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Wise Coastal Practices for Sustainable Human Development Forum

Small-island carrying capacity, vulnerability and indicators. (+Français)(+Español)

Posted By: John R. Clark, Gordon Clifford, Surya Khanna, Yasmin Padamsee, Bruce Potter, Ed Towle.
Date: Wednesday, 14 August 2002, at 10:06 a.m.

In Response To: Small islands: limits of acceptable change. (+Français)(+Español) (Marion Howard, Bruce Potter)

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(Le texte FRANCAIS se trouve en dessous du texte anglais)
(El texto ESPANOL se encuentra debajo del texto francés)

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Several people responded to the item on island carrying capacity and limits of acceptable change (http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?review=420). John Clark, Bruce Potter and Ed Towle (USA) all mentioned that there was a good deal of literature on this subject, dating back to the 1960s, much of it referring to the Caribbean Islands. (For a list of these articles, see the end of this contribution).

However, John Clark went on to mention that while many of the ideas were good, applications were lacking. Carrying capacity is too often addressed theoretically in a modeling approach divorced from reality -- that is the political solution to inadequate development control. In the Florida Keys (USA) there is an ongoing carrying capacity effort -- highly computerized -- to discover the limits to development in this 110-mile long archipelago. It is funded by state and federal government for many millions of dollars, but has yielded few practical results which could be used by administrators and politicians who control growth.

A recent (May 2002) meeting of Small Island Developing States in Jamaica discussed their vulnerability (social, economic and environmental) to external forces over which they have little or no control. The meeting focused on the need for partnerships between committed actors, with special mention being made of information technologies (Yasmin Padamsee).

Gordon Clifford (Canada) described some work being done with the World Tourism Organization on developing destination-specific indicators of sustainable tourism. This work is undertaken with local tourism stakeholders, who provide, in a workshop setting, key issues, values, and input to the indicators of sustainable tourism that apply at that destination. Much of this work is directly relevant to the needs of island economies that are heavily dependent on tourism, but are facing pressures that could undermine the island environment. This has been one of the items covered at the Quebec Ecotourism Summit (May 2002).

Surya Khanna (Seychelles) suggests that economic sustainability of a country should be the main factor for calculating the optimum level of population (over- or under-populated). This will involve calculation of the gross domestic product and definitions of poverty levels, comfortable standards of living etc., all of which are very difficult parameters to assess.

Mr John Clark, Consultant in Coastal Resources Management, Ramrod Key, Florida, USA.
Mr Gordon Clifford, Principal Consultant, Environment and Sustainable Development Practice, Consulting and Audit Canada, Canadian Government, Ottawa, Canada.
Mr Surya Khanna, Consultant, Seychelles.
Ms Yasmin Padamsee, Communications Officer, UNDP/OA/COA, USA.
Mr Bruce Potter, Island Resources Foundation, Washington, USA.
Mr Ed Towle, Island Resources Foundation, Washington, USA.

SELECTED LIST OF RELATED REPORTS:
- Bakkes, Jan A., G.J. van den Born, J.C. Heldere, R.J. Swart, C.W. Hope, and J.D.E. Parker. 1994. An overview of environmental indicators: State of the art and perspectives. Environment Assessment Technical Reports. RIVM/UNEP.
- Caribbean Development Bank. 1997. Environmental indicators for the Caribbean.
- Caribbean Development Bank. 1998. Report of the Caribbean regional workshop on sustainable development indicators, held at the Grand Barbados Hotel, Barbados, October 22-23, 1998.
- Clark, John, R. 1990. Carrying Capacity: The Limits to Tourism. Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami. 31 pp.
- Clark, John R. 1991. Carrying capacity: A status report (Report of a seminar on carrying capacity). Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami. 73 pp.
- Crowards, Tom. 1999.An economic vulnerability index for developing countries with special reference to the Caribbean (alternative methodologies and provisional results). Caribbean Development Bank. (+Français)(+Español).
- Crowards, Tom. 1999. Measuring the comparative economic vulnerability of the Eastern Caribbean. Paper presented at the Institute of Social and Economic Research's 35th Anniversary Conference at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, January 8-9, 1999.
- Harper, Esther. 1996. [Draft] Preliminary results of human settlements indicators in twelve Caribbean countries. Document prepared for the UN Centre for Human Settlements. RLA/95/006-CAR-95-001.
- World Bank. 1997. Expanding the measure of wealth, indicators of environmentally sustainable development. #17 in the ‘Environmentally Sustainable Development Studies and Monographs’ Series.

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CAPACITE DE CHARGE DES PETITES ILES : VULNERABILITE ET INDICATEURS.

