The MAP News
Satellite Data Reveals State of the World’s Mangrove Forests
INDONESIA - The word “forest” often calls to mind a dense landscape of towering trees. However, some of the most carbon-rich and productive forests are clustered along coastlines in the tropics and subtropics. Mangrove forests, made up of salt-tolerant trees and shrubs, play a vital role in erosion and flood control, fisheries support, carbon storage, biodiversity conservation and nutrient cycling. Many coastal communities rely on mangroves for food, forest products and tourism revenue, and the forests provide a natural coastline defense to storm surges by reducing wave and wind velocity. New analysis relies on satellite data to survey the state of these important ecosystems. Using Global Forest Watch (GFW), an online forest monitoring platform, we found that the world lost 192,000 hectares (474,000 acres) of mangroves from 2001 to 2012, a total loss of 1.38 percent since 2000 (or 0.13 percent annually). READ MORE
Strategy to preserve mangroves on way
BAHRAIN - A NATIONAL strategy to preserve Bahrain's lush green mangroves is underway as 10,000 seeds are expected to be planted by the end of the year. It is being spearheaded by a six-member team at the Supreme Council for Environment (SCE), which also plans to expand the area in Tubli Bay that is rich with natural mangrove trees. A Royal decree, issued in August 2006, determined the bay's size as 13.5km, but this has shrunk to 9km as illegal land reclamation in the area continues unabated. A part of the bay called Ras Sanad is densely populated with mangroves and was designated a natural reserve in 1988. The SCE increased the area from 0.43sqm to 1.6sqm, but its senior environment inspector Adel Almajed said the council plans to also plant mangrove trees in Tubli Bay, Dohat Arad, Ras Hayan, Ma'ameer Channel and Fasht Al Jarim off the coast of Duraz. READ MORE
MAP-Asia implements two CBEMR projects in Thailand
THAILAND - In November 2014, MAP-Asia organised and facilitated a workshop and study tour to have communities from Southern Thailand involved in two mangrove restoration projects get trained and share knowledge in CBEMR. This initiative was organised by MAP after the communities from one of the projects (GNF) new to CBEMR heard that communities from another project (EPIC) already had experience in CBEMR and expressed their desire to learn from them. The Global Nature Fund project (GNF) project on Mangrove rehabilitation in Asia – Local Action and cross-border Transfer of Knowledge for the Conservation of Climate, Forests and Biodiversity started in January 2012. While restoring mangroves, the project will help the local communities develop new sustainable livelihood opportunities. The GNF project is being implemented in communities in 4 Asian countries, including five villages of Southern Thailand, Ban Laem Ma Kham, Ban Bang Kang Kao, Ban Tung Gor, Ban Tha Sanook and Ban Nainang. The GNF project in Thailand is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Foundation Ursula Merz and Synchronicity Earth. READ MORE
Professor rallies to save sea life
THAILAND – When Asst Prof Thon Thamrongnawasawat comes out to speak, you know that marine life is in clear and present danger. In the last two weeks, his name returned to the spotlight after he posted an open letter online lamenting the environmental degradation of Similan National Marine Park in the Andaman Sea, especially the condition of the coral reefs and marine environment at the beautiful and popular Koh Tachai. Asst Prof Thon, a marine biology lecturer at Kasetsart University and an established environmental writer, has focused on the effects of pollution, land encroachment and tourism on marine ecology, and how the food and tourism industries exploit the fragile environment of national parks. Asst Prof Thon, who received a Ph.D. in marine biology from James Cook University in Australia and is a member of the National Reform Council, talks to Life about the problem of conserving Thailand's marine resources. READ MORE
Senate adopts resolution recognizing women achievers
PHILIPPINES - In celebration of Women’s Month this March, the Senate adopted on Monday a resolution recognizing women for their valuable contributions to society, particularly citing 14 women achievers and an all-woman mountaineering team. The resolution introduced by Senator Pia Cayetano seeks to honor the economic, political and social achievements of Filipina women while calling for greater gender equality in the society. “Women’s Month is an opportune time to recognize outstanding women who continue to raise the bar and break the glass ceiling, not only in the country, but also across the world,” Cayetano said in a statement “It is important to continually acknowledge the role that women play towards nation building. The Senate is one with the country in celebrating Women’s Month by honoring outstanding and brilliant women from different walks of life who have been continuous achievers in different fields,” she added. READ MORE
Green crusader on mangrove mission
