The MAP News
438TH Edition March 17, 2018
Award-winning Marvellous Mangroves (MM) curriculum educates children on the importance of mangroves
The award-winning Marvellous Mangroves (MM) curriculum educates children on the importance of mangroves and their ecological functions, teaching them about modern challenges and mechanisms for sustainability. MM training is an in-depth, hands-on, sciencebased conservation education program, which has not only been given to primary and secondary school children but also teachers themselves. The curriculum is already used in 15 countries by over 250,000 students and 2,500 teachers. Integrated with local and national curricula it encourages and facilitates students to spend time in mangrove forests, including participation in field studies, research and conservation. The empowering process for both students and teachers helps to create greener and healthier learning environment inside and outside of school. VIEW VIDEO
Women are championing mangrove conservation in Nigeria
NIGERIA - A group of women are working tirelessly to reverse life-threatening challenges facing local economies in Nigeria, as the country’s declining mangrove forests face extinction – after decades of degradation. The Society for Women and Vulnerable Groups (SWOVUGE) is helping communities to restore and sustainably manage mangrove forests in the five villages of the Ukpom Okom District in South East Nigeria. The Ukpom Community Mangrove in Akwa Ibom State is an important breeding site and home to numerous species of wildlife such as crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, fish, shrimps, crab, snails, clam and oysters. A large population of people also depends on resources from this rich mangrove forest to support their livelihoods. However, limited knowledge about sustainable resource management in the communities has exposed the mangrove to activities that threaten its biodiversity. Overharvesting of mangrove forest products, including trees used for firewood in homes, or to dry fish or build canoes, have reduced the mangrove at an alarming rate. Patches of the forested mangrove have also been cleared for housing development, putting the ecosystem services and economic benefits of the mangrove at risk. READ MORE
Kenya Gambles On Dirty Energy With Its First Coal Plant
KENYA - Mohammed Hassan is a worried man. In a few months’ time, the place he has called home for 27 years may be unrecognizable. Even scarier, he says, his newborn child may not enjoy the same little pleasures of life he did while growing up. The clear skies, the endless supplies of fresh fish and the midday plunge into the sky blue ocean from one of the many jetties along Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline may all be part of a painful past for generations that come after him. In a bid to maintain its dominance as one of East Africa’s biggest and most ambitious economies, Kenya is betting big on dirty energy by building a controversial Chinese-funded coal plant at a World Heritage site. “If these plans go on, maybe we might just have to move away,” Hassan said, his gaze first falling on the beach front, then farther west toward a cluster of mangrove trees behind which the sun, a big ball of orange, is lazily disappearing before a starlit night takes over. READ MORE
MAP welcomes its newest volunteer
Hello Everyone, My name is Zoë, I am the new MAP Volunteer, and I'll be working here in the Trang office until the end of May, 2018. I am writing to give you a bit of an introduction as to who I am and where I'm coming from! I am very excited to start working with all of you, and I absolutely love mangroves, so I think I'm in the right place! I am originally from Seattle, but I grew up in suburban Massachusetts (and I have dual citizenship with the UK). I recently graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, with a B.S. degree in Marine Science. For my undergraduate thesis research, I worked on a project surveying forest structure and floral diversity in the natural mangrove forests of Nusa Lembongan, Bali, and Bangka Island, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. This research was conducted as part of a grant-funded program with my college and the Henry Luce Foundation's Asia and the Environment Initiative. We also worked in the restored field site in Tiwoho Village, North Sulawesi, as well as in shrimp ponds in Semarang, Central Java. READ MORE
Indonesia’s sinking shoreline: Climate change and environmental destruction cause daily flooding
INDONESIA - Nur Anisa Rahmadani has to wade through shin-deep seawater to get to her primary school in Pantai Bahagia village on the north coast of Indonesia’s Java island. Almost every day, the sea, which used to lap the shore a few kilometres away, floods their schoolyard and classrooms – clear evidence of the threat that Java’s sinking coastline poses to millions of people. Experts say Pantai Bahagia, or “Happy Beach”, and scores of other villages and towns along the shoreline are being inundated because of a grim combination of manmade environmental destruction and climate change. Roughly 40 per cent of Jakarta is below sea level and a new sea wall has had to be built in a bid to hold back the waves. READ MORE
India lost 40% of its mangroves in the last century. And it’s putting communities at risk
INDIA - The first line of defence against cyclones and rising seas, mangroves also succour coastal communities The sight of the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, straddling India and Bangladesh, is humbling. This biodiversity hotspot is home to 180 species of trees and plants growing within its marshy boundaries, the Gangetic dolphin, estuarine crocodiles, river terrapins, hawksbill turtles, horseshoe crabs and of course the iconic Bengal tiger. The tides in this 10,000 sq.km. swamp are so dramatic that about a third of the land disappears and reappears every day. It has been happening for centuries, but the changes have become more extreme in the past few decades. In this delta of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, the sea is rising more dramatically than in other parts of the world, research shows. Known as the biggest carbon sink in South Asia, these mangrove forests are recognised as a world heritage site. READ MORE
