The MAP News
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Phuket Mangroves Destroyed by Property Developer for Shanties
Note From Editor: It is sad to see this terrible trend of illegal clearing of mangroves continuing in Thailand. The serious lack of preventative action and law enforcement further jeopardizes these threatened, remnant mangrove wetlands around Phuket This happened just about the time of the 8th anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami which killed so many in Phuket....the importance of mangroves as protective bioshields that also serve on the front lines against climate change seems once again to be lost, while selling plots of land to people at the water's edge for shanties almost went unnoticed. –see LAST WORD at end of newsletter
THAILAND: Illegal developers have destroyed between 70 and 100 rai of Phuket's precious mangroves to earmark for filling in with soil to sell land at 100,000 baht a plot. The massive destruction in the Klong Mu Dong Mangrove Forest on Chalong Bay was viewed today by shocked officials. The unnamed developers apparently were well on their way to begin selling the plots. About half the forest has disappeared. It's a mystery how the project got so far without anyone notifying authorities. The forest is alongside the Ao Yon Khao Khad Road. The plots were intended for sale at the poorest end of the Phuket property market Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthirak led a deputation from Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City today to view the destruction. READ MORE
Climate Conversations - Qatar’s mangroves: why they matter for climate change
QATAR - Indonesian scientist Daniel Murdiyarso and Lebanese scientist Mohamad Khawlie are spending the morning hopping over muddy streams, tasting salty leaves, and examining aerial root systems. Just 60 km from Doha but a world away from the air-conditioned unreality of the Qatar National Convention Centre where the UN climate talks are taking place, Murdiyarso and Khawlie are exploring Qatar’s northeastern coastline, indulging a shared passion – for mangroves. “Mangroves have been here in the Arab Gulf since ancient times,” says Khawlie, an environmental consultant with the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI). READ MORE
MAP-Asia Utilizes Soil Excavator to Establish New Mangrove Habitat
THAILAND - 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. 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. READ MORE
Shrimp industry intent on ramping up exports
VIETNAM - The goal for companies for 2013 is to increase shrimp exports to compensate for economic hardship and obstacles set by importing markets. Already, the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers’ (VASEP) shrimp export target has jumped by 6.5 per cent against 2012 at USD 2.4 billion for the year. VASEP told that Vietnam will be able to reach this target if it takes care of the following burdens: disease outbreaks, the raw shrimp shortage and the ethoxyquin issue. By looking at last year, however, the new target might not seem as feasible: Vietnam exported USD 2.25 billion worth of shrimp to 92 countries, down 6.3 per cent compared to 2011. According to Truong Dinh Hoe, general secretary of VASEP, this was the first time Vietnam did not reach its export target, VNS reports. READ MORE
0.75m mangroves to be planted on Indus delta
PAKISTAN - Pakistan is all set to break the record of India by planting 750,000 mangroves just in one day light in coming March 2013 on coastline area and Indus river delta that will pave the way for registration of the country with the Guinness World Record (GWR). India had made a record in 2010 by planting 550,000 mangroves compared with Pakistan’s plantation of around 545,000 in 2009. “Now, the Forest Department Sindh is planning to ensure mangrove plantation in the range of 750,000 in coming March 2013,” Divisional Forest Officer Sindh Arif Ali Kokhar told The News the other day. Under the rules of the GWR, only 300 workers will be allowed to plantation during light hours of one day. In India, Navy authorities assisted them for plantation, but in Pakistan only volunteers, social workers and employees of the forest department will accomplish this task during daylight hours of any specific date in March 2013. READ MORE
Fresh lease of life likely for mangroves
INDIA - In a bid to arrest the rapid depletion of mangroves, the state forest department has mooted a proposal to acquire mangroves in private land along the Kerala coast, perhaps for the first time in the country. The owners would be adequately compensated, forest department sources said. Individuals have been holding over 80% of mangrove areas. Massive reclamation of marsh lands has been destroying the mangroves, if taken over, the mangrove area could be increased up to 1,670 hectares, sources said. The Bombay high court, in a landmark green order in 2006, had deemed all areas with mangroves as private forest land, and brought these protected green zones under the Environmental Protection Act. Forest officials said that private owners staying were pressuring realtors to sell the eco-fragile land. READ MORE
