Thursday, March 19, 2015

MAP News Issue 360, March 21, 2015


The MAP News
360th Edition                                March 21, 2015


Stop seafront planting of mangroves on seagrass beds
PHILIPPINES - Among others, Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami have highlighted the importance of mangroves in coastal protection. Of global storm events, the Philippines has the greatest intensity (maximum score of 5 on the Saifir-Simpson Hurricane Intensity Scale) and number (one-third). Mangroves have therefore captured the public imagination – student, NGO, government, religious and business groups plant mangroves themselves or raise money for others to plant. Even the national government planned to allocate PhP1 billion for mangrove rehabilitation in Yolanda sites. Such massive amounts of taxpayers’ and private funds beg the question: Are the planting protocols science-based? Mangroves are uniquely adapted to withstand harsh conditions of salty water and tidal inundation – but not more than 30% of the time. Hence mangroves are not uniformly distributed between high and low tide, but are found in the middle to upper intertidal levels (at or above mean sea level) where they remain mostly exposed. READ MORE
Communities Leading the Way to Save Madagascar’s Mangroves
MADAGASCAR - “About three years ago I noticed that the high tides were coming up into my rice fields, and taking the soil away with them. I’d never seen that before,” Philippe, a rice farmer from the village of Ambalahonko, tells me from under his wide-brimmed straw hat; something my fair-skinned and fine-haired self, unfortunately, did not have the foresight to invest in prior to our four-hour excursion. “That’s what convinced me to join the mangrove management association. It’s getting serious, and we have to do something.” Ambalahonko is about three miles off the Route Nationale 6, just north of the city of Ambanja in northwest Madagascar. I’ve come here today to learn a bit more about Philippe and his association’s work, which we at Blue Ventures have been supporting for the past two years. READ MORE
Mangroves and flamingos may soon disappear from Uran
INDIA - Flamingos and mangroves at Uran might soon be a thing of the past. Environmentalists and nature lovers have raised concerns over the port expansion work underway at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) area near Nhava Sheva. According to them the expansion project that includes reclamation of 14 hectares mangrove land at the North side of the existing port will eventually destroy wetlands spread over 300 hectares behind the JNPT Custom House. The reclamation work would block the mouth of the Dharamtar creek, which is the main water source for wetlands. “In the satellite image it’s clearly visible that the mouth of the creek will be filled. The 14 hectares of mangrove land is very near to the existing port. Upon completion of the 330-metre quay length expansion, it will completely block the mouth of the creek,” said Stalin Dayanand, an environmentalist associated with Vanashakti, a non-profit environment organisation based in Mumbai. – READ MORE
Govt allots P400-m for Yolanda-hit mangroves
PHILIPPINES - The Aquino administration on Wednesday released an initial P400 million to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for their mangrove and beach forest development project for areas battered by disasters such as super typhoon Yolanda. Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the amount represents 40 percent of the P1 billion funding requirement of the National Greening Program as recommended by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. Under the project, the national government will cooperate with stakeholders from local government units and the private sector to develop mangroves and beach forests in Yolanda-hit areas and regions that were struck by other disasters. “All of our rehabilitation efforts will need to be grounded on ensuring the safety of communities against natural disasters in the future. That’s why comprehensive preparation and prevention are key elements in our policy of build back better, which includes the replanting of mangrove and beach forests on our coastlines,” Abad said. READ MORE
The shrinking islands of the world’s largest mangroves have triggered a refugee crisis
INDIA - India is drastically losing land in the Sundarbans—a cluster of 54 islands in West Bengal—to climate change. Recent satellite analysis by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) shows that in the last ten years, 3.7% of the mangrove and other forests in the Sundarbans have disappeared, along with 9,990 hectares of landmass, due to erosion. The Sundarbans—a vast mangrove delta shared between India’s West Bengal and Bangladesh—is an immensely fragile ecosystem. One of the biggest threats, as it has turned out, is sea-level rise driven by climate change. As the small islands on the fringe of the Sundarbans shift, shrink and disappear, left behind is a trail of climate refugees. READ MORE
Officials inspect 25-acre area in Borivli after allegations of mangrove destruction
INDIA - Following allegations that constructions carried out by a private builder led to the destruction of a 25-acre stretch of mangroves, officials from the revenue, forest and police department inspected the area in Borivli recently. N Vasudevan, chief conservator of forests, mangrove cell, said, “Our officials, who went to the spot, found that the area came under private land. There could have been mangroves in the area but as the land is privately owned it comes under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification. Violation of this notification is not dealt with by the forest department. The revenue officials have to look into the matter.” Prashanti Mane, tehsildar, Borivli taluka, told HT that she needed to get information regarding the matter and refused to comment. READ MORE
