Thursday, July 23, 2015

MAP News Issue 369, July 25, 2015

VerticalResponse

The MAP News
369th Edition                                July 25, 2015


FEATURE STORY

MANGROVES: OUR FOOD, OUR LIFE
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GUATEMALA – The mangrove ecosystem is a unique ecosystem; fragile, the source of life and livelihood protection for people and coastal communities. Mangroves are also territory, tradition and culture. They represent only 1% of the world's forests, yet are one of the five most productive ecological units in the world. Industrial activities such as shrimp farming, oil exploration, tourism industry large-scale urban projects, construction of dams, among other projects, have led to the decline of mangroves and livelihood that sustains a critical point; threatened and endangered. Despite the destruction, the mangroves are the main source of food for communities and indigenous communities that inhabit them. Fish, shellfish and other species that inhabit this ecosystem, represent the fruits for activities such as fishing, collecting shells, crabs, and other staple food products for coastal populations. Let us pause to remember the mangrove forest of the world this July 26th!  LEA MAS EN ESPANOL
 
AFRICA
 
Sierra Leone’s environmental agency poised to protect wetlands
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SIERRA LEON - Sierra Leone`s National Protection Agency (EPA) has vowed to prosecute people who make embankment on a select group of sites identified as under threat from environmental degradation. An official of the agency said Thursday the areas concerned have been declared protected by law and one of them, the Aberdeen Creek in the west end of the capital Freetown, is designated a Ramsar site. The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. It came into force in Sierra Leone in April 2000, after signing it in 1996 and that binds the country to protect the area. The Aberdeen Creek is home to a vast variety of bird species and it is a major breeding ground for fish. But because of pressure on housing, people have colonized every available space in the highly overpopulated capital, including swampy areas like the creek. READ MORE
 
ASIA
 
Ecological Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Carbon
Walking%2Binto%2Bthe%2BAbyss
THAILAND - Mangroves are known to be one of the most dense carbon storage systems on earth “containing on average 1,023Mg carbon per hectare” with the soils accounting for “49-98% of carbon storage in these systems” making them at least twice as effective carbon stores when compared to other tropical forests. This high degree of carbon storage is due primarily to the tendency of water-logged soil to become anaerobic or devoid of oxygen quicker and at a higher level than most other soils. The lack of oxygen hinders microbial decomposition, thus allowing carbon rich soil to be stored for an almost indefinite amount of time especially if undisturbed. Jacob Bukoski, a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, is currently writing his thesis in which he describes a predictive model of mangrove carbon stocks in Southeast Asia. MAP has had the privilege of helping support Jacob’s field work because we see it as very valuable for the community and for mangrove conservation and restoration. While Jacob uses CIFOR’s “Protocols for the measurement, monitoring and reporting of structure, biomass and carbon stocks in mangrove forests” as a manual for his research, my story-telling below is a rough outline of the guide in accordance to our field work research. READ MORE
 
Prestigious recognition for sustainable performance
MYANMAR - The national Energy Globe Award Myanmar 2015 was awarded to the project “Community-based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR)" of Mangrove Action Project. Shortly summarized the project focuses on: CBEMR is a project for mangrove restoration and reforestation in Asia, for knowledge exchange and action to reduce climate change and protect forest biodiversity with the goal of creating demonstration sites and restoring abandoned shrimp ponds. As part of this year’s World Environment Day the project was also presented by Energy Globe as part of a global online campaign (http://www.energyglobe.info) to a wide audience. The campaign ran under the patronage of UNESCO and in cooperation with UNEP and received great recognition and a large echo. “To be honored with this award is a great recognition of our work for a better environment and motivates us to continue our endeavors in the future" Alfredo Quarto, National Energy Globe Winner Myanmar READ MORE
 
Income for Coastal Communities for Mangrove Protection
Thailand
THAILAND - MAP Asia Coordinator, Jim Enright, was invited to attend a regional inception workshop for the project entitled ‘Income for Coastal Communities for Mangrove Protection’ May 7-9 in Bangkok.   The objective of the project is to develop a low cost mechanism enabling investors to responsibly promote mangrove conservation, carbon emissions reduction and sustainable development through the provision of funding to local communities for livelihood diversification, resource enhancement and coastal protection.   The lack of sustainable funding to support mangrove restoration is the driver for this project which has taken several years of preparation and donor hunting. The workshop brought together 38 representatives from Government, UN agencies, NGOs, the private sector and academics.  Project activities will take place in Pakistan, Thailand and Viet Nam.   The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is implemented by the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Office (FAO-RAP), within the framework of the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) initiative, with assistance from the USAID Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) Program and the UN-REDD Programme. READ MORE
 