We need to change the way we talk about climate change
BANGLADESH - In a January 19 article about the impacts of climate change in Bangladesh, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof describes a coastal island on the verge of disappearance and farmers forced to "marry off" their underage daughters as a result of losses linked to sea level rise. This dystopic imaginary of Bangladesh in the time of climate change is well-worn territory. The key points in this ubiquitous narrative include: a land mass disappearing thanks to sea level rise, wretched and desperate inhabitants watching their land and livelihoods wash away, millions of "climate refugees" flooding out of the small country's porous borders. There is no question that climate change is happening - with impacts being felt in Bangladesh as in the rest of the world. Coastal Bangladesh, like coastal Manhattan, will suffer. The inhabitants of both of these communities will have to grapple with an uncertain ecological future. Yet in narratives like Kristof's, it is Bangladesh that is the climate sh**hole (albeit one that warrants our pity rather than scorn). These dystopic climate narratives share parallels with Donald Trump's already-fabled description of "sh**hole countries" migrants from which he believes are not desirable. READ MORE
New findings could rewrite Bangladesh's history
BANGLADESH - Traces of human presence dating back some 1,000-1,200 years have been found in the world's largest coastal mangrove forest in southwest Bangladesh, according to local and foreign researchers. The remains of the near-ancient buildings were discovered in five places within the Sundarbans forest, and various artefacts have also been found in forest areas up to 83 kilometres away. These findings were revealed by a local independent researcher, Ism Azam. Sufi Mostafizur Rahman, an archaeologist at Jahangirnagar University and executive director of Oitihya Onneswan (Explore the Heritage), an archaeological research group, told Anadolu news agency that this discovery adds a new chapter to the history of Bangladesh. "If a deeper study of those structures is done, we may uncover many facts about the Sundarbans and the history of this land. READ MORE
NOTE FROM THE E.D. - It seems the Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) are now being put in place for shrimp production in the US. This could be an alternative to coastal based shrimp farms that are so problematic! Perhaps, time will tell!
Land-based shrimp aquaculture is expanding. Will it pay?
USA - Two companies – one Japanese, the other American – are bringing revolutionary technologies into commercialization in large-scale shrimp aquaculture facilities. But questions remain as to whether the operations can be profitable. “The Texas A&M system is housed indoors, with shrimp raised in raceways with a water depth of just 12 inches. The shallow depth allows raceways to be stacked in eight levels, greatly reducing the space needed. Temperature and water conditions can also be closely controlled for optimal health and growth conditions. We’re able to produce jumbo size shrimp, each weighing 1.1 ounces, known as U15 shrimp, which gives us world record production of up to 25 kilograms of shrimp per cubic meter of water using either zero water exchange and/or recirculating water, The world’s first commercial application of Lawrence’s stacked raceways will break ground just miles from his office in Port Aransas, according to Kemp. His company will own and operate the project. We’ll construct a facility of about 70,000 square feet, hire 15 to 20 people, some of them with advanced degrees, and produce shrimp year-round. We expect to produce some 835,000 pounds of shrimp per year,” he said. “Also of significance is that this technology will allow shrimp farms to be built inland in proximity to major metropolitan areas and provide live, fresh-dead and fresh-frozen shrimp on a daily basis,” Kemp added. READ MORE
Mangrove deforestation may be releasing more CO2 than Poland
Just how much carbon do mangroves contain, and how much is being lost to their deforestation? To find out, researchers at Salisbury University in the U.S. and National University of Singapore analyzed the carbon content of mangrove vegetation as well as the soil underneath it. Their results were published recently in Nature Climate Change.In addition to estimating how much carbon mangrove deforestation released, the study also looked at the impact of this activity on the mangroves’ overall carbon-sequestering ability. They found that had no mangroves been deforested between 2000 and 2012, then they likely would have taken an additional 3.5 million to 4.5 million metric tons of carbon out of the atmosphere. Zooming in, the study found Indonesia harbors the lion’s share of the world’s mangroves – around 30 percent – while also experiencing the biggest proportion of its 2000-2012 mangrove carbon loss, with deforestation there accounting for more than 48 percent of the global total. Other parts of Southeast Asia, such as Myanmar, are also undergoing high rates of mangrove deforestation, making the entire region a hotspot of global mangrove carbon loss. READ MORE
Halting Deforestation and Increasing Forest Area– from Aspiration to Action
