The Japanese fishing example in Fiji reinforces my point in “musings re environment” in my post in 2007, that poor countries are the most vulnerable to environmental degradation. In Australia, public servants are well paid (also get fired easier for corruption), so bribes for fishing are less attractive. And there’s plenty of tax money to manage conservation areas and national parks. And send in the Navy/police if poaching/ rule breaking occurs.
There is pressure by developers to build in scenic areas in Australia, but National parks are large and remain unviolated, which is not the case, even in Thailand.
Most fish poaching is done by Indonesia …. again Poverty is the prime mover.
And Australians have plenty of time and money to enjoy national parks, rather than steal species from them.
So when eg African countries /Indonesia get similar levels of :
accountability, democracy, transparency, lack of corruption, higher standard of living ( allow foreign investment, make it easy for locals to startup and run a company and keep their earnings, have rule of law, protection from violence, low taxes etc) ,
rather than :
Cronyism, corruption, tyranny, unaccountability, high taxes, impossibly complex or restrictive business regulations, bars on foreign investment, govmt nationalization of private enterprises (guaranteeing no future foreign capital will risk itself in the country), Govmt handouts to specific tribes or friends, ineffective police force.
Then their natural environment will suffer less. And their daily lives a lot less hard, more pleasant, prosperous and happy too. People won’t have too eek out a living doing back-breaking work.
Pouring aid money into these countries (most of which finds it’s way into the Swiss bank accounts of the corrupt rulers) will not help. It’s been tried for decades now. It actually makes things worse, by enriching the corrupt local regime and keeping them in power. In the case of food aid, it can make people give up conventional farming, or be used as a weapon by govmts – eg in Somalia in the 90s, when warlords confiscated UN food.
Large NGOs such as Doctors without Borders are not in favour of massive aid programs, for the reasons given above.
Making water wells, bridges and similar physical projects can be of great help.
Giving money / material aid conditional to governance changes and environmental preservation might help. But money has a way of disappearing without any tangible return in those countries. Of being spent on big offices and big cars, and of creating a caste of people who do nothing but hover around govmt officials in order to get a handout.
Mmm…. Sounds like the UN, or also, the EU fatcats in Brussels. I know some French economists have described France as a quasi “Banana Republic”, such is the cronyism and corruption in France.