Close watch on waste discharge into Sg Juru
MALAYSIA - AN aquaculture shrimp farm and factories operating along Sungai Juru have been told to take measures to clean their waste before releasing it into the river, said State Environment, Health and Caring Society Committee Chairman Phee Boon Poh. "We have asked them to take the necessary precautions and also notified the Department of Environment (DOE) and Seberang Perai Municipal Council (MPSP) to keep an eye on their activities," he said. "As for the shrimp farm, we have asked the Malaysian Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) to check on the effluent discharge. The release of wastewater from the farm is high in nitrogen. "If it is released without being treated, micro-organisms in the river would be affected. They should be mindful of this and that is why LKIM, which is the regulatory body for this industry, has been asked to check." READ MORE
Protests against Tanjung Hantu projects ignored
Malaysia - Numerous protests against two massive projects in Tanjung Hantu in Manjung District, Perak that is set to annihilate a turtle landing site and rich ecology along the coastal forest have fallen on deaf ears. The state government, which approved an iron and steel mill, and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant last year, have been non-committal to written protests, said Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) researcher Meor Razak Meor Abdul Rahman “We are very disappointed with the Perak government for not providing a response to our letters since 2009 apart from informing us that the matter has been forwarded to the relevant authority. “The mill and the LNG plant to be sited on land measuring 202.35ha and 60ha, respectively, would not only pollute the landing areas but would also decimate the former forest reserve,” he said. READ MORE
Leading Environmentalist, Dies in Swimming Accident
USA - Rebecca Tarbotton, executive director of the environmental group Rainforest Action Network, died Wednesday while caught in the surf in Mexico near Puerto Vallarta. She was 39. In an environmental movement dominated by middle-aged men in Washington and New York, Tarbotton represented a new generation of green activism, leading a San Francisco-based organization that combines the headline-grabbing direct action protests of Greenpeace, the science-based approach of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the inside-the-boardroom savvy of the Environmental Defense Fund. READ MORE
Blue Carbon estimates up!
USA - Atmospheric greenhouse gases are known as GHGs. Produced from fossil fuels, deforestation and the conversion of marshes and seagrass beds, along with mangrove forests, the gases have been increasing from human activities for the last century. While we have affected the rate of increase, we must remember that the amount of these GHGs is still increasing rapidly. Coastal land-use conversion and degradation of coastal ecosystems creates a new carbon source called "blue carbon." We are really only just starting to discover the exact amounts of CO2 released. Linwood Pendleton of Duke University, North Carolina has produced a paper, Estimating Global "Blue Carbon" Emissions from Conversion and Degradation of Vegetated Coastal Ecosystems, with a large group of fellow-scientists which elucidates this large calculation. READ MORE
Shrimpers claim higher import duties
USA – The Coalition of Gulf Shrimp Industries (COGSI) has asked the U.S. government financial support, through the application of special duties, to compensate for subsidized shrimp imports from China, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. These duties are needed to offset the unfair trade advantage currently held by these countries,” the Coalition wrote. he petitions will be investigated by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) and the Department of Commerce (DOC), which will offer their final decisions in the second half of 2013. ccording to the group, US producers continually struggle to compete with shrimp imports from these seven countries, whose governments heavily subsidize the product and since 2009 have thus managed to gain greater US market share through about USD 13.5 billion in subsidies. READ MORE
The pygmy sloth in the mangroves
PANAMA - Sam Kaviar, Jakob Shockey and Peter Sundberg of the Evergreen State College in Washington, have given us the low-down on that intrepid little character, endemic on the Caribbean island that everybody loves. No it's not him, it's the critically-endangered pygmy three-toed sloth, Bradypus pygmaeus. This amazingly-reduced version of the sloth family has been isolated for at least 8,900 years on the 10 mangrove swamps of this speck of land. The publication of the research was in the science journal, PLoS ONE. The island is the little-known Isla Escudo de Veraguas in Panama, and the main problem is finding out how many of the little blighters are there. There were 79 in 2011, according to the survey, but Sam and his colleagues also talked to the native Ngöbe people, about their lobster and shark-fishing in particular, and otherwise conducted a very thorough check on feral cat populations, and two recent sloth fatalities. READ MORE
