



Private sector investment in marine conservation/ Chumbe Island – Tanzania.
Sibylle Riedmiller  
    Chumbe Island: an example of island conservation for the Pacific
Mali Voi - responding to Sibylle Riedmiller
    Need for Worldwide representative system of Chumbe-type reserves  
Jan C.Post - responding to Sibylle Riedmiller
        On the need for coral reef preservation / Caribbean Sea
Donatus St.Aimee - responding to Jan C.Post
            Who is responsible for tourism’s negative impacts on the environment 
Mali Voi - responding to Donatus St.Aimee
                Holding developers and governments accountable
Hari Baral - responding to Mali Voi
                    Directing tourism investment / Caribbean Islands
Leisa Perch - responding to Hari Baral
                    Incentives for non-consumptive use as alternative to heavy taxation
Sibylle Riedmiller - responding to Hari Baral

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Private sector investment in marine conservation / Chumbe Island-Tanzania.

  Posted By: Sibylle Riedmiller
Date: Monday, 6 March 2000, at 3:29 p.m.

Key words: coral reefs, ecotourism, marine parks

DESCRIPTION: Chumbe Island is situated 8 miles southwest of Zanzibar Town and covers an area of approximately 20 ha.  It is an uninhabited island dominated by coral rag forest and bordered, on its western shore, by a fringing coral reef of exceptional biodiversity and beauty. Based on the initiative of Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd, a private company created for the management of Chumbe, the island was gazetted in 1994 as a protected area by the Government of Zanzibar.

This created the first marine park in Tanzania, and to our knowledge also the first and only private marine park in the world. The reserve includes a reef sanctuary and protected forest and has become a rare example of a still pristine coral island ecosystem in an otherwise heavily over-exploited area.

The objectives of the Chumbe Island Coral Park (CHICOP) project are non-commercial, while operations follow commercial principles. The overall aim of CHICOP is to create a model of sustainable conservation area management where ecotourism supports conservation and education. Profits from the tourism operations are to be re-invested in conservation area management and free island excursions for local schoolchildren.

About two thirds of the investment costs of approximately 1 million US$ were financed privately by the project initiator (a conservationist and former manager of donor-funded aid projects). Several project components, such as the construction of the visitors centre, biological baseline surveys, the Aders' duikers sanctuary, the park rangers patrol boats and nature trails received some funding from donors, e.g. GTZ-GATE, GTZ-EM, the German Tropical Forest Stamp Program, EC-Microprojects, the Netherlands Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the WWF-Tanzania, the International School Schloss Buchhof, Munich, among others. This covered about a third of the investment costs.

More than 30 volunteers from several countries provided, and continue to provide, crucial professional support for between one month to three years. Running costs are mostly covered from income generated through ecotourism. Seven two-bed eco-bungalows offer accommodation for up to 14 guests. In addition, day trips are offered for up to 12 visitors. Larger groups of schoolchildren are invited for day excursions during the low season.

Since the opening of the Chumbe Island Coral Park in mid 1998, occupancy rates have not yet exceeded a monthly average of about 40%. Marketing mainly through the Internet is expected to increase the occupancy rate.

The project employed and trained four former fishers from adjacent villages as park rangers, and stationed them on the island. They patrol the reef and the island's coral-rag forest habitat, keep daily monitoring records on any observations, assist researchers and guide foreign and local visitors over the marine and terrestrial nature trails.

Permitted uses of the marine park include recreation (swimming, snorkeling, underwater photography), education and research. Extractive and destructive activities, such as fishing, anchorage, collection of specimens (even for research) are not allowed. Research is co-ordinated with the Institute of Marine Sciences of the University of Dar es Salaam and regulated by the Chumbe Island Management Plan 1995-2005.

An historic lighthouse, built by the British in 1904, is kept functioning and is now used by the traditional dhows that have no modern means of navigation. A protected historic mosque on the island is left untouched and still used daily by the Chumbe staff on the island. This is one of the few mosques of Indian architecture in Zanzibar, built for the Indian lighthouse keepers by their community at the turn of the century. The former lighthouse keepers' house has been carefully restored and converted into a visitors centre that harbours the restaurant and exhibits of environmental information about the island reserve for all guests.

SUMMARY OF PROJECT ACTIVITIES, 1991-1999: Gazetting of the western reef and the island, since1991; Employment and training of park rangers in interaction with fishers, monitoring techniques and tourist guidance skills, since 1993; Baseline surveys and species lists on the island's flora and fauna were conducted since1993; Establishment of an Advisory Committee which meets annually with representatives of the Departments of Fisheries, Forestry and Environment, the Institute of Marine Sciences of the University of Dar es Salaam and village leaders of neighbouring fishing villages; Production of a Management Plan 1995-2005 in 1995 to guide project operations; Development of forest and marine nature trails since 1993 with informational material in English and Kiswahili; Eradication of rats (Rattus rattus) in 1997; Establishment of a sanctuary for the highly endangered Ader's duiker (Cephalopus adersi) since 1997; Rehabilitation of the ruined lighthouse keeper's house for park headquarters/visitors centre, 1997-98; Use of state-of-the-art eco-architecture (rainwater catchment, gray water recycling, compost toilets, photo voltaic power generation) for seven visitor bungalows and the visitors centre; Provision of free excursions to the island to local school-children during the off-season; Tourism operations (day excursions and overnight stay) started in 1997/1998.


LONG TERM BENEFIT: There are clear long-term benefits when the private sector establishes and manages small marine parks, as seen in resource protection, environmental awareness and economics. Over-fished and depleted reefs adjacent to and upstream of the marine park are being restocked, and local people and tourists are educated about related issues. Private management is considerably less costly and more efficient than government-controlled management bodies set up by over-funded donor projects.

CAPACITY BUILDING AND INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING: In the Chumbe project local fishermen are being trained as park rangers, local school-children receive free environmental education, civil servants learn about marine conservation and related issues, tourists are offered environmental education also!

SUSTAINABILITY: The Chumbe project receives no donor or other support and depends entirely on income from ecotourism. This now fully covers the running costs, but would not suffice for capital repayment and profits under strictly commercial terms. As long as the country remains peaceful, tourism will continue to fund the project. Visitor numbers are carefully controlled. Overnight capacity does not exceed around 5000/year for overnight visitors. No further construction of overnight facilities is planned. Day visitation to the park is also limited and regulated by the tides to avoid any damage to the coral reef by boats crossing over during low water.

TRANSFERABILITY: Well-managed marine parks and coral reefs CAN be very attractive for marine tourism and generate considerably more income than fisheries and other resource extraction. The challenge is HOW to achieve this under Third-world conditions. Private investment in conservation CAN be the answer, but needs: 1. conducive political, legal and institutional environment for foreign investment (corruption is the biggest problem); 2. long-term security of tenure!!! 3. conservation-minded investors, but they need 1 and 2 above! Where these conditions are given, the Chumbe case IS replicable, why not...

CONSENSUS BUILDING: Contrary to expectations, dealing with local fishermen was NOT such a big problem. Approached properly by fellow fishermen trained by the project, they can be made to understand, and after some time SEE the direct benefits of conserving a small area: better fish harvests in adjacent areas, and other sources of income (tourism). The biggest obstacles and problems mostly came from government (bureaucratic red tape, corruption, lack of political support for conservation in general etc.)!

PARTICIPATORY PROCESS: There is a limit to how far private investors can 'involve all local stakeholders', particularly where government and donor organisations are rarely doing this...! Generally it is easier for an investor to deal with local stakeholders (fishermen) who have an interest in one particular reef, and a POTENTIAL interest in sustainable resource use. After all: both the investor in marine tourism and the fishermen DEPEND on the health of the coral reef! The challenge comes when one has to deal with government institutions, donor projects and NGOs who have made conservation their 'income generating activity' through donor funds. They have little if any 'intrinsic' interest in conservation on the ground, as they do NOT depend on the health of the reef. Their incentives are rather to set up ever more bureaucratic structures and procedures and increase overheads to justify continued funding. This makes conservation unnecessarily costly and alienates local resource users, rather than involving them!

EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION PROCESS: The private sector is in a good position for this: the need to establish well functioning management on the ground, AND a successful business at the same time, provides for an extremely strong incentive for effective and efficient communication with all parties involved. In contrast, government- and donor-funded bureaucratic institutions don't really need to do this, and find it difficult to encourage effective and efficient communication. Why should they bother?

