Notes from a rare planet: Agreements for conservation most effective when they reflect wishes of the local community

[morning ride]

Unwritten rules and social norms can be an effective means to manage protected areas in rural parts of Madagascar

  • “The authors describe the process of dina creation, from village-level meetings in which rules were decided to the legalization of the dina in court, and summarize the hierarchical enforcement procedures: rule-breakers are initially tried and fined in village meetings, but the legalisation of the dina allows villagers to call on legal procedures in case local enforcement fails. Andriamalala and Gardner conclude that such agreements can only be effective when they reflect the wishes of the community, and that externally-imposed dina may lack legitimacy and will therefore not be respected.”

Last potential barrier to implementation of EPA climate rules falls

  • “It is now full-speed ahead for federal climate regulations set to take effect on Jan. 2 after the final legislative challenge to their implementation was put on ice Friday afternoon.”

As incomes rise, so does animal trade

  • “Conservation projects have helped preserve individual species, but over all the trade in rare creatures has grown, not shrunk — thanks largely to rising demand from an increasingly affluent Asia.”

What is desertification and what are countries doing about it?

  • “Desertification is the degradation of land in already dry parts of the globe that results from various factors, including natural climate changes as well as human activity. As the name connotes it is the expansion of desert-like conditions, which render much less useful land that was once biologically and/or economically productive. According to the United Nations’ Convention to Combat Desertification, the phenomenon occurs in “drylands” (arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas) on all continents except Antarctica and affects the livelihoods of millions of people, including a large proportion of the world’s poor.”

Those controversial gulf sand berms for the Gulf oil spill were not very effective

  • “A controversial series of sand berms built in the Gulf of Mexico to keep leaking oil from reaching Louisiana’s wetlands has stopped a “miniscule” amount of oil, according to a federal report. According to a presidential commission created to investigate the BP oil spill, the U.S. Coast Guard’s approval of the $360 million barrier was made under ‘intense political pressure.’”