Three Cheers for Economics!

The past two months have flown by in a whirlwind of seascapes, hiking, surfing, fish catch reports, economic analyses and the fundamental question of the summer: how do you prove large-scale marine conservation is good for economic growth?

In creating my argument I have been focusing on two wildly different seascapes within the Coral Triangle: The Bird’s Head Seascape and the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape. The Bird’s Seascape is located wholly within the self-declared “conservation province” of West Papua, the semi-autonomous province of Indonesia. It is home to a network of community-run marine protected areas and a relatively low population. The Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape encompasses waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines and includes larger cities and busy shipping routes. Despite their differences, they are both full of examples of how communities and business have economically benefited from being involved in integrated and comprehensive marine planning.

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Chapter 2 in which Josh continually wonders what could possibly go wrong

What could possibly go wrong? is a question that comes up in my personal life frequently, though not as a genuine query. It’s a useful way to tag the dumb commitments I make to uncertain courses of action. For example, I employed it once on an after-dark stroll through San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Another time as I jumped on the back of a Moroccan stranger’s motorcycle after he asked me if I wanted to see where the donkeys and camels meet. And more recently, as Shaun and I walked down deserted side streets of Suva at midnight on our way to the Deep Sea Nightclub, the one down by the docks that locals dis-affectionately call a “night club for thieves.” Continue reading

Isolation and Connection

It’s tough to think that I’ve been here for two months, as I am still collecting my thoughts about this internship and tracing its lessons to my goals. Hawaii has made me feel both isolated and connected. When hurricane Darby soaked our house and whipped the trees outside last weekend, it seemed like I was stranded. On a central-Pacific archipelago, where can you go when the storm surrounds you? The other Hawaiian Islands are too close to be unaffected and too far to reach unaided. Continue reading