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Nature based tourism is defined in the paper as, “relatively un-impacted facets of the natural environment and its resources including wildlife, topography, scenery and special features,” and eco-tourism is defined as a more sustainable means of, “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of the local people.” I wonder if the use of eco-tourism is, in fact, a good of the commons without impact on the environment, as defined above. If Kansans travel to the West Indies to snorkel and vacation, they gain the experiential benefit of that trip. The islands enjoy the influx of money spent on meals, lodging and activities. But the Kansans go home, and the islanders bear the brunt of a dwindling island environments. It seems that, in this case, the benefit is shared by all but the cost is born by only the host. As the numbers of natives and tourists increase, mangrove forests, seagrass beds and coral reefs are threatened. Visitors need hotels to stay in and restaurants to eat in. Development and urbanization (“host stressors,” as this paper calls them) along coasts seem to be inevitable at this point as island nations rely heavily on tourism to bolster their national economies. But the paper begets a question: will the Kansans do their part to aid in conservation efforts, or will they simply travel to the Maldives next summer? The people-oriented conservation goals seem to hold that a compromise is in order – not everyone can win. Marine protected areas aim to achieve enhancement of tourism and recreational opportunities, conservation of critical ecosystems and sustainable and equitable use of coastal resources. But it can be hard to see long-term in these scenarios. When faced with giving up his snorkeling business and possibly placing his child in abject poverty in order to protect the reef near his home, I wonder what the Tobagonian man might choose. And the Midwestern visitors – how will they fit into the framework of conservation on an island which they’ve visited maybe once? Furthermore, the paper holds that both the Tobagonian man and the Kansas family might not even understand the impact the BRMP has on business or tourism – how, then, can they make conscious moves toward conservation? Regardless of how ambitious it might be, intersectoral, intergovernmental, spatial and international efforts must come to fruition – and perhaps all together – in order to approach conservation from a holistic perspective. Most importantly, these must be international initiatives aimed at engaging both tourists and locals in conversation.

Chantal Iosso

Kinsey’s comment does raise an interesting point about where the cost of visiting any natural environment, including Tobago’s reefs, falls. However, I feel that she has overstated the cost to the locals of a given tourist’s visit; these tourists are certainly paying, through airfare, lodging, food, and payments for excursions such as in the glass-bottomed boats. These payments don’t go back to reef development (and maybe some of the payment should, through park entrance fees to be put towards conservation), they go to the local businesspeople. It could also be argued that the damage that each individual tourist does to the reef is marginal; it is only in aggregate that tourism causes sizeable reef degradation, barring extreme and unusual behavior. On the other hand, it is true that the natives of the area will eventually bear the cost of a degraded reef, while the visitors can easily find substitutes elsewhere. This article doesn’t calculate the costs to visitors to visit or the cost to the reef of visitors, so it is difficult to evaluate whether what tourists pay is equivalent to damages they inflict.
I found it very interesting that few people living on the island recognized the importance of an intact coral reef to their livelihood. Because of that, I think that an education program would cause a major behavior change where financially possible. Nonetheless, more people monitoring for and penalizing for destructive behavior, such as reef walking, is necessary to achieve sizeable change.

Chris Osier

I find it interesting that the only "sector" to regard the Buccoo Reef as being integral to their livelihood is the hotel/guesthouse owners. This seems counter intuitive at first because generally you'd expect that the further from the reef you get the less people would realize that the reef benefited them in a positive manner. However, the only sector to acknowledge the reef's value to the researchers was the one sector that is generally found in the metropolis, with little to no direct contact with the reef itself. However, when owners observe guests and their families leaving for their daily adventures I imagine that not only can the owners/employees observe the family and therefore pick up indicators on where they will go, but the family may also ask the employees for their advice on where to go to get the best "bang for their buck". I imagine that eventually the owners realize that the majority of people come there with the intention of, or at least interest in, seeing the Buccoo Reef. I also find the structure of their governing body for the reef is lop sided, do to being dominated by a few officials and not by the people who know the reef and what it needs to flourish again, or the locals who depend on it to survive. Because ou can not neglect the people just to save a piece of submerged chunk of substrate surrounded by multiple species of flora and fauna, you must have a balance of both Environmentalists and Anthropocentrists. So the line that needs to be walked, I assume, is that the reef needs to be kept healthy, but only to the point that doing so is not making people worse off in the long run, and even in the short run if the effects are drastic to the community, such as greatly restricting certain types of tourism.