Hometown Farmer: Fresh Shrimp In Iowa
USA - When you think about shrimp, Iowa probably isn't the first state that comes to mind. Chad and Keely Dutler started raising shrimp at their home in Holstein in February. Before this all began, Chad was working as an engineer for Ida County and raising cattle and growing crops with his dad...while Keely worked as a personal trainer. So how did shrimp become their livelihood here in Midwest? It all started with a little curiosity. "We were looking into the fish so the greenhouse side of thing, the aquaculture part of it which led us into looking at shrimp on the other side of things more economical, disease-free, chemical free," said Chad Dutler, co-owner of Shrimp 59. Chad Dutler is familiar with all sorts of farm equipment, but for him a shrimp net is a new tool. READ MORE
Sharks and Schools add up to Success in Bimini
Bahamas - Once again, the community in Bimini has come together on behalf of sharks. This time a German production company was there to capture the amazing moments on film for an upcoming documentary. My husband and I are not from the Bahamas, but we love these islands and they feel like home to us. When we asked about being filmed we wanted to share our love for sharks and our passion for teaching future generations about why they are so important. The kids of Bimini are very lucky because they live on an island and are part of a nation that is setting a strong standard for shark conservation across the globe. The Bahamas established a 243,244 square mile shark sanctuary in 2011. Many marinas, including five in Bimini, are also part of the Shark Free Marina Campaign, prohibiting the landing of sharks or fishing for them from their docks. VIEW VIDEO
New Mangrove Management Plan next year
FIJI - The newly-reviewed Mangrove Management Plan (MMP) that will be made available mid this year will be more detailed, considering new challenges that have risen since 1986. The current MMP was drawn up in 1986 by Dr Dick Watling for the Mangrove Management Committee, in a joint project by the Government of Fiji and the South Pacific Commission. Neema Nand, the National Co-ordinator of the Mangrove Ecosystems for Climate Change Adaptation and Livelihood (MESCAL) Fiji Project said the plan needed to be updated to take into account new changes. "Because it is almost three decades old, the information, the technology, the users and user interests have all changed a lot since the last plan was done," Ms Nand said. "We now have a lot more information on mangroves and their role; the threats on mangroves and the role of economic growth have all changed. READ MORE
REGARDING OUR FEATURED STORY Mangrove Loss In Phuket
It is sad to see this terrible trend of illegal clearing of mangroves continuing in Thailand. The serious lack of preventative action and law enforcement further jeopardizes these threatened, remnant mangrove wetlands around Phuket This happened just about the time of the 8th anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami which killed so many in Phuket....the importance of mangroves as protective bioshields that also serve on the front lines against climate change seems once again to be lost, while selling plots of land to people at the water's edge for shanties almost went unnoticed.
This is not only a crime against nature, but a crime against the entire Phuket community who must suffer the loss of these valuable forests. As well, a huge carbon storage potential and protection against ocean storms and climate change is lost.
The most severe penalty of the law should be applied to the developer to dissuade him/them and other criminals from breaking the law that is meant to protect these vital wetlands from further depredations. 11-16 ha of mangrove were lost in just a few nights. If this illegal act is not squarely addressed, this will make a mockery out of Thailand's claimed protective laws and restoration efforts. We must urge the Phuket officials to pursue prosecution of the perpetrator/s of this crime, so that such acts do not again occur.
Mangrove Action Project
~ If you’d like to have the last word on this or any other mangrove related topic, please send us your submission for upcoming newsletters. We’ll choose one per issue to have “the last word”. While we can’t promise to publish everyone’s letter, we do encourage anyone to post comments on our Blog at www. mangroveactionproject.blogspot.com
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|Mangrove Action Project|
Saturday, January 5, 2013
MAP News Issue 305, Jan. 5th, 2013
Posted by BlogAdmin at 9:18 AM