Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.
The MAP News
297th Edition Sept 15, 2012
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Govt to issue land deeds to mangrove encroachers
THAILAND - The Marine and Coastal Resources Department plans to ask the Land Department to issue land title deeds to people who have encroached on mangrove forest reserves nationwide. Under this plan, the department's director general Boonchob Suthamanuswong said his agency would allocate about 450,000 rai of mangrove forest reserve areas to people currently living illegally and encroaching on mangrove forest areas in 23 coastal provinces. Thailand has only 1.5 million rai of mangrove forest. The department estimated that about 30 per cent of mangrove forests in all coastal areas were encroached upon by local people with illegally issued landownership deeds. Most encroached upon mangrove land - especially in the Andaman Sea provinces of Phuket and Krabi - is occupied by wealthy people. Some mangrove lands were abandoned shrimp farms eroded by the sea. "The department expects that this plan to issue land ownership deeds to those people who illegally utilize and live in the mangrove forest will stop them encroaching on these areas," Boonchob said. READ MORE
Editor's Note: See our LAST WORD for more on this.
Editor's Note: Garbage is also a threat to the health of our planet's inter-tidal zones and coastal wetlands, and mangroves are becoming littered with tons of plastic bags and other human generated debris. There is a great need for volunteer beach clean-up such as this depicted below. What to do with all of this garbage remains another serious concern. Obviously, prevention of such waste buildup in the first place is in order.
Student volunteers collect garbage washed ashore by typhoon in Paranaque city
PHILIPPINES - Student volunteers collect garbage washed ashore by the typhoon surge brought on by monsoon rains during a cleanup drive at a bay in Paranaque city, metro Manila August 25, 2012. According to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), at least 200 truckloads or over 500 tons of garbage, washed away to shore by the typhoon surge in the last two-weeks, was collected around the Manila bay area. VIEW SOURCE
Quarto attends “ Best Practices in Mangrove Restoration/Rehabilitation” Colloquium
INDIA - MAP's Executive Director, Alfredo Quarto attended the "MFF Regional Colloquium on Best Practices in Mangrove Restoration/Rehabilitation" August 30th-31st in Mahamallapurum, Tamil Nadu, India with field trip to the Pichavaram Mangrove Wetlands Sept.1-2 and then Sept. 3-7 here in Thailand visiting potential EMR sites. Please find attached the book of abstracts from the colloquium and Quarto's paper "ECOLOGICAL MANGROVE RESTORATION: RE-ESTABLISHING A MORE BIO-DIVERSE AND RESILIENT COASTAL ECOSYSTEM WITH COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION"
Bangladesh climate project gets 'Earth Care Award'
BANGLADESH - The Ministry of Environment and Forests has won the “Earth Care Award 2012” for pioneering Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change through Coastal Afforestation Project. The $10 million project is being implemented by the UNDP under Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) of the Global Environment Facilities (GEF) to reduce climate vulnerability in four coastal districts -- Barguna, Bhola, Noakhali and Chittagong. The Times of India sponsored this year's award given in the category of "Community-based Adaptation and Mitigation”, according to a GEF release. "The project has a strong community-based adaptation component, and benefited a total of 18,269 households by involving them in afforestation, agriculture, livestock, and fishery-based livelihood adaptation," the statement said. READ MORE
Govt lawsuits likely to hurt shrimp production
BANGLADESH - Lawsuits by a government agency against quite a large number of shrimp farms in the country's southern districts have put the third largest foreign currency earning sector in trouble, official sources said. The Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) filed the cases recently against the shrimp farms in the country's shrimp production hub -- Khulna and Satkhira districts -- accusing them of facilitating the entry of saline water into the farms by damaging roads, dams and culverts and assaulting its officials. In Khulna 20 cases were filed against 236 shrimp farmers and in Satkhira 11 cases were filed against 524 farmers while 729 more notices were served upon other farmers, creating panic among them. READ MORE
PTT launches 'Visit Rayong' campaign to help communities
THAILAND - PTT Plc has introduced a new programme called Siam Yol Rayong ("Visit Rayong") in a bid to encourage visitors to enjoy the province's way of life, communities and local products. Rayong has been the home of various industrial projects over the past three decades. Last year, environmentalists petitioned the Administrative Court to halt 76 projects in Rayong with total investment value of 400 billion baht. However, most companies have been able to continue their investments, albeit amid local community concern. The Siam Yol Rayong project has been ongoing for two years. Its objective is the showcasing of the good sides of Rayong and improving the image of the province in the eyes of the public. Kin Nawong, chairman of a conservation group focused on the Rayong River and mangrove forests, initiated a programme eight years ago to protect the last mangrove forest with trees older than 200 years. There are now 300 rai of mangrove in Rayong municipality. READ MORE
