Preservation of coral reefs: why isn’t the majority heard?


A recent study done by the University of Oregon and the University of Hawaii shows that majority of people visiting the coral reefs in Hawaii deeply care about their protection.  This might not be surprising due to the large amount of money that tourism brings to the economy of Hawaii, and with over 80% of those tourists visiting the marine and coastal areas of Hawaii, the protection of the reefs should be of utmost importance:

“Virtually no one wanted expanded use of coral reefs to the extent it might degrade them for enjoyment by future generations, and many were willing to endorse any level of protection needed, even if it meant banning human use. These views toward coral reefs reflected peoples’ core personal values and are unlikely to change much, scientists said.”

“It was really quite astonishing, almost shocking how much people wanted this resource protected for its own sake,” said Mark Needham, an assistant professor of forest ecosystems and society at OSU. “We fish and hunt wildlife for food or sport, we cut trees for timber. In most natural resource issues, we find conflicts over management for economic value versus environmental preservation or protection, but we really didn’t see that here.

“Our surveys found overwhelmingly that people visiting coral reef areas did not think that human use and access were the most important issues when it came to these areas,” he said. “And if anything was to have a deleterious effect on reef ecosystems, they would want it stopped.” (Read more @ Science Daily)

1 thought on “Preservation of coral reefs: why isn’t the majority heard?

  1. I don’t know about other countries, but in the US the Supreme Court has said that money = speech, so that Freedom of Speech is also Freedom to Spend Money, especially on politicians. It is not the number of voices that count, but the amount of money behind those voices! (Note that enough voices can override the money, especially if the voices also vote!)

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