Rebecca Gu – Conservation Challenges in Development.

Name: Rebecca Gu

Talk Title: “Conservation Challenges in Development.”

Notes: Sauder School of Business;

Topic: Environmentalism was a movement that was largely born out of the United States some 40-50 years ago, and has caught fire in recent decades.  Here at UBC, sustainability is now considered a core value, with efforts being made to incorporate it into our lifestyles, attitudes and studies.  But what does this mean for the third world?  How is sustainability and decision making different when you are removed from the comforts of life in Canada?  This is one of the issues that has always been at the forefront of my studies, and the topic of my talk is  “Conservation Challenges in Development.”

I am a student studying business, economics and ecology and my talk will focus around investing, government and the relationship between impoverished communities and the land they depend upon.  I have spent time in Indonesia, Tanzania and Costa Rica and have observed that investment in the land can take different forms, and the poor are faced with difficult consequences if they choose to value conservation.  I hope to highlight a few examples of when values of conservation are ignored and when there is no investment in the land;  and to use the investment concept of discount rates to talk about why this happens.   For example, timber and rattan farmers in Indonesia are not receiving a fair price for their products, and the consequences of this are devastating not only on these communities, but also on what happens to the forests that provide these materials.   I hope to end with the ways that communities in the developing world can be encouraged to value their land, why this is important.

The ultimate goal of the talk will be to allow students to see the challenges of implementing sustainable practices by walking a mile in the shoes of others.


Filmed by Craig Ross at TEDx Terry talks 2010 (October 2nd, 2010). Video edited by David Ng.

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