Sam Ross

A recurring element of the paper that I continually noticed was the authors' advocation for symmetric information. While the paper from last week focused on nonmarket valuation as a means of protecting natural resources, Kahlil Hassanali suggests that education and awareness programs are more effective in engaging the community in decision-making processes. Should the community have a say in the eco-tourism
industry, the Carribean would (hypothetically) continue to preserve its natural resources in an economically-concious manner. Thus Hassanali believes that a market with perfectly symmetrical information will fall at equilibrium. This is the first time we've read of the issue of asymmetric information in a real-world study.

Alana Babington

There is a catch-22 with tourism and preservation. Tourism fuels the economy, but without preservation there will be no tourism. Hassanali captures the essence of `needing to both preserve the natural resources and maintain the economy simultaneously. I was interested in how he did so, and more specifically the concept of POC. I have never directly heard of “people-oriented” conservation, POC, but I am familiar with the concept. For my poverty capstone, I am looking at people-oriented food security community, which, although it’s a stretch, is similar to POC. What it comes down to is sustainability, and especially ensuring longer term sustainable food security within a community. I see the parallels between these two types of sustainability — POC and food security— because both must establish that trade-offs are not continuously skewed in favor of human well-being over biodiversity of natural resources or food waste or vice versa. There is a linkage between helping just enough and helping too much, or as Hassanali describes it: a POC is a compromise between conservation and development, precisely one that acknowledges trade-offs. The article articulates both the beneficial and the detrimental aspects of POC well. I find it

I was not surprised, but I did find it interesting that the hotel and guesthouse owners were the only sector to regard the Buccoo Reef as integral to their livelihoods even though most Tobagonian businesses are in some way intimately connected to and dependent on the Buccoo Reef maintaining its appeal. This relates back to the Tragedy of the Commons in that people take what is ‘common’ as fair game and do not think of the repercussions of their actions. Businesses both indirectly and directly use the reef as a mechanism to maximize their profit, yet they do not realize that by doing so they diminish the value of the profit maximizing input. More monitoring, penalizing for wrongdoings and increasing the cost of travel seems like the only way to get the message of conservation through.

Paul Callahan

The battle between tourisms economic growth yet impact on the environment is a double-edged sword. Increased tourism benefits local and national economy in a place like Tobago but it has a significant impact on the environment with construction of new sites and buildings. I was very surprised by the fact that hotel/guest house owners were the only ones who believed the reef to be necessary for their livelihood. This can be rationalized likely by the fact that healthy and beautiful reefs spur more tourism and in turn book more rooms for their proper hotels. It was even more surprising that their was no fee to enter the national park like you see across the United States. The lack of structure by the government and Tobagoan national park services in relation to the environment is astonishing. It could be due to the lack of incentive to pursue environmental protection goals by the increased importance of economic development. There needs to be a safe trade-off between economic development and the protection of the environment. Implementation of fees or taxes to safeguard and help fund environmental protection seem key to the survival of the reef.

Monette Carli

The conflicting outcomes of tourism create an especially difficult situation to overcome. While the economic welfare of many Caribbean islands, such as Tobago, depend on the tourism industry, they also bear the environmental costs. The most interesting and perplexing aspect of Hassanali’s paper to me was the lack of appreciation the native residents of Tobago had for their coral reef and environmental diversity. Even though the most significant part of Tobago GDP comes from tourism directly related to the natural environment, many of the natives don’t place high value on the island’s environmental assets. Without an understanding by native people of the true value of the coral reef and the marine ecosystems, I would predict that no conservation effort could truly be successful. To succeed in conservation efforts, all parties would need to be supportive to avoid a significant number of free riders and to avoid a tragedy of the commons situation. This would mean that even tourists need to be supportive of conservation efforts. While education programs such as the one suggested in the article would be very helpful for the native populations, education and awareness efforts also need to be implemented globally. By creating a widespread concern and appreciation for ecosystems in areas such as the Caribbean, I would hope that any tourists who travel to these areas would have the respect to engage in sustainable practices while there.

Phillip Harmon

I was born and raised in southwest Virginia. I have rarely traveled outside of the area, and when I have I've never gone too far or spent too long away. I bring this up because I cannot imagine myself ever making a trip as far way, to a destination so exotic as a corral reef in Tobago. My value for corral reefs and many other natural resources is almost purely existence value. Our past two readings for this course have gotten me to think about how I feel about tourism to visit reefs. Since I value the existence of the reefs, having people visiting the reefs is normally harmful to them, and I don't have any desire to visit the reefs myself in the future, it would seem to me that having anyone visit the corral reefs on vacation goes against my personal best interest. How do people who actually do make trips/want to make these trips take into account their existence value for the reefs? Surely they must realize that human presence in the reefs often causes them direct damage. Presumably people who visit the reefs also value the fact that they exist. It would seem that visiting the reefs comes with an almost necessary conflict in value.
I realize that if all people stopped visiting reefs many economies would collapse because of lack of tourism, but what would become of the reefs? In an absence of human contact would reef health improve drastically? Would the reefs be in trouble regardless simply due to human caused environmental changes elsewhere such as the climate? Would the reefs become worse off due to the loss of explicit man made attempts to help preserve the reef ecosystems?


The fact that half of a nation's economy can be based around something and yet only hotel/guesthouse owners are the only people that believe that something is integral to their lives is astounding. On that fact alone the article did an astounding job of showing how vitally important it is to make sure that the public has adequate access to education and scientific research about the things around them as well as the benefits that they receive from the resources around them. However, the fact that "persons are well aware of the problems but they persist with destructive practices because they lack viable livelihood options" makes little to no sense to me. The government of Tabago should try everything in their power to minimize these actions or even reward people for not doing these things in the form of incentives. I genuinely think the personal benefit people are receiving from these costly actions are rather small and could easily be prevented and in agreement with the text i think "the benefits that accrue to persons via a particular behavioral change should be conspicuously highlighted as opposed to just eliciting what behavioral changes need to occur."

Michael Robinson

The ideas in this paper about adaptive management and integrated approaches to conservation remind me of the strategies advocated by Bryan Norton, an environmental philosopher. He emphasizes stakeholder involvement, an understanding of the dynamic nature of environmental conservation goals, the spatial-temporal differences in stakeholder preferences, and interdisciplinary approaches that take into account more than just environmental economics or environmental ethics. He also advocates, just as this paper does, community involvement in managing ecosystems which can be achieved by demonstrating a link between ecosystem health and human well-being.
One concern I have about this approach is that it is possible that specific attributes of ecosystems that are worth protecting do not factor into the economic value of a given ecosystem. In coral reef ecosystems, biodiversity, and the lack thereof, is obvious. Seeing 20 species of fish is an entirely different experience that seeing 2 species. And explaining this to tourist-related businesses is easier. However, biodiversity isn’t always obvious in ecosystems such as temperate forests. Hikers probably value biodiversity less, in terms of their hiking experience. Or biodiversity in the Grand Canyon. Does Grand Canyon tourism rely on biodiversity, or is it more about the views of the geological features and the river-rafting trips. In these cases, how do we convince local stakeholders to invest resources in protecting an attribute that may not affect the economic well-being of their industry?

