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
Teaching High School Students To Think Green
BAHAMAS - Earthcare and Save the Bays have launched an Environmental Education Programme for junior high school students on Grand Bahama. The programme started on Saturday, January 25, with a session on mangrove education at the Mary Star of the Sea Auditorium at noon. Well-known mangrove specialist Martin Keeley, of the Mangrove Action Project in the Cayman Islands, spoke to the students and accompanied them on a field trip to the Lucayan National Park, where they were able to see an actual mangrove forest. Gail Woon, founder of Earthcare and director of Save the Bays, said the programme is geared towards students in grades seven to nine. The purpose of the programme, she said, is to educate students about environmental issues affecting the Bahamas. “Our mandate is environmental education and we were able to partner with Save the Bays to do this programme from some funds we had available; we are trying to increase environmental awareness,” she said. READ MORE
Preemptive Restoration Saves Mangrove by Correcting Hydrology
THAILAND - “Preemptive restoration”, as termed by Robin Lewis, the Mangrove Action Project’s, Expert Technical Advisor, is the process where stressed mangroves are detected and saved prior to death. It can be included within the Community-based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR) method as it intervenes in mangrove degradation before total death and loss of mangroves and their ecological functions. A case study of this preventive technique was undertaken by Mangrove Action Project (MAP) in Trang province in September 2013. Near the Bang Khao Village CBEMR site where MAP has been working a road was illegally built through the mangroves by a private individual who wanted to gain access his oil palm plantation. MAP was alerted about the road construction problem by the villagers that worked with them at the Ban Bang Khao site. After observation and assessment of the situation, MAP staff determined that the road was acting like a dike as there were not enough culverts placed underneath the road to allow normal tidal exchange. It also appeared that one culvert had collapsed. This poor construction was causing high stress on the mangroves due to the slow water drainage and was also causing the water to flow over the road during spring tide as the culverts could not handle the high water volume. READ MORE
Bengali forests are fading away
BANGLADESH - Mangrove forests of the Sundarbans are disappearing, taking endangered species like the Bengal tiger with them. Rapid deterioration in mangrove health is occurring in the Sundarbans, resulting in as much as 200m of coast disappearing in a single year. A report published January 11 in Remote Sensing by scientists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) states that as human development thrives, and global temperature continues to rise, natural protection from tidal waves and cyclones is being degraded at alarming rates. This will inevitably lead to species loss in this richly biodiverse part of the world, if nothing is done to stop it. ZSL's Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, senior author of the paper says: "Our results indicate a rapidly retreating coastline that cannot be accounted for by the regular dynamics of the Sundarbans. Degradation is happening fast, weakening this natural shield for India and Bangladesh." READ MORE
Shrimp project helps create ‘organic coast'
Editor's Note This is not a recommended solution for conserving and restoring mangroves. We do not endorse this set up, but should state that MAP rejects this stated assumption that these shrimp farms are helping the mangroves because of their faulty 50/50 shrimp farm area to mangrove area. The area ratio should be 20/80 with shrimp farms being only 20% of the area. But we do applaud the effort on the part of shrimp farmers to recognize the importance of the mangrove forests.
VIETNAM - A new model of integrative shrimp farming introduced in Ca Mau will help farmers earn more while preserving the mangrove trees that aquaculture often destroys. Pham Hoang Nam reports. Tran Quoc Van is excited about his future since his shrimp farm is all set to get organic certification. "If we can get the certification for our shrimp, we don't need to worry how to sell and the price could be 10 per cent higher than usual," Van said. It all began in May when Van and 1,074 other households living in the southernmost province of Ca Mau's Nhung Mien Protective Forest were invited to take part in a four-year project to get organic shrimp certification by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Netherlands Development Organisation. The goal of the project is to help local shrimp farming systems become more profitable by combining them with protection of mangrove forests, thus boosting both profitability and sustainability while also increasing coastal resilience to climate change. READ MORE
Sacred forests ‘bulldozed’
CAMBODIA - Representatives for 35 ethnic minority families living in Ratanakkiri’s O’Chum district are seeking aid from a rights group amid Vietnamese rubber concessionaire CRD’s ongoing destruction of their sacred community forest, an NGO said. Two La’ak commune representatives filed complaints with rights group Adhoc, according to provincial coordinator Chhay Thy, claiming that CRD first began razing the forest along with adjoining farmland in November and has now bulldozed some 1,000 hectares. “The ethnic villagers are concerned about losing more forest and slash-and-burn farmland [a farming technique commonly used for root crops] now and in the future,” Thy said, noting that the land was their chief source of livelihood. Despite the arrival of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s youth volunteers to measure the land in July and August, allocating up to three hectares to each minority family, the company has not stopped clearing the surrounding area, Adhoc and local villagers said yesterday. READ MORE
New ‘Mangrove Parks’ Can Help Conserve Burma’s Threatened Forests
MYRANMAR – Mangroves are disappearing worldwide. Burma, a country with some of the highest mangrove diversity, is no exception. This country once possessed the largest mangrove forests of the region, mostly in the Irrawaddy Delta, but as pointed out by The Irrawaddy on Dec. 4, the Delta’s mangrove forests shrank by 64.2 percent in 33-year period, with much of the area converted to small-scale rice farms. Nearly 60 percent of the country’s total rice crop comes from the four regions that occupy the Irrawaddy River Delta and adjacent coastline. However, the expansion of rice cultivation in the Delta has come at a price, the rice ecosystems have been created by cutting and clearing the expanse of its mangrove forests. READ MORE
The introduction of MAP’s Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum to Kenya