ITALY - In 2015, countries made a bold and ambitious commitment when adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Target 15.2 of SDG 15 on Life on Land calls for halting deforestation by 2020, among others. In addition, the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (UNSPF) adopted in 2017 by the UN General Assembly calls for reversing the loss of forest cover and increasing forest area by 3 percent worldwide by 2030 (Global Forest Goal 1, Target 1.1). While global rates of deforestation have decreased in the recent past, from a net annual forest area loss of 7.3 million hectares in 2000 to 3.3 million hectares in 2015, the decrease has not been even across regions and deforestation rates in some regions, especially Africa and Latin America, are still alarmingly high. The greatest loss of forests has been in tropical and low-income countries. At the same time, these countries have experienced the greatest expansion of agricultural land. Between 2000 and 2010, annual net forest loss in tropical countries was 7 million hectares and the annual net gain in agricultural land was 6 million hectares. This illustrates that agriculture is still the main driver of deforestation.READ MORE
Talks focus on upscaling the use of mangroves eco-systems to reduce disaster risks
Mangrove eco-systems around the region were the focus of talks in Suva, Fiji last week as regional representatives joined experts in discussing how the mangroves eco-systems can help reduce risks in the face of changing climate. Hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the workshop combined government representatives from Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, who joined the IUCN and three representatives from the ‘Mangroves for the Future’ in Asia and the ‘Global Mangrove Alliance’ partners. Tonga was represented by Ms Ta’hirih Fifita Hokafonu, the Principal Assistant Secretary (Principal Biodiversity Officer & Head of Biodiversity Division) at the Department of Environment here with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MEIDECC). The workshop was held under the theme “Mangrove Eco-systems for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Deduction”. READ MORE
I became aware of your work through Justin Kenrick at Forest Peoples Programme, and I would like to introduce myself and our work in the hope that our resources could be helpful to you.
We have produced a series of educational videos that are designed to support community facilitators in indigenous communities. The videos aim to raise awareness of the impacts of land grabbing and to raise discussions about how communities can defend their lands and cultures and their right to FPIC. The videos are all available in Swahili, English and French (among other languages) and can be watched and downloaded online.
Please see the Swahili page here: http://www.lifemosaic.net/eng/tol/more/swahili-version-himaya-za-maisha/
and the English page here: http://www.lifemosaic.net/eng/tol/
and french: http://www.lifemosaic.net/fre/tol/
If you feel they would be useful to the communities you work with please get in touch and we can discuss this further with you. Also if you know of any upcoming meetings, trainings or gatherings where a screening could be relevant, please let me know.
I hope to hear from you, Gemma
Territories of Life - A video toolkit for indigenous peoples about land and rights.
LifeMosaic. Company No.SC300597, a company registered in Scotland and limited by guarantee.
Registered as a charity in Scotland. No.SC040573
Desks available for rent in our MAP Seattle co-working space! Click here to read more
Mangrove Action Project
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Posted by BlogAdmin at 10:35 PM
My name is Zoë, I am the new MAP Volunteer, and I'll be working here in the Trang office until the end of May, 2018. I am writing to give you a bit of an introduction as to who I am and where I'm coming from! I am very excited to start working with all of you, and I absolutely love mangroves, so I think I'm in the right place!
I am originally from Seattle, but I grew up in suburban Massachusetts (and I have dual citizenship with the UK). I recently graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, with a B.S. degree in Marine Science. For my undergraduate thesis research, I worked on a project surveying forest structure and floral diversity in the natural mangrove forests of Nusa Lembongan, Bali, and Bangka Island, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. This research was conducted as part of a grant-funded program with my college and the Henry Luce Foundation's Asia and the Environment Initiative. We also worked in the restored field site in Tiwoho Village, North Sulawesi, as well as in shrimp ponds in Semarang, Central Java.
I have now spent 5 months in Indonesia over the past three years, and after some hard work I can speak Bahasa Indonesia! Throughout my time in Indonesia, I have had the pleasure of working with several organizations including Blue Forests. I was able to join the Blue Forests Makassar team on a field visit to Tanakeke Island for their International Mangrove Day events, and it was really exciting to see CBEMR practices in action.
Additionally, I have been trained by Dr. Jeannine Lessmann at Eckerd College, and I have worked in her Marine Botany/Wetlands Restoration lab for four years. I started as a freshman intern and by my senior year I had spent two years working as her Marine and Freshwater Botany Teaching Assistant. I also became her Research Associate, training students and running her Indonesian mangrove research lab. It was fantastic to be learning about both the mangroves and marshes of Tampa Bay while I was also studying the tropical wetlands of Indonesia.
I look forward to my time here, and can't wait to learn more about Thailand's mangroves. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or if you need anything!