INDIA - Nothing hurts him more than watching his beloved Sunderbans lose its mangrove cover. He has seen thousands of trees being chopped or damaged over the last 10 years that almost altered the look of the forest. This prompted him to take up cudgels for the "lifeline of Sunderbans". Nine years after he planted his first mangrove at Sagar Island, Pranabesh Maity — a farmer-turned-green activist — is ready to launch a massive campaign to save the trees that have been central to Sunderbans' existence. READ MORE
14 yrs on, green heroes get ready for another battle for mangroves
INDIA - Fourteen years ago, the realisation that plans were being made since 1992 to destroy the Versova mangroves to create residential societies turned active citizens from the area into mangrove saviours. With the civic body allocating the mangrove land for 37 housing societies in its proposed development plan, residents are ready to start the fight to protect the green cover, yet again. In 2001, local residents and members of the Save Andheri Versova Environment (Save) found out that the state government had sold 45,000 sqm land covering the mangroves on the stretch, also called survey 161, to promoters of 34 societies, although the Coastal Regulation Zone 1991 rules had come into effect. The forum then dragged the state to court and finally got the Bombay high court to ask the state to ensure the mangroves are not damaged and remain protected. The allotment of plots was, thus, struck down and the state was ordered to transfer the land to the forest department. READ MORE
Panama Bay Protected by Federal Law
PANAMA - In 2009, the wetlands of Panama Bay were protected through an Administrative Resolution under the National Environmental Authority of Panama (ANAM by its Spanish acronym). In the February 2014 issue of WHSRNews, we celebrated the permanent reinstatement of the bay’s protected status after it was suspended for more than a year while opposing sides debated the legality of that status. The sigh of relief was brief. As we shared in the June 2014 issue of WHSRNews, Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli tried to pass a law to protect the Panama Bay during his last month in office—minus some 750 hectares of its mangroves, however. The section being excluded was one of the most desirable areas for development around the bay. Yet again, the Panama Audubon Society and its partners protested the political maneuver, and the Supreme Court agreed. READ MORE
Free Guatemala’s River Madre Vieja
Recently 100 people, members of different Communities of Nueva Concepción, Escuintla, organized to release four dams on the Madre Vieja River, that had prevented water from reaching the middle and lower basins of the river, and had been strangling mangrove systems below. Using picks and shovels the group opened the dams which had been built unilaterally and irresponsibly by palm and sugarcane companies. For two months the community members had attempted to initiate dialogue with the representatives of Hamme Group producers of palm oil. After several meetings and unfulfilled agreements by the company, the communities decided to take direct action to solve the problem that had been affecting thousands of people. But within a few days after their action, and before the water could even reach the lower boundraries, the palm and sugarcane companies had reconstructed the dams. once again blocking the opportunity for people and mangroves to receive the river's life-giving water. READ MORE
Better late than never as mangrove monitoring starts
AUSTRAILIA - MANGROVE monitoring should have started in Gladstone 20 years ago, scientist Jock Mackenzie says. Making up for lost time, a team of scientists, traditional landowners and mapping experts met at Barney Point on Wednesday to launch a comprehensive and long-term monitoring project. Hector Johnson Park, an area teeming with biologically rich mangroves, was the perfect starting point. The park was named after the father of Gooreng Gooreng traditional elder Richard Johnson, who was providing cultural, historical and scientific information to the James Cook University researchers. "When I was a young fella there were no swings or merry-go-rounds," he said. "Mangroves are nature's nurseries. They nurture small animals and sea life and it's where I used to come as a kid to play all day." The importance of mangrove habitats cannot be understated. READ MORE
WELCOME EMILY! THANKS FOR YOUR EFFORTS!
My name is Emily Godfrey and I have the pleasure of working with the MAP Asia team until the 26th of April.
I am 22 years old and am just completing a masters in tropical marine biology at the University of Essex, UK. I have a passion for conservation and community engagement. At home, along with university, I work for a local charity (Essex Wildlife Trust), organising river restoration projects, running a group of over 100 volunteers and running a website (www.essexrivershub.org.uk) and twitter feed.
I can’t wait to get started here and hope that I can assist you in any ways that you need me to. Thank you so much for having me and making me feel so welcome already.
Just a note to say that Karine is still here and she will continue to answer any emails that you send her.
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Thursday, April 2, 2015
MAP News Issue 361, April 4, 2015
Posted by BlogAdmin at 9:52 PM