AJ Witherell

I think this article does a great job assessing the economic structure of Tobago, the issues surrounding its success, and ways to perhaps fix these problems. Like a few other students have said, I was surprised that only a few amount of people in Tobago understood the economic influence of the reefs and other natural resources. The basis of this article is not only for the defense and conservation of the environmental resources, but also the local businesses that rely on the presence of these resources for business from tourism (which makes up about 37% of GDP in Tobago). The paper formulates multiple methods for attempting to reach the 3 goals set out by most MPAs in the Caribbean region. I think that two of the goals set out can be achieved relatively easily within the community of the islands, that being increasing education about conservation and increasing community involvement in the management/maintenance of the BRMP. However, I believe this goal also has a glaring difficulty: many of the people contributing to degradation of the reefs are the tourists. With this being said, there must be an emphasis and educational background given to tourists to understand the significance of their collective actions around the reef. The most difficult of the suggested mechanisms for conservation, in my opinion, is embedding the BRMP in ICZM. As the paper mentions, this method is particularly difficult due to its many facets regarding power and control. However, plans like this are the most effective means to creating a significant, long-lasting solution to the conservation debate. Time, effort, and money must be put into a process such as this now in order to save time, effort, and money restoring natural resources later. In addition, I also thought it was very interesting that there are no fees associated with visiting/using the BRMP, which seems to be an extremely easy way to raise funds for conservation efforts. Even a very minimal entrance fee can accumulate fairly quickly into a considerable amount of money.

nicholas george

In 2013, Tobago had an interesting dilemma: generational equity of natural resources, or current wealth equity. By that I mean, Tobago could develop the “sit in the sand and drink a beer” tourism that most Caribbean countries have adopted, exploit the coral reef for resource extraction, and abuse the ecosystem by over fishing, creating a surge in current wealth and consumption that would raising the GNI per capita. Or, they could develop sustainable tourism and infrastructures by fostering growth in nature based tourism. Although this tourism does not create the wealth that “beach and beer” tourism creates, it would help save and even remediate many of the ecosystems that Tobago has, leaving the abundant resources intact and available for later generations.

Perhaps, these two opposing paths need not be juxtaposed to rigidly, and could even work together. Perhaps non-market valuation could provide the tool necessary to figure out which pieces of nature are worth investing in and which might be more valuable extracted and then the rents used from those extractions invested. I do think they should error on the side of conservation when they do not know, because regeneration is much tougher to institute than extraction. But, I don't think that they should conserve at the expense of the local members of Tobago, because after all this is there home, and they should be the final decision makers on what happens.

Parker Kellam

The paper briefly mentioned that there were currently no fees to be able to access the MPA, but did not offer entrance fees as any sort of solution. It left me wondering... would it be possible, and if so to what effect, to implement a a fee that could then be put towards paying more personnel to enforce MPA restrictions? It seemed like a lot of focus was put towards pollution from sites outside the MPA, but I can't help but think enforcement on the inside would help too.

Cole Wilbur

I found this article to be very interesting in regards to understanding the Buccoo Reef Marine Park and the unacknowledged problems that are present. The article was clear in pointing out that the Buccoo Reef Marine Park is making an attempt to “facilitate sustainable economic and social development” in the region while also “achieving conservation goals”. However, after reading the article it became abundantly clear that despite their efforts a multitude of issues still exist in the area. I was very surprised by how few locals regard the BRMP as an integral part in their life. I think that there needs to be a way for the park to collect more or alter where the money that does get collected goes so that more of it can go back into the park itself for repairs and bettering the appeal. If the locals can better understand how vital the park is and help gain a sense of commitment to it; they may be able to gain from its attraction in a more meaningful way. The article explains how problems in the Marine Park seemed to be under control (anchoring problem replaced with mooring options, reef walking issues becoming prohibited). But, issues outside the park seem to be affecting the Marine Park still (Fertilizers from Golf courses leaking in, sewage spills running down stream into the Marine area). This points, again, to a lack of local knowledge on the importance of a healthy reef. If they can be educated on its utility to business and their daily lives they may be more willing to help stop the problems. I think that the ICZM efforts are very helpful in spurring initiatives of turning things around. It has a positive in that it provides a multitude of perspective from varying groups. Yet, a big problem with so many people can be that the many perspectives will slow down the needed changes for the reef. I think that the changes that have occurred have been good ones, yet more is still needed. By engaging the locals into understanding the utility of a Marine Reef for economic benefits, then they will be able to gather more support and be more willing to help see out the positive changes the reef requires.