Office Development & Field Project Assistant (Intern)
Mangrove Action Project (MAP) Asia
Mangrove Action Project (MAP)
MAP Asia Office
1/31 B-206 Chang Residence Building (Formerly Yaotak)
Amphur Muang, Trang 92000
T H A I L A N D
Websites: www.mangroveactionproject.org, www.facebook.com/MangroveActi
on and https://www.youtube. com/user/MAPmangrover
FOR MORE ABOUT ZOE'S WORK - CLICK HERE
Mangrove Action Project (MAP)
MAP Asia Office
1/31 B-206 Chang Residence Building (Formerly Yaotak)
Amphur Muang, Trang 92000
T H A I L A N D
Websites: www.mangroveactionproject.org, www.facebook.com/MangroveActi
FOR MORE ABOUT ZOE'S WORK - CLICK HERE
Posted by BlogAdmin at 9:54 PM
International Conference Halting Deforestation and Increasing Forest Area– from Aspiration to Action
ITALY - In 2015, countries made a bold and ambitious commitment when adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Target 15.2 of SDG 15 on Life on Land calls for halting deforestation by 2020, among others. In addition, the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (UNSPF) adopted in 2017 by the UN General Assembly calls for reversing the loss of forest cover and increasing forest area by 3 percent
worldwide by 2030 (Global Forest Goal 1, Target 1.1).
While global rates of deforestation have decreased in the recent past, from a net annual forest area loss of 7.3 million hectares in 2000 to 3.3 million hectares in 2015, the decrease has not been even across regions and deforestation rates in some regions, especially Africa and Latin America, are still alarmingly high. The greatest loss of forests has been in tropical and low-income countries. At the same time, these countries have experienced the greatest expansion of agricultural land. Between 2000 and 2010, annual net forest loss in tropical countries was 7 million hectares and the annual net gain in agricultural land was 6 million hectares.
This illustrates that agriculture is still the main driver of deforestation. It is estimated that 80% of forest loss is due to conversion to agriculture. Forest loss in the tropics and sub-tropics is mainly driven by large-scale commercial production of agricultural commodities, which is prevalent in Latin America, and by small-scale and subsistence agriculture, which dominates deforestation in Africa and is also prevalent in Asia. While four most forest-rich countries account for half of the total global forest area, more than half of 193 UN Member States have less than 20% of their land areas covered with forests, well below the average forest cover worldwide, signaling vast opportunities to expand forest area in many countries including those in the non-tropical regions in order to meet the growing need for forest products and carbon sequestration.
This could be done through afforestation and reforestation and/or integrated land use options at the landscape level including restoration of degraded lands and agro-forestry. In view of an increasing global population and the need to feed 9 billion people by 2050, halting deforestation by 2020 and increasing forest area by 3% by 2030 presents an enormous challenge and will require political will and concerted action across sectors at the landscape scale, to achieve the transformational change at the scale that is required. In 2018, the High Level Political Forum (HLPF), the United Nations central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, will review SDG 15 on Life on Land and its Targets. In May 2018, the UNFF13 will be convened, focusing on a policy dialogue, taking into account the theme and review focus of the HLPF and the theme of the international day of forests.
The Forum is expected to provide its substantive input to the HLPF2018. In this regard, the outcome of the Proposed conference provides a contribution and input to the discussion of the UNFF13 on this matter to the HLPF review and to the HLPF itself. It will bring together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss the challenges of halting and reversing deforestation and to jointly explore ways to accelerate progress towards achieving in particular the SDG Target
15.2 and Target 1.1of the UNSPF.
Halting Deforestation, A MAP Perspective on FAO Conference
by Alfredo Quarto, 2-27-2018
During the FAO conference in Rome, “Halting Deforestation,” which ran from Feb. 20-22, 2018, one of the speakers mentioned that since palm oil products are an almost ubiquitous ingredient in our food products in the EU and N. America. Because of this, he stated that oil palm has become a “necessity of life.” I contested this idea that this newly industrialized food product was instead a luxuey by the fact that the very mode of production of this food additive was only recently introduced into our food chain. Yet, this fast expanding palm oil industry has been one of the most destructive forces affecting our planet’s remaining tropical forests, which themselves are true necessities of life.
It is these kinds of wrong assumptions about dietary needs verses luxuries that are in effect paralyzing our efforts to protect or conserve primary and already degraded forests. And, further, who really benefits from such modern industries as the palm oil industry? Surely, it is not the great majority of the resident populace of the southern hemisphere, or Global South, where the industry has so recently blossomed like a spreading cancer upon the landscape. Most benefiting from this new food additive are in the wealthier, importing nations in the Global North, who prior to this recent introduction to their food and drink products got along fine before the introduction and widening use of palm oil.
This palm oil industry parallels other such South-based industries, such as shrimp farming, tourism, diamond mining, coffee and banana production that along with other such South-based production industries are geared towards markets in the Global North, offering vast wealth to a minority of local entrepreneurs, with little trickle down effect in the poorer producer nations, thus further impoverishing the vast majority of the population in the South whose natural resource base and once bountiful environment is further dangerously degraded or destroyed by yet another local resource-destructive, export-oriented industry.
