December 15, 2005

Public lands

This is from a news item in Nature:
The problem, says Alfredo Quarto, director of the Mangrove Action Project, Port Angeles, Washington, is that "mangrove areas are remote, usually public lands, available to lease by corrupt officials". Poor fishers and farmers rarely have any land rights and cannot prevent mangroves being cleared for shrimp ponds. "The people who enforce the laws don't live in these areas and can be convinced by someone with money to turn their backs on the destruction," Quarto says. When the farms collapse, due to disease or contamination, a wealthy owner can move on to another stretch of virgin coast, leaving a useless waste site behind.

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