Friday, January 4, 2013

MAP-Asia Utilizes Soil Excavator to Establish New Mangrove Habitat

By Marc Flegel, MAP-Asia Volunteer Intern from Germany

For the first time MAP-Asia is using the help of heavy machinery in the field in order to extend the toolkit of Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) a little bit and undertake a slightly bigger scale demonstration project.

Excavator adjusting topography in pond at Laem Makam village, Trang province to improve tidal hydrology.


The site is situated in Laem Makham Village, Sikao district, Trang province and concerning its dimensions and the amount of soil to be moved the use of a backhoe seemed appropriate and necessary this time to get the restoration process started. Also additional manual work is being carried out by villagers and MAP staff on the site to provide a higher grade of accuracy in terms of adjusting the topography and therefore the hydrology which will allow the natural succession of mangrove habitat to take place afterwards.  The personal human effort invested into the EMR-process by the community members own hands, is still the best way to create project-stewardship / ownership.

Villagers, MAP staff and associates working on site at Laem Makam village, Trang province.

Another novelty for MAP on the Laem Makham site is the fact that this time the site is not an abandoned shrimp pond which was formerly mangrove habitat, but a former rice paddy field  behind the mangrove which was excavated by the government on private property in order to extract fill material for new road construction 10 years ago. But since there is sufficient mangrove vegetation and tidal inundation neighbouring the excavation area MAP decided to explore the establishment of new additional mangrove habitat or afforestation.  

Usage of Autolevel in the field for elevation mapping.

This mangrove creation effort in Laem Makham is embedded in the ongoing MAP-Asia Ecological Mangrove Restoration project under the Global Nature Fund (GNF) project which is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Economical Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Ursula Merz Foundation (Germany).

To learn more about the GNF project "Mangrove Restoration and Reforestation in Asia, a Project for Knowledge Exchange and Action to Protect Climate change, Forest and Biodiversity" please see: http://www.globalnature.org/mangrove-network/

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