Report: Mangroves protect our coasts against wind and swell waves
NETHERLANDS – A new report by The Nature Conservancy and Wetlands International proves that mangrove forests protect coastal populations and infrastructure against wind and swell waves. Preventing damage to coastal infrastructure and flooding, mangroves reduce wave height by as much as 66% over 100 metres of forest. With coastal populations vulnerable to the impacts of extreme events such as storms and hurricanes, these organisations say mangrove management needs to be included in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction efforts in coastal areas worldwide. Coastal populations are particularly exposed to extreme events such as storms and hurricanes. These pressures may increase with climate change and sea level rise. Coastal wetlands such as mangrove forests strongly contribute to the safety, food security and income of tens of millions of people throughout the tropics. This new report by global NGOs The Nature Conservancy and Wetlands International brings together the latest scientific research from leading engineers and ecologists on coastal protection against waves. The report concludes that "mangroves can reduce the height of wind and swell waves over relatively short distances: wave height can be reduced by between 13 and 66% over 100 m of mangroves". Lead author Anna McIvor (TNC) says: "Waves are most rapidly reduced when they pass through a greater density of obstacles. This means that mangroves with aerial roots attenuate waves in shallow water more rapidly than those without". She adds: "When the water gets deeper, waves may pass above aerial roots, but then the lower branches can perform a similar function." The report outlines that the slope of the shore and the height of the waves also affect wave reduction rates through mangroves. READ MORE
Oslo urges Brazil, Indonesia to keep forest protection
NORWAY - Norway's environment minister on Friday urged Brazil and Indonesia to avoid backtracking on policies to protect tropical forests, saying up to $2 billion in aid promised by Oslo hinged on proof of slower rates of forest clearance. Norway, rich from oil and gas, has promised more cash than any other donor nation to slow rainforest clearance from the Amazon to the Congo. Protecting forests slows climate change, since plants soak up heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas. Environment Minister Baard Vegar Solhjell, whose country is failing to meet goals for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, said he was closely following debate in Brazil that might brake what he called a "huge success story" in slowing deforestation. Oslo has promised up to $1 billion each to Brazil and Indonesia, the two main beneficiaries of a forest initiative worth 3 billion Norwegian crowns ($514.75 million) a year to help combat global warming. READ MORE
Place forests under local control to increase incomes and sustainability
SWITZERLAND - To increase the incomes of many of the billion forest-dependent people worldwide the current model for investment in forests must be turned on its head. An initiative of unprecedented scale, led by The Forests Dialogue (TFD), IUCN and the Growing Forests Partnerships (GFP), has found that optimizing the benefits and productivity of forests requires moving from a ‘resource-led’ model to a ‘rights-based’ system of ‘locally controlled forestry’, that places local control of forests at the heart of the investment process. Over the last 3 years, The Forests Dialogue (TFD), partnering with IUCN, organized a series of country level dialogues engaging over 400 forest owners, investors, NGOs, governments and intergovernmental agencies. The resulting report, “Investing in Locally Controlled Forestry”, launched today at IUCN’s World Conservation Congress, shows that with the right processes in place, and under the right conditions, almost any individual or group can build a successful forest enterprise. READ MORE
Now That is Restoration!
Editor's Note: Last year, MAP partnered with the Berkeley-based NGO ECoViva to undertake a four-day Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) workshop led by MAP Asia Coordinator Jim Enright. During the workshop participants visited several potential sites where EMR could potentially take place, and this one site at El Lloron on Jiquilisco Bay was chosen for later restoration using newly learned EMR techniques. The site had become flooded because of blocked channels, so the natural hydrological function at El Lloron was ineffective in allowing proper water flows in and out of the site, thus causing over a hundred acres of mangrove forest to die by drowning. MAP Board member Fiona Wilmot, who had attended the EMR workshop last year, revisited the site to see what had happened there. This is her story!