Brianna Rakouska

Like many other people have mentioned, the revealed disconnect between Tobago’s resident's livelihood and how they feel it relates to the reef health is surprising to say the least. Education of the residents in this area would be highly beneficial, as the paper mentions, to reef health and creating a cohesive management plan.
Philip brought up an interesting idea of simply stopping the tourism industry in this area. The reef, in the absence of human contact, would flourish. However, if the reefs were fully devoid of human contact, Tobago’s entire economic system would shut down. This is an excellent example of finding the optimal level of use of a situation. In Phillip’s scenario, locals and travelers do not benefit but the reef benefits fully. I would argue that use of the reef drives up its value, even if degradation does occur because locals would be able to use it for its resources and for their livelihoods, and travelers would gain experiential value and would learn about the local ecosystem. If the locals could be further educated about the importance of the reef and the interconnectedness of the island, marine, and economic system, this would make them value it more and incentivize them to begin to manage it more effectively. Essentially, it is not realistic to think of a situation that involves no contact with an entire system, but even if it was possible, it would not be optimal.

Will Edmonds

As Alana mentioned, this paper does a great job outlining the “catch-22” phenomena often associated with natural resources. The strength of any economy linked to a natural resource—national parks, lakes, or reefs like the Buccoo Reef in Tobago—is intrinsically linked to the preservation of that resource, though the tourism responsible for the economic growth threatens the very health of that which fueled the economy to begin with, the natural resource. The construction in Tobago focused on in the paper explains this perfectly. I could not believe how apathetic the natives were at the degradation of their life-line resource, with those working in hotels and guesthouses as the only concerned group studied. Though this group might be the most obvious, direct beneficiary of reef-based tourism, the revenue generated from a healthy reef can be seen in every industry of a coastal economy.


I really liked the paragraph in the section “POC and Marine Protected Areas,” when it spoke of MPAs not having a universal blueprint but rather letting locals tailor their structure to the specific needs of the specific ecosystem. To me, this highlighted the importance of the phrase, “It depends.” In most cases it doesn’t really make sense to come up with a broad, blanket policy. The world is too complex for that. In the paper, the MPAs have objectives that cater to the specific ecological, socio-economic, and cultural problems and I think that on many levels this is an excellent solution. What has been proven to work one place may not work in another, no matter how similar they seem. Allowing local management to engineer their own strategies that are specific to their environmental dilemmas could definitely increase efficiency of their policy.
Another aspect of this paper that stood out to me was the idea of isolating a marine ecosystem in order to protect it. While this is a good first step, it shouldn’t end there. Being left like this may create the idea that if the marine ecosystem itself is protected and no harmful anthropocentric activities are allowed within it, then the ecosystem will thrive. This is far from true and creates a detachment between the marine ecosystem and other ecosystems in the biosphere. As stated in the paper, there are many different exogenous anthropocentric activities that damage the ecosystem, like deforestation of watersheds. This has significant negative effects to the neighboring marine ecosystem. Just like how the different systems of the human body are all related, so too are the ecosystems on this earth. Therefore it is imperative that, in order to preserve the marine ecosystems in the Caribbean, humans recognize and fix the damaging environmental effects of the ecosystems that surround the reefs as well.