This raises a serious concern as to the reasoning of industry investors and their big international NGO supporters, along with government backers in justifying this kind of “tunnel-vision,” intensive industry that in essence robs the poor to feed the rich. Massive areas of tropical rainforests have been cleared by such industries, and local biodiversity has been decimated, while local communities are impoverished. What many consider a great boon for the local economy is short-lived and painful for the overall local populace and their affected environment. Such industries are top-down, not bottom-up, enterprises, where few benefit while the majority does not.
Oil palm quite unmistakably mimics shrimp farming in its destructive spread and effect, whether in Asia, Latin America or Africa, where tropical and semi-tropical rainforests, including mangroves, are lost, local communities uprooted and innumerable species threatened or extinguished. In regards to mangrove forests and shrimp farm expansion, the losses associated with shrimp farming, especially in the 1980s to the present have been tremendous, with over 40% reduction in mangrove wetland area. Though there has been a noticeable slowdown in mangrove loss due to shrimp farm expansion, still there are continuing worrisome losses in many countries, such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Honduras, where ongoing mangrove clearing for shrimp farming is occurring today.
At the Halting Deforestation conference in Rome, a more general picture of global forest loss was painted, with less mention or focus on specific forest types such as mangroves or upland tropical forests. Nevertheless, it was understood by most present that the vast majority and most rapid of forest losses were occurring in the Global South. One of the first plenary speakers, Dr. Christiana Figueres with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change spoke eloquently about the challenges ahead, looking at these challenges not so much as obstacles but more as opportunities for positive change. She stated that 30% of climate change mitigation could come from combined forest conservation, reforestation and afforestation efforts, yet the world forests were really a “forgotten sector” in most people’s minds when dealing with pressing climate change issues today.
Dr. Figueres especially emphasized the importance of primary forests, which she called our planet’s “prime jewels,” stating that these were “simply irreplaceable.” She asked how it was possible that we were not preserving these vital “hubs of seed generation” for the future, when it was so obvious that restoration or rehabilitation programs cannot regenerate the full gamut of benefits and services that these remaining intact primary forests provide. In fact, it is our responsibility to maintain and conserve these primary forests, while restoring degraded and destroyed forest areas, if we are to be effective in combating climate change. (This is the exact sentiment that we at MAP have ourselves been purporting for several years now.)
Dr. Figueres warned that in our present modus operandi in dealing with these issues, we are still only walking, not running, towards solutions. We need to scale-up our efforts to sufficiently counter the adverse effects of climate change, recognizing not only the primary drivers of climate change, but also the primary cures for what is ailing our planet. To ensure this happens sooner than later, we must now insert the effective preservation of our remaining primary forests as imperative to this effort. To take on this challenge and implement the solution this opportunity now demands of us, we must recognize and act upon the difference between the “political world and the real world.” Taking a more cross-sectoral approach by interconnecting different issues, such as forests, agriculture and urban development, moving in the process from active threat to opportunity for needed adjustments in policy and industry, moving between national level to jurisdictional level, from global to individual needs, while working towards a future that values all of humanity’s well-being.
Then Dr. Tony Simons, the director of Forestry Policy and Resources Division for the FAO spoke stating that 69% of forest loss today is due to degradation, whereby actual clearing of forests plays a lesser role in overall forest losses. He also affirmed that forest loss plays a large part in worsening climate change, but forest degradation contributes more to climate change than actual forest clearing. He suggested that each nation should aim towards conserving and/or restoring 40% of its land area as forest to meet the current crisis of climate change. The formula he recommended to combat climate change was for establishing a “40 x 40 x Forests.” He also stated that agriculture contributed to the largest share of forest loss.
Dr. Simons also emphasized the need to broaden our attention to the value of “whole systems,” and not focus on the separate system components, as the system is more than its components. Forests have social, economic and ecological values that need to be looked at in a more holistic fashion, not isolating one from another as too often happens. (2)
Trees are much more important to tackling climate change than previously thought. A research team at the University of Leeds found forests absorb nearly 40 per cent of the 38 billion tons of human produced CO2 annually. This first substantive study to look at all the world’s forests together found that established forests, from temperate and boreal forests in the north to sub-tropical and tropical rainforests in the south, including mangroves, absorb 8.8 billion tons of CO2 every year. Globally, newly planted and restored forests sequester a further 6 billion tons of CO2. However 10.8 billion tons CO2 is released as a consequence of deforestation, while a further 28 billon tons is generated by cars, factories and other sources of fossil fuels. (3)
*(Note: The amount of carbon sequestered by trees is determined by measuring the density of wood, height and width of different tree species over time. Mangroves sequester 5 times more CO2 than tropical rainforests and store the carbon for hundreds of years in their peat soils.)
