Fiji’s slums: Environmental risk and opportunities for resilience

Over MIT’s extended winter break, I received a grant to travel to Fiji to research the informal sector, or slums, in and around Suva.  The United Nations Estimates that by 2030, 69% of Fiji’s population will live in the informal/slum housing, compared to 35% in 1970 (UN 2004).   Senior officials that I interviewed in the MinistryContinue reading “Fiji’s slums: Environmental risk and opportunities for resilience”

coral reef degradation in developing countries: complex causes

Here I use political ecology is a body of theoretical tool to analyze coral reef management.  Since its beginnings in the 1970’s, political ecology questioned the so-called “narratives of degradation.” In the two cases I outlined here in previous entries, “narratives of degradation,” were stories told by elites about a natural resource and how itContinue reading “coral reef degradation in developing countries: complex causes”

Destroying mangroves to create livelihoods: policy narratives versus reality

It’s no secret at this point that fish stocks are declining thanks to massive ground trawlers and other impossible technologies that strip the seas bare, coupled with toothless fisheries management regimes that set allowable catch at quantities far too high.  To make up for dwindling fisheries, aquaculture is now the new darling of multilateral donors.Continue reading “Destroying mangroves to create livelihoods: policy narratives versus reality”

Part II: Community-based natural resource management and building consensus

In yesterday’s post I examined how a community-based management scheme for a marine reserve on the Bay Islands in Honduras attempted consensus-building.  In actuality it empowered elites in the community and not the poorest people living subsistence lives.  The problems here is that these natural resource management paradigms are praised as empowerment tools by manyContinue reading “Part II: Community-based natural resource management and building consensus”

Community-Based Coral Reef Management

In recent years, the idea of local communities managing their natural resources has gained traction in the donors circuit, mainly in the World Bank.  Touted benefits include improved livelihoods, improved state of the resources, development of village-level infrastructure, and an increase in their political voices. I look at two case studies over the next twoContinue reading “Community-Based Coral Reef Management”

Adaptive Management: a summary of my thesis research on the Everglades restoration

A lot of the questions of policy-making for environmental conservation involve uncertainty on how a resource will respond to treatments aimed at making it healthier. Policy-makers are often hesitant to spend money on environmental projects with uncertain outcomes.  Yet almost all environmental restorations require them to do just that. The Comprehensive Everglads Restoration (CERP) is theContinue reading “Adaptive Management: a summary of my thesis research on the Everglades restoration”