CULTURALLY RESPECTFUL: Training local fishermen to be park rangers and to communicate effectively with fellow fishers provides an enormous opportunity. In the Tanzanian national language Kiswahili, fishers and people in general refer to coral as 'stones and rocks', and treat them that way. Corals are not seen as something living, and also primary and secondary school syllabi do not provide any education on coral reefs. So there is a long way to go...!

GENDER AND SENSITIVITY ISSUES: In the local Islamic culture, women do not learn how to swim. In the Chumbe case, teaching school girls how to swim and snorkel in coral reefs for environmental education is a huge eye-opener, and necessary for developing feelings of ownership, as well as more political support for marine conservation!

STRENGTHENING LOCAL IDENTITIES: The fact that coral reefs are something tourists come to visit from far away and spend money on, was quite an eye opener for local people! Also the fact that coral reefs are only found in the tropics, NOT in the rich countries in the North, helps a lot for developing feelings of ownership...

LEGAL NATIONAL POLICY: Well, the 'current' policies are clearly insufficient for conservation, particularly concerning marine conservation. That's why decades of rampant dynamite fishing met with little government and public concern in Tanzania. So that criterion is far too narrow and not forward looking enough! Conservation projects should be committed to lobbying and stewardship for more advanced government environmental, economic, legal and social policies. And where implementation and enforcement is lacking, policies are irrelevant!

REGIONAL DIMENSION: More than terrestrial conservation (game parks), marine conservation may have a potential impact far beyond national boundaries. The sea has no boundaries...

HUMAN RIGHTS: Well, yes the project respects them, of course...(This criterion is a bit broad).

DOCUMENTATION: The activity and the lessons learnt have been well documented, with papers to international conferences and publications.

EVALUATION: Monitoring of the island environment is an ongoing activity. The coral reef has become one of the most pristine in the region, with 370 species of fish (Fiebig 1995) and over 200 species of scleractinian coral, at least 90% of all recorded in East Africa (Veron pers. com. 1997). The forest covering the island is one of the last pristine 'coral rag' forests in Zanzibar (Beentje 1990) and has now become a sanctuary for the highly endangered Aders' duiker (Kingson 1997). Other rare species include the Coconut crabs (Birgus latro) and Roseate terns (Sterna dougalli). The several awards won by the Chumbe project (EXPO2000 worldwide project, 1999 British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Southern Regional and Global Awards...) and the extremely enthusiastic feedback from visitors to the park may also be seen as a form of evaluation...

GENERAL DISCUSSION: Chumbe Island combines sustainable tourism with sustainable conservation area management. While most protected areas around the world are dependent on financial support from governments or large donor agencies, the revenue generated from tourism on Chumbe Island subsidises the conservation and education programmes run in the park.

References BEENTJE, H.J. (1990) A Reconnaissance Survey of Zanzibar Forests and Coastal Thicket, FINNIDA-COLE, Zanzibar. CARTER, E., NYANGE, O., SAID, Y., (1997), Management Experiences of the Chumbe Reef Sanctuary 1992-1996, Paper presented at the National Coral Reef Conference, 2-4 December, Zanzibar. CHUMBE ISLAND CORAL PARK (1995), Management Plan 1995-2005, Zanzibar. CHUMBE ISLAND CORAL PARK (1999), Progress Report 1992-1999, Zanzibar. FIEBIG, S. (1995), Fish species list and management report on the Chumbe Reef Sanctuary. GUARD, M. (1997) Dynamite Fishing in Southern Tanzania, Miombo 17, Wildlife Conserv. Soc. of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam. HORRILL, C. (1992) Status and Issues Affecting the Marine Resources around Fumba Peninsula, COLE Zanzibar Environmental Study Series, Number 12. ILES, D.B. (1995), Roseate Terns, Miombo, No.13, July 1995, Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanz., Dar es Salaam. KINGDON, J. (1997), The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals, Academic Press, 372-373 RIEDMILLER, S. (1991) Environmental Education in Zanzibar: Proposals for Action, Dept. of Environment, FINNIDA, Zanzibar. RIEDMILLER, S. (1998) The Chumbe Island Coral Park Project, A Case Study of Private Management of a Marine Protected Area, Paper presented at IUCN-Regional Workshop on Marine Protected Areas, Tourism and Communities, 11-13.5.98, Mombasa/Kenya. RIEDMILLER, S. (1998) The Chumbe Island Coral Park Project, Management experiences of a private marine conservation project, Paper presented at the ICRI-International Tropical Marine Ecosystems Management Symposium, 23-26.11.98, Townsville/Australia. RIEDMILLER, S. (1999) The Chumbe Island Coral Park: A Private Marine Conservation Project, InterCoast Network Spring 1999, Coastal Resources Center, University of Rhode Island, USA. SCHEINMAN, D. & MABROOK, A. (1996), The Traditional Management of Coastal Resources, Tanga Coastal Zone Conservation and Development Programme, Tanga/Tanzania, June 1996. UNEP RSRS, (1989) Coastal and marine environmental problems of the United Republic of Tanzania. By M. PEARSON. UNEP Regional Seas Reports and Studies No.106. WATKINS, C.W., BARRETT, M., PAINE,J.R. (1996), Private Protected Areas, A Preliminary Study of Private Initiatives to Conserve Biodiversity in Selected African Countries, World Conserv. Monitoring Centre (WCMC), Cambridge, December 1996.

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 Chumbe Island: an example of island conservation for the Pacific.

Posted By: Mali Voi
Date: Friday, 17 March 2000, at 3:10 p.m.
  In Response To: Private sector investment in marine conservation / Chumbe Island-Tanzania (Sibylle Riedmiller)

Chumbe Island, Tanzania, is truly a success story of a sensitive private sector group taking interest in the sustainable use of resources. Using ecotourism to help in income generation; the use of the island for school excursions...incidental teaching; and the extensive use of volunteers are noble concepts. Even more, the understanding by local fishermen of the benefits of a fish breeding reserve for the continuous supply of fish in the areas near the island, is equally applauded. This cooperative effort between local and international organisations again demonstrates the need for intersectorality (interdependence among each other).

In the Pacific, we are attempting to promote "cultural and natural heritage conservation" through concepts such as ecotourism. Chumbe Island is a shining example for island communities. I am copying this example wise practice to Dr. Elspeth Wingham, our consultant assisting in World Heritage matters in the Pacific.

Mali Voi
UNESCO Cultural Adviser for the Pacific

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Need for worldwide representative system of Chumbe-type reserves.

Posted By: Jan C. Post (World Bank)
Date: Wednesday, 8 March 2000, at 11:08 p.m.
In Response To: Private sector investment in marine conservation / Chumbe Island-Tanzania (Sibylle Riedmiller)


The Chumbe Marine Park Bulletin is a refreshing, straightforward, candid and clear message on how coral reef biodiversity should be conserved. It is free of the buzzwords and jargon that lace much of the conservaton literature today and that result in a situation whereby many interpretations are possible, at the detriment of conservation.

As one of the founders of the Bonaire Marine Park in the Caribbean in the early seventies, I have seen even that Park, hailed as a shining example, degrade over time. What kind of a park is that, where there is not one square meter of reef designated as a "no take" zone? When will we realize that the larger residential fish species on the reef, in particular the top predators that are the prime targets of sport and commercial fishermen cannot sustain exploitation of any significance?

In my opinion the only chance to preserve complete reef ecosystems, lies in a representative system of reserves like Chumbe, encompassing all reef systems of the world. The Chumbe concept is not based on rocket science, in-depth research programs or complicated models and that may be why it is not sexy for the big organizations.


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On the need for coral reef preservation / Caribbean Sea.

Posted By: Donatus St. Aimee
Date: Monday, 20 March 2000, at 9:36 a.m.
In Response To: Need for worldwide representative system of Chumbe-type reserves (Jan C. Post (World Bank))

I fully support the comments of Mr. Post. The unbalanced development policies of the Caribbean governments, with their skewed focus on tourism at the expense of the marine environment, has put tremendous pressure not only on the coral reefs, but also on the seagrass beds and mangroves. Given the level of damage already done, we actually need a period of preservation to provide for rejuvenation, before we can even talk of management.

Donatus St. Aimee, Caribbean Council for Science and Technology

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Who is responsible for tourism's negative impacts on the environment?

Posted By: Mali Voi
Date: Tuesday, 4 April 2000, at 2:58 p.m.
In Response To:
On the need for coral reef preservation / Caribbean Sea. (Donatus St. Aimee)

The issue of damages done to the natural resources in the Caribbean by the tourism industry is indeed a case of killing "the goose that lays the golden egg" as the saying goes. Are we not raising the question of the ethical and moral conduct of the rich and powerful, who operate tourism in the Caribbean? Should they not be held accountable and responsible for their actions towards the damages done to the environment? Never mind the negative impact on humanity, locally and globally.

Mali Voi.
UNESCO Cultural Adviser for the Pacific

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Holding developers and governments accountable.

Posted By: Hari Baral
Date: Monday, 10 April 2000, at 10:03 a.m.
In Response To:
Who is responsible for tourism's negative impacts on the environment? (Mali Voi)

There is no single authority who can be held accountable for the negative effects of tourism, particularly in developing countries and especially at fragile coastal sites. Uncontrolled tourism development on coastal sites bordering shallow continental shelves and fragile coral reefs is a major problem. We have now invented a safety word to hide this damaging tourism activity, calling it "ECOTOURISM".

The development of most tourism sites has hardly followed any real impact evaluation process. Neither the tourists nor the developers are held responsible for long term damage to the fragile coastal ecosystems. We have never imposed any sorts of obligatory insurance on either of them. Instead the government authorities and particularly the local people have to bear the result of the damage caused by the tourists.

Very often local authorities look to the short term financial gain as the sole decision making argument in favour of tourism development. Even institutions like the World Bank promote such projects without any real, in-depth impact analysis of tourism development on the fragile coastal areas of developing countries (e.g. the recent development of a large intensive tourism site at the "Bay Da Lang" in Vietnam).

Therefore, it is the government and the investors who should be held responsible for the negative effects of tourism. It is time to develop a policy of heavy taxation and compulsory damage insurance that developers would have to pay for each tourism development site, particularly the fragile natural sites.

Hari Baral
Vice President,
International Society of City and Regional Planners.

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Directing tourism investment / Caribbean islands.

Posted By: Leisa Perch
Date: Thursday, 20 April 2000, at 2:49 p.m.
In Response To: Holding developers and governments accountable. (Hari Baral)

This is very interesting as we in the Caribbean are coming to grips with this very situation. Although we do not, by any means, wish to halt "progress" and stifle "economic development" we should also ensure that progress and development are long-lasting and that if we are going to sell precious resources then we should do so for the best value and price. We certainly should ensure that we have enough money to cope with the likely consequences.

The Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change (CPACC) Project presently being implemented in the Caribbean is looking at two approaches which may assist in redressing this problem:

1. Economic valuation of coastal and marine resources (in the sense that this is the best value and way to utilize this resource after taking into consideration natural functions etc. which also save us money); and

2. The formulation of economic and regulatory proposals with regard to changing behaviour, particular that of investors and others in terms of how, when and where they build.

Interestingly, beach conservation and sand have been identified by the pilot countries as priority areas of concern. One can see how these all tie into and are affected by tourism. In fact, tourism is also one of the sectors which the pilot countries wish to target.

Additionally the World Bank has recently been working with agencies in the region regarding capturing additional rents from the tourism industry.

I would be interested in knowing of other experiences, tools and activities in this area.

Leisa Perch
Public Relations and Projects Officer
Caribbean Planning for Adaptation to Global Climate Change (CPACC) Project, Barbados.

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Incentives for non-consumptive use as alternative to heavy taxation.

Posted By: Sibylle Riedmiller
Date: Friday, 28 April 2000, at 1:08 p.m.
In Response To: Holding developers and governments accountable. (Hari Baral)

While it is true that uncontrolled tourism development causes damage to coastal sites, it should not be overlooked that traditional users from local communities are also causing damage to the environment, particularly coral reefs. Over exploitation of marine resources, unsustainable and destructive fishing methods, such as the use of dynamite and poisons, the aquarium trade, shell and coral collection for curios, coral 'harvesting' for burning lime, the hunting of protected species such as sea turtles, whales etc. reduces biodiversity, threatens the ecological balance and causes havoc to coral reefs. What all these practices have in common is that they are consumptive, that is, they derive economic gains from consuming marine resources that have not been produced by man, and at a rate far in excess of natural replenishment rates!

Probably the only major economic activity that makes use of marine resources without consuming them, is ecotourism. Tourists do pay for enjoying, watching and taking photos of the marine environment, coral reefs, fishes, dolphins, whales, instead of hunting to kill. For example, whale watching alone produced an income of around US$ 8 billion worldwide in 1999 (while Norway and Japan are now campaigning at the CITES conference in Nairobi to downgrade whales so that, in the long run, they can be hunted again without restrictions).

For several decades, tourist visitors to terrestrial game parks have become the most important source of income and foreign exchange for many countries of the third world. World heritage sites such as the Serengeti, the Ngorogoro crater, the Krueger National Park are among the most famous examples in Africa. Watching elephants, rhinos, gorillas in their natural environment generates billions of tourist dollars every year, far more than the one-time use of their tusks, horns, fur and meat could ever fetch!

Why is it so difficult to accept a similar reality for coastal and marine resources? Hard to understand. The challenges are to make sure that proper environmental impact assessments are done, and taken seriously, and to help traditional users benefit from the non-consumptive use of the same resources that they had been collecting before. Otherwise conflicts between local communities and tourism developers will be inevitable.

Ecotourism offers such alternative sources of income to local people, as developers or through employment. All around the world it is small enterprises, often run by local people, that are the most typical ecotourism operators (Source: database of the US-Ecotourism Society). Hari Baral proposes a "policy of heavy taxation and compulsory damage insurance that developers would have to pay for each tourism development site, particularly the fragile natural sites." Unfortunately this would be counterproductive. Heavy taxation in particular, and also costly insurance schemes, will give small ecotourism developers a clear disadvantage compared to large-scale local and international mass tourism investors. It would also discourage operators who observe good environmental practices, as high taxes and insurance rates will force them into heavier use of the environment, with higher numbers of visitors.

Untreated sewage from beach hotels is among the most serious threats to coral reefs and coastal environments. Technologies that minimise pollution and environmental damage are costly. Reducing visitor numbers results in less revenue. Who will pay for that? Higher prices are an option only as long as the market can absorb that. Clear tax incentives for environmentally sensitive developments rather than heavy taxation would send the right signals! Unfortunately, the present situation often works the other way round.

Hari Balal is quite right when saying that "local authorities look to the short term financial gain as the sole decision making argument in favour of tourism development." Official policies and criteria for approving investment plans and building regulations are often heavily biased in favour of large-scale, capital-intensive 'permanent' developments that may pose a greater threat to the environment. Corruption also works in their favour.

Contrary to common perceptions, private-sector resort developers and tour operators may have a strong interest in good environmental practices, particularly when their customers are environmentally aware and demand and acknowledge such commitment, and if it pays! Environmental certification of construction designs and practices in coastal resorts, and better management of recreational activities, may have a marketing value that provides stronger incentives to developers and operators, than for example, government regulations and inspection visits of (sometimes rent-seeking) government officials.

Prestigious awards such as the British Airways 'Tourism for Tomorrow Award' and others, provide valuable marketing publicity that small resorts would normally find hard to afford. Tourism can actually generate greater awareness and political support for conservation of coastal resources! For example, along the Tanzanian coast, dynamite fishing practised by rural fishing communities has for decades been (and still is) the greatest threat to coral reefs. Little was done to prevent it until 1997, when a private tourist hotel, fearing for the safety of its diving clientele, initiated a press campaign that was fueled by strongly-worded letters to local newspapers from former guests. As the country's image as an emerging marine tourism destination was at stake, this for the first time generated enough political will for drastic action. The navy was summoned and has succeeded in reducing dynamite fishing at least along the reefs closer to shore. As a welcome side effect, this also increased political support for donor-funded projects working with fishing communities in the country.

In summary, marine and dive tourism can increase the economic value of coastal resources, particularly coral reefs, and thus promote greater awareness and appreciation of resources that were traditionally taken for granted and often believed to be inexhaustible by local communities. The marine tourism market may attract big and small local investors with little previous interest in marine resources, and thus also increase political support for coastal conservation. Let us overcome the tendency to blame tourism and the private sector for damages, and stop romanticising traditional local communities, and instead develop strong incentives for better practices by all stakeholders!

Sibylle Riedmiller
Project Director,
Chumbe Island Coral Park, Tanzania.




