Friday, September 28, 2012

A stranded whale database website for Indonesia is launched soon!

We have a rather busy stranding year this year, and not enough online information on how to handle stranded cetaceans. Oh yes, I did write about it here (English version and Indonesian version), but my daily hit is not big enough at the moment. There is also an acute misunderstanding among practitioners in Indonesia about why stranding events happen, e.g., many people think that whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) and whales are the same. Now and then, we would have whale sharks entangled in fishing nets in Indonesia... and the news would read ‘A big whale stranded in XX Beach’ instead of ‘a whale shark got entangled in fishing net in YY Village’ - And that is not the only misunderstanding we have!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Do we need to put a price in natural resources?

Matt Fox, a CI colleague of mine, forwarded me this Guardian article written by George Monbiot. The article got me thinking about the title of this post.  Do we need to put a price in natural resources? Also, why do we need to put such a price? Can’t we just leave the nature as it is? Two years ago, I would agree with Monbiot; putting a price on the rain and trees and the dolphins seems to be unnecessary at best, and pretentious at worst. I still understand his points though, he got the points alright.

I wish that the things are that easy, that all of us can truly live in harmony, in a Zen way, with nature. That most of us are well-connected with our highest plane of awareness, that we all understand and appreciate that every being on Earth – nay, on this Universe – is connected to each other. But sadly, that is often not the case. I am inclined to be okay with natural resource valuation (i.e., putting value on natural resource), as long as it’s within reason. But here’s the thing. I said ‘natural resource valuation’, not ‘natural resource pricing’.