[Culturetalk] discussion about dolphin article
EliseH at spc.int
Wed Apr 14 18:43:24 EDT 2010
I have added you to the CultureTalk list and have forwarded this to CultureTalkers.
De : Ken MacDonald [mailto:kmacd at utsc.utoronto.ca]
Envoyé : mercredi 14 avril 2010 16:46
À : Elise Huffer
Cc : tcc at indaba.iucn.org; CultureTalk at lists.spc.int
Objet : Re:
It would be useful to know more about this case, and to think about these sorts of schemes in general.
The cases I'm most familiar with are in South Asia, where sport trophy hunting programs have been used to try to achieve similar ends. Those programs have encountered a number of problems, not the least of which is that they are grounded in the trope of the "rapacious native". Species decline is laid at the feet of the local populations with little or no evidence that historical hunting/harvesting is in fact responsible for decline; and the organizations implementing these schemes rarely undertake good grounded research on historical and contemporary hunting practices or the relative impact on population dynamics relative to other pressures on the species. I have no sense of whether this is the case in the South Pacific, but the statements in the article re: the effort that it takes to engage in dolphin 'harvest' suggests that it's worth looking at. The other troublesome aspects include the ways in which poverty and lack of services is used as a lever to convince a community to participate in these programs. Never mind that using uneven development as a coercive means of achieving conservation is rife with ethical problems, but it also leads to a situation in which a species (and possibly, by extension, other forms of biodiversity) historically recognized for its use value becomes important in terms of exchange value. In South Asia and parts of Africa, this has generated substantial conflicts within communities where similar projects have been implemented as certain individuals seek to capture the benefits flowing from these kinds of programs, and restrict the capacity of others to benefit. Again, I don't have a sense of how this is likely to play out in terms of social structure and community politics in the Solomons, but the fact that the article does point out tension among community members highlights this as an issue. In some parts of South Asia, these programs have contributed to remarkable factionalism within villages. They can also act as a form of 'perverse incentive' when more communities seek to benefit from the program, as seems to be the case here. When benefits cannot be secured for those programs, the species is effectively 'held hostage' until benefits can be delivered, possibly counteracting any benefits achieved in the initial stages of agreements with a small number of communities.
Ultimately, similar programs have failed to secure long-lasting benefits where they have been implemented. Rarely are the consequences thought through in advance including the disruptive effect on community social relations and how these programs shape interactions with and between other plant and animal species.
If anyone has information on whether these sorts of issues have been addressed in the Solomon case, or the South Pacific in general, it would be good to hear more about this.
Ken MacDonald, Ph.D.
Dept. of Geography & Program in Planning;
Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies;
Program in International Development Studies
University of Toronto
1265 Military Trail,
ken.macdonald at utoronto.ca
On 14-Apr-10, at 5:02 AM, Elise Huffer wrote:
Villagers agree to stop harvesting dolphins in Solomon Islands
14 APRIL 2010 HONIARA (SOLOMON STAR) --- The belief that the more you give, the more you receive does not bother Earth Island Institute who only give to save the intellectual animals known as dolphins.
Led by Earth Island Institute EII regional director Lawrence Makili, EII associate director Mark Berman and the famous Ric O'Berry struck a tangible deal with Fanalei and Walande communities in Malaita to stop dolphin harvesting.
The delegation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the communities last week during their visit to the communities.
The MOU will see a stop to harvesting of dolphins by the two communities for the next two years.
Mr Makili said in recognition of the understanding and agreement by the two communities to stop harvesting dolphin and their request for assistance to reciprocate the stop deal, EII will provide a tangible project for all households within the communities.
"It is a very attractive project which will benefit all families in the two communities, in return for saving the lives of these harmless mammals which we will receive no benefit from but to conserve for the betterment of this nation," he said.
He said the two communities whole heartedly agreed to stop harvesting dolphins within the next two years.
"I do not want to disclose how much that project will involve but I must say that the communities unanimously agree and desperately waiting to see their request for assistance materialised."
He said the assistance through the initiated project is in the pipe line and families from the two communities now stand ready to benefit.
He said they will ensure the agreement is kept.
"We will put monitoring mechanisms in place so that the deal is honoured.
"Whereby the agreement is breached by the communities, we will also cease the deal."
Mr Makili emphasis that EII is giving and not taking away anything from the communities.
"That is the good thing about this deal, because at the end of the day these are our animals and not someone from overseas, they will still remain and reproduce in our waters, but for an individual to come and send them overseas for an individual benefit is a dodgy deal."
Mr Makili said people in the two communities agreed that it is not taking away their culture, but is a tangible conservative method for them.
Fanalei community signatory and Representative Joseph Wane said people in his community after meeting with the delegation resolved that it is not taking away their culture.
"We agreed that the value of our culture in relation to dolphins has already gone."
He said what has stolen away and replaces that culture is money.
"You see, in today's society not everyone uses dolphin teeth to pay for a bride and not everyone has that, and it is very practical that normally our people accept money instead of dolphin teeth, therefore money is very effective and is the only baseline.
"So while our culture is still there to practice, it is also high time to collectively make efforts to conserve dolphins.
"Because nowadays, to catch a dolphin men would paddle miles out into the sea for the whole day and sometimes return with nothing. But to conserve these animals this way whereby we receive benefit for conserving our own environment is a real blessing," Mr Wane said.
He said that the persons who signed in the open letter against the Earth Islands Institute delegation were those who spent much of their time in Honiara.
"We are people who struggle in the community, see and deal with these people and this agreement was made in their presence with their united support."
Walande community representative Moffat Suiga said his community will certainly take a break from harvesting dolphins.
However, before the end of the interview, someone rushed in with fresh news from Bita'ama community.
Michael Toling Kirio poped in just in time to relay news from his community that they want to be included in the agreement.
Mr Kiro said he was sent by the community after learning of the deal struck by Walande and Fanalei with EII.
"Our community strongly requests that we be included in this deal.
"We believe that we must change for a better."
Mr Makili said they are prepared to eventually expand the deal to other dolphin harvesting communities in Malaita who want to join...PNS (ENDS)
If you wish your reply to this message to go to ALL MEMBERS of the List, please HIT THE REPLY BUTTON. For individual replies, please use the individual addresses. To contact the list administrators send a message to:
TCC-owner at indaba.iucn.org
To leave this list, send a blank message to: mailto:TCC-leave at indaba.iucn.org
To get a list of files available to you: TCC-dir at indaba.iucn.org
Web interface for this list: http://indaba.iucn.org:1276/listlogon.mml
This message was sent to you at: kmacd at utsc.utoronto.ca
All email messages are scanned for viruses.
The services and facilities to support this list are provided by The Information Management Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the CultureTalk