Thursday, April 16, 2015

MAP News Issue 362, April 18, 2015

The MAP News
362nd Edition                                April 18, 2015


'Wrong' mangrove rehab in Yolanda areas wasting funds
PHILLIPINES - When marine biologist Margie Dela Cruz saw an old man about to plant mangrove seedlings in a channel in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, she panicked. The man was about to plant a species of mangroves called Rhizophora, more commonly called bakhaw, in seagrass beds, a completely different ecosystem from mangroves and home to a different set of organisms. Bakhaw do not naturally grow in the channel in the fishing village of Namitan. Instead, pagatpat (Sonneratia alba) and piapi (Avicennia marina) mangroves thrive there. By planting mangroves that had never been there, the reforestation only replaced one valuable habitat with another less viable one. Dela Cruz clearly remembered what the old man replied to her panicked questioning: "Sa gobyerno naman 'yan. Bakit sila magtuturo ng mali? (This is a government project, Why will they teach us the wrong thing?)" But that is exactly what may be the case, according to several Filipino scientists. READ MORE


MAP’s Curriculum Project in Bangladesh Report Released
Curricullum 2
BANGLADESH – The Marvellous Mangroves (MM) Curriculum is a 350-page guidebook for schoolteachers, environmental clubs and higher level students to get intensive knowledge on mangroves through theoretical knowledge, hands on activities and visit to the Sundarbans wetlands including mangrove forests. The curriculum has already proved its importance and has been adapted, replicated and is under implementation in Australia, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Cayman Islands, China, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Mr. Martin A. Keeley, currently the Global Education Director of Mangrove Action Project (MAP) is the main author of MM Curriculum along with teachers and scientists from different corners of the world. READ THE REPORT

Move for 2nd Rampal power unit on while first one flounders
BANGLADESH - A government agency has made a move to develop more land at Rampal for building a second thermal power plant although the first one of 1,320-megawatt seems trapped in complexities and complaints. Officials said the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) planned to spend Tk 5.41 billion on land development, and construction of the protection and boundary walls for the second block of Rampal power plant. "We recently sent a Tk 5.41 billion project proposal to the Planning Commission. If approved, we will start land-development work on the Rampal power-generation-project site," said a BPDB official. READ MORE

MAP Asia hosts CBEMR field visits for DMCR and IUCN
THAILAND - On Wednesday the 8th and Thursday the 9th of April, MAP Asia, with assistance from Raks Thai (CARE Thailand) Foundation, hosted a visit for members of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), DMCR (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources) and people from the local communities. Representative included Mr Chakri Roadfai (Director of Mangrove Resources Conservation Office, DMCR) and Dr Chamniern (Country Representative, IUCN Thailand). The representatives would be visiting five sites over two days as a key component of MAP’s Ecosystems Protection Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) project. The main objectives of this visit was to show real examples of restoration projects and help to increase the understanding of their failings or successes, hoping that lessons can be learned and integrated into future restoration, management and policy. READ MORE

Turtle nesting sites, mangroves at high risk due to oil spill
INDIA - Turtle nesting sites on the shorelines, mangroves in the inland waters and coral reefs in the sea are identified as highly vulnerable groups in the event of oil spill off the Goa coast, according to experts. "Many of Goa's diverse and ecologically important coastlines, including the inland riverine systems, are home to diverse and unique flora and fauna. Oil spills cause disruption and devastation of migratory pathways, degradation of important animals and plant habitat," stated the Goa State Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan prepared by the State Pollution Control Board (GPCB). READ MORE


Ecological restoration of mangrove in the RAMSAR 1000
HONDURAS - Ramsar Site #1000 is the area of wetlands in the Gulf of Fonseca that Honduras has committed itself to protect through an international agreement. The Honduran Congress strengthens that obligation through decree 5-99-E, which declares those wetlands as "Protected Areas" with the ecological designation of "Species Habitat Areas." Recently, Mangrove Action Project (MAP) with financial support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and permission from the approval of the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Mines launched a project named “Communities Basis in the Ecological Restoration of Mangroves” in site 1000. However, upon arrival it was discovered that a shrimp farm had been illegally setup against environmental law and within the confines of the ports security administration. Suddenly, the Ministry of the Environment abruptly suspends all cooperation. READ MORE also available EN ESPAÑOL

No trans shipping Port Portland Bight Protected Area, Jamaica
There is a situation brewing in Jamaica where state-owned China Harbour Engineering Company wants to build a massive shipping port. The Government already set aside the Portland Bight Protected Area, the Goat Islands area and surrounding waters for the endangered species. The Jamaican government did an about face and now the area is being considered for development of this huge port. Hellshire Hills, Jamaica is the last remaining home of the critically endangered Jamaican Iguana. The PBPA is a cultural heritage site, being once the home of the Taino Tribe, that at one time inhabited much of the south coast of Jamaica encluding Old Harbour, and around the Goat Islands in the Portland Bight Protected Area. READ MORE