Combining research and education in protected area management / Ulugan Bay - Philippines
Miguel Fortes

Further developmments at Ulugan Bay, Philippines
Miguel Fortes
Sustainable tourism in a Biosphere Reserve, Puerto Galera, Philippines
Miguel Fortes – follow-up details



Public–private partnerships for marine pollution management / Batangas Bay –Philippines
Chua Thia-Eng

Local stakeholders’ concerns versus business priorities
Philippe MacClenahan – responding to Chua Thia-Eng

Exposing the hypocrisy of some “environmental” resorts
Miguel Fortes

Environmental impact assessment as a management tool / Philippines
Miguel Fortes

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Combining research and education in protected area management/ Ulugan Bay-Philippines.

Posted By: Miguel Fortes
Date: Thursday, 12 August 1999, at 6:28 p.m.

Key words: city-twinning, coral reefs, multi-disciplinary approach.


We have been implementing a kind of education (applied to integrated coastal management) which we, in protected area management, now deem more essential and much more pragmatic and receptive to the actual needs of people, compared to what we have been doing before. Briefly, this is so because:  

1) it imparts not just knowledge but knowledge infused with culture and values, and complimented with skills,

(2) it is directed to the people who are directly affected by the impacts of decisions,  

(3) it is implemented by the people mandated to implement the actions, but with the early and active participation of the other primary stakeholders,

(4) this is undertaken right at the place where the actions are taking place, and

(5) it is predicated upon scientific knowledge that is action- and management oriented, translated into a form that is easily understandable and acceptable by the people.


Let me now share with you my most recent experiences. These are directly related to what we are doing. This is in connection with three small projects entitled:

(1) Training Course/Workshop on the Human and Scientific Dimensions of Managing Tubbataha Reefs as a Natural World Heritage Site,

(2) Coastal Resources Management and Sustainable Tourism in Ulugan Bay,

(3) Exposure/Study Tour by the Sangguniang Kabataan (Municipal Youth Council) and Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council) of Puerto Galera to Puerto Princesa.


Briefly, below are the most salient points of the projects. It should be emphasized that in this context, the "wise" nature of the practices is only perceived, backed by their adherence to established institutional procedures or norms and ecological principles. They are not yet fully substantiated. As education is a long term investment, the results may not even be realised in our lifetime.


This project consists of a series of 3 intensive workshops.

Audience: those directly involved in scientific research, advocacy and decision making re management of Tubbataha Reefs as a Natural World Heritage Site.

Theme/contents: values, skills, culture, integrated with action- and management oriented scientific research.  

Output: group vision, change from within to effect a change outside, new integrated learning, greater commitment, actual experiences.

NOTE: the body mandated to manage the reefs, the Protected Area Management Board or PAMB, has been inoperational for more than 2 years due largely to "turf wars" between the main agencies regarding their mandates. What we did was to intervene (a wise practice?) via the workshops and let the members of PAMB meet on a simulated meeting to address the most pressing issues. 11 days after our last workshop, the governor who heads the Executive Committee, the highest decision-making body of the province, called a meeting with the operationalisation of PAMB as the first item of the agenda.

We resource persons represent UNESCO, an impartial institution mandated to oversee World Heritage Sites such as Tubbataha Reefs. In addition, we formed the Starfish UNESCO Club whose members are mostly participants, serving as an added "citizen" arm in case actions are stalled due to the usual inaction by government or other agencies.


As part of the bigger project, a workshop undertaken by GREEN GLOBE, an international NGO, mandated to take charge of the tourism component, was held in Puerto Princesa, 16-18 June 1999. It looked at the potential of Ulugan Bay as a tourism destination. But the way their recommendations were formulated was not culturally sensitive enough, so we reacted strongly (but discreetly) against it. Simply prescribing cottage industries just because there are people who make baskets is courting disaster. Somewhere within the prescription, there has to be an effective cultural dimension to link with the action.

A most significant and surely a wise practice is our integration or linking of the research and teaching obligations of the UNESCO chair holders with the tourism and management activities in Ulugan Bay. For my part, my team does the assessment of the coastal resources (seagrasses, coral reefs, mangroves, fishes, seaweed), and investigates the demographic dynamics of mangrove saplings at both reforested and natural sites (with a scholar for the MSc degree). This management-oriented research now forms the basis for the tourism plan, likewise augmenting and updating the body of knowledge useful in the formulation of policies for area protection and sustainable use.

On the other hand, the Chair holder in the social sciences very recently finished a socioeconomic profile of the communities in the bay. In contrast to similar or related works in the past, this profile is much more receptive to the actual needs and perceptions of the people. With the scientific and educational inputs, it now forms a major basis for the tourism and management thrusts of the project. Come August, all these inputs (scientific, socio-cultural, anthropological, legal and educational) will be collated and integrated in a workshop in Palawan and immediately shared with the people.

I should mention at this point that the EU-funded project I am coordinating in the Philippines is likewise providing in-depth scientific input, which will be translated into a model for predicting recovery in impacted seagrass and mangroves. In addition, an ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific) Project is also providing the satellite images at the site. With these two additional supports, I was able to delineate areas of utilisation and protection in Ulugan Bay. All these inputs will be used as a basis of a discussion come 24 July between the navy and the City Government of Puerto Princesa on the issue of whether or not to allow the navy to completely take over the bay for its military exercises.


The Exposure/Study Tour of the Sangguniang Kabataan (Municipal Youth Council) and Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council) of Puerto Galera to Puerto Princesa is a part of the project I am currently implementing under the auspices of the Man and Biosphere Programme of UNESCO for the former site.

Both sites are Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO and the idea is to work by example, in an effort to make the two "sister cities." Puerto Galera is a coastal town that has suffered years of neglect from the government and academe, and has undergone unregulated tourism development from shortsighted and environment-insensitive businessmen and politicians. On the other hand, Puerto Princesa, also a coastal town, has been the model in sustainable environmentalism not just in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia. The exposure trip gave all concerned the chance to meet and exchange views with their counterparts in government, including the mayors. We also visited the city's waste dump site, its parks, talked to the common people (tricycle drivers, boat men, entrepreneurs, etc.). A week after the trip, the youth leaders started meeting after every two Sundays to formulate plans for their respective communities. Two of their projects I have incorporated in mine (giant clam seeding of degraded reefs, assessment and development of the last remaining primary mangroves into a "mangrove park" for educational and tourism purposes). Two of the leaders are now allowed by the council to be present in the day-to-day activities of the town mayor.

The Sangguniang Bayan is the decision-making body of the town. I decided that they should make the visit to Puerto Princesa because no matter how worthwhile all the learning is, it will not be sustained if it is not translated into legislation, incorporated into management actions and infused in social norms (in other words, institutionalised). The only way that it could be institutionalised is if it is accepted by the people through, first of all, legislation. This trip will be on 15-18 August.

To augment this activity in Puerto Galera, the follow-up to the training we conducted last January (Effective and Affective Teaching Workshop for Teachers) will be implemented on 28-31 July. The result of the first workshop was overwhelmingly positive, the only need expressed was this follow-up. I was able to "stretch" my budget in the UNESCO Participation Programme and with the support of a private foundation, the workshop now has sufficient funds. Another wise practice is the participation of a few private families in Puerto Galera who have been the pioneers at the site. If not for their active involvement and actual philanthropic zeal, the spirit of the town as a Biosphere Reserve could have been forever lost. I may add at this point that the resource persons are actually "expatriates," graduates of the same university department who now are experts in their own right, dealing with the psycho-social aspects of environmental management. As important perhaps, is that they have a personal (sentimental) stake in Puerto Galera. All of us have spent our summer classes in the place while still in our undergraduate years. And we do help, not for anything material, but more for the love of it. Is this another wise practice?


In April 2000, ECOTONE IX, the yearly activity of the MAB programme in East and Southeast Asia, will be Puerto Galera. My proposal was accepted unanimously in last May's meeting in Thailand. The theme I proposed for the activity was "Wise practices in Coastal Tourism Development in Protected Areas." But what will make the activity different from all the other ECOTONE?s is that it will be a workshop, constituent-driven and issue-based, where the participants will be pre-selected according to their expertise, guided by invited resource persons in the same fields, and invited to join teams to tackle very specific issues the town is confronted with. (The part actually sets a new direction for the other coming ECOTONE). The main output will be a set of concrete steps to actually help the town improve its development efforts. The learning will be compiled into a "wise practice" manual or sourcebook.

Two "unwise" practices in these endeavours somehow emerge: one is my sure inability to submit the reports on the activities on time, and the other, this input to our bulletin board which has surely taken too much of your time. Sorry.

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Further developments at Ulugan Bay, Philippines. 

Posted By: Miguel Fortes
Date: Thursday, 27 January 2000, at 6:08 p.m.
In Response To:
Combining research and education in protected area management / Ulugan Bay-Philippines. (Miguel Fortes

Let me share with you some recent highlights of our project. 

