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An example from Ecuador, the Tagua Initiative, is considered a successful
approach to sustainable development in conservation. In a coastal region of
Ecuador, Esmeraldas, the United States-based environmental organization,
Conservation International, supports the initiative, which “links rural harvesters of the ivory-like nut of the tagua palm—which grows in coastal rain
forests from Panama to Ecuador—with manufacturers of buttons, jewelry, and
arts and crafts made from nuts. Key members of the Tagua Initiative include
Esprit, L.L. Bean, Smith & Hawken, and more than 45 other U.S. and international clothing manufacturers.”127 The Initiative takes place in an area that
is a top conservation priority, a biodiverse “hot spot.” Information from Conservation International suggests that this program is a great success; the program employs over 1,800 people, protects the land in the Cotacachi-Cayapas
Ecological Reserve, and the initiative has generated over $1.5 million in Tagua
button sales. The initiative fits all three criteria of SD: the social, economic,
and environmental. The program is currently being expanded to include more
than twenty similar products in eight biodiversity-rich nations.
In its best cases, biodiversity conservation can bring together the social,
economic, and ecological spheres of SD. Many conservation conflicts, however, play out as contests between economics and ecology, industrialists and environmentalists. These conflicts do not only occur in developing nations. In
just the last few years in the United States, conflicts in and around protected
areas of Yellowstone (mining versus wilderness protection) and the Pacific
Northwest (jobs versus the spotted owl) are framed in this way. For example,
industrialists and environmentalists are debating whether or not the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be opened for oil exploration. Industrialists argue
that, if the area were opened, employment opportunities would increase, that
the state would beneﬁt from these taxable incomes, and that, if oil were actually discovered, th...
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This note was uploaded on 10/25/2010 for the course SOSCI INBA6610 taught by Professor Prescott during the Fall '08 term at University of the West Indies at St. Augustine.
- Fall '08
- The Land