Nat Geo video explores mangrove forests of Costa Rica
COSTA RICA - The Pacific and Caribbean shorelines of Costa Rica are home to various mangrove forests that are extremely important for marine and coastal ecosystems. These forests feature unique vegetation that thrives on brackish water, and which provides a fertile habitat for many wildlife species such as tropical fish, crabs, caimans, monkeys, bats, and many birds. Aside from serving as animal habitats, mangrove forests are also filtration systems that balance salinity and absorb pollutants. In the current period of climate change, mangrove forests are the first line of defense against the rising sea levels and the drastic high tides that are being experienced across the Americas; mangroves also protect against natural disasters such as tropical storms and hurricanes. A new National Geographic video briefly explains the importance of mangroves in Rio Tigre, a coastal community in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica VIEW VIDEO

Army Corp Tells Neal Not to Kill Mangroves on Perico Island
USA – In a letter sent to Pat Neal on Thursday, the Army Corp of Engineers sent a clear message: If you want to develop, don’t kill the mangroves. Neal needs approval of three entities – the City of Bradenton, SWFMD and the Army Corp of Engineers – before he can destroy mangroves for development on Perico Island. If any one of them denies permission, the irreplaceable environment of the mangroves will remain protected. The letter should come as no surprise, as three federal agencies have thus far recommended denial. Citizens have been very vocal about the mangroves requested to be destroyed by Neal, writing almost a hundred letters opposing the project. 22-year Manatee County Commission veteran, Joe McClash, who challenged a permit about to be issued by SWFMD, responded that he was "hopeful that the laws and rules protecting mangroves would finally be respected." READ MORE

Environmentalists challenging feds over turtle deaths from commercial shrimping
USA – An environmental group is suing the federal government over deaths of thousands of sea turtles caught in shrimping nets, saying regulators ignore rules that might save them. “These agencies have violated their statutory mandate,” says a lawsuit the activist group Oceana filed Wednesday in federal court in Washington. The group wants a judge to order the National Marine Fisheries Service to rewrite a report it issued last year that said shrimping operations “will not reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery” of several species of sea turtles that are endangered or threatened. The suit argues the agency’s report, called a biological opinion, is “arbitrary and capricious” and ignored scientific information about the scale of the damage from shrimping. The 2014 report estimated 53,622 turtles were killed annually in trawling nets. READ MORE

15th International Children Contest Announcement for teachers and schools
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 the 2016 calendar to be distributed internationally to raise awareness of mangrove forest ecology. This creative contest aims to promote appreciation and awareness of mangrove forests, and to encourage and listen to creative voices of children living in mangrove areas. Help us launch this program in your school by contacting science and art teachers in your area and encourage them to work together on this fun and innovative project. READ MORE  also available EN ESPAÑOL


ABS data shows reef coral, seagrass loss
AUSTRALIA - STARTLING statistics have revealed a severe drop in the reef's seagrass, coral and water quality in the Fitzroy region and the Mackay and Whitsunday region. Figures show the Fitzroy region has recorded a decline of more than 50% in seagrass and coral quality on the Great Barrier Reef. The Mackay and Whitsunday region has had a 45% drop in water quality. Recently the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the first ecosystem accounts that examined data taken over the past decade of the reef's condition and scored it accordingly. It showed seagrass condition had dropped by more than half in the Fitzroy area; going from 100 points when data started being collected in 2005-06 to just 38 points in 2012. There has also been a decline in seagrass condition in the Mackay and Whitsunday region, going from 100 points in 2005 to its lowest level of 21 points in 2011. READ MORE

In praise of seagrasses and their special place in the Pacific
AUSTRALIA – An international project that's helping save the threatened dugongs of Solomon Islands and Vanuatu has produced some amazing facts about their seagrass habitats. Pacific Regional Environment Program's migratory species specialist, Mike Donoghue says they store carbon dioxide 35 times faster than rainforests can and ecology assessments rate them as three times more valuable than coral reefs. They're clearly an underwater miracle plant and James Cook University researcher Len McKenzie says the value of seagrass is not widely appreciated. Listen to PODCAST


    “Placing a site on the Ramsar list does not ensure the conservation of the natural wetland habitats within it”.
~Source “Ramsar Briefing Note 7, the “State of the World’s Wetlands and their Services to People: A compilation of recent analyses,”

Activist Nancy DeRosa of Society of Akumal's Vital Ecology (SAVE) in Mexico speaks out about the ineffectiveness of Ramsar listing in light of recent findings.

“Our world’s shorelines and water ways are indeed in trouble. Workshops and new initiatives are fantastic.  But how much time do we really have?  Here in the Riviera Maya coastline of Mexico, the wetlands resemble a crash victim. RAMSAR is not making enough of a difference.  Something must change.  If this crash victim receives immediate care, the victim may survive…”
“… I think that my small grassroots NGO, SAVE, is doing more and making differences than the well funded diplomatic group of RAMSAR.  Although it is risky to speak out as a private citizen amