Shared Planet - Community Protection
Can local initiatives develop into wider protection for a species? Monty Don explores this question through a local scheme to protect the Napoleon wrasse in Palau.
Worldwide, with an increasing human population using more and more natural resources, it is often local people and local communities who are the first to notice when something is out of balance in the natural world. In Britain it was otter hunt records that first led to the realisation that otter numbers were in steep decline in the late 1950's, a result of chemical leachate into watercourses from adjoining farmland. So how much influence can a local community have in protecting a species for the benefit of the wider community? In this programme Monty Don explores this question through a field report looking at the decline in Napoleon wrasse around the coral reefs of Palau after commercial fishing arrived from other parts of Micronesia in the 1980's. Local fishermen noticed the wrasse were disappearing and brought about their own initiatives to protect the species. This episode also explores the level of success these local initiatives can have in a wider context.
Producer Andrew Dawes.