Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Flamingo Paradise Shrinks Along With Lake

Flamingo Paradise Shrinks Along With Lake – Cliff Brown

In an article on MSNBC.com, by Charles Hanley on November 16, 2006 the “famous flamingos of Nakuru are fading away.”

Warming, drought, deforestation and pollution are blamed for the decline. A sewage treatment plant is being worked on which will certainly help with the pollution issue. But, what about the other issues?

Since “Tourism is the lifeline of the area” it would seem that either assigning some kind of property rights to the Flamingos to those responsible for the polluting and/or responsible for the deforestation would help capture some of the associated negative externalities,

Combining this with an elasticity of demand study for the tourists may help raise revenues for the area. If it did then these additional monies could further enhance the efforts at reducing some of these negative effects.

As for the warming effect I have to look at the statement “Lake Nakuru … has shrunk before, even disappeared. But this time, because of global warming it may be different.” Also, some of the birds have relocated to other lakes in the Rift Valley that are suitable for the bird’s survival. This makes me wonder if it is even necessary to do anything about the “problem”? Does the cost of tying to alleviate the problem, and get the birds onto the proverbial Noah’s ark, outweigh the benefit? Might the birds figure things out for themselves and be just fine without any intervention?

Never fear. I am sure the UN Environment Program will arrive at a satisfactory solution without my intervention!

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