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MAP’s Asia Coordinator Assists Training Workshop
THAILAND - The China Mangrove Conservation Network (CMCN) invited myself as MAP’s Asia Coordinator to assist with a three day training workshop (April 22-24, 2013) with the objective to help build capacity of the Chinese mangrove reserve staff and rangers. The workshop was sponsored by College of the Environment and Ecology, Xiaman University with funding support from the SEE Fund, a Chinese entrepreneur Corporate Social Responsibility foundation. I was given the entire afternoon of the first day to present on mangrove conservation with a special focus on community development and engagement. To-date Chinese mangrove reserve management has played little attention in working in the surrounding communities to build their mangrove awareness and help them see the mangrove nature reserves in a more positive light, rather than just the strict enforcers of regulations which impacts their livelihoods. READ MORE
Plastic Waste Destroys Mangroves of the Wouri Estuary
CAMEROON - Waste from “Bois des Singes” and Bonendale neighborhoods is being dumped in the mangroves forest, South of Douala and according to Sidi Bare, the Littoral Regional Delegate of Environment, these waste destroy the mangrove ecosystem. Waste of industrial nature is also dumped into these areas, Sidi Bare told the Cameroon Tribune. Besides dumping waste under the mangrove bushes, trees are also cut down for fuel, confirms Oumarou Garba, a resident in the area. Waste dumped is composed of plastics and textile fabrics from households and industries, and experts say about 2000 metric tons of waste are produced daily in Douala. HYSACAM, a waste collecting company, says that 1,350 tons of waste are disposed properly while 400 to 600 tons cannot be collected due to its inaccessibility. Run off washes uncollected and improperly are dumping waste into the Wouri Estuary and a study by the Cameroon Mangrove Conservation Network suggests that waste are blocking the free flow of water and air hence killing plant life. VIEW SOURCE
Mangroves under threat as Cameroonians move toward coast
CAMEROON - Mangroves that could protect Cameroon from rising seas may be subject to more pressure than they can bear, as people migrating to the country’s southwestern coast clear trees at a rate so fast they can’t regenerate, scientists at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) said. As the world grapples with the effects of climate change, it cannot afford to ignore these unique, watery worlds, said Bele Mekou Youssoufa, co-author of Vulnerability to coastal flooding and response strategies: the case of Cameroon mangrove forests. “Even if we negate all benefits of mangroves as forests, their value as the ‘shore-line protector’ should be enough to convince us to conserve them,” he said, noting the trees’ roots spread across a large area, soaking up water and encouraging sedimentation. That not only helps stabilise tidal and freshwater inputs, according to recent CIFOR research, but helps prevent soil erosion. READ MORE
Lobby to Plant Trees
KENYA - Green Towns Movement, Kenya Forest Research Institute and Kenya Forest Service will this weekend plant 500 mangrove trees along Sabaki River. Speaking to the Star in his office, Green Towns Partnership Association national chairman Godfrey Karume said the conservation exercise will reclaim land from the sea to curb soil erosion and bar floods. "River Sabaki has taken up land around it. This has led to mass soil erosion and floods which has affected Malindi and Magarini residents," Karume said. He said mangrove trees have the ability to hold water. "Mangroves play an important role in controlling erosion and providing a protective shield from severe floods. We are optimistic that this is a long term preventive measure against floods," Karume said. He said mangroves will not be the only solution. "We urge the government to build dams on the river," Karume said. VIEW SOURCE
A green tsunami recovery in Indonesia
INDONESIA – Volunteers are helping the Pangandaran region back on its feet after a tsunami battered the region. They’re reforesting mangrove forests, building coral reefs and spreading climate awareness. In 2006, a tsunami devastated Pangandaran, a pristine ocean-side resort and popular tourist destination. Today, hotels are back up and running and the tourists are back in force, but the local environment has been slower to recover. With support from the International Climate Initiative and the United Nations' World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Indonesian NGO Indecon is now leading an effort to reforest Pangandaran’s mangrove woods and replenish its coral reefs. Sustainability is the key. That’s because nearly everyone in Pangandaran relies on tourism for a living - from hotels and restaurants to small farmers and fishers. And all of them need an intact and healthy environment to flourish. READ MORE
Top shrimp exporter to delist
VIETNAM - Shrimp processor and exporter Minh Phu (MPC), Viet Nam's biggest shrimp company, plans to delist its shares in order to charge higher prices for them. "Listing is meant to raise funds, but for us it's like being caged," Minh Phu chairman Le Van Quang told the Saigon Economic Times. The shrimp industry's troubles began in 2011, when the shrimp price increased constantly. In early 2012, when disease destroyed shrimp in Viet Nam and Indonesia, importers thought the price would not decline any further so they made purchasing contracts for the whole year in advance. However, in June, as the European debt crisis hit, Europe bought less shrimp and the price again decreased. Meanwhile, exporters from India and Bangladesh reduced their prices thanks to abundant supply. Indian shrimp prices fell rapidly from US$14.5 for a pound of shrimp to $6.7. "Big partners did not offer letters of credit, while some importers declared bankruptcy so they would not have to implement the signed contracts," Quang said. READ MORE
