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Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

Land purchase/lease for conservation does work - some examples.

Posted By: Ray Leonard, Jean-Luc Solandt, Clive Gilbert, Sibylle Riedmiller, Colette Wabnitz.
Date: Wednesday, 24 January 2001, at 1:38 p.m.

In Response To: Purchasing coastal areas for conservation is an option. (J.H. Faulkner, B.R. Subramanian, Bruce Potter - responding to Miguel Olvera Novea and Angela Speed)

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MODERATOR'S NOTE: There has been a considerable response to the contributions on purchasing pristine areas for conservation [Mr. Miguel Olvera Novoa and Ms. Angela Speed (http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?read=283), Messrs. Faulkner, Subramanian and Potter (http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?read=290), and Mr. Santos (http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?read=292)]. These responses will be combined in three separate postings; the first one follows.

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A project called 'Turning the Tide' has regenerated the Durham coastline in the U.K., following more than 100 years of coal mining operations, which involved colliery spoil being tipped directly on to the beach. Substantial funding was obtained which permitted the purchase of approximately 225 ha of land, which was originally in intensive agriculture and is now in a natural habitat reversion programme. Further information is available at http://www.turning-the-tide.org.uk We feel that land ownership by responsible organisations is the only way to absolutely guarantee management regimes, and that while planning and other statutory instruments have a place, they cannot replace ownership. (Ray Leonard)

Another example may be found off the coast of western Negros in the Philippines, where an island was purchased in 1997 by the Philippines Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation Inc. with the help of a loan from the World Land Trust. Further information may be obtained from the president of the foundation, Mr. Gerry Ledesma gll@mozcom.com. The reason for the purchase was to protect the island from extractive practices, both terrestrial and sub-tidal. The island is now a protected marine reserve and terrestrial sanctuary. (Jean-Luc Solandt)

France has a national purchasing strategy where the Conservatoire du Littoral can exercise a first refusal policy to buy coastal land. Details may be found in: Dominique Legrain (author), translated by Judith Christie, 2000. 'Conservatoire du Littoral' Saving the French coast, published by Actes Sud/Editions Locales de France, Arles, France, ISBN 2-7427-2713-2. (Clive Gilbert)

While in Chumbe Island, Tanzania, a private initiative is providing for the protection of a coral reef and a coastal forest through a land lease agreement. Such an arrangement is a weaker means of control than an outright land purchase and renders the project (see contribution no. 185 http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?read=185 and resultant discussion thread) more vulnerable to corrupt pressures. Indeed an alliance with a financially and politically strong international partner, such as the Nature Conservancy, would have been welcomed ten years ago when the project was started, and would still be welcome today. Partnerships between strong international conservation organisations and local NGOs and private companies committed to conservation to manage the protected areas, may provide the best course of action. (Sibylle Riedmiller)

The construction of a dam in a pristine forest area in Belize is likely to lead to the destruction of thousands of hectares of forest, the extinction of some endemic species, and serious repercussions for the entire watershed and coastal area. The purchase of the area by a conservation organisation would be an ideal solution, however, due to political entanglements, this is unlikely to become a reality. (Colette Wabnitz)

Mr. Ray Leonard, Project Manager of Turning the Tide, Durham County Council, U.K.

Mr. Jean-Luc Solandt, Coral Cay Conservation Ltd., London, U.K.

Mr. Clive Gilbert, CoastLink, U.K.

Ms. Sibylle Riedmiller, Chumbe Island Coral Park, Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Ms. Colette Wabnitz, Centre for Tropical Coastal Management, University of Newcastle, U.K.

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