10. Engaging Youth in Sport and Physical...

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Published on January 14, 2009

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ECONOMICS, POSNORMAL SCIENCE AND OIL SPILLS. THE PRESTIGE CASE : ECONOMICS, POSNORMAL SCIENCE AND OIL SPILLS. THE PRESTIGE CASE By Xavier Simón Fernández (Applied Economics, Vigo University) Daniel Vázquez Meréns (ISEC, Cordoba) David Pérez Neira (ISEC, Cordoba) Lola Domínguez García (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) Research group in Ecological Economics and Agroecology OIL SPILLS AS GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM : OIL SPILLS AS GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEM Facts are uncertain: the problem has not to do with the discovery of a particular fact but with the management of complex reality Values are in dispute What it is at stake is of big importance: every cost, benefit and assessing compromises are involved Decisions are urgent Turning over of the traditional supremacy of “hard facts” by “soft values” : values become the independent variable Facts and values cannot split up: uncertainties include ethics. Every global environmental risk comprehend new ways of equity The quality of the dynamics of solving global environmental problems is achieved by the involvement of a bigger and bigger set of participants ECONOMICS, POSNORMAL SCIENCE AND OIL SPILLS : ECONOMICS, POSNORMAL SCIENCE AND OIL SPILLS Money is a common, natural language in any assessment process of an environmental problem Monetary prices are however a measure of value that reflects only one a particular concern How much Cies Islands cost? € 127,025,475.36? Between 5 and 7.325 million Euros? Landscape values, cultural values, economic values, ecological values: multiple values and diversity of perspectives Is it possible to combine every value and perspective in only one measure of value? In that case, would have every perspective and value the same weight? The decision about preserving or not an ecosystem, a specie (the guillemot -Uriaa Aalge) or the decision about its use must take into account every perspective and not only those based on money Slide 4: Table 1. TWO OPPOSING DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES Source: Aguilera et al. (2005) BAN PERIOD OF FISHING ACTIVITY : BAN PERIOD OF FISHING ACTIVITY In the Galician case between the coast and the 12 miles The ban period: Would increase according to the quantity of oil that reaches the area Would change inversely to the mobility level of the resource Within the fishing activity, the ban period would change depending on the habitat of the species: higher in the case of demersal species Conclusion a priori: immobile resource + coastal area + chapapote arrival = longer ban period Slide 6: Table 2: Shellfish gathering: comparing ban period in the four affected autonomous communities Erika: between 2 and 18 months Braer: between 22 months and 7 years MANAGEMENT AND IMPACT OF THE DISASTER : MANAGEMENT AND IMPACT OF THE DISASTER The management carried out by Spanish authorities caused: Increase of the affected coastal area (beaches, inter-tidal area, rocks and cliffs) Increase of the area of sea ground / bottom with chapapote Increase of the number of directly affected fishermen, shellfish harvesters, and fish crops: internationalisation of the effects. Increase of the number of other indirectly affected collectives: internationalisation of the effects. Increase of the percentage of unknown affected ecosystems Conclusions: The final outcome is a consequence of an authoritarian decision with only non independent experts and without citizen participation. The internationalisation of the effects is the basic element to understand the problems associated with the damage compensation. ASSESSMENT OF CLAIMS TO THE IOPCF (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) : ASSESSMENT OF CLAIMS TO THE IOPCF (International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund) Maximum amount available for compensation by disaster: 171 million euros Compensation level only reaches 15% of the claimed amount. Slide 9: Table 3. Number of claims and amount claimed in Spain and France Source: Executive Committee of 28th June 2005, IOPCF. Slide 10: Total potential claims to the IOPCF: 1,050 million Euro. Differences in the claims of the Spanish and the French States: (June 2005): In the Spanish State, claims related to the fishing resources are 19,14% of the total. In France they are only 2.75%. In the Spanish State, claims regarding tourism is 0.08% of the total; on the contrary in France is 18.27%. When there are different levels of prices and income in the affected areas, for the same damage, costs are cheaper in the place with a lower income. IT IS CHEAPER TO POLLUTE THE POOR PEOPLE (OR LESS RICH PEOPLE) ASSESSMENT OF CLAIMS TO THE IOPCF Slide 11: How the three affected countries share the 171 million Euro? The executive committee of the IOPCF, in its 29th session states in the 3rd point of the epigraph 3.15 of the agenda that: “the committee will carry out the needed settlements with the aim of giving the correct proportion of the total available compensation to every state…” Solutions in different countries: France: the government will cover 85% of the claims approved by IOPCF Spain: 