How shrimp farming wreaked havoc on Sri Lanka's coasts
Sri Lanka - We are not far from the ocean here. The air smells of salt and sulphur, of marine life. But the square of black, cracked mud in front of us, bounded by its four crumbling walls of sand, is no place for living things. It was previously a pond for cultivating tiger prawns, the lucrative species that was the reason for cutting the lush mangrove forest that once covered this area. The recent history of this abandoned place is sadly representative of the story of thousands of hectares in this region in the west of Sri Lanka. A swelling appetite for shrimps and prawns in America, Europe and Japan has fuelled industrial farming of shellfish in the past few decades. The industry now has a farm-gate value of $10bn (£6.4bn) per year globally and the prawn in your sandwich is much more likely to have come from a pond than from the sea. While the industry is dominated by the likes of China, Vietnam and Thailand, a large number of other countries have invested heavily in cultivation too. READ MORE
 
A Chemical That Killed a Countryside & Scarred a People
VIETNAM – Mangroves are sturdy trees. Recognizable by their extensive root systems, these trees can thrive in muddy soil, sand, peat, even coral. They tolerate water much saltier than most other plants and survive flooding during severe storms. It is perhaps their sturdiness that led mangroves to be one of the most significant targets in the Vietnam War. During the war, communist guerilla fighters would often take refuge in Vietnam’s thick jungles. Mangroves, among other types of flora, provided shelter from eyes in the sky seeking to deliver air strikes in strategic locations. So the U.S. military exposed guerillas by bombarding the trees themselves with huge amounts of defoliants, chemical herbicides that cause the leaves to fall off of plants. The most infamous defoliant was Agent Orange, named for the orange stripes marking the drums it was shipped in. Foreign aid from the U.S. toward alleviating the effects of Agent Orange has been focused on environmental remediation rather than health care. The the need for aid to alleviate patients’ suffering is paramount and, in some ways, is more immediate than the need for research to find out how dioxins affect us. READ MORE

AMERICAS
 
Editor’s Note: We at MAP send our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Julio Lopez for their tragic loss. It is with deep regret that we learn of his murder because of his commitment to social and environmental justice. His good work for the coastal communities and the mangroves should not be forgotten. We hope that justice will be swift in arresting and prosecuting those perpetrators of this wrongdoing.
Another Brave “Soldier” for Environmental Justice Murdered in Guatemala
Letter from RedManglar in Guatemala:
lopez
GUATEMALA - With deep sorrow and indignation we have received the news earlier today, (Wednesday July 15) the brutal and cowardly murder of our colleague, Julio Lopez , Nueva Concepcion, Escuintla in Guatemala. Besides being vice president of the Asobordas, and chairman of the village COCODE Tecojate, Julio also was part of COGMANGLAR and Redmanglar International. Our partner was a staunch defender of the rights of communities and nature, work in several actions in defense of rivers, mangroves and against violations committed several ventures and comment against the population. In Cogmanglar, Redmanglar and Asobordas. We are deeply shocked and strongly condemn his killing, which took away a brother and fellow in our just struggles. All he wanted was the Common good and welfare of its people. Julio developed his work in one of the most violent municipalities in our country, Nueva Concepcion, now stained with blood again. Justice for our fellow soldier.  Our condolences go to his family and friends. We'll always remember Julio, thanks for joining us on this path. REDMANGLAR
 
88 environmental advocates killed in Latin America in 2014
BRAZIL – Eighty-eight environmentalists were murdered in Latin America during 2014, according to a report by the international organization Global Witness. That amount is equivalent to three quarters of the murders of environmental activists worldwide, the report entitled "How many more?". "Every week at least two people are murdered for taking a stand against environmental destruction," says the report. "Some are shot by police during protests, others are sought by murderers. As companies seek to exploit new lands, more and more people have paid the ultimate price for their opposition, "says the report. The report also indicates that 40 percent of the victims are native peoples. Brazil leads the list with 29 activists killed, followed by Colombia with 25, 12 in Honduras, Peru 9 5 Guatemala, Paraguay 3, while in Ecuador and Costa Rica one. LEA MAS EN ESPANOL
 
Crown Jewel of Cuba’s Coral Reefs
CUBA - A marine biologist and director of Cuba’s Center for Coastal Ecosystem Research, Dr. Pina has spent much of his career studying the abundance of fish and other wildlife in this archipelago 50 miles off Cuba’s south coast, a region so fecund it has been called the Galápagos of the Caribbean. But Dr. Pina still has a long list of questions he would like to pursue. For example, he is eager to learn more about the biology, travel patterns and habits of sharks and Atlantic goliath grouper here, large, highly mobile predators that are important to coral reefs and a major tourist draw. And he hopes someday to understand why the reef in Jardines de la Reina is so resilient, when other reefs around the world are dying, succumbing to overfishing, pollution, coastal development and the effects of climate change. Scientists like Dr. Pina have only just begun to explore and document the wealth of aquatic life in the waters of the archipelago and the Gulf of Ana Maria to its north: how many species there are, the size of their populations, how they move from one area to another and where their spawning and nursery grounds are. READ MORE
 
