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Sunderbans women turn crusaders to save mangrove
BANGLADESH – Their husbands had once cleared these mangroves for firewood but now they realise that only the mangroves can act as sentinels against floods and cyclonic storms, the intensity and frequency of which has increased due to climate change. In Patharpratima block’s West Surendranagar village 30-year-old Anindita Das, who leads a women self-help group, finishes her household chores quickly in the morning and starts planting mangrove saplings bordering the banks of the river which had played havoc during the 2009 cyclonic storm Aila. Along with eight such self-help groups and funding from international NGO Save the Children, around 90 women in this village began by growing mangrove saplings in small nurseries close to their huts. “In a span of three-four months we prepared around 170,000 saplings which are being planted along the banks over 14 hectare land,” Das told PTI in an interview. READ MORE
Grand Kenya port plan faces headwinds despite oil finds
KENYA - Initial work has started on a mangrove coast near the ancient Arab trading post of Lamu that could in a few years be a bustling container port and crude terminal, creating an export hub for fast-growing east African states and their oil. But Kenya must shore up regional commitment for the $25.5 billion Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) plan that by 2030 envisages a port, new roads, a railway and pipeline. It must also overcome environmental worries and make a clearer economic case to avoid creating one more African white elephant. The prize will be to bolster Kenya's primacy as east Africa's trade gateway and capitalize on a bonanza from one of the world's hottest undeveloped oil provinces, where exports from Uganda and Kenya alone could reach 500,000 barrels per day. READ MORE
Reconciling Growth and Development With Ecological Integrity Along Africa's Coastline
SOUTH AFRICA - The value of nature's 'services' and its non-market benefits need to be better understood and incorporated into the development choices that countries make. As resource-rich African countries are poised to receive an influx of new wealth from oil, coal and gas deposits, the need to motivate for coastal ecosystems to be prioritised, managed more effectively, protected and restored is becoming more urgent. In countries like Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique, mangrove and coastal forests coincide with the physical location of fossil fuel discoveries and proposed port and infrastructure developments. The overlap of these human activities with fragile coastal ecosystems will have devastating consequences on the natural environment, as well as for the communities who depend on them. READ MORE
Mangroves and Markets project
VIETNAM - The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) published an article on the SNV Mangroves and Markets project (MAM) in its triannual journal SAMUDRA. The article is entitled "Depending on Mangroves: Integrated shrimp-mangrove farming systems offer a solution for protecting mangroves and improving livelihoods in Vietnam". The SNV Mangroves and Markets project is a BMU/IUCN funded inititative conducted in Ca Mau province, located in the Mekong Delta. READ MORE
Thai Officials Play Down Effects of Oil Spill
THAILAND - On July 26th, a burst pipeline sent tons of crude oil pouring into the sea near Koh Samet, a Thai resort island. Thai officials played down the environmental impact of what was the country’s third-largest oil spill. An executive of the oil company responsible, PTT, told reporters that “everything was restored to normal,” a day after the spill. As the once pristine coast filled with a thick black tide of oil, the same executive, Pornthep Butniphant, said the oil would decompose naturally and have “no effect on the environment.” For the past three weeks, military units have been attempting to decontaminate the bay. A leading marine biologist said it would be years before marine life returned to normal in the worst-affected area. The government’s own pollution control department has issued a report saying that the area is too polluted to swim, with potentially cancer-causing hydrocarbons present in the water that were nearly six times the permissible level. This spill once again highlights the controversy surrounding the construction of more pipelines. Accidents are bound to happen, and when they do, the damage has huge environmental and economic implications. READ MORE
Global shrimp prices jump
THAILAND - A new plague swimming through the shrimp farms of China and South-East Asia is making ripples in the United States and Europe, where prawn prices have jumped to record highs in recent months. Consumers had better get used to paying more for their tempura and wanton soup. "The shortage is going to last at least a couple of years, maybe longer," predicted Matthew Briggs, an aquaculture consultant for Ridley Aquafeed with more than a decade of experience in Southeast Asia's shrimp industry. Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS), the latest epidemic to hit Asia's booming shrimp industry, first raised its head on Chinese farms in 2009, and gradually spread to Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. The four countries accounted for about 70% of the world's shrimp exports in 2011, according to figures from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Thailand, the world's leading shrimp exporter, started to get hit by EMS in late 2012. "My farm was affected in August last year, when we lost about 80% of our stock," said Prayoon Hongrat, president of Sureerath Farm in Chantaburi province, in eastern Thailand. READ MORE