Partly because of our MAB project in Puerto Galera, the town, after earning the dirty reputation of a haven for prostitutes, pedophiles and drugs years back, is now the 'Cleanest and the Greenest Municipality' in the Province of Oriental Mindoro and the second such in the entire Region 4! The Municipality used the occasion to thank me for the support, especially that activity when I took all 13 members of the Municipal Youth Council and the Mayor to Puerto Princesa in Palawan (the model environmental municipality here in southeast Asia). That visit gave them a chance to exchange experiences with their counterparts. So that when they went back to their town, they adopted some of wise practices from Puerto Princesa and these transformed the town into what it is now. Do you know how that makes me feel? 

At the moment, the Municipal Council members from Puerto Galera, headed by the Vice-Mayor, are in Puerto Princesa. Again their travel was funded by money from MAB. This time, it is these decision makers who will have a chance to have a one-on-one meeting with their counterparts in the city. I am truly optimistic that this will rebound into something even better than the results of the first visit. 

One other wise practice: the Mayor of Puerto Galera requires a newly-wed to plant a 'love tree' in their backyard or somewhere we could suggest. They have to nurture it for life!

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Sustainable tourism in a Biosphere Reserve, Puerto Galera, Philippines.

Posted By: Miguel Fortes
Date: Friday, 17 March 2000, at 3:20 p.m.
In Response To: Combining research and education in protected area management / Ulugan Bay - Philippines. (Miguel Fortes)

In East and Southeast Asia, coastal tourism and travel has become the region's biggest industry. With this fact and the emerging consciousness of people towards environmental protection, there is a growing trend to utilise protected areas as tourism destinations. Hence there is the potential to negatively affect the integrity of these areas with the risk of losing their status as models of harmonious interactions between humans and the environment.  

Puerto Galera, the small northern peninsula, north of the island of Mindero, 77 miles southeast of Manila, was designated a Man and Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO in 1973. However, the town has suffered years of neglect and unregulated development. Tourism is an important pillar supporting the town's development effort, it brings in jobs, revenue and foreign exchange. But tourism draws upon the environment for its survival and the town's backward environment programme is a serious impediment. Existing environmental issues are linked to the poverty of coastal and mountain dwellers and to the unabated degradation imposed by the national and provisional effort to industrialise and attain higher productivity.

An up-coming forum (ECOTONE IX) will provide an opportunity for ventilating sound ideas useful in planning and implementing development activities, especially coastal tourism, in a Biosphere Reserve. One of the major activities of the meeting will consist of field observation, evaluation and discussion of existing environmental conditions around resort establishments and land use sites in Puerto Galera. It is expected that the meeting will bring to light current practices and issues relating to tourism development in the Puerto Galera Biosphere Reserve which may help to guide future planning and actions in similar protected areas. One intangible, but highly significant benefit, will be the training of local entrepreneurs and stakeholders in participating in highly specialized and focused meeting sessions. This will help develop their capacity and confidence for future actions relating to the Puerto Galera Biosphere Reserve.

We will keep the Forum posted regarding results.

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Public-private partnerships for marine pollution management / Batangas Bay-Philippines.  

Posted By: Chua Thia-Eng
Date: Tuesday, 27 July 1999, at 7:02 p.m.

Key words: environmental quality, investment groups, waste management.

DESCRIPTION: The GEF/UNDP/IMO Regional Programme for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pollution in the East Asian Seas has initiated an ICM demonstration site in Batangas Bay, Philippines in an effort to address coastal and marine pollution in an area that is in the crossroads of industrialisation.

In the Batangas Bay ICM Demonstration Site, the concept of public-private partnership is used to help ensure program continuity. It is founded on an understanding that private sector participation in environmental management is not just an advantage but an essential element to achieving sustainability. Government cannot do it alone. The local government in Batangas Bay does not have the expertise or financing to develop, construct and operate efficient and effective environmental facilities and services needed in Batangas Bay. Public-private partnerships, however, offer the advantages of private sector dynamism, access to finance, knowledge of technologies, managerial efficiency, and the entrepreneurial spirit.

The concept was used to address one major concern in Batangas Bay: the enhancement of waste management services. Due to a paradigm shift in concept, marine pollution management was seen as a responsibility of both public and private sectors and can create investment opportunities. Waste was also seen as a resource. Four projects dealing with municipal solid waste, agricultural waste, ship and port waste and industrial hazardous waste were identified and investment opportunity briefs were prepared for the four projects, in conjunction with local stakeholders from the public and private sectors. The opportunity briefs were then presented at the Investors' Round Table on Public-Private Partnerships, which was held in Manila on 9-10 November 1998. Representatives from investment groups, private operating companies, intergovernmental financial institutions, venture capital groups and commercial banks attended the two-day briefing on near-to-market and emerging opportunities, within the context of public-private partnerships. As a result, six companies have submitted expressions of interests for the four Batangas Projects while local stakeholders initiated the process of selecting partners. A consortium of companies from New Zealand was eventually selected as the private partner for an integrated waste management facility.

STATUS: The wise practice (WP) is currently being implemented.


LONG TERM BENEFIT: The WP will improve environmental quality because it improves the chances of projects being successfully implemented, as the local government will have the support of the private sector. In Batangas Bay, the four waste management projects could not have been implemented had it been left to government efforts alone. The WP also helps in ensuring continuity of environmental improvement efforts long after the programme has ended as such efforts would be "handed-off" to local public and private entities.

CAPACITY BUILDING AND INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING: The building up of local capacity is critical in the public-private partnership approach. The WP therefore promotes capacity building and institutional strengthening among the stakeholders.

SUSTAINABILITY: The public-private partnerships forged will last beyond the project life of the GEF/UNDP/IMO Regional Programme for the Prevention and Management of Marine Pollution in the East Asian Seas. This helps in ensuring that the environmental improvement effort in Batangas Bay does not end with the Regional Programme. The local public and private entities will continue the projects in a relationship mutually beneficial to all stakeholders.

TRANSFERABILITY: The WP is transferable. A model framework has been developed from the experiences in Batangas and will be published in the near future.

CONSENSUS BUILDING: The WP promotes consensus building, as it always demands local stakeholder consultation and involvement.

CULTURALLY RESPECTFUL: Stakeholder consultation is a major component for public-private partnership efforts. The WP is therefore formed well within the cultural bounds of local stakeholders.

LEGAL NATIONAL POLICY: The WP involved the creation of favourable policy and regulatory environment for increased environmental investment opportunities. The activity therefore adheres to current government environmental, economic, legal and social policies. It also helps solidify the WP's legitimacy as an effort thus giving the WP a higher degree of political will amongst local stakeholders.

REGIONAL DIMENSION: One good example of the WP's potential can be seen in the current economic situation prevalent in the East Asian Region. With the current economic slow-down of the East Asian Region due to a recent economic crisis that spread throughout the region, the WP provides opportunities for environmental investments as part of the economic stimulus packages that the Governments could put in place. The WP could therefore be a useful tool in improving economic growth.

DOCUMENTATION: The activity and lessons learnt have been well documented and will soon be published.

EVALUATION: The wise practice is still in its implementation phase. A feasibility study/business plan are currently being prepared, as a joint effort of the "public and private partners."

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Local stakeholders' concerns versus business priorities.

Posted By: Philippe MacClenahan
Date: Wednesday, 28 July 1999, at 3:31 p.m.
In Response To:
Public-private partnerships for marine pollution management / Batangas Bay-Philippines. (Chua Thia-Eng)

Your presentation of the public/private partnership to solve waste management in Batangas Bay prompts several questions.

From the description of the project the approach seems of a top-bottom type with consultation and involvement of local stakeholders. You indicated that the collaboration of the private and public sector is ensured by a favourable policy and regulatory environment that was created specifically for the project. What sort of timeframe was necessary for this environment to develop? In this legal framework what are the respective responsibilities and accountability of the different stakeholders? Consultation of local stakeholders does not guarantee that their opinion will be taken into account. There is always a risk that projects' objectives supported by (driven by?) financial incentives from outside (for example large international waste management companies) may be too dependent upon international market and willingly or not may over-ride local will and needs. What is therefore the level of involvement and empowerment of local stakeholders in terms of business priorities?  

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Exposing the hypocrisy of some "environmental" resorts.

Posted By: Miguel Fortes
Date: Saturday, 19 February 2000, at 3:21 p.m.
In Response To: The role of non government organizations in programme implementation. (Jean Wiener)

It is not only self-serving governments and NGOs that we have to deal with, but also the owners and managers of self-serving "environmental" tourism operations.

