Quote of the Day: Tim McClanahan on Fish and Coral Reef Conservation

coral reef fish photo

Photo: Flickr, CC
Trouble's In the Middle
A new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society in Kenya shows that Coral reefs, and the fish that live there, are "healthiest in both the richest, most well developed areas and in the poorest, most under-developed ones." Right in the middle of the socioeconomic spectrum is where corals suffer most.

Tim McClanahan, an ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Kenya said:

"At middle levels of development, people have enough infrastructure to be destructive, but they don't have enough infrastructure to have alternatives. Most problems with coral reefs are human problems."

This might seem obvious when you think about it, but it is profound and we treehuggers must keep that in mind. The people that slash and burn tropical rainforest (with enough machinery to make a big dent) or that destroy fertile coral reefs often do it because they don't have many other choices to stay out of poverty.

Giving people opportunities to support themselves and their families in ways that are also environmentally sound is one of the big challenges that we all face. Sometimes we can help the environment indirectly, such as by fighting corruption and crippling bureaucracy in poor countries (two of the biggest barriers to people stating their own business, having access to enough infrastructure to be successful, having access to a stable market, etc).

Via Discovery News
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