Seafood Watch reevaluates La. shrimp fishery
USA - Louisiana commercial shrimping gear is getting an upgrade now that the state’s governor, Bobby Jindal, has signed a bill into law that will allow the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to mandate that all bottom trawls be equipped with turtle excluder devices (TEDs) moving forward. The passing of Louisiana House Bill 668 dismantles a previous 1987 state law that prevented La. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents from enforcing federal turtle-excluder device regulations. Endorsed by the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force, the bill will work to prevent unnecessary sea turtle deaths at the grips of shrimp trawls, which are estimated to kill 50,000 turtles annually when not supplemented with TEDs.  "Today is a monumental day for our shrimp industry and will show the world that Louisiana fishermen and processors have always been concerned with the successful management of our shrimp fishery," Mark Abraham, the shrimp task force's chairman, said in a statement on 1 July. READ MORE
 
OCEANA
 
Teachers become students at hands-on science class
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AUSTRALIA - University Gladstone campus will be bursting with primary school teachers from across Queensland in August for National Science Week. The university is holding a hands-on event open to teachers and pre-service teachers, on Saturday and Sunday, August 22-23. An $18,266 grant received from the QGC will help to grow the exciting event. Coordinator and CQUniversity Research Fellow Dr Linda Pfeiffer said the Gladstone Marina campus location was a perfect hub for practical experiences for teachers. "We'll look at a number of aspects of environmental science in Gladstone - from water quality testing in our lab, to a guided industry bus tour, a Botanic Gardens visit, and a networking event with long-time wildlife educator Ranger Stacey from Totally Wild," Dr Pfeiffer said. The two-day event will also include a theatrical challenge for participants, to perform "The Mangrove Drama", and a boat trip and tour of Quoin Island's Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. READ MORE


LAST WORD(S)

Good afternoon, everyone!
 
With great joy I share with you, that Mangrove Action Project and AEPA FALCON are driving in Venezuela the Children's Art Contest "Points of color in the mangroves" initiative seeks to project through the graphics, the perception of our children and adolescents on mangrove ecosystems, its importance and the need to protect as a world heritage.
 
We thank all, the dissemination of this material, which attach to the legal rules of the competition and promotional poster.
 
Education is really the strategy to awaken love and conscience. I take this opportunity to thank Monica Quarto MAP, for their support and endorsement, as Alfredo for always believing in AEPA Falcon Venezuela.
 
Experience the mangrove ecosystem!
 
MAS
 
Best regards
 
Henderson Jose Colina
Ecological Association for Environmental Preservation
State Falcón - Venezuela
(0058) 0268.411.10.77 / 0414.688.72.65
AEPAFALCON
Facebook: FALCON 100% ENVIRONMENTAL AEPA


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Action Alerts:

MANGROVE ART DEADLINE EXTENDED!
MAP's annual Children's Mangrove Art Contest for MAP 2016 calendar deadline is extended to AUGUST 21!   DETAILS HERE
Mangrove Calendar 2015 FRONT 2
A fun and exciting Art Contest for children 6 to 16 years old. We invite all primary school children from tropical and sub-tropical nations, and whose schools are located near mangroves, to create art telling us “why mangroves are important to my community and me?”. Selected winners will be published in a 2016 calendar to be distributed internationally to raise awareness of mangrove forest ecology.  READ MORE
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STOP PLANTING MANGROVES ON SEAGRASS BEDS _ A CALL TO ACTION
 
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Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum

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READ A MOSAIC OF LIFE Peek into the underwater world of mangroves, "womb of the sea." By Liz Cunningham Photos By Wes Matweyew and Liz Cunningham
 


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Income for Coastal Communities for Mangrove Protection

MAP Asia Coordinator, Jim Enright, was invited to attend a regional inception workshop for the project entitled ‘Income for Coastal Communities for Mangrove Protection’ May 7-9 in Bangkok.   The objective of the project is to develop a low cost mechanism enabling investors to responsibly promote mangrove conservation, carbon emissions reduction and sustainable development through the provision of funding to local communities for livelihood diversification, resource enhancement and coastal protection.   The lack of sustainable funding to support mangrove restoration is the driver for this project which has taken several years of preparation and donor hunting. The workshop brought together 38 representatives from Government, UN agencies, NGOs, the private sector and academics.  Project activities will take place in Pakistan, Thailand and Viet Nam. 



The project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is implemented by the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Office (FAO-RAP), within the framework of the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) initiative, with assistance from the USAID Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) Program and the UN-REDD Programme.

The objectives of the inception workshop were:
1. To formally launch the project
2. To collect expert and stakeholder feedback on proposed project activities and outputs
3. To use the collected feedback to inform project methodology, including a revised work plan

This initiative seeks to develop a mechanism enabling investors to responsibly promote mangrove
conservation/restoration, carbon emissions reduction and sustainable development through the provision of funding to local communities.  A key purpose of the mechanism is to facilitate flows of funding to smaller mangrove areas in support of environmental externalities where entry into voluntary and compliance markets for carbon is not economically feasible.  The mechanism will also provide an alternative income for fisher folk enabling reduction of fishing effort and regeneration of fish stocks.