The Province of Palawan is the "last frontier" of the Philippines as it is relatively the most environmentally pristine. This month (February 2000) an environmental compliance monitoring was conducted of a resort in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. This resort is know internationally as a destination for nature lovers.

The results of the compliance monitoring showed several violations of our environmental laws:

  1. the possession of several large pieces of fresh cut squared timber, all of which have no existing permits (nato, a hardwood species);

  2. use of fresh cut premium hardwood of the manggis species and of nato and saket species, for the construction of a staff house, all without any permits to possess or utilize the above mentioned premium hardwood nor any transport documents therefore. Manggis is classified as a banned premium hardwood as it is now a threatened species;

  3. building of a structure without any building permits nor an Environmental Compliance Certificate, and with the use of fresh cut round timber without any permit. The said structure was built in contravention of the mangrove stewardship agreement of another, knowing all too well that no permanent structures may be erected under such agreement; and,

  4. the existence of an unauthorized corral for black tip sharks.

For several years now our communities have been reporting illegal logging activities in their respective barangays. The illegal loggers have been saying that the wood that they have been cutting from the mountains of Palawan was destined for this resort. For several years now, we have been trying to catch them in the act, and now, we have finally succeeded.

This resort is operating without an Environmental Compliance Certificate. Their application is pending with the Regional Executive Director for Region 4. The owners and managers of this resort claims to be advocating the cause of the environment. They are nothing but hypocrites. They are one of the reasons why the hardwoods of Palawan are being cut, further compounding the critical state of our environment.

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Environmental impact assessment as a management tool / Philippines.

Posted By: Miguel Fortes
Date: Wednesday, 7 July 1999, at 6:08 p.m.
In Response To: Environmental impact assessment and capacity building. (Maria Rosario Partidario)

EIA AND TOURISM IN THE PHILIPPINES:  The case in Papua New Guinea, as described by my good friend and 'kababayan' (meaning, countryman, since he is married to a Filipina, a wise practice, indeed!), is similar, but on a slightly larger physical scale, to a case in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, one of our two Biosphere Reserves in the Philippines. But they spell similar problems and prospects, similar groups of stakeholders involved, and very similar setting, only that ours involves unregulated activities all in the name of tourism. This case made me a 'persona non grata' in the area for about a year in 1994, to the extent that a 'shoot-to-kill' order was issued under my name by the resort developers I went against. This is not to dramatise the point, but this emphasises one thing: when self-interest is at stake, people will do anything, they will even sell their mother for a cent!

EIA AS A REGULATORY TOOL: We in the Philippines have a fairly good EIS system - but largely on paper - and it took us (I was directly involved in its development) at least thirteen years before it became fully operational and complied with by people. And we still face the same problems as you stated. We are now using the EIA not just a regulatory tool of government, but a management tool in our effort to 'ease up' the degradation of our environment. With it, we have been able to literally stop polluting projects and encourage those with benign intents. The crowning point in all these efforts is the case of the proposed Bolinao Cement Plant Complex. This was a multinational multibillion Peso project (Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines). But with the concerted effort of the people's organisations, backed by the academe, we were able to have it scrapped by the government - but only after almost four years.  Our lobbying against the project at the 6th International Coral Reef Symposium in Panama in 1996, plus support by the world's marine scientists made a breakthrough in the history of our environmentalism:  for the first time, opinions from scientists even outside the Philippines carried weight and are now considered in the social acceptability criteria. (Bolinao is where we have our marine lab, up in the north of the Philippines; the area we have been studying "to the death," so we have all the data we need to refute the consultants' claims -another wise practice).

REASONS FOR SUCCESSES AT PUERTO GALERA: Back to Puerto Galera. There are a lot of positive changes going on. What we did or what happened in Puerto Galera may be of interest to you, Haraka, and I hope to many others who experienced or are experiencing similar dilemma. The improvement we now have in the area is due primarily to the following:

(1) Relentless pursuit of academic goals in the area by our university, which has been in the area since the 1930s. We have undertaken research projects that address environmental degradation coupled with livelihood activities, and educational campaigns emphasising good examples from other areas, adopting the area as a laboratory for theses and dissertations, and class projects;

(2) Sustained support by one or two families, who have been in the area since the '50s and who infused funds for the upgrade of facilities e.g. cottage industries, waste management, academic, religious and services infrastructure;

(3) UNESCO intervention, re Man and Biosphere Programme, infusing international support and image;

(4) Minimal dependence upon government support which, unfortunately, gave more problems than solutions;  

(5) A new local government that is so supportive of the real people's needs and aspirations, and most of all;

(6) A functional combination of all these factors, all efforts converging and focusing to address a few, but priority issues, guided by a sense of loyalty, respect for nature, environmental ethics, and by a belief that no matter what, humans are united by an innate character that is for our common good.

This may sound too profound or as you said, weird, especially to westerners, but it took us this long to fully grasp and realise the effectiveness of our 'wise practice.' Time also helps. For more details on our activities, please refer to my earlier input (Combining research and education in protected area management / Ulugan Bay-Philippines).

RISK ASSESSMENT: One point I would like to include is perhaps, considering the magnitude of the proposed project, risk assessment would be helpful.

REGULATIONS IMPOSED BY MAJOR FUNDING AGENCIES: The World Bank and other large funding agencies have their own set of guidelines on how to undergo EIA. Their standards are sometimes even more stringent. But what gives developing countries problems in this respect is that these agencies do not adjust their administrative procedures to local realities, e.g. they require that the proponent agency come up with the required scientific study in only 3 - 6 months! All because they are after some deadlines, otherwise, the borrowed money earns such high interests! And their schedules are ridiculously out of the reach of the local governments.

So these are all my inputs for now. Many, many thanks. Good luck.



Co-management in marine protected areas / Portland Bight-Jamaica.
Peter Espeut

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Co-management in marine protected areas / Portland Bight-Jamaica.

Posted By: Peter Espeut
Date: Thursday, 22 July 1999, at 3:40 p.m.

Key words: baseline surveys, enforcement, management plans.


There may be "wise practices" which have universal applicability, but there is a specific political and policy context in Jamaica which creates both possibilities and challenges. In addition, the social and economic plight of the population define both the threats and the opportunities to which "wise practices" must relate. Therefore "wise practices" are fundamentally contextual.


The best way to protect coastal resources is through coastal and marine protected areas. This allows a direct focus on a critical area over and above any focus on the nation as a whole. Management of protected areas means that resources are dedicated to provide special attention to the problems of each area, which might sustain the health of the resources. The Jamaican government in its White Paper on Parks and Protected Areas has outlined a plan to declare 25% of the country as National Parks (terrestrial), Marine Parks and Protected Areas (marine and terrestrial) by the year 2000. This is a wise decision of the government of Jamaica. In Jamaican law, the area is declared after a management plan is prepared, reviewed and approved, and then a set of regulations is promulgated. The fact that there is a reviewed plan means that the effort is comprehensive, rational and coherent.


The Jamaican government has an environmental regulatory agency (the NRCA - the Natural Resources Conservation Authority) but does not have an agency dedicated to the management of parks and protected areas. Government policy calls for the delegation of management responsibility to suitable NGOs, and so far, management responsibility for two areas has been delegated to NGOs. The NRCA intends to delegate the management of the Portland Bight Protected Area (PBPA) to the Caribbean Coastal Area Management (CCAM) Foundation. This is another wise decision of the government of Jamaica. The best way to manage parks and protected areas is through non-governmental means. Let’s face it, governments all over the world - but especially in Third World countries - have been trying to manage natural resources for decades, and have largely failed. Partisan political considerations, weak resolve and political will, corruption and inefficiency combined with a shortage of funds have meant that forests, fisheries, wetlands and wildlife have suffered overexploitation and degradation. Governments do not have a monopoly on corruption and the like, and NGOs and CBOs can be inefficient too; but I believe that it is a wise move to seek the management of natural resources through non-governmental means rather than set up a state apparatus - another bureaucracy - to do what is not inherently a bureaucratic function.


Fisheries management is not the management of fish. Mangrove management is not the management of mangrove trees. Generally, natural resource management has more to do with managing the actions of human beings than with biological intervention. This departs from the standard approach of the last fifty years (which has not worked) that treats natural resource management as a biological science. Sure, biological data and analysis are essential for management, but they are not management itself, which is a social science.