Dr Simon Lewis, a tropical ecologist from the University of Leeds and co-author of the study claimed that halting deforestation and planting more trees could make a huge difference. He stated: "Humans are altering the world's forests in a number of ways, from their outright destruction to the much more subtle impacts on even the most remote forests caused by global changes to the environment. Our research shows these changes are having globally important impacts, which highlights the critical role forests play in the global cycling of carbon and therefore the speed and severity of future climate change. The practical importance of this new information is that if schemes to reduce deforestation are successful they would have significant positive global impacts, as would similar efforts promoting forest restoration." (2)
Dr. Jorge Mario Rodriguez, the executive director of National Fund for Forest Finance in Costa Rica talked about Costa Rica’s unique and highly successful approach to reversing deforestation and meeting its goals on CO2 emissions. In 1955, Costa Rican forests had shrunk to a mere 21% of the original forest area due to rapid clearing, mainly for livestock rearing. The government made the important decision to reverse the forest loss by initiating a unique reforestation program that resulted in total forest cover reaching 60% of the country’s total area by 1995. The government initiated a limited tax on fuel program that has allowed Costa Rica to successfully finance and support its ambitious forest restoration plans. This was an early precursor of the carbon tax initiative that raises funds via citizen fuel purchases to help finance a Payment for Environmental Services (PES) plan. This PES plan was put in place to encourage local conservation measures. Payments of $40 per ha of reforested lands were made to participating landowners. Because most land ownership in Costa Rica is in smaller parcels of less than 20 ha, more citizens participate, and the benefits of PES reach a greater portion of the country’s population. The PES program serves as an incentive to strengthen ecological conservation and forest rehabilitation in the country. This initiative also supports Costa Rica’s CO2 emissions reduction pledge made at the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. (4)
The successful reforestation efforts in Costa Rica have also resulted in increased water supply for the country, because the trees act as living “hydraulic pumps” that ensure adequate water supplies for the communities and the environment.
There is still a long ways to go to halt forest losses and reverse the negative trends. About 40% of forest clearing is due to commercial agriculture. Less than 40 years ago about 3.3 million ha per year of forest lands were cleared for agricultural expansion, but now that annual rate of loss has risen to about 6 million ha. There are estimates that by 2050 the world population will surpass 9 billion people, and it will require an increase in food production by half to sustain this population. To meet this challenge, we must develop more efficient ways to farm and raise our foods on limited resources of land, water and nutrients. Forests must play an important role in providing the water, clean air and healthy soils for this growing need. The challenges we face today are indeed immense, but so too are the opportunities to meet these challenges. This will require a major paradigm shift, however, from the more self-centered aggrandizement of wealth of the few to a more equitable and conscientious sharing of our planetary resources. Only through collaborative cooperation will humankind have that chance to survive on this planet in a way that promotes the health of a living, sustainable home.
One of the keynote speakers was a young woman, Ms. Salina Abraham, who is the president of the International Forestry Students Association (IFSA), based in Germany. She was leading a training workshop involving around 40 graduate forestry students from around the world who were also attending the FAO conference. The theme of their parallel workshop was “Shaking the Coconut Tree.” Their enthusiasm for life and their passionate optimism to reverse the negative trends affecting our planet, including deforestation and the threats of climate change, was infectious for the otherwise rather staid audience of older attendees- governmental and inter-governmental officials, decision makers, corporate leaders, NGOs, academics and scientists. The serious mindset of the audience seemed to brighten and spirits were visibly lifted when Ms. Abraham spoke. The crowd felt much needed hope in her words and the next generation of world leaders she represented at the UN. However, we all understood that it would take more than the next generation to resolve the problems now besetting our civilization. Our cessation of destructive and shortsighted developments must be immediate, accompanied by effective, long-term remedial actions. We must join these coexistent generations to work together to conserve and protect, restore and rehabilitate, respect and love the planet we call Earth, our birthplace and true home.
