When I travel to developing areas I am reminded that for some, conservation may seem a luxury. I'm grateful for those groups working towards lofty conservation goals, while still providing sustainable livelihood options for the people who depend on the reef.
During a recent presentation about Hokule'a's worldwide voyage, Polynesian Voyaging Society president Nainoa Thompson remarked that if you want to save the Earth, save the ocean. "Out of four breaths you take," he said, "three come from the ocean."
The story of the Phoenix Islands shows how a single small action by a few individuals can grow to enlist the expertise, energy, and passion of people around the world, from ordinary citizens to professionals to policymakers at the highest levels of government.
Given the high frequency of oil spills in offshore drilling operations, the decision to green-light drilling operations in the Belizean Barrier Reef led to a fierce national debate. It appeared the government was likely to prevail. But things have now changed in Belize.