MAP Volunteer a long time environemtalist
THAILAND - Mr. Niyom Thongmuean, (Nick) Project Field Officer Thailand, conducts field activities under the Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) projects in Trang and other areas in Andaman Sea coast of Thailand. Nick has 4 years experience working with local NGOs. Before joining MAP, Nick had worked with the Andaman Organization for Participatory Restoration of Natural Resources (ARR), a southern NGO working on strengthening the local communities on Andaman coast on coastal community-based management and sustainable livelihoods for 2 years. Nick has strong skills working with local people and coordinating with stakeholders at the field level. VISIT MAP/ASIA
President faces class-action lawsuit over ‘climate change effect
INDONESIA - Environmental activists have submitted a class-action lawsuit against President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono over the claim he has failed to protect people in Riau province from the effects of climate change. The lawsuit was also aimed at Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan, Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya and Riau Governor Rusli Zainal, who is now detained by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on graft charges. “We filed this lawsuit to press President SBY to take action against his two ministers, whom we see as having no willingness to protect the public, especially the people of Riau province, from the effects of climate change,” Civil Society Forum for Climate Justice coordinator Mida Saragih told The Jakarta Post after filing the lawsuit at the Central Jakarta District Court. READ MORE
"If You Want to Conserve Biodiversity, Protect Latin America"
CANADA - Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador, northern Peru and the Caribbean islands are areas that need urgent protection in order to achieve the global biodiversity conservation targets set for 2020, a new study shows. A team of scientists who analyzed the richness of plant species around the world concluded that the ecosystems in need of immediate protection in order to meet the 2020 conservation goals set by the Convention on Biological Diversity are largely concentrated in Latin America. Humanity’s life support system, which provides our air, water and food, is powered by 8.7 million different kinds of plants, animals and other living species. But those species are going extinct at an accelerating rate, representing a major threat to future human survival. Recognizing this threat, nearly every country in the world has agreed under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to protect 17 percent of the planet’s land areas and conserve 60 percent of the world’s plant species by the year 2020. These twin goals, included in the 20 Aichi Targets, can only be achieved if far more land in the Caribbean, Central America and northern South America is properly protected, according to a new study published Sep. 6 in the journal Science. READ MORE
Toward the Development of Haiti’s System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)
HAITI - Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain either directly or indirectly from ecological systems and include fisheries production, shoreline stabilization, carbon sequestration, storm protection, nutrient cycling, tourism value, and medicinal products values among many others. The replacement costs of these systems are also often included. The process of identifying and quantifying ecosystem services is increasingly recognized as a valuable tool for the efficient allocation of environmental resources. By estimating and accounting for the economic value of ecosystem services, social costs or benefits that otherwise would remain hidden can potentially be revealed and vital information that might otherwise remain outside of the economic decision making calculus at local, national, and international scales can be internalized. However, achieving such an objective requires considerably better understanding of ecosystem services and the landscapes that provide them. Thanks to the increased ease of using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and the public availability of high quality land cover data sets (in this case through Google Maps), bio-geographic entities such as forests, wetlands and beaches can now more easily be attributed with the ecosystem services they deliver on the ground. READ MORE
BNT continues to advocate for the establishment of the Bimini MPA
BAHAMAS - The Bimini Bay Development has remained an active issue of discussion for over thirteen years and its approvals and reconsiderations have spanned several government administrations. The most recent discussions focused around the proposed expansion of the development towards and beyond the sensitive mangrove area at the top of North Sound. The developer was proposing the construction of a golf course for the area. This sensitive area has been identified by scientists and experts at the Department of Marine Resources as the westernmost edge of the proposed Marine Protected Area. Scientists working in Bimini had objected and the BNT supported this position and recommended dialogue on the issue. READ MORE
Shrimp shortage impacts Florida restaurants
USA - A South Florida restaurant staple could soon be out of reach for some customers as the price of shrimp continues to skyrocket throughout global markets. The average price of the crustacean, according to the Urner Barry White Shrimp Index, was $6.10 on Tuesday. Three months prior, the price hovered just above $4.70 in June. The news is grim for shrimp lovers like Stan Komitor of Jupiter. "I love shrimp, especially in a pasta. That's why I ordered it," said Komitor while eating a shrimp dish at PB Catch in Palm Beach. Managers at PB Catch said they are closely watching. "We've heard of the problem, mainly in Asia that's affecting the shrimp with disease," said Sascha Bennemann, general manager of PB Catch. Bennemann points to a worldwide shortage brought on by diseased shrimp among populations in Asia. He said prices have yet to change at PB Catch, but the situation could change. READ MORE