1) Dr. Christiana Figueres, Convenor, Mission 2020, UN Convention on Climate Change, Plenary Session at FAO’s Halting Deforestation Conference, Rome, Italy, Feb. 20-22, 2018
2) Dr. Tony Simons, Director of Forestry Policy and Resources Division for the FAO, Plenary Session at FAO’s Halting Deforestation Conference, Rome, Italy, Feb. 20-22, 2018
3) World's forests absorb almost 40 per cent of man made CO2, The Telegraph, by Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent, Aug. 18, 2011
4) Dr. Jorge Mario Rodriguez, the executive director of National Fund for Forest Finance in Costa Rica, Plenary Session at FAO’s Halting Deforestation Conference, Rome, Italy, Feb. 20-22, 2018
5) Ms. Salina Abraham, President of the Intl. Forestry Students Assoc. (IFSA), Plenary Session at FAO’s Halting Deforestation Conference, Rome, Italy, Feb. 20-22, 2018
Posted by BlogAdmin at 8:54 PM
Thursday, March 1, 2018
The MAP News
Mangrove Myths & Legends book donated to Cayman Islands Schools
CAYMAN ISLANDS - MAP’s Education Director, Martin Keeley, has donated copies of his book Marvellous Mangroves Myths & Legends to every Year 5 teacher in the Cayman Islands. Presenting the books to Catherine Childs, National Trust Education Officer, Mr. Keeley explained that the Marvellous Mangroves education program has been part of the school curriculum since it was first introduced to Cayman in 2001. “As we enter the eighteenth year of mangrove education in Cayman I felt that it would be great to add yet another dimension to this popular hands-on science education program,” he said. Ms. Childs is responsible for delivering the program in Cayman’s schools every year to all Year 5 students. The National Trust of the Cayman Islands considers it one of its most valuable learning tools, she says, and is able to continue delivering the program annually thanks to the support of the Caribbean Utilities Corporation (CUC), which has sponsored the program since its initiation. READ MORE
Seychelles is swapping its sovereign debt with a plan to protect its ocean
SEYCHELLES - In what is being hailed as a global first, Seychelles has agreed to swap parts of its debt in return for designating nearly a third of its waters as protected areas. The island nation will secure roughly 210,000 square kilometers (81,000 square miles) at the Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from fishing, oil exploration, and commercial development. The debt-for-nature deal was brokered by NatureVest, the conservation investing unit of the US-based The Nature Conservancy. As part of the plan, the group will purchase up to $21.6 million of the nation’s over $400 million debt at a discount, and will redirect the payments from creditors to a newly-created local trust. The trust will then use the payments to repay the initial capital raised and also fund marine conversation plans. These will include restoring coral reef and mangrove restoration, improving sustainable tourism and fisheries, and balancing the country’s conservation and climate change adaptation goals with their development needs. READ MORE
Oil Minister opens mangrove nursery
BAHRAIN - A pilot mangrove tree nursery was opened at the Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) yesterday. Oil Minister, Bapco Chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa visited Bahrain refinery and inaugurated the project. The event was attended by Arabian Gulf University (AGU) President Dr. Khalid Al-Ohali, officials representing the National Oil and Gas Authority (NOGA), the Oil and Gas Holding Company, the environment affairs and Bapco executive management members. The minister stressed the importance of ecological projects aimed at achieving sustainable development, hailing initiatives aimed at protecting the environment and expanding green spaces in Bahrain. The minister was briefed about the goals of the pilot mangrove tree nursery, which was set as part of national efforts to bolster biodiversity and reduce greenhouse gases. The minister inaugurated the ecological island “Bapco Oasis”, which underwent a major revamp over the past months to serve as a platform to hold meetings, lectures and other events. READ MORE
Meet the citizens who're working to reclaim city's lost mangroves
INDIA - The cities of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, as we know them today, were forged on reclaimed land. The process of reclamation — filling portions of the sea with sand to extend the coastline — has had an adverse impact on the city. The city's wetlands have also been severely depleted as a consequence. “Apart from coastal wetlands, there are inland wetlands — the smaller lakes, ponds, wells. These have suffered too, as the city's continued its massive growth spree," explains Stalin D, an expert on wetland protection. The mangrove plants, known for their aerial roots and the ability to grow in salty water, are an integral part of the wetland system that blankets Mumbai. “Mangroves are the interface between the land and the sea, and by some estimates, they are the most diverse forms of life,” says Darryl D’Monte, an award-winning environmental journalist. In the space-crunched city that is Mumbai, builders and corporations have been flaunting laws and encroaching on wetlands for years. As a result, the city floods every monsoon. Stalin states that the prime reason for the floods is the loss of wetlands and the tampering with natural drainage channels such as the Mithi river that runs through the heart of the city. The internet has, to some extent, increased awareness among people and warned them of the impending dangers of infringing any further on the mangroves. In 2016, when a construction company tried to intrude on the Seawoods Lake in Nerul, local residents Sunil and Shruti Agarwal decided to approach the authorities against this illegal encroachment. READ MORE
Denmark supports Myanmar mangrove forest project