Tom Goreau on Bakers Bay Coral Reef Decline
BAHAMAS - Acclaimed coral scientist Tom Goreau spoke about coral reef decline at Baker's Bay Club in Great Guana Cay, Bahamas as a result of excessive fertilizer run-off. The speech, presented at the Bahamas National Natural History Conference in Nassau on March 7, was well received by the audience and is the first public presentation of data from the Baker's Bay coral reef controversy. The speech, billed as "Golf Course Fertilizer Runoff Causes Nutrient Enrichment Leading to Harmful Algae Blooms on a Bahamian Coral Reef", was co-written by Tom Goreau of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, James Cervino of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Troy Albury, President of Save Guana Cay Reef. READ MORE
Casino ship to Bimini to double island’s population
BIMINI - A new cruise ship (complete with casino, shopping, restaurants, disco, swimming pool) may soon be coming to Bimini. Genting (USA) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Genting Malaysia has purchased the 32,728 gross tons SUPERFAST VI, to transport guests from Florida to their new casino at north Bimini. The ship is capable of carrying 1,600 passengers, with berths for 934 overnight passengers. It is 669 feet long/beam 82 feet; operating at a high speed of around 28 knots in calm seas; it will complete the 48 nautical-miles from the Florida coast in around 2 1/2 hours. This news has not been received warmly by many Biminites, and long term (3rd generation) second home-owners—who fear an over-run of visitors will drain the tiny island of already meager sources such as power, plumbing, and fearsome traffic on only two, small lanes serving as ‘highways.’ If this boat arrived in Bimini, full of passengers it would essentially DOUBLE, the population on the island. READ MORE
Although the following story is from 2008, it helps highlight the issues still occurring on the island of Bimini in the Caribbean. We run it again in order to remind readers of importance of this issue.
Bimini - Paradise in Peril
BIMINI - Fabien Cousteau and the Ocean Futures Society present "Paradise in Peril," a stunning documentary about unsustainable development on the tiny islands of Bimini, Bahamas. The Save Bimini Association is made up of a collection of individuals, businesses & organizations dedicated to a sustainable future for the islands of Bimini. Started as a small local group of Biminites, Save Bimini has grown into an international coalition. The Save Bimini Association is not against development interests on Bimini, but rather seeks to ensure that all developments respect the history, culture & ecology of this precious island chain. “We recognize that people from around the world come to Bimini for what it is, not for what developers wish it would be”. VIEW VIDEO
Shrimp farmers hope to create a niche for domestic product
USA - Like many types of partnerships these days, the people behind a shrimp farm that is the first of its kind in New England found each other online. James Tran, founder and CEO of Sky 8 Shrimp Farm, investigated starting his own indoor shrimp farm by visiting operations in Indiana and Nevada and trying out small-scale experiments in his spare time. It was a career shift from the semiconductor business and his electrical engineering background, but made some sense given his family history of harvesting wild and farmed shrimp in Vietnam. “Even though I came here when I was young, basically my whole family are fishermen,” he says. He decided to pursue the project in earnest. After getting nowhere with Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, he was told by a state regulator he needed to find a seafood expert. He found 40-year seafood industry veteran Peter Howard in an online search and gave him a call. “He called me and said, ‘Do you want to start a shrimp farm? I said, ‘When do you want to start?’ He said, ‘Next month,’” remembers Howard. READ MORE
Habitat Restoration Yields Long-term Benefits to Fisheries
USA - Restoring and expanding coastal and estuarine habitat leads to increases in fish populations, which have a positive impact on the communities and the industries that depend on thriving and sustainable fisheries. A report released today by Restore America's Estuaries (RAE) and the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and co-authored with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - More Habitat Means More Fish - makes a powerful case that investing in our nation's coastlines and estuaries leads to healthy habitat and strong fisheries, which has a positive impact on the businesses and industries, both recreational and commercial, that need healthy fisheries to survive and thrive. READ MORE
Editor's Note: Though World Migratory Bird Day has passed on May 11th, it is still vitally important we relate the loss of mangroves to the threats of extinction posed by this loss to migratory water birds. One area of great concern in losing mangrove wetlands and their associated ecosystems is the continuing loss and degradation of the migratory waterbirds flyways and resting stops. Thus when shrimp farms or other developments encroach upon mudflats and mangroves to site their developments, migratory water birds lose that important edge for survival that these most vulnerable intertidal zones provide.