Conservation/restoration of mangroves will also support sustainable fisheries management and support rebuilding of fish stocks.  The work thus aims to facilitate mangrove conservation/restoration, replenishment of fish stocks and livelihood development while providing public and corporate entities with an opportunity to invest in climate change mitigation and socio-economic development.

Following the workshop a half-day field trip was held to visit a mangrove restoration site at the Bang Kaew, Samut Songkram, in the Upper Gulf of Thailand which is suffering from extreme coastal erosion.   The Bang Kaew site represents an organized community afforestation effort to plant mangrove seedlings, behind a bamboo wave barrier, hoping to establish a future mangrove wind and wave defense for the community.

Developing a simple low-cost mangrove carbon stock assessment is one of the project goals and MAP Intern, Robbie Carrasco, spent a week along with villager from Klang Island assisting Jacob Bukoski of Yale’s School of Forestry and the Environment collect field data in mangrove in the Krabi River Estuary Ramsar site.  Field data is being collected in Thailand and Vietnam to test a multiple linear regression model he has developed to predict levels of biomass and carbon in mangrove ecosystems.  

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ecological Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Carbon

Ecological Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Carbon
Counting the Carbon in Mangrove Forests on the Southwest Coast of Thailand
By Robbie Carrasco



The mosquitos buzzed and the sun pierced the canopy as we slowly made our way through the dense tangled webs of mangrove roots and knee-deep mud. Moving through a mangrove forest is a humbling experience where you can feel trapped and claustrophobic, but at the same time feeling awed by the sheer density and volume of the above-ground root systems. The first thing that came to my mind while trekking through these forests to our sampling site was that of being an ecological Indiana Jones, but instead of uncovering ancient human artifacts we were digging into mother nature’s history books by measuring the carbon stored deep in these beautiful yet intimidating wetlands.

Mangroves are known to be one of the most dense carbon storage systems on earth “containing on average 1,023Mg carbon per hectare” with the soils accounting for “49-98% of carbon storage in these systems” making them at least twice as effective carbon stores when compared to other tropical forests (Donato, D.C., Kauffman, J.B., Murdiyarso, D., Kurnianto, S., Stidham., and M. Kanninen, 2011). This high degree of carbon storage is due primarily to the tendency of water-logged soil to become anaerobic or devoid of oxygen quicker and at a higher level than most other soils. This lack of oxygen hinders microbial decomposition, thus allowing carbon rich soil to be stored for an almost indefinite amount of time especially if undisturbed. With humans releasing unprecedented amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and deforestation being the second leading cause of anthropocentric CO2 emissions, it is clear that we must take the necessary steps to protect these natural carbon sequestration systems from land use change.

Programs such as the United Nations REDD+ programme (un-redd.org) and Mangroves for the Future’s “Income for Coastal Communities for Mangrove Protection (mangrovesforthefuture.org) support projects that measure carbon values of mangrove forests and help gather data on how to help protect and save mangroves from land use changes. By collecting samples and data from within these forests we can measure the amount of carbon stored in the mangroves and the underlying soils. This allows us to assign numerical values to the services that the forests provide through carbon sequestration. Such information gained from this research is a powerful tool to spur conservation and restoration, thus making it easier for us to make informed decisions regarding mangrove forests and their future land use. And with mangroves being lost at about 1% per year (FAO, 2007) it makes it more important than ever to have a clear idea of exactly what goods and services these forests provide to society before we let them disappear.

Jacob Bukoski, a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, is currently writing his thesis in which he describes a predictive model of mangrove carbon stocks in Southeast Asia. MAP has had the privilege of helping support Jacob’s field work because we see it as very valuable for the community and for mangrove conservation and restoration. I had the pleasure of spending a week with Jacob and our Thai helpers on Koh Klang in the Krabi province assisting him with his field work. While Jacob uses CIFOR’s “Protocols for the measurement, monitoring and reporting of structure, biomass and carbon stocks in mangrove forests” (Kauffman, J.B. and Donato, D.C., 2012) as a manual for his research, my story-telling below is a rough outline of the guide in accordance to our field work research.


After selecting our sampling sites with the use of a random GPS location generator in the target mangrove forest, Jacob, the team and I set out by long tail boat to attempt to get as close as we could to each site by water.


We had to then trek, crawl and swim our way to the location of the GPS coordinates of each sampling site.


Each sampling site consisted of one plot and then five subplots within that plot. We were able to complete about one plot containing 5 subplots per day. The initial task after arrival at the sampling site was to determine the subplot’s perimeter using a compass and measuring tape by measuring 12 meters out from the subplot’s center in four opposing directions. In the photograph above, Bang Baw begins to count fallen twigs, limbs, and branches below the measuring tape as well as calculating the percentage of canopy cover above the measuring tape in the subplot.


Next, Bang San measures the diameter of the trees within seven meters of the center of the subplot at either chest height or 30cm above the roots.