If resources are being over-exploited or degraded by the resource users, then cultural change is required. Although it is individuals who must change their behaviour, often it is interaction with others which will drive the process. It is a wise practice to see that resource users are organised into groups, for collective action and to ensure that their collective wishes are addressed. It is also easier to work with an organisation than with dozens of atomistic individuals.


It is a "wise practice" to adopt co-management as the operative philosophy for natural resource management. Natural resource co-management here is taken to mean joint management by delegates of all the stakeholders in the resources - including the government and the resource-users. For this to be more than a sweet-sounding platitudinous idea, it must be institutionalised so that it happens by design, not by virtue of the influence of a particular leader or visionary. The participation of representatives of all the stakeholders must be assured, for if even one group is not involved in the process, they may choose to defect from the management effort, leading to unsustainability of the use of the resources and of the process itself. The employment of co- management, then, is essentially the most wise of practices. The process examines the management options and selects the combination most likely to achieve the goals of the co-managers.


Most management plans I have seen prepared by biologists are species inventories and descriptions of ecosystems, a suite of "do's and don'ts" codified into regulations, with the enforcement regime anticipated to be necessary to police them. Often it is suggested that "education" will lead to compliance with the regulations, which is naive. Most people who break environmental laws know they are doing so. A genuine management plan focuses on the strategies to be employed to guide and channel human activity to encourage compliance and reduce the need for enforcement. The good applied social scientist has at his disposal the skill and the cunning to make it happen.


It is Jamaican government policy and practice to appoint private citizens as Honorary Game Wardens to enforce the Wildlife Protection Act, and as Fisheries Inspectors to enforce the Fishing Industry Act. In the past these persons have tended to be drawn from the elite, mostly to police themselves (hunters and sports fishers). CCAM has been able to convince the Jamaican government to appoint fishers and fish vendors - men and women - to these posts to police themselves (and others). The empowerment of resource-users - especially those from the lower strata of society - to enforce the regulations they have drafted, is a "wise practice".


In our experience in Portland Bight, an effective institution to put co-management into practice is the Resource Management Council. We have three in operation:

Three others are planned:

The overall management of the Portland Bight Sustainable Development Area (PBSDA) will be overseen by the Portland Bight Sustainable Development Council (PBSDC). This Council will facilitate the highest level of integration in the various management efforts.

At these councils, the management plan for their specific resource is refined, management regulations are drafted and training is planned. Because the management measures bind the stakeholders, it is proper that they should draft them, and assist in their enforcement. In this way, those most affected can own the regulations, and are more likely to adhere to them and to encourage others to do so. Conflicts are brought to the Councils for resolution.

For the first five year management period, CCAM will hold the legal management responsibility. It is hoped that legal mechanisms can be quickly developed so that these Councils can legally have management responsibility during the second 5-year period.


It is a "wise practice" to conduct baseline surveys so as to know the state of the resources, both for planning and management, and to be able to compare with future resource inventories to measure progress with the resource management process. Both biological and socioeconomic surveys should be conducted.  


In between baseline surveys, regular on-going monitoring of key biological and socioeconomic indicators should be undertaken. Often it is only after a baseline survey that a decision can be taken as to which indicators to monitor.


Often in developing countries, those who exploit natural resources do not possess strong literacy skills. The use of audio-visual means of public environmental education is a wise practice.


Often, innovative natural resource management efforts contain lessons for others. In order that the lessons not be lost, it is wise to fully document all interventions and their results, both positive and negative.



Planning for sustainable tourism development / Karelia-Finland and Russia 
Maisa Siirala

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Planning for sustainable tourism development / Karelia-Finland and Russia.

Posted By: Maisa Siirala
Date: Wednesday, 13 October 1999, at 4:34 p.m.

Key words: cultural heritage, land use planning, traditional landscapes.


Ladoga is the largest lake in Europe and Saimaa the largest in Finland. The region is a mosaic of waters, forests, fields and hills. The cultural heritage is rich, even prehistoric age is visible. Karelia's own culture absorbed influences from the east and west. It includes Karelian, Finnish, Swedish and Russian heritage as seen in monuments, historical landscapes and monasteries on islands.

The northern part of the Lake Ladoga area has great potential for tourism. It was closed for over fifty years during the Soviet era. Without proper land use planning there is a risk of uncontrolled development and serious damage to the natural and cultural environment.

The objective is sustainable tourism development and management of the cultural and natural heritage through land use planning. A cross-border tourism route around both lakes is planned. Public participation is an important part of the project.

STATUS: The project is in an early planning stage and it will be co-financed by the State of Finland, the Republic of Karelia and to some extent, the EU.


LONG-TERM BENEFIT: The objective of the project is to help create a planning system, that could guarantee sustainable development especially for tourism. The aim is to fully include environmental aspects, such as the natural and cultural heritage, in future planning and decision making.

CAPACITY BUILDING AND INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING: The project will foster co-operation between different stakeholders and different levels of administration. The aim is also to develop co-operation between municipalities around the Finnish-Russian border in Karelia.

SUSTAINABILITY: The project will help to ensure that the valuable and important natural and cultural heritage along Lake Saimaa and Lake Ladoga will be preserved. In the future it will promote the use and maintenance of traditional agriculture landscapes on the coasts and in the islands. It will also help in restoration of villages and buildings.

TRANSFERABILITY: The land use planning methods used in this project can be applied to other similar areas in the Republic of Karelia, e.g. by Lake Onega and in the White Sea archipelago. The method can be tested and applied also in other corresponding northern coastal and archipelagic areas.

CONSENSUS BUILDING: The co-operation will decrease conflicts between economic and environmental interests (conflicts can be quite strong especially in view of Russia's present economic and political situation). It will help balance protection/conservation activities and exploitation needs, when developing tourism in nationally and globally valuable archipelagic areas and landscapes.

PARTICIPATORY PROCESS: The project will create a participatory planning system, where all interests and different sectors, enterprises, administration, NGOs, village people and land owners will be involved.

EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION PROCESS: In Russia under the Soviet era the decision making system was very centralised. The aim of the project is to help to make it more open and to increase the flow of information among stakeholders. The project will improve communication between different parties, e.g. tourism developers and enterprises by Lake Ladoga and Lake Saimaa.

CULTURALLY RESPECTFUL: The project is based on values of unique natural formations and landscape features of the biggest lakes in Europe. In Karelia there is a peculiar mixture of Finnish, Swedish and Russian cultural heritage. The project will promote sustainable use, protection, maintenance and other practices which prevent deterioration of traditional agricultural landscapes.

GENDER AND/OR SENSITIVITY ISSUES: This area has been divided and split many times. Before the World War 2, the biggest part of the Karelian Isthmus and Northern Ladogan Karelia belonged to Finland. Now these areas belong to the Russian Federation. Ladogan Karelia is part of the Republic of Karelia. Some hundred years before they belonged to Finland-Sweden and before that to Russia. The border has changed 8 times in that area from 1323 to 1947.

STRENGTHENING LOCAL IDENTITIES: One task of the project is to raise awareness of the inhabitants about the cultural heritage and settlement history of Karelia. The objective is to strengthen interest to maintain and develop the area in a sustainable way.

LEGAL NATIONAL POLICY: The project is aiming at supporting new democratic policies and strengthening co-operation between public authorities, enterprises and inhabitants. The project will demonstrate how to include environmental aspects in land use planning and economic development projects.

REGIONAL DIMENSION: The project endeavours to strengthen the cross-border area and the Karelian cultural, social and environmental identity, which was lost during the Soviet era. In practice the project will also help cross-border communication. One task is to promote cross-border tourism and the opening of new border stations.

DOCUMENTATION: The basis for the project was a joint 3 year Finnish-Russian study on the area. The report "The Cultural Heritage of the Northern Part of Lake Ladoga," was published both in Finnish and Russian. Before this project there was a co-operation programme: Atlantic-Karelian Development Corridors (led by the Ministry of Environment in Finland). Concerning Lake Saimaa there already exist regional plans, municipal land use plans, other plans and studies, e.g. "Integrated Water Resources Development Plan for Saimaa Watercourse." In Autumn 1999 the project will be presented in an exhibition in Finland to pertinent ministers of the European Union.





A regional approach to integrated coastal management / West Indian Ocean Islands
Yves Henocque



The role of non-government organisations in programme implementation
Jean Wiener – responding to Yves Henocque


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A regional approach to integrated coastal management / West Indian Ocean Islands.

Posted By: Yves Henocque
Date: Thursday, 22 July 1999, at 3:27 p.m.

Key words: coral reefs, ecotoxicology, sand mining, tourism.