Saving Langkawi’s mangroves
MALAYSIA – Having lost 50% of its original rainforest to coastal development in recent years, Langkawi Island’s Unesco Geopark status could change following the United Nations agency’s scheduled review this year. Gathering support from Institute of Foresters Malaysia (IRIM), Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), villagers of Kuala Melaka, Kuala Teriang and the media, Berjaya Langkawi Resort launched the Mangrove 4 Life (M4L) campaign, as part of Berjaya Hotels & Resorts (BHR)’s corporate social responsibility initiative Live & Care. Berjaya Langkawi Resort general manager Chris Niuh said the three-day mangrove conservation campaign was close to their hearts, as it had a direct impact on the surrounding community of the 20-year-old resort. “Villagers of Kampung Kuala Melaka in Kuala Teriang area suffered the worst damage following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, as there was no engineered coastal protection or sufficient mangroves to act as natural coastal defence. READ MORE
Mangrove Forests Need Protecting According to UN Study
PERU - Global destruction of mangrove forests impacts biodiversity, food security, and the lives and livelihoods of some of the most marginalized communities in the world, according to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). Mangroves, which are forests of salt-tolerant trees and shrubs that lie along coastlines in the tropics and subtropics, are also invaluable carbon sinks. And we’re not doing nearly enough to protect them, says a recent report. Released during the Lima, Peru climate conference in December 2014 by UNEP, the report found mangrove forests are being cleared 3-5 times faster than terrestrial forests, costing the world as much as $42 billion in economic damages every year. With around 90 percent of mangroves found in developing countries, UNEP and other organizations assert there is a need for a mechanism by which the developed countries of the world, which are largely responsible for the climate crisis facing our planet, essentially pay developing countries to keep forests intact even as they look for ways to boost their economies and raise their standards of living. READ MORE
Volunteers plant 17,000 marsh grasses, mangroves
USA - In a three-day marsh restoration project, the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana partnered with Marathon Oil, For the Bayou, Restore America’s Estuaries, NOAA and Conoco Phillips to lead more than 60 volunteers on Thursday through Saturday as they planted 17,000 mangroves and marsh grasses, which will restore seven acres of newly dredged marsh in Port Fourchon, said CRCL’s Communications Director Jimmy Frederick. The project will help anchor the dredged sediment, create habitat for fish and wildlife and provide invaluable protection to the marshes and communities north of the project site. READ MORE
Florida agencies plan to map lagoon seagrass
USA - Three state environmental agencies will team up this year to map the Indian River Lagoon’s seagrass, to identify spots that need more protection. The participating agencies include the St. Johns River Water Management District, South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The total project cost for the 2015 mapping is $304,091, the St. Johns district announced today (3/17/15) in a release. The St. Johns district is chipping in $152,091, with $50,000 coming from the South Florida district and $102,000 from DEP. “Mapping seagrass in the lagoon allows our scientists to track changes over time,” said William Tredik, leader of the St. Johns district’s Indian River Lagoon Protection Initiative. “By partnering with the South Florida District and DEP, we can share resources and science.” READ MORE
Research investigating impact of unprecedented sea level rise
AUSTRALIA - The first time Madeline Goddard stepped into the dark fudge underneath Darwin's mangroves she turned into "a human bog". "I actually got so deeply stuck that it took two people to pull me out," Ms Goddard said. "And I lost both of my shoes." In the past six months the honours research student has bought a pair of mud-wading boots and developed ways of moving through the precarious mangrove forests. She has also seen the Top End's celebrated coastal wetlands grapple with some of the highest rates of climate change related sea level rises in the world. Darwin Harbour's 20,000 hectare mangrove estate houses 37 types of the terrestrial plant, as well as many species of crabs, fish, snakes, birds and other wildlife. Scientists believe the intricate mangrove forest ecosystem, up-ended roots embedded in layers of thick mud, can respond to changing sea levels through a process called "building land". READ MORE
Qld developer fined for clearing mangroves
AUSTRALIA – A BRISBANE company has been fined AU$10,000 for destroying mangroves to clear space for a building site. The company had approval to clear 260 square metres of mangroves at Pinkenba, but instead cleared more than three times that area of marine habitat. It was fined and ordered to perform restoration work on the site. VIEW SOURCE