Plusieurs personnes ont exprimé leur opinion sur le thème de la capacité de charge des petites îles et des limites du changement acceptable (http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?review=420). John Cark, Bruce Potter et Ed Towle (aux Etats-Unis) ont, tous trois, signalé l'abondante documentation existant sur cette question depuis les années 60, dont une bonne partie se rapporte aux Antilles (Voir la liste des articles à la fin du présent message).

John Clark constate néanmoins que si ces idées sont bonnes dans l'ensemble, elles manquent d'illustrations pratiques. On traite trop souvent de la capacité de charge de façon théorique, dans l'optique d'une modélisation qui reste dissociée du besoin réel, c'est-à-dire de la solution politique à adopter en face d'un développement anarchique. Une étude de longue haleine (appuyée sur un solide programme informatique) sur la capacité de charge des Florida Keys (aux Etats-Unis) cherche à déterminer où se situent les limites de la mise en valeur de cet archipel qui s'étire sur une longueur d'environ 175 km. Financée par le gouvernement de l'État et par le gouvernement fédéral à hauteur de plusieurs millions de dollars, l'étude a donné lieu à peu de résultats pratiques susceptibles d'être exploités par les gestionnaires et les politiciens chargés de l'aménagement.

Une réunion récente (mai 2002, à la Jamaïque) consacrée aux petits États insulaires en développement a centré ses travaux sur la vulnérabilité de ces îles (aux plans social, économique et environnemental) face à des forces extérieures sur lesquelles elles n'ont pas beaucoup de prise. La réunion a insisté sur la nécessité d'instaurer des relations de partenariat entre les acteurs en jeu, en s'appuyant sur les technologies de l'information (Yasmin Padamsee).

Gordon Clifford (au Canada) a décrit les travaux qui sont menés avec l'Organisation mondiale du tourisme pour fixer des indicateurs de tourisme durable spécifiques à chaque localité. Ce travail s'effectue avec les acteurs du tourisme local, qui apportent, dans le cadre d'un atelier, les données sur les problèmes et les valeurs clés qui serviront à déterminer les indicateurs du tourisme durable applicables à cette localité. Ces travaux sont potentiellement très utiles pour les économies des îles qui, essentiellement tributaires du tourisme, sont confrontées à des forces susceptibles de mettre à mal leur environnement. Cette question a fait l'objet de l'un des points du Sommet écotourisme du Québec (mai 2002).

Surya Khanna (aux Seychelles) estime que la durabilité économique d'un pays devrait constituer le principal paramètre d'évaluation du niveau optimal de la population (trop élevé ou pas assez). Il faut pour cela prendre en compte le produit national brut, les définitions du seuil de pauvreté et des normes de vie acceptables etc.. tous paramètres difficiles à préciser.

M. John Clark, Consultant en gestion des ressources côtières, Ramrod Key, Floride, Etats-Unis.
M. Gordon Clifford, Consultant principal, Pratique en développement écologique et durable, Consulting and Audit Canada, Gouvernement Canadian, Ottawa, Canada.
M. Surya Khanna, Consultant, Seychelles.
Mme Yasmin Padamsee, Attaché en communication, UNDP/OA/COA, Etats-Unis.
M. Bruce Potter, Island Resources Foundation, Washington, Etats-Unis.
M. Ed Towle, Island Resources Foundation, Washington, Etats-Unis.

LISTE DES RAPPORTS SELECTIONNES SUR CE SUJET:
- Bakkes, Jan A., G.J. van den Born, J.C. Heldere, R.J. Swart, C.W. Hope, and J.D.E. Parker. 1994. An overview of environmental indicators: State of the art and perspectives. Environment Assessment Technical Reports. RIVM/UNEP.
- Caribbean Development Bank. 1997. Environmental indicators for the Caribbean.
- Caribbean Development Bank. 1998. Report of the Caribbean regional workshop on sustainable development indicators, held at the Grand Barbados Hotel, Barbados, October 22-23, 1998.
- Clark, John, R. 1990. Carrying Capacity: The Limits to Tourism. Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami. 31 pp.
- Clark, John R. 1991. Carrying capacity: A status report (Report of a seminar on carrying capacity). Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami. 73 pp.
- Crowards, Tom. 1999.An economic vulnerability index for developing countries with special reference to the Caribbean (alternative methodologies and provisional results). Caribbean Development Bank. (+Français)(+Español).
- Crowards, Tom. 1999. Measuring the comparative economic vulnerability of the Eastern Caribbean. Paper presented at the Institute of Social and Economic Research's 35th Anniversary Conference at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, January 8-9, 1999.
- Harper, Esther. 1996. [Draft] Preliminary results of human settlements indicators in twelve Caribbean countries. Document prepared for the UN Centre for Human Settlements. RLA/95/006-CAR-95-001.
- World Bank. 1997. Expanding the measure of wealth, indicators of environmentally sustainable development. #17 in the ‘Environmentally Sustainable Development Studies and Monographs’ Series.