KENYA – Mangrove Action Project’s (MAP’s) Education Director, Martin Keeley, met with teachers and scientists in December 2013, in Shimoni and Wasini Island , southeastern Kenya, following an initial introduction through Global Volunteers International (GVI) in Kenya. Mr. Keeley spent several days in Shimoni, in southeastern Kenya, and explored the region’s mangroves, in particular those on Wasini Island. During this process he was assisted by Faridi Mshamanga, the GVI boat captain, who facilitated the meetings with the various educators who were not away on vacation! During this time work was initiated to develop a work-plan and establish a small working group that would initially comprise the following personnel. The members of the potential working group were met and introduced to the curriculum concept. All expressed great interest in Marvellous Mangroves and its introduction to Kenya. READ MORE
Bimini resort, casino construction worries environmentalist
BAHAMAS - "Your experience starts in Miami on-board Bimini SuperFast, the fastest cruise ship in America," says Genting Group's radio ad for its ferry to its Resorts World Bimini. But what the ad doesn't mention about its ferry is that once you arrive, it could take another two hours before your feet touch land. After dancing, drinking and gambling, passengers are transferred to catamarans one at a time on a platform above open ocean. The catamarans rock back-and-forth in choppy waters since the ferry doesn't have a dock. f the waters are too rough, visitors can't transfer to the catamarans for safety reasons. Genting Group hopes to alleviate the experience with the construction of a new cruise ship terminal that will be dredged deep enough for the ferry to dock at its resort. A 1,000-foot pier is already under construction. "We're not really sure why an investor would purchase and start operating a huge cruise ship without a place to put it," said Gail Woon, founder of EarthCare Bahamas. "Too much on an area that has 14 prime dive spots on it with endangered, healthy coral." READ MORE
Industry Awakens to Threat of Climate Change
USA - Coca-Cola has always been more focused on its economic bottom line than on global warming, but when the company lost a lucrative operating license in India because of a serious water shortage there in 2004, things began to change. Today, after a decade of increasing damage to Coke’s balance sheet as global droughts dried up the water needed to produce its soda, the company has embraced the idea of climate change as an economically disruptive force. “Increased droughts, more unpredictable variability, 100-year floods every two years,” said Jeffrey Seabright, Coke’s vice president for environment and water resources, listing the problems that he said were also disrupting the company’s supply of sugar cane and sugar beets, as well as citrus for its fruit juices. READ MORE
Equator Prize - call for nominations 2014
ECUADOR – A call for nominations to 'The Equator Prize' has just been announced. This award recognises local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. The Equator Prize 2014 will recognize twenty-five local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. Profiles of past Equator Prize winners can be found here. Equator Prize 2014 winners will each receive $5,000 (USD), with several selected for ‘special recognition’ and an additional $15,000 (USD). Representatives of winning communities will be supported to participate in a series of events held in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly, scheduled for September 2014 in New York. READ MORE
Tropical Forests Mitigate Extreme Weather
PANAMA - Tropical forests reduce peak runoff during storms and release stored water during droughts, according to researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Their results lend credence to a controversial phenomenon known as the sponge effect, which is at the center of a debate about how to minimize flood damage and maximize water availability in the tropics. During nearly 450 tropical storms, a team of visiting scientists from the Univ. of Wyoming measured the amount of runoff from pastureland, abandoned pastureland and forested land as part of a large-scale land-use experiment in the Panama Canal watershed initiated by STRI. READ MORE
Better protection for mangroves with models for successful seedling establishment
NETHERLANDS - Seedlings of mangroves do not have an easy time to get established. Many forces of nature work against their anchorage in the soil. Human intervention in coastal areas and climate change also make life difficult for mangrove seedlings. Thorsten Balke studied the conditions that enable mangrove seedlings to be successful. Recently he defended his PhD thesis at Radboud University. Mangrove forests protect coastlines and are important for biodiversity; they are a nursery ground for many fish species and host a variety of plants that have adapted to grow in salt water. For successful management and restoration of mangrove forests, good understanding of the interaction between vegetation, soil and the forces of nature is required. Geographer Thorsten Balke studied the establishment of mangroves: how do the seedlings get to the tidal flat and what factors ensure their growth to become a successful mangrove forest? To answer these questions, he carried out experiments in Singapore and New Zealand. READ MORE
World Wetlands Day 2014: Wetlands and agriculture
NETHERLANDS - The 2nd February is World Wetlands Day. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea in 1971. Each year since 1997, the Ramsar Secretariat has provided materials so that government agencies, non-governmental organizations, conservation organizations, and groups of citizens can help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands. 2014 is the UN International Year of Family Farming – so the Ramsar Convention chose Wetlands & Agriculture as the World Wetlands Day theme for 2014. And what a great theme for Ramsar, given that wetlands are so often intimately linked with agriculture. Our slogan? Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth, placing a focus on the need for the wetland and agricultural sectors (and the water sector too of course) to work together for the best shared outcomes. READ MORE
Tiger conservation gets EUR 20 million boost from Germany
SWITZERLAND - A tiger conservation programme managed by IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, has received EUR 20 million from the German government through the KfW Development Bank. The aim of the programme is to increase the number of tigers in the wild and improve the livelihoods of communities living in and close to their habitat. The agreement was signed today at IUCN Headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. “The tiger is the face of Asia’s biodiversity and an emblem of the world’s natural heritage,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “This generous support from Germany provides great hope for this iconic species, which is currently on the brink of extinction. Saving the tiger depends on restoring its rapidly shrinking forest habitat. This will regenerate valuable ecosystem services and improve the lives of some of the most marginalised people on our planet.” READ MORE
WHAT? No Last Word? Write us!
~ 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|
Friday, January 31, 2014
MAP News Issue 331 February 1, 2014
Posted by BlogAdmin at 7:49 PM