Sendai framework on disaster risk reduction disappoints
UNITED NATIONS - On the midnight of March 18, representatives from 187 UN member states adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 with seven targets and four priorities for action. After the marathon negotiations that preceded the convention,one would have expected a clear cut action plan and commitments from developed nations.  So far, it is understood, only Japan made some funding commitment for this proposal as the five-day-long conference wrapped up. Earlier proposals for percentage goals were rejected, so the current set looks like vague targets.  The current framework for 15 years replaces the 10 year long Hyogo Framework for Action. The Sendai Framework aims to lower the global mortality rate from disasters between 2020 and 2030, compared with 2005 to 2015, and reduce the proportion of people affected. READ MORE


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Want to learn more about mangroves?
Our short presentation will give you a better understanding of the issues we are working to solve. WATCH PRESENTATION

CLICK HERE to watch short introductory video. Together we can work "at the roots of the sea".

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Exclusive Interview with Alfredo Quarto, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Mangrove Action Project - See more
Save the Sundarbans from Rampal power plant – View Sample Letter to Minister
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Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum

En Portuges

Marvellous Mangroves – A Curriculum-Based Teachers Guide.

Education in the Mangroves - China


Check out our presentation for more details on Marvellous Mangroves

“Education In The Mangroves" can now be seen on the  PhotoPhilanthropy website here!

Read this 10 page history of the development of MAP’s educational curriculum VIEW DOCUMENT
Article in Canada's Green Teacher Magazine - Read More

FREE MAP Mangrove e-cards CLICK HERE

MAP’s e-Cards offer you a unique way to spread the word about MAP’s good works, while sharing beautiful photographs of the mangroves
A fun and exciting Art Contest for children 6 to 16 years old. We invite all primary school children from tropical and sub-tropical nations, and whose schools are located near mangroves, to create art telling us “why mangroves are important to my community and me?”. Selected winners will be published in a 2016 calendar to be distributed internationally to raise awareness of mangrove forest ecology.  READ MORE

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Mangrove Calendar 2015 FRONT 2
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The importance of restoring mangroves in an effective, long-term manner. Mangrove CBEMR video - VIEW

Question Your Shrimp Consumer/Markets Campaign!  WATCH VIDEO

Mangrove Restoration in Asia – Watch Short Video

Mosaic of Life 
READ A MOSAIC OF LIFE Peek into the underwater world of mangroves, "womb of the sea." By Liz Cunningham Photos By Wes Matweyew and Liz Cunningham

"Question Your Shrimp" Campaign

Learn more about the affects of the shrimp industry on mangroves by visiting our blog

Editor’s Note: Mangrove Action Project’s Executive Director, Alfredo Quarto was interviewed about shrimp by Green Acre Radio’s Martha Baskin


Information sheds clear light on shrimp-mangrove connection

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