"Very often migrant birds are under huge pressure at the exact points where they are most vulnerable. Birds battling to reach the sea-shore descend into a limitless line of nets. Tiny falcons funnel through forests to be trapped in their thousands. Exhausted shorebirds find that the mudflats where they once refueled are now a sea of concrete, or circle wearily because their roosting sites have vanished" - Dr. Marco Lambertini, Chief Executive, BirdLife International."What does concern them (the waterbirds of the East Asian - Australasian Flyway) is that the network of sites they have traditionally depended on for safety, food, breeding and moulting is changing rapidly and usually for the worse. Areas of inter-tidal coastal flats of East Asia have undergone a steep and continuing decline in recent decades, threatening the migration routes of migratory shorebirds" - Spike Millington, Chief Executive of East Asian ? Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Secretariat.
Loss and Degradation of Natural Habitats Threaten Migratory Birds
GERMANY - The annual migration of an estimated 50 billion birds - around 19 per cent of the world's 10,000 bird species - is one of the world's great natural wonders, yet the critical staging areas migratory birds need to complete these journeys are being degraded or are disappearing completely. These increasingly vulnerable sites, which act as stepping stones on migration routes, serve as a place for the birds to rest, feed and breed during their annual migration cycles. As a result of the degradation, some species may be extinct within a decade, while others are facing population losses of up to nine per cent each year. Celebrated in over 65 countries on 11-12 May, World Migratory Bird Day 2013 will highlight the importance of ecological networks for the survival of migratory birds, the important human networks dedicated to their conservation, the threats migratory birds face, and the need for more international cooperation to conserve them. READ MORE
Mangroves and pollinating bats?
U.K. - Megachiroptera comprising flying foxes or fruit bats are animals of extraordinary ecological and economic importance throughout forests of the Old World tropics. Nearly 200 species play an essential role as mangrove pollinators and seed dispersers, yet they are frequently misunderstood intensely persecuted and exceptionally vulnerable to extinction Their role in the propagation of numerous important mangrove plants remains virtually uninvestigated. However, my review of already available literature demonstrates that at least half of the total mangrove plant species (there are roughly 58 species of mangrove trees and plants that are identified and named so far) rely to varying degrees on large populations of flying foxes for propagation. These plants, in addition to their many ecological contributing produce some 448 economically valuable products. The fact that flying foxes are increasingly threatened and that few baseline data exist on population trends is cause for concern. READ MORE
Mangrove Restoration Should Involve More Biodiversity Much Less Monoculture:
U.K. - Interest in mangroves has grown considerably since the Asian tsunami, but for reasons other than biodiversity (e.g. green-belt protection, fisheries productivity, sustainable development of local people, ('blue') carbon storage, as a casualty of large-scale aquaculture development and so on.) A key problem for mangrove biodiveristy stems from the methods and beliefs around restoration after clearance for charcoal, aquaculture or over-exploitation. Mangrove forests vary in their macro-flora biodiversity, from three or four tree and shrub species in the US to 60-80 species around Indonesia. After restoration efforts what replaces the forests, if successful, is often from only the Rhizophora genus. This is due to the fact thatRhizophora propagules are easy to handle, Rhizophora is sometimes believed to be 'the best' mangrove species and that it has a fairly wide range of tolerances to inundation regimes, and bio-chemo-physical gradients. Therefore many of the restoration efforts resemble mono-specific plantations, with Rhizophora planted in straight lines. Plantation-style restoration is unsurprising as many states’ mangroves are the responsibility of the forestry department. And as a result of imitation and perhaps government training, local people’s restoration is similar. READ MORE
USAID pushes for privatization of Central American seas
HONDURAS - In the mid-twentieth century, it was believed that the marine biota was inexhaustible. In recent years, it was shown that the water resource is finite and large areas of "fishing grounds" are fully exploited, overexploited or depleted to the estimated degree of over 400 "dead seas", particularly in the Baltic Sea and both coasts of the U.S.. Some of the proposed “solutions” to recover marine resources would allow the Northern Hemisphere industrial fleets to invade their areas for fishing, while simultaneously sending large fishing fleets and more technology to the "Southern Cone", where through direct agreements with rulers, signing free trade agreements, practice in essence illegal, unreported and unregulated acts of piracy in exploitation of fish stocks. The "Tragedy of the Commons" (Hardin, 1968) is evident when transnational companies gain access to fishing underexploited seas and introduce more ships and technology to deplete the resource. Some suggest that small-scale fishermen are guilty of this "tragedy," but this kind of reasoning is merely preparing the ground to strip them of their way of life. READ MORE
~ WE WELOCME YOUR LETTERS - 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, May 25, 2013
MAP News Issue 315, May 25, 2013
Posted by BlogAdmin at 9:25 AM