Bang Ream is seen here collecting a soil sample. Soil samples are collected from a depth of up to two meters using an auger and are packaged for shipment to Bangkok for carbon testing at a laboratory in Kasetsart University.


At the completion of collecting forest biomass information at the first subplot, we use the compass to direct us and measure 25 meters from that point to determine the next subplot; we will repeat the process for the next subplots until all five at that plot are completed.


Left to Right; Bang Ream’s son, Bang Ream, Robbie (author), Bang Jui, Bang Sa, Bang Baw

As you can see, there are many components to the collection of field data. Everything must be accomplished precisely in accordance to the pre-determined protocols to ensure valid and useful data. These data are subsequently entered into a larger equation that can be used to calculate the overall carbon content of the forest. Jacob can then use his work here to verify his model that predicts the overall carbon content of mangrove forests using a set of inputs like latitude, precipitation, tree size, etc.

The ultimate goal is to accurately predict the carbon content of a pinpoint area of mangrove forest by using simple and inexpensive data instead of relying on costly field work. Jacob’s work is a part of the larger “Income for coastal communities for protecting mangroves project” which “aims to develop a low cost mechanism enabling investors to responsibly promote mangrove conservation, carbon emissions reduction and sustainable development, through the provision of funding to local communities for livelihood diversification, resource enhancement and coastal protection.” (https://www.mangrovesforthefuture.org/grants/regional-grant-facilities/income-for-coastal-communities-for-mangrove-protection/).

Thanks to Jacob’s research MAP has been able to use this opportunity to obtain and analyze soil core samples from other sites on Koh Klang Island which are in the MAP Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) program. These two sites, which are within several kilometers of where Jacob’s plots are located in the Krabi river estuary, will offer us a view into the soils degradation from shrimp farming practices, primarily its predicted loss of carbon content. This will allow us a close comparison between the secondary growth of the sampled plots in the Krabi River Estuary and the soil of abandoned shrimp farms located in former mangrove forests. With this information MAP will be able to determine the levels of carbon present in the abandoned shrimp farms which have been devoid of mangrove vegetation for about the past thirty years. This valuable information will help us better understand the value of our conservation and restoration work in terms of carbon sequestration. The soil cores will provide evidence as to whether shrimp farming releases large amounts of the carbon stored in these soils into the atmosphere. An update on this section will be released once the soils have been analyzed and we have received the appropriate data, but for now we expect that the EPIC site soil holds significantly less amount of carbon than the healthy mangrove forest soils at the plots in the Krabi river estuary.


This is a picture taken of EPIC site 2, an abandoned shrimp pond, which has been devoid of mangroves the past 30 years and used to look like the mangrove forest pictures seen above.

Many times in the field we were met with an incredible diversity of physical and mental challenges, but we carried on just as Indiana Jones would carry on regardless of the hardships. Whether assaulted by mosquitoes, stuck in knee-deep mud, or swimming back to our boat because high tide came without us noticing, we could only laugh and joke about these predicaments, dismissing them with the saying “mai bpen rai” which translates to “no worries”. We found no hidden jewels or great treasure in our trek through the forest, but we knew that the overarching goals of this endeavor is actually of much greater value: a stabilized climate, sustainable enterprise and environmental justice.

And exploring these forests gave me a new appreciation for the things in life that at first glance may seem as useless, dull and expendable which I suppose those who bulldoze these magical forests must feel. But when we look more closely you come to realize the splendor in every aspect of these forests--and as you look even closer it all comes alive before your eyes. The crabs scuttle, the mud skippers bicker, the mangrove tree leaves rustle in the wind and you are reminded of the importance of this special place between land and sea for its intrinsic natural beauty, carbon sequestration and its support of sustainable livelihoods, coastal protection, habitat, erosion mitigation, and so much more.

References

Donato, D.C., Kauffman, J.B., Murdiyarso, D., Kurnianto, S., Stidham., and M. Kanninen. (2011). Mangroves among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics. Nature Geoscience, Vol. 4. DOI: 10.1038/NGEO1123.
FAO, U. (2007). The World's Mangroves 1980-2005, FAO Forestry Paper 153. Rome: Forest Resources Divison, FAO. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN.
Kauffman, J.B. and Donato, D.C. (2012). Protocols for the measurement, monitoring and reporting of structure, biomass and carbon stocks in mangrove forests. Working Paper 86. CIFOR, Bogor, Indonesia: Center For International Forestry Research.


By Robbie Carrasco
Project Development Assistant
Mangrove Action Project

robbie.carrasco@gmail.com

Saturday, July 11, 2015

JULY 26 is MANGROVE ACTION DAY!



A Call To Action July 26th, 2015


"Under It All" photo by Deanna Kathrina Maranion
 

Mangrove Action Project joins the International Day for the Mangrove


Mangrove.is: health, food, economy, biodiversity, and sustainability

Mangrove Action Project joins Redmanglar and other conservation groups for another year to celebrate International Day for the Mangrove.