Ecuador stops the mangrove devastation caused by 40 years of shrimp farming
Ecuador - Shrimp farms in the country have cut a wide mangrove area. The Ministry of the Environment (MAE) data shows that more than 53,000 hectares of mangroves have been deforested during nearly four (4) decades that this activity has existed in Ecuador. This is the outcome of the lack of environmental measures in previous Administrations which did little or nothing to stop and repair environmental damage; there was even a law – now repealed – that allowed cutting mangrove to build new pools. The goal was to foster that activity. On July 14, 2012 the Ministry of the Environment had to intervene in a farm (Santa Priscila) in Taura, province of Guayas, where 37 aquaculture pools were located. The estuary in this area was strongly affected by the illegal shrimp farm due to indiscriminate cutting. The scope of the damage was known, but not who was responsible. However, the scenery changed when the Executive branch started a process to legalize shrimp farms. At this time, it was able to ascertain with precision the damage caused and punish the parties. READ MORE
Chinese firms secure shrimp supply in Ecuador
ECUADOR – Chinese seafood firms are racing to invest in Ecuadorian shrimp breeding facilities in a bid to secure supplies and insulate themselves from soaring Ecuadorian shrimp prices, according to a leading company executive. “The prices in Ecuador are so high right now and even though China is able to afford these prices it’s necessary to secure stable access to supplies by investing in Ecuador,” explained Li Kun, sales manager at Beijing-based East China Seas. Li claims his firm has also invested in Venezuela and Panama, but declined to provide figures. “The prices being paid in India are very high for what is sometimes low quality…we need to secure quality,” he said. Ecuador’s shrimp exports to China have soared in recent years. Ecuadorian firm Omarsa, which has an office in Beijing, ships 45 percent of its exports to China, amounting to up to 100,000 metric tons (MT) per month, said company executive Francisco Vanoni, speaking at Seafood Expo Asia in Hong Kong. READ MORE
Huge holes in aquaculture certification
UK – On the same day that the Aquaculture Stewardship Council issued a press release claiming to have made considerable progress in improving global aquaculture sustainability an article has been published in the journal Science arguing that such standards have severe limitations. Based partly on the experience of an EU-Framework 7 funded research project (Sustaining Ethical Aquaculture Trade: www.seatglobal.eu), the paper argues that aquaculture certification has limits as a means of governing sustainable production. Dr Francis Murray, who coordinates the SEAT project from Stirling's Institute of Aquaculture, observed that private certification has gained prominence because of a fear of under-regulation by Governments but is now blamed for being inflexible, divisive and restrictive.As the paper observes, only around 5% of global aquaculture production is currently certified and potential for further growth is limited by the concentration of demand for certified seafood in US and EU markets while the majority of seafood consumption occurs elsewhere, notably Asia where most fish and shrimp farming occurs. READ MORE
NGO expresses concern about report on biodiversity offsetting
BRUSSELS – The the UK Government recently published a long-awaited green paper on its proposed plans to implement biodiversity offsetting. The UK has been trialing biodiversity offsetting through a series of pilots since last year, but so far they have been an abject failure. No offsets were completed until August 2013 when a meadow was created on chalk escarpment in South Oxfordshire with the aim of offsetting the destruction caused by 98-home development by Tayor-Wimpey in nearby Southmoor. Hannah Mowat, FERN ecosystems trading campaigner, has been following biodiversity offsetting policy across Europe and said: “Offsetting Nature has been a disaster in the countries in which it has already been trialed. Case studies show it damages legislation that protects the environment, permitting yet more destruction of nature in exchange for a false promise.” READ MORE
Biodiversity Offsetting in England
This consultation accompanies ‘Biodiversity Offsetting in England’ a consultation document published on 5 September 2013. This document sets out options for the Government’s proposed biodiversity offsetting system and poses questions about how the system may best operate. This online survey is your chance to provide feedback on the document.
England faces the twin challenges of growing its economy and improving its natural environment. We will not achieve these goals unless our planning system is fit-for-purpose.
Our economy cannot afford expensive and inefficient planning processes that unnecessarily delay or block the housing and infrastructure our economy needs to grow.
Our environment cannot afford development which continues to eat away at nature. So we must maintain and improve our ecosystems, air, water and soils as they underpin sustainable economic growth in the long-term. 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, September 14, 2013
MAP News Issue 323, September 14, 2013
Posted by BlogAdmin at 9:09 AM