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Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

Purchasing coastal areas for conservation is an option.

Posted By: J.H. Faulkner, B.R. Subramanian, Bruce Potter - responding to Miguel Olvera Novea and Angela Speed
Date: Thursday, 2 November 2000, at 1:55 p.m.

In response to: 'Protecting pristine sites from over-development: is purchasing an option?' (http://csiwisepractices.org/?read=283) (Miguel Olvera Novea and Angela Speed)


MODERATOR'S NOTE: We have received several responses to the recent posting by Mr. M. Olvera Novea and Ms. Angela Speed relating to 'Protecting pristine sites from over-development: is purchasing an option?' (http://csiwisepractices.org/?read=283), three of the responses are enclosed below, and others will follow.


The issue of the systematic destruction of coastal areas, pristine sites etc. is real and world wide. Cancún is only one example of thousands and the comments of Mr. Miguel Olvera-Novoa are sadly right on.

Purchasing land is an option. Using the international effort towards debt relief as an instrument to protect important environmental areas is obviously an option and probably a good one. Managing these special areas through planning permissions would be good if it could be made immune to the corruption potential. In the end public opinion working through democratic channels has some force.

But any realistic assessment of the dynamics behind these destructive developments has to concede that money, politics, power, and corruption are clearly involved and supportive of what is happening, while we decry these developments on the Internet. It tells you a lot about how our economies work.

Mr J. H. Faulkner,
Sustainable Project Management,
Not-for-profit Association Registered in Geneva


It is necessary to protect our valuable beaches, wetlands and other sensitive coastal ecosystems from aggressive beach tourism, which is now propagated in tropical countries where nature is still in a pristine state - at least in some places. Purchasing them for protection is a good idea. I do not know if there is any organisation in the world which can fund buying these areas for their protection. Perhaps Greenpeace or other organisations might take the initiative

Mr B. R. Subramanian,
Integrated Coastal Marine Area Management Project Directorate,
Chennai, India


It seems to me that Ms. Angela Speed's proposal is exactly what the Nature Conservancy- the world's biggest and financially most successful environmental non government organization (NGO) - has been doing for many years. Just recently they announced one $50,000,000 purchase of a big reef system, Johnson Atoll about 1,000 miles from Hawaii.

Annual revenue at the Nature Conservancy was about $700 million in 1999, up 25% from 1998.

I happen to think that the Nature Conservancy is bad for local environmental NGOs (they suck all the oxygen and dollars out of the air when they enter the room), but they definitely handle a lot of real estate for conservation purposes.

Mr Bruce Potter,
Island Resources Foundation,
British Virgin Islands and Washington U.S.A.

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