EL SALVADORE - Manuel, Geovanni and I went up the waterway to El Llorón, and the others met us round the corner…. Amazing, [it was] amazing. I could only imagine all the blood, sweat, tears, bugbites, cuts, bruises and fungal infections that went into [physically restoring the water channels]. To me it’s up there with the Panama Canal. [There’s] still a couple of patches that get snarled up when the tide is flowing out…. But otherwise, [it’s] a tidal creek, restored. A couple of martin pescadores [kingfisher birds] and a raptor tigre [bare-throated tiger heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)] later, and we were getting out in a fizz of jumping shrimp at the place where we held the workshop last year. What I saw at La Quemada… was what CERP [a multi-million dollar mangrove restoration project in Florida] has only dreamed of in terms of indicator species [species whose presence gives an indication of the health of the ecosystem as a whole]. We’d seen a few pairs of Great White Egrets in the shrimp ponds earlier, but this was [a massive number,] a white-out. Needless to say, as we approached we flushed a lot of them way into the distance. But still, sitting up a tree were two pairs of roseate spoonbills and, I kid you not, a pair of woodstorks. Not just one random, lost bird, but three pairs of very picky waterbirds right at the edge. The water was clear, odorless, and full of life, and I was only bitten by one mosquito. That is restoration! READ MORE
MAP Receives Disney Conservation Grant for work in Belize
BELIZE - The Mangrove Action Project (MAP) has been selected as a recipient of a grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) for its project, Mangrove Curriculum Transfer to Belize. This grant is part of the Fund’s $20 million milestone in conservation giving since the DWCF began in 1995. Since that time MAP has received three grants from DWCF totaling more than $39,000.00. Mangrove Curriculum Transfer to Belize is among 80 projects selected this year for their efforts to inspire people and collaborations to protect the world’s wildlife and to connect kids and communities to nature. Belize marks the ninth country ranging from China to Brazil, from Sri Lanka to Guatemala, that will be the recipient of MAP’s Marvelous Mangroves curriculum. The grant will enable MAP to work with its partner in Belize, the Southern Environmental Association (SEA), to adapt the curriculum for use in that country. READ MORE
Mangrove deforestation 3x worse for climate than rainforest loss
MONGABAY WEBSITE - Degradation and destruction of the world's seagrasses, tidal marshes, and mangroves may generate up to a billion tons in carbon dioxide emissions annually, reports a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE. The research looked at the world's 49 million hectares of coastal ecosystems and attempted to estimate emissions from conversion. Due to high levels of uncertainty about the extent of these ecosystems and the rate of conversion as well as the variance in carbon stocks, the study came up with a broad range of emissions: 150 million to 1.02 billion tons of CO2 per year. At the high end, emissions from destruction and degradation of costal ecosystems would approach the annual emissions of Japan, the world's fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter. READ MORE
Shrimp, Cows or Candy Wrappers
ECUADOR - “Alright guys, if you look out the windows to the right, you will see enormous, multi-acre shrimp ponds that were all once mangrove forest.” Thus I begin a talk on the importance of this ecosystem to a group of 24 United States college students, most of whom are studying environmental science or related fields. They have travelled to Ecuador for a semester abroad, and have already seen the Amazon jungle and the cloud forests of the Andes Mountains. A trip to the Galapagos Islands is planned for later in the semester. Today, we are riding a bus towards Isla Corazón (Heart Island), a wildlife refuge located on the Ecuadorian coast. The estimated coverage of Ecuador’s mangrove forests in 1980 was 203,000 hectares; by 2000, that area had been reduced to approximately 150,200, a loss of 26%, mostly from conversion to aquaculture shrimp ponds (FAO 2007). Massive areas of forest were bulldozed, filled in and squared off in the process. Shrimp farming was a lucrative business in Ecuador until a disease called la mancha blanca (white spot) and foreign competition crashed the industry in the late 1990s. However, the business remains a major Ecuadorian export and domestic source of income. The students are exposed to this information and more through lectures and this field trip. READ MORE
World's largest marine park unveiled
COOK ISLANDS - The Cook Islands announced the creation of the world's largest marine park, as the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) opened with a spectacular Polynesian welcoming ceremony. Heralded by traditional drummers and blaring conch shells, leaders of the 15-nation grouping were carried to the summit venue in the capital Avarua on litters while flag-waving locals cheered enthusiastically. Prime Minister Henry Puna capitalized on a rare moment in the international spotlight to declare his nation of 11,000 people had created an enormous marine park almost twice the size of France. The 1.065 million square kilometer (411,000 square mile) reserve would help save one of the last pristine ocean eco-systems, Puna said. "(It is) the largest area in history by a single country for integrated ocean conservation and management," he said. READ MORE
Comments on our featured story
We at MAP are shocked that Thailand's Marine and Coastal Resource Dept. (DMCR) is actually planning to reward those who illegally encroached on about 72,000 ha, or approximately 23%, of the country's protected mangrove wetland area by offering them legal title to these same lands. This is akin to rewarding a bank robber with the money stolen from the bank, suggesting somehow this will prevent future bank robberies! This Illogical plan to award legal title to these land encroachers to those same lands stolen by them represents a serious breach of public trust that should in all honesty be a great embarrassment to both the government of Thailand and all Thai citizens. I urge the Thai government to rethink this policy of rewarding wrongdoers, and instead reclaim those same lands for the Thai people and rehabilitate these so that they can again function as healthy, productive and protective mangrove wetlands. It is a much better idea that these lands be restored so as to offer again that important nursery for a healthy wild fishery as well as a protective buffer against future cyclones and tsunamis.
Mangrove Action Project
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|Mangrove Action Project|
Saturday, September 15, 2012
MAP News Issue 297 Sept 15
Posted by BlogAdmin at 10:14 AM