A Bit of Historical Background:
To understand the significance of the 26th of July we need to go back a little in time. It was 1998 when the communities of ancestral users of the mangroves of Ecuador decided to join forces in a big campaign where the local and national media were invited. They received the support from members of various organizations from Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, the United States (all of them, at that moment, part of a growing global network opposing shrimp farm expansion) and the members of the worldwide crew of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior.

On the 26th of July, the communities joined in a concerted action to re-establish the mangrove wetlands in an illegal shrimp pond. The action involved members in breaking down the walls of the shrimp pond and replanting mangrove seedlings in the drained pond soil. That same day, the National Coordinator in Defense of the Mangroves in Ecuador was created. A public statement was delivered to the National Authorities at that time, demanding a stop to the mangrove destruction and promoting the concession of the mangroves to the organized grassroots communities of the mangroves.

To feed the consumer demand for shrimp in the US, EU and Japan, mangrove forests have been cut, people have been driven away from their land, and soil and water have been polluted for more than thirty years in tropical countries. Industrial shrimp farming has caused about 35 percent of the worldwide loss of mangroves. Mangrove forests are a crucial ecosystem - the breeding place for wild fisheries, tremendous carbon sinks and vital habitat for scores of animals. Mangroves also offer the coastal communities food, medicines and protection against hurricanes and tsunamis.

Since 1998 the 26th of July has been called the "International Day of Mangroves" or “Mangrove Action Day,” commemorating the Greenpeace activist Hayhow Daniel Nanoto, who died of a heart attack while involved in a massive protest action in Ecuador led by the environmental organizations FUNDECOl (Ecuador) and the crew from the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior.

“… the 26th of July is the day when we all, communities and organizations working in defense of the mangroves, joined for the first time as (in the Bible) little "Davids" confronting a big "Goliath" which is the shrimp industry. That is the main point in this celebration, but please, don't forget Nanoto who left his life in the mangroves of Muisne…”
From Veronica of FUNDECOL in Ecuador

We at Mangrove Action Project again join forces with our friends around the world to celebrate the 17th International Mangrove Action Day on July 26th. We wish to invite all reading this message to please join us in this Day of Action and Solidarity with the global struggle to Save the Mangroves! It is only through our cooperative, global actions will we succeed! 

This Mangrove Action Day, please step forward with MAP to help reverse the loss of mangrove forests and protect the rights of coastal communities to sustainably manage and conserve their coastal wetlands and the myriad of life sustained by the mangroves. Help us at MAP counter climate change and species extinction. Help us restore the habitat of our oceans’ marine life, the last hunting grounds of the Bengal tiger and the refuge for countless migratory birds, mammals and insects. Please act today for the life of our mother planet, for all of our future and the future of our children’s children! 

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For the Mangroves and the Mangrove Communities!

Alfredo Quarto,  Executive Director
Mangrove Action Project

Thursday, July 9, 2015

MAP News Issue 368 - July 11, 2015

VerticalResponse

The MAP News
368th Edition                                July 11, 2015


FEATURE STORY

July 26 is Mangrove Action Day
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Mangroves: Our Life, Our Food
As part of this year’s Mangrove Action Day we are raising awareness of the connections people have with mangrove forests by creating a global photography exhibition. We invite you to send us your best photos for a chance to be part of a special exhibition that will help spread the importance of mangroves. Check out our website to get inspired by mangroves themes and find out other ways in which you can get involved! Since 1998 the 26th of July has been called the "International Day of Mangroves" or “Mangrove Action Day,” commemorating the Greenpeace activist Hayhow Daniel Nanoto, who died of a heart attack while involved in a massive protest action in Ecuador led by the environmental organizations FUNDECOl (Ecuador) and the crew from the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior. This Mangrove Action Day, please step forward with MAP to help reverse the loss of mangrove forests and protect the rights of coastal communities to sustainably manage and conserve their coastal wetlands and the myriad of life sustained by the mangroves. READ MORE
 
AFRICA
 
Helping Africa’s Fishermen Reclaim Their Livelihoods
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LIBERIA - Fishery resources, particularly in Africa, are in a precarious state. It is estimated that nearly 6 million fishermen and women live in poverty, many in rural Africa (FAO, 2014). Yet the fish trade generates livelihoods for more than 100 million people (FAO, 2014) and represents a critical source of nutrition. In Liberia and Sierra Leone, for example, progress on fisheries management is more crucial than ever as the two countries work to recover from devastating Ebola outbreaks. (Sierra Leone, while not Ebola free, has significantly reduced the outbreak and threat to communities, with a recovery predicted this summer.) Recent increases in local fish catches have helped these countries meet nutritional needs and achieve food security as agriculture and livestock production continue to decline in the wake of disease. But this would not have been possible if illegal trawling had not been investigated and discouraged as part of the World Bank’s West Africa Regional Fisheries Program (WARFP). READ MORE
 
