This is from a July 10 (2008) press release from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. I think this and Terry’s plenary did a great job of covering the importance of people in the equation. You can watch Terry Hughes’ plenary talk here.
The world’s coral reefs are not doomed – provided governments and communities take the urgent and necessary actions to preserve them.
That’s the message from eminent Australian marine scientist and recipient of this year’s Darwin Medal Professor Terry Hughes in his keynote address to the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium, being held at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA from June 7-11.
Prof. Hughes is the Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, based at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia.
“The global coral reef crisis is really a crisis of governance. Many of the measures put in place are failing, not because of biology, but because of lack of support from local people and governments,” he says.
“For example many no-take marine reserves have been set up round the world by non-government organisations – but nearly all of them are proving unsuccessful because they ignore the needs of the local population and have failed to win their backing.”
Professor Hughes called on coral reef researchers worldwide to work harder at the societal and economic aspects of protecting the oceans and their living resources. Good biology alone is not enough. “The reefs are not doomed if we all do the right thing,” he asserts.