Jack Miller

Sal Diaz

This article is by far the best example we have encountered thus far for the need of interdisciplinary knowledge. While the paper is fairly narrow in discussing Tobago's Buccoo Reef health in relation to tourism, it calls upon information from a variety of areas. Including information concerning economics, biology, ecology, politics and much more, this paper necessitates a liberal arts type mindset to gain a full appreciation of it.
On a similar, and somewhat less directly related, note, the number of acronyms in this paper is baffling. It reminds me of a critique of studying FDR's new deal governmental expansion. Referring to the "alphabet soup" of new industries he created in his first 100 days, many people find the subject a bit intimidating to tackle. The plethora of acronyms like BRMP, ICZM, THA, MPA, KFNMS, POC, and many more, can be a bit intimidating. I found myself needing to re-read the corresponding passages to ensure I understood what the article meant. I suppose this ties back to the necessity for increased interdisciplinary knowledge in order to overcome some of the "barriers to entry" for discussing issues such as these at a reasonably high level.

Amanda Meador

There will always be opportunity costs when making a decision. Here, we saw what there is to gain and loss by protecting or not protecting the coral reefs of Tobago. Like many others have said, it is extremely difficult to find the equilibrium point of conservation and economic gain in the short run and even harder to do so looking forward to the long run. Especially in this case, when the two opposites ends are the cornerstone for the people and economy of Trinidad: tourism and arguably the reason for the tourism coral reefs. Admittedly, the reefs also provide many other ecosystem services like storm protection, estuaries, and medicinal purposes but more directly in the argument the economic benefits.
I have seen this exact debate go on for my entire life. I am from Miami and there is constant debate on what areas of our oceans and waterways should be protected from fishing and other marine activities including more drastic effects like the recent dredging of our port which ultimately had a greater impact and destruction of coral reefs than the original environmental study claimed. The same battles are fought as Florida’s top sector of industry is tourism. Yes, Miami has culture and many great things to offer but people come to visit for the beaches and ocean. It was interesting to read some of the other people’s shock on how people are not educated in Trinidad on the vital role that their reefs play and all the factors that affect them. In my experience, it’s not that much different in Miami. We are sandwiched between two national parks yet out school’s system often does not have the built-in curriculum to convey the importance of our unique environment.

Elise George

It surprised me that the Buccoo Reef is a Marine Protected Area, because from my understanding, it doesn't seem to me like there are a lot of policies to protect the wildlife that dwells in the reefs and is essential to our ecosystem. Conservationists are making a huge effort, and I thought the people- oriented conservation approach is a thoughtful concept. Because it combines the preservation of the environment and a much larger involvement of the community, I think, although it will take time, will result in success as more people become educated and feel more responsible for the issues we face. The biggest problem that conservationists must overcome is the urbanization of Tobago as more and more people become attracted to it. I question if we can ever solve this issue. Money talks, and as long as people moving to Tobago means more revenue, will anyone ever care that this direct income does not make up for the environmental costs we will have to pay in the long run?

Liam Curtin

As my classmates have stated above, I agree that this piece has been the best so far at identifying the complex and interconnected methods of protecting resources that are easily affected by human involvement. I also believe that this article does an excellent job of differentiating the meaning of an environmental resource versus a natural resource in that it is not easily manageable because it cannot be broken down into smaller units to work with. As Jack stated, the phrase "it depends" is clearly highlighted in this paper because it has been proven that there is no best option in both preserving the reef for "nature-based adventure tourism" while also bolstering Tobago's "sun, sea, and sand" tourism. One extreme in this situation is that Tobago can strictly enforce the protection of the BRMP by regulating land based pollutants such as golf course runoff and sewage spillage, which would increase the attractiveness of the reef which would increase the small, but lucrative tourism associated with adventure seekers. On the other hand, Tobago could completely abandon its protection of the reef and dedicate itself as a "beach and beer tourism destination"( as Nicholas put it), which would break down the reef overtime.