Fisheries development to receive US$91m support
MOZAMBIQUE – Sustainable fisheries development along the East Africa coast and in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) region is to receive World Bank financial support, following recent approval of a US$91 million fisheries loan and grant package aimed at improving regional cooperation and management of near shore and deep sea marine resources. Sustainable fisheries development along the East Africa coast and in the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) region is to receive World Bank financial support, following recent approval of a US$91 million fisheries loan and grant package aimed at improving regional cooperation and management of near shore and deep sea marine resources.  To be used over the next six years, the various loans and grants include funding for fisheries schemes in Mozambique, Tanzania and Comoros.  The overall project also includes a grant to support work undertaken by the Indian Ocean Commission. This will benefit the member countries of the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission and French overseas territories in the region which include La Reunion and several other islands with extensive Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). READ MORE
 
ASIA
 
Hope for Indonesia's valuable but threatened mangroves
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INDONESIA - Indonesia is home to the largest tracts of mangrove forests on earth – but they are disappearing at a rate of up to 2% a year, faster than anywhere else in the world. A study by Conservation International (CI) in West Papua province is trying to determine the potential value of these mangroves, both for Indonesia - the world’s third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases – and for the Papuan communities that live among them. Threatened mangroves and coastal marine ecosystems in general get far less attention than tropical rainforests in climate negotiations, despite the many useful services they provide. Mangroves are highly efficient carbon sinks, absorbing up to five times as much carbon dioxide as tropical forests. They are also important ecosystems, providing spawning grounds and habitat for hundreds of species, many of them commercially important. They are natural barriers to tropical storm surges and even contain chemicals effective in fighting cancer. Aquaculture and agriculture – shrimp farming and palm oil in particular – are the biggest threat to Indonesia’s mangroves. CI estimates emissions from mangrove, sea grass and tidal marsh degradation are equivalent to the total annual emissions of the UK. The current study’s long term aim is to develop coastal management models that harness and monetise the carbon sequestering potential of Indonesia’s mangroves, which translates as somewhere in the region of 30m tonnes of carbon dioxide not entering the atmosphere. READ MORE
 
Valuable mangroves, lost and regained
INDIA - Degradation of Pichavaram mangroves started in 1930s, when the British government introduced clear-felling system of management. In this system, mangrove forests were clear-felled in small coupes of about 15 to 20 hectare every year until 1970s. Clear-felling of mangrove trees exposed the mangrove wetlands to the sun. The soil contains nearly 80 per cent water, which evaporated . Evaporation of water caused depression in soil . Saline water entered these depressions and became stagnant. Again, evaporation of the stagnant water over a period of time increased soil salinity to a level in which a mangrove cannot survive. The M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation developed and demonstrated simple and cost effective method to restore degraded areas of Pichavaram mangroves. It was done as research project in small area of about 10 hectares. Later, the MSSRF extended the restoration and conservation of mangrove wetlands of Pichavaram in partnership with the Tamil Nadu Forest Department and the local community. Now all the degraded areas – about 800 ha in total – have been restored. READ MORE
 
Seeking and exploring Mangrove Forests for breeding and hatching-Migrating birds from abroad
INDIA - Some of the particular different kinds of birds named, like Water Crow, Stork, Egret, Green Heron , Black Pelican from India and abroad began to migrate and to dwell for breeding or hatching in and around the coastal areas of Mangrove Forests wherever, the plants grow easily, or normally at Pitchavaram, Thiyagavalli, PortoNova, Nanamedu villages and its besides.   The Aalamaram (NGO), of  Thiyagavalli village took various steps to protect the forest of mangrove plantations and to ban those birds are being hunted regularly. And when, the hunters destroy their nests of the birds for hatching and for breeding its young ones. At the time of North –West monsoon . As spread the back water river in hence with whole area of Mangrove Forests.  The different   kinds of birds migrate here usually, and breed and hatch its young ones. VIEW SOURCE
 
Mangroves against monsoons
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SRI LANKA - Residents of Sri Lanka’s north-western coast are convinced that well-tended mangroves can protect lives and property against the monsoon rains that lash the island from July to October.  The mangroves that Milan Gamage, a 35-year-old mother, planted behind her home on the edge of the Puttalam lagoon in 2008 are now mature enough to shield her modest residence from heavy rains, tides and high winds. “The plants break the force of the waves, the rain and the wind, so we don’t get battered as we used to in the past,” Gamage says. The mangroves were planted under a project initiated by the Small Fishers Foundation of Sri Lanka (Sudeesa), a national non-governmental organisation working with the small fisher community. Over the last decade, Sudeesa has planted over 170,000 new mangrove plants in 860 hectares around the Puttalam Lagoon that is home to the largest extent of mangroves in Sri Lanka at 3,200 hectares. READ MORE
 