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CAPACIDAD DE CARGA, VULNERABILIDAD E INDICADORES EN PEQUEÑAS ISLAS.

Varias personas respondieron al tema sobre capacidad de carga y límites de cambios aceptables (http://www.csiwisepractices.org/?review=420). John Clark, Bruce Potter y Ed Towle (EEUU) señalaron que hay abundante literature sobre este tema que se remonta a la década de los 60, en su mayoría refiriédose a las islas del Caribe (Para una lista de estos artículos, ver el final de esta contribución).

De todos modos, John Clark añadió que mientras muchas de las ideas eran cabales, falta la aplicación de las mismas. Muy a menudo se hace mención de la capacidad de carga sobre la base de modelos teóricos divorciados de la realidad. Esa es la solución política al control inadecuado del desarrollo. En las Cayas de Florida (EEUU) existe un esfuerzo sobre la capacidad de carga- altamente modelizada – para descubrir los límites del desarrollo en este archpiélago de unos 155 km de largo. Está financiado por el el gobierno federal y del estado en muchos milliones de dólares, pero ha rendido pocos resultados prácticos que pudieran ser utilizados por responsables de la planificación y la gestión y los políticos que controlan el crecimiento.

La reciente reunión de los Pequeños Estados Insulares en Desarrollo celebrado en Jamaica en mayo de 2002, trató sobre su vulnerabilidad (social, económico y ambiental) ante las fuerzas externas sobre las cuales ejercen poco o ningún control. La reunión se concentró sobre la necesidad de establecer una asociación de colaboración entre actores interesados, con mención especial de tecnologías de la información (Yasmin Padamsee).

Gordon Clifford (Canadá) describió trabajos realizados con la Organización Mundial del Turismo sobre el desarrollo de indicadores de turismo sostenible específicos a destinos determinados. Esose trabajos se llevaron a cabo con grupos de usuarios y de interés, quienes contribuyen en el marco de un taller, temas clave, valores y aportes a los indicadores de turismo sostenible que corresponden a un destino determinado. Gran parte de estos trabajos están directamente relacionados a las necesidades de las economías insulares que dependen mayormente del turismo, pero que confrontan presiones que pueden socavar el medio ambiente insular. Este ha sido un tema tratado en la Cumbre del Turismo de Quebec (mayo 2002).

Surya Khamma (Seychelles) sugiere que la sostenibilidad económica de un país debería ser un factor mayor para calcular el nivel demográfico óptimo (superpoblado o subpoblado). Eso involucrará el cálculo del producto nacional bruto y la definición de niveles de probreza, niveles de vida confortable, etc., todos los cuales son parámetros difíciles de evaluar.

Mr. John Clark, Consultor en manejo de recursos costeros. , Ramrod Key, Florida, USA.
Mr. Gordon Clifford, Canadá.
Mr Surya Khanna, Consultor, Seychelles.
Ms. Yasmin Padamsee, Encargada de comunicaciones, UNDP/OA/COA, EEUU.
Mr. Bruce Potter, Island Resources Foundation, Washington, EEUU.
Mr. Ed Towle, Island Resources Foundation, Washington, EEUU.

LISTA DE INFORMES Y ARTÍCULOS SELECCIONADOS DE REFERENCIA:
- Bakkes, Jan A., G.J. van den Born, J.C. Heldere, R.J. Swart, C.W. Hope, and J.D.E. Parker. 1994. An overview of environmental indicators: State of the art and perspectives. Environment Assessment Technical Reports. RIVM/UNEP.
- Caribbean Development Bank. 1997. Environmental indicators for the Caribbean.
- Caribbean Development Bank. 1998. Report of the Caribbean regional workshop on sustainable development indicators, held at the Grand Barbados Hotel, Barbados, October 22-23, 1998.
- Clark, John, R. 1990. Carrying Capacity: The Limits to Tourism. Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami. 31 pp.
- Clark, John R. 1991. Carrying capacity: A status report (Report of a seminar on carrying capacity). Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami. 73 pp.
- Crowards, Tom. 1999.An economic vulnerability index for developing countries with special reference to the Caribbean (alternative methodologies and provisional results). Caribbean Development Bank. (+Français)(+Español).
- Crowards, Tom. 1999. Measuring the comparative economic vulnerability of the Eastern Caribbean. Paper presented at the Institute of Social and Economic Research's 35th Anniversary Conference at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, January 8-9, 1999.
- Harper, Esther. 1996. [Draft] Preliminary results of human settlements indicators in twelve Caribbean countries. Document prepared for the UN Centre for Human Settlements. RLA/95/006-CAR-95-001.
- World Bank. 1997. Expanding the measure of wealth, indicators of environmentally sustainable development. #17 in the ‘Environmentally Sustainable Development Studies and Monographs’ Series.

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