DESCRIPTION: The Indian Ocean Commission (COI) is an intergovernmental organisation which has been set up between the five island states of the South-western Indian Ocean: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion/France, and Seychelles. Among other programmes, (Tuna fisheries development, Tourism development, Trade exchanges, etc.), it launched in 1995 an Environment Programme (PRE-COI) mainly supported by the European Union, under the Lome IV Agreement with developing countries. This programme of 13 million Euro will be concluded (at least, the first phase of it) by March 2000. It is implemented under the management of a Regional Unit based in Mauritius, and National Coordination units located in each member state. From 1996, the whole programme has been assisted by a European consortium of experts dealing with natural sciences as well as human sciences.

The objective of this integrated coastal zone management programme for the Indian Ocean is to assist member states of the Indian Ocean Commission to define problems and implement policies and actions which work towards more sustainable development. Its main corresponding activities are:

  • the execution of national and regional environmental diagnostic assessment;

  • the setting up of regional networks and permanent observatories on the coastal zone, following four main topics : Reef protection, Ecotoxicology, Coastal erosion, and Coastal pollution ;

  • the definition and implementation of ICZM demonstration sites or pilot operations as follows:

  • Madagascar: integrated management strategies in the Menabe region,

  • Comoros: concerted planning for solid waste management in Itsandra Bay, - Mauritius: integrated management plan for the Western area,

  • Seychelles: improvement of eco-tourism in the Grande Anse area,

  • Reunion: management of the Marine Park in the reef area.

STATUS: The programme entered its 5th year of implementation and is in its final phase. The main objective is therefore to consolidate the results, more specifically by stabilising the regional networks on Reef and Ecotoxicology, and the pilot activities at the local and national levels. At the same time, a new regional structure for sustainable development is under preparation for future programme development.

DISCUSSION: This discussion focuses on some of the constraints and benefits of developing ICZM tools and processes simultaneously within a regional organisation and its member countries.

LONG TERM BENEFIT: In the long term, one may think that interactions and exchanges between island states will speed up the ICZM process and provide strengthening of the coordinating body represented by the Indian Ocean Commission as an intergovernmental organisation. INDICATORS: Indicators will hardly derive from the initial logical frame since it refers more to the programme's own development than to its effective impacts on coastal management policies in the different countries. A first set of sustainable development indicators will have to be developed at the national and regional levels.

CAPACITY BUILDING AND INSTITUTIONAL STRENGTHENING: Since the expertise is combined between international and regional experts (Indian Ocean Commission (COI) region: about 40% of the total expertise), there is a good transfer of know-how regarding the implementation of the different activities. Another capacity building activity was through the organisation of technical workshops in different island states in the region. Regarding institutional strengthening, the impact is rather modest at the national level. Still, national governments have to be convinced that it is to their advantage to promote a stronger Indian Ocean Commission and thus its policy towards more sustainable ways of development.

SUSTAINABILITY: The focus on one side is on networking, specifically for Reef protection and Ecotoxicology management. These regional networks correspond to specific Regional Action Plans and still have to be formalised within and between member states. The reef monitoring network is a sub-regional node of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and will be supported for the next three years under a GEF mid-size project. On the other side, an agreement on Regional Policy for Sustainable Development and its action plan should be signed by the end of 1999. If signed, it will allow the establishment of a new institutional structure within the Indian Ocean Commission.

TRANSFERABILITY: Guidebooks (reef monitoring, sea-cucumber quality) and an atlas (Seychelles) have been published. Others will follow, based on the programme outputs. A comparative analysis and evaluation of the pilot operations is still needed in order to profit fully from the results and lessons learned in each country.

CONSENSUS BUILDING: It is probably too early to conclude on the benefits to various stakeholders. There is a risk of losing momentum if activities like the pilot operations are stopped.

PARTICIPATORY PROCESS: In spite of many meetings and workshops, the participatory process never went smoothly, especially from the economic actors. Specifically at the local level, through the pilot operations, the programme still has to demonstrate the economic benefits that the stakeholders can derive from the ICZM practical exercises.

EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION PROCESS: There is still a long way to go here, since communication has been rather slow since the beginning of the project. This is true for national governments but also for international organisations and programmes. However, an effort has been made recently to gather information about the programmes and to make them available on CD-ROM. INDICATOR: since the programme's scope is very large and covers many topics, there is no one specific indicator but many depending on the activities. In this regard, the initial indicators included in the logical framework matrix were not very helpful because they were too vague.

CULTURALLY RESPECTFUL: In most of the countries, there are conflicts between "modern" regulations and traditional practices. The best approach to analyse and to solve the problem is through local pilot operations and their activities.

GENDER AND SENSITIVITY ISSUE: For all the member states, maybe except Madagascar because of its size and natural resources, one of the most sensitive and urgent issue is coral sand mining and its impact on fishing and tourism. There is a critical problem relating to alternative building materials and loss of jobs.

DOCUMENTATION: there is a huge amount of documentation (the expert group, GREEN, produced more than 70 reports so far), which has been produced within the programme and outside of it as well. As said before, work is under way analysing, synthesising, organising and releasing this enormous documentation as an easy-access tool like a CD-ROM.

EVALUATION: after the mid-term review, a final evaluation is planned by the end of 1999.

GENERAL DISCUSSION: the European Commission considers this ICZM programme as a pilot one among the many programmes it supports with African/Caribbean/Pacific (ACP) countries and island states. For the Indian Ocean Commission and its member states it is a new approach which, 5 years later (admittedly a very short period for an ICZM process), still needs to be explained and justified through practical exercises and very concrete results. The huge amount of information produced, if well synthesised and communicated, can be very helpful in this regard. As in many programmes of this type, there are important differences between the design phase (logical framework) and the actual project implementation, which had to be continually adapted.

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The role of non government organizations in programme implementation.

Posted By: Jean Wiener
Date: Thursday, 20 January 2000, at 9:41 p.m.
In Response To: A regional approach to integrated coastal management / West Indian Ocean Islands.  

I agree that there is a definite need for the national governments to be convinced that it is in their interest to promote environmental management practices. However, this is not always possible especially when there may be unstable governments and/or extreme cases of social distress, causing an inability to provide sustainability in the former, and shifts in prioritization in the latter. There is still the need to encourage the comprehension by government officials (when present and capable) that development does not preclude environmental protection. Hence the need to implement programs through more "durable" institutions such as NGOs, etc.

It is also all to easy for governments to "sign-on" to just about anything (international agreements). Signing and seriously implementing are worlds apart.

I also agree that the need to provide networking is an important factor especially in terms of allowing for the dissemination of "wise practices"; situations in each country will still need to be analyzed individually, but basically of course, there is no need to reinvent the wheel every time.

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(Sent on 30 April 1999)

Dear Colleague,

In order to broaden the discussions and knowledge base relating to wise practices for sustainable coastal development/integrated coastal management, we wish to try and gather key experiences from around the globe. Thus, we would like to invite you to take part in this electronic discussion group (edg) by submitting one or more example(s) of wise practices for sustainable coastal development/ integrated coastal management from your CSI(-associated) project and/or from other projects of a similar nature. The example(s) you submit may be at any stage - from an idea for a wise practice to an actual wise practice that is being implemented. You may present the example in any format, although you are requested to include the following:

  1. Title of the example wise practice;

  2. Short description of the example wise practice;

  3. Status of the example wise practice, e.g. is it at the conceptual stage or is it actually being implemented;

  4. Discussion of the example wise practice, here you may wish to refer to the list of wise practice characteristics (see p.361), that was prepared during the initial phase of this edg.

In addition you are invited to comment on and discuss the contributions submitted by others. We would also like to receive your ideas about wise practices in general, e.g. their usefulness (or non-usefulness), whether they can actually be defined in a manner that is meaningful, whether they are transferable etc.

This edg is conducted over the WEB. An example wise practice from the Caribbean region has been included on the web site in order to start off the edg.

Contributing an example wise practice is done via 'Post a New Message'.  Reacting to someone else's example wise practice or response thereto is done via 'Post a New Response'. If you have the possibility of translating the present letter with the list of characteristics or an example wise practice into French, Spanish or another language, that would be a significant contribution as well. Please address any individual queries to csiwise@unesco.org.

This edg will run from the time you read this message until 30th June, 1999, after which a compilation and summary will be prepared and made available to participants.  We look forward to your example wise practices and/or stimulating responses.

We trust this will prove of multiple benefit.

With best wishes.

Dirk G. Troost
Chief CSI

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Wise Practices Regions Themes