AMERICAS
 
JULY 26 – Day of the Mangroves – Our Food: Our Life
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GUATEMALA –  Our theme for the International Day for the defense of the mangrove ecosystem, July 26 is "Mangroves: Our food, Our Life". The mangrove is the principal source of food for communities and native peoples. So we must vindicate the public nature of the marine-coastal territory and the collective rights of communities and native peoples to decide how resources are used in the territory for food. Privatization and land grabbing, resource extraction and over-exploitation for entrepreneurs and private interests pose a threat to food sovereignty. It is important to defend subsistence fishing of large-scale industrial practices that endanger the future of coastal marine resources. MAS (En Espanol)

Miami cuts Virginia Key mangroves to make way for boat show
USA – Faced with yet another obstacle in the struggle to host a controversial boat show at Marine Stadium on Virginia Key, Miami city workers found a simple solution last month: chop it down. Only one problem. Cutting mangroves without a permit is illegal. A Miami-Dade County environmental regulator discovered the blunder in late May when he showed up to check out a pile of tree debris just west of the stadium. More than 300 feet of shoreline had been stripped of trees, including red and black mangroves which provide valuable protection from erosion and shelter for young fish and nesting birds. A city manager told him the work was being done to ready the site for the International Boat Show. For boat show critics, who have complained bitterly about running the international show so close to fragile marine life and seagrasses where manatees graze, the mistake underlines their worries about potential impacts on Biscayne Bay from the show, long held at the Miami Beach Convention Center. READ MORE
 
Cuba’s Environmental Concerns Grow With Prospect of U.S. Presence
CUBA - Like many of his countrymen, Jorge Angulo hopes the United States will lift the decades-old economic embargo against Cuba. But Dr. Angulo, a senior marine scientist at the University of Havana, is also worried about the effects that a flood of American tourists and American dollars might have on this country’s pristine coral reefs, mangrove forests, national parks and organic farms — environmental assets that are a source of pride here. “Like anywhere else, money talks,” Dr. Angulo said. “That might be dangerous, because if we go too much on that side, we lose what we have today.” As relations between the United States and Cuba have warmed — the countries announced on Wednesday that their embassies in Havana and Washington would reopen by July 20 for the first time in more than 50 years — and as the renewal of trade seems more of a possibility, the Cuban government faces pivotal choices. READ MORE
 
OCEANA
 
Climate change compounding threats to Australia's ecosystems, studies find
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AUSTRALIA - Climate change is compounding existing threats to Australia’s forests, wetlands and deserts, with several key landscapes now at risk of total collapse, a landmark series of new studies have found. An assessment of 13 ecosystems across Australia, ranging from the wet tropics of far north Queensland to rare shrubland in Western Australia, found what researchers call a “worrying” climate change impact that adds to existing harm caused by urban development, agriculture and invasive species. The research is the first of its kind to assess Australian ecosystems based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s benchmark Red List criteria which has, until recently, focused on the status of individual animal and plant species rather than whole landscapes. Under the Red List criteria, eight of the studied Australian ecosystems would be classified as “endangered” or “critically endangered”, with just the Lake Eyre wetlands considered in the “least concern” category. READ MORE
 
Habitat loss is seen as the primary threat to at-risk species but recovery plans avoid addressing it
AUSTRALIA - Successive Australian governments have failed to protect the habitat of the country’s most endangered creatures, with 90% of the 120 most endangered animals having no safeguards to prevent the loss of their homes, a new study has found. An analysis by environmental groups of the official recovery plans for Australia’s endangered wildlife has discovered that just 12 of the 120 most endangered animals were covered by plans that placed limits on the future loss of their habitat. This is despite the fact that habitat loss due to developments such as housing and mining is considered to be the primary threat to nearly 70% of these at-risk species. The report, compiled by the Australian Conservation Foundation, BirdLife Australia and Environmental Justice Australia, states that recovery plans consistently avoid any measures to limit habitat loss and that successive governments have “entrenched the process of extinction”. READ MORE

LAST WORD(S)

Hi Alfredo
 
Thanks for sharing!
 
Here is a small paragraph about the book/ Biophilia campaign:
 
Biophilia - n. an appreciation of life and the living world; n. an innate love for the natural world, supposed to be felt universally by humankind.
 
In 2014 Synchronicity Earth launched its Biophilia campaign to mark 50 years of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Since scientists first started documenting the state of all known species according to their risk status in the 1970s, the world has seen a rapid decline in wildlife. And while conservationists are bringing some species back from the brink, pressures on ecosystems are mounting: a concerted effort is needed to human society back into alignment with the living world and to re-connect people with nature.
As a part of the Biophilia campaign Synchronicity Earth hosted the Biophilia Ball in November 2014 which celebrated the diversity of life on Earth through an immersive masked ball featuring handmade masks representing 500 unique species from across 50 ecosystems. The ecosystems were featured in a Biophilia book which compiles think-pieces with beautiful photography and illustration as a manifesto for Biophilia.
 
Victoria Steele
Operations Manager
Synchronicity Earth
 
32a Thurloe Place, London, SW7 2HQ*
Direct: +44 207 581 7780
Office: +44 207 581 0100
www.synchronicityearth.org
.


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