An interesting point the article picked up on in the beginning is that now with the interconnectedness of the world, the Caribbean is not the only tourism destination for travellers who are looking for a warm, beach vacation, as places like the Maldives and the Mediterranean have become more accessible. I believe that the Toboggan government need to realize that they have a unique, lucrative resource in the coral reef that is found in few other places in the world, that needs to be preserved in order that Tobago can be more than just a destination for sun and sand because once the coral reef is destroyed, the allure of visiting Tobago will be lost which would lead to an overall economic downturn

jalen twine

I think that the article did a great job of establishing the importance of the Buccoo Reef to Tobago and showing how much it depends on the tourism from the reef. It states that tourism in 2009 accounted for about 37% of Tobago’s estimated GDP. Furthermore the fact that just under 50% of employment— or 14,000 jobs — in Tobago are tourism related hammers home the point that the Buccoo Reef needs to be conserved. I too was surprised that more hasn’t been done when considering these staggering numbers and realizing that other businesses that aren’t necessarily tourist-related are still majorly independent on the tourism to attract customers.

Conservationists are making a great effort in respect to conserving the reef. I think that the people-oriented conservation approach would be the most impactful because it would seem to have the most long-term effect. This is very important for a population that is constantly growing. People have to be educated on the importance of the reef and realize that it is in their best interest to work to conserve the reef because without it, Tobago isn’t in a place where they could survive.

James Willey

This paper left me wanting to know more about the management, use policies, and efficacy of marine protected areas; especially in regard to Tobago. The main issue I see is the Buccoo region seems to be all command no control. I don’t think there can actually be a serious dialogue about managing an entire ecosystem with only 4 patrolmen and 1 boat. To put this in context, the 2 major tourist destinations where I live, Ocean City, MD and Chincoteague, VA, are separated by 26 miles of coastline designated as National Seashore. The protected area is covered by coast guard stations at each inlet, both equipped at any given moment with 5-10 vessels capable of operating up to 200 miles off the coast. Additionally, the coastal bays behind the islands and up to 3 miles off the beach are patrolled by state natural resource police, of which Maryland alone has a designated department of 4 vessels and close to 20 officers. And with all this, there is still a massive amount of illegal, environmentally detrimental activity that isn’t prosecuted. The only feasible solution I can conjure up then for a resource limited system like Tobago is heavily reliant on self-policing. With this in mind, I think designing equitable use plans that properly recognize environmental entitlements become paramount so that all parties involved feel they have a reason to enforce the designated sustainable practices.
-James Willey

Abby Beasley

"Participation is a vehicle geared towards improvement in interpretable social concepts such as empowerment, equity and justice" This is a very thorough description of the argument surrounding the Bucco reef. The most important points were the acknowledgements of that there is a great deal of grass-roots cooperation needed in order to carry out any of the integration plans mentioned. The vertical, intergovernmental dimension is central to the situation. Additionally, the recognition that time plays a key role in implementation. While it is a nice thought to consider the possibility of this all being kickstarted immediately, the aforementioned cooperation needs to fall into place. The author recognizes, "The benefits that accrue to persons via a particular behavioral change should be conspicuously highlighted as opposed to just eliciting what behavioral changes need to occur." There is a great deal of information that should be made readily available to the locals regarding the direct impact of their involvement in ecotourism and their surrounding environment.

ailyn kelly

As many others have pointed out I was surprised to read that many of the citizens of Tobago don’t see the Buccoo Reef as “integral to their livelihood.” It amazed me that a country, which depends heavily on tourism especially “nature based tourism” as a source of income, could understand so little about the influence of the Buccoo Reef and other natural resources. It also astounded me the lack of awareness around the “social development potential” of the Buccoo Reef. The author does a wonderful job showing that the absence of information surrounds the degradation of the Buccoo Reef and other natural resources. I agree with the author’s argument for “a greater role for public education” but I believe that the enhancement of communities’ involvement will ultimately drive conservation of the reefs. Education can help diminish the “knowledge gap” but at the end of the day the people of Tobago have to act upon this knowledge and view the protection of natural resources as economically beneficial. By increasing the community involvement, more citizens expose themselves to the management of natural resources and create a stronger link between the government and people.

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