249.5 million Euro available for compensation: Deadline to complain: 31/12/04 Renouncing to the right of claiming for an additional compensation Transferring the compensation rights to the Spanish government 29,000 applications of complain: 229.9 million Euro May 2005: agreement with 19,500 workers of fishing May 2005: 88 million Euro paid for compensation ESTIMATION OF CLAIMS TO THE FIDAC ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS DERIVED FROM THE PRESTIGE : ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS DERIVED FROM THE PRESTIGE Effects derived from the type of fuel-oil The PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) degraded very slowly: uncertainties linked to the lack of knowledge of the potential synergy effects derived from HFO in the ecosystems. When fuel-oil deposit on the sea ground, we are exposed to future chapapote arrivals in the coast: uncertain effects Which are the effects of the PAH? Albaigés et al. (2003) point out that Galician organisms are already exposed and used to higher quantities of PAH Freire and Labarta (2003) say that the effects of PAH are higher in the course of the time, causing sub-lethal effect in the organisms because of the bioaccumulation. They also consider the probable incorporation into the trophic chains: uncertain effects WWF (2003) and Eidos (2003) point out the possibility of the incorporation of these toxic wastes in the food chain, even in products of economic value: uncertain effects ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS DERIVED FROM THE PRESTIGE : ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS DERIVED FROM THE PRESTIGE Impact on the structure and functioning of the ecosystem Set of causes that affect to the structure and population dynamics of the ecosystems On the species with commercial value as well as on other organisms The effects on different species vary according to their characteristics: The bentonic and demersal communities are the most affected Lower effect on pelagic communities The dynamics of the ecosystem is more important than the its situation in a particular moment or in the short run. Which part of the evolution trend is due to the Prestige? Fernández Pulpeiro et al.(2004) point out that in the main natural banks of mexilla (mussel seed) in Galicia, there is a significant loss of density compared with the situation before the Prestige. Junoy et al. (2004) with data of macroinfauna, before and after the Prestige in 18 Galician beaches conclude that the number of species and the average diversity diminished considerably. ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS DERIVED FROM THE PRESTIGE : ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS DERIVED FROM THE PRESTIGE Impact on mammals and birds Between 250,000 and 300,000 birds affected (Domínguez J., 2003): the biggest European disaster on bird fauna? Numerous stranded cetaceans in the first month after the disaster (R. García, 2003). Conclusions: There are significant uncertainties associated with the HAP behaviour in the ecosystems. It is difficult to cut the total effect of the Prestige in the ecosystem off other causes. There is evidence of. Important specific effects ECONOMIC DAMAGE DERIVED FROM THE PRESTIGE : ECONOMIC DAMAGE DERIVED FROM THE PRESTIGE Components of the damage: Inactive direct and indirect profit (paid compensations to those who suffered the damage) Cleaning and restoring Research Contribution of the volunteers ECONOMIC DAMAGE DERIVED FROM THE PRESTIGE : ECONOMIC DAMAGE DERIVED FROM THE PRESTIGE Cero cost theory defended by P. Arias, (2003) and supported by some economists as well as some participants in the Prestige Galician Parliament Commission, shows the “myopia” in dealing with environmental disasters Different assessments Slide 17: Table 4. Loss Assessment (million Euro) according to different studies CONCLUSIONS : CONCLUSIONS The Prestige Oil Spill is a global environmental problem As a global environmental problem, we confront a set of uncertainties, knowledge and axioms that cannot be solved with and only one measuring rod (money). Defining strategies to solve this kind of problems requires to democratise decisions: what to do and how to do it has to be social decision making process The internalisation of internationalisation of the externalities caused by the Prestige are a severe problem: we confront differences in income levels in the different affected areas. CONCLUSIONS : CONCLUSIONS The international system of damage compensation is constrained to a limited quantity: the cake sharing among the affected areas creates unfair situations It is better to have a damage assessment than not having any at all, but Money cannot solve the environmental problems associated with oil spills. In the context of a progressive damage of the structure and functioning of the ecosystems, accelerated by the whirlpool of the world-wide capital, only the restructuring of the present development model can drive to more sustainable societies. Damage prevention, precaution in ecosystem management and minimisation of future regret must urgently replace the logic of profit maximisation in the short run, so that we never have to say again “NUNCA MAIS” Slide 20: THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION

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