MYANMAR - THE Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation will cooperate with Denmark on the Project for Administration of Mangrove Forests in March, said U Bo Ni, director of the Forest Department. The terms of the cooperation with Denmark, which is part of the Denmark-Myanmar 2016-2020 Programme, was signed by Denmark’s Ambassador to Myanmar Peter Lysholt Hansen and the Environment Ministry at Nay Pyi Taw on Sunday. Denmark will provide the equivalent of US$5.5 million and technology for the project. It is intended for people in coastal regions of Rakhine State and Tanintharyi Region and will be carried out over five years, until March 2023. The project includes promoting locally owned forests, decreasing dependence on mangrove forests, improving locals’ capacity to carry out other projects, providing maritime businesses designed to preserve mangrove forests and making enhanced energy stoves to lower timber usage. READ MORE
Okhna owns land at site of illegal Koh Kong mangrove filling
CAMBODIA - A section of protected mangrove forest in Koh Kong that in December was discovered to have been filled with sand was illegally sold to tycoon Chea Leanghong in 2017, documents show, with local authorities having signed off on the deal. In March 2017, Sok Kimhong and his wife, Siv Chou, sold the 13 hectares of land inside Peam Krasaop Wildlife Sanctuary to Leanghong, according to a copy of the sale contract obtained by The Post. Leanghong is the chairman of the development and real estate company KH Niron Investment. The sale was approved by former Stung Veng Village Chief Chhung Thavon and former Stung Veng Commune Chief Khung Vichhean, the document shows. Koh Kong provincial officials earlier this week said a committee was investigating the illegal filling-in of the flooded mangrove forest, but claimed they still did not know who was behind the crime. Authorities first inspected the location in December, where they also found an illegal sand-dredging operation filling in the area. Koh Kong Deputy Governor Sok Sothy, who earlier this week dismissed allegations that Leanghong was behind the scheme as just “rumours”, yesterday declined to comment. READ MORE
Venezuela Fishermen Fight an Oil Giant
VENEZUELA - The aging fisherman — his sandals sinking into the sand, his optimism unflagging — looked out across the water and took the measure of his long, losing battle. At his toes was Amuay Bay, and the life-giving fish stock it supported: That’s what he was fighting for. Way over on the opposite shore, beyond the wind-kicked whitecaps, sat his adversary: the hulking, state-run oil plant and its failing machinery. “The company hates this man,” said the fisherman, Esteban Sánchez, a calloused index finger pointing at his own chest. “But I don’t care. I’ll continue denouncing them.” For generations, Amuay’s fisherman have pulled snapper, mackerel, sardines, clams and crabs from these waters to feed their families and sell to wholesalers who cart the catch to markets and restaurants elsewhere. But the plant, part of the largest refinery complex in Venezuela, has from time to time spewed contaminants into the bay and the adjoining Caribbean Sea, threatening the livelihood of families living in this poor fishing village of several thousand on the country’s northwest coast. READ MORE
Satellite Data Reveals State of the World’s Mangrove Forests
USA - The word “forest” often calls to mind a dense landscape of towering trees. However, some of the most carbon-rich and productive forests are clustered along coastlines in the tropics and subtropics. Mangrove forests, made up of salt-tolerant trees and shrubs, play a vital role in erosion and flood control, fisheries support, carbon storage, biodiversity conservation and nutrient cycling. Many coastal communities rely on mangroves for food, forest products and tourism revenue, and the forests provide a natural coastline defense to storm surges by reducing wave and wind velocity. New analysis relies on satellite data to survey the state of these important ecosystems. Asia is a hub for global mangrove loss, with annual loss rates nearly double the global average. More than half of the mangrove loss over the past decade occurred in the Asia Insular region, comprised of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Brunei, East Timor, Singapore and the Philippines. READ MORE
Restoring mangrove forest in Puerto Rico wrecked by Hurricane Maria
COSTA RICA - Months after Hurricane Maria hit the island, Puerto Rico is still recovering from the storm’s devastating aftermath and continues to need help. Quinnipiac University recently sent the first academic group to aid the relief effort in Cataño, where eight students and three professors have been helping restore the mangrove forest and seeing firsthand the effects of the disaster. The group is there working with CARAS de las Américas, a nonprofit organization that works on environmental and educational efforts in San Juan, Cataño and Guaynabo. They landed on the island Jan. 10. “Mangroves are important to the environment here,” Margarita Diaz, associate professor of journalism at Quinnipiac, said from the island where she’s a native. “It’s a plant designed to survive coastal water and provides habitat for wildlife, birds, fish and crustaceans that rely on mangroves. It’s a really strong resilient plant.” READ MORE
Hope you are doing well and hope this information finds you well. We published a book on the fishermen of the Sundarbans coastal region of Bangladesh so we are happy to share this book with the MAP.
Please find a soft copy of this Fisherman Story Book for your kind consideration.
We are also sharing another publication : A guidebook on traveling to the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest in Bangladesh
Take care and best wishes,
BADNGLADESH ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT SOCIETY (BEDS)
Sign on: letter to the Chief Minister of Sabah, Malaysia - To stop the destruction of communities’ mangrove area in Pitas and support indigenous communities to protect and conserve the last remaining 1000 acres of their forest - SIGN HERE
Mangrove Action Project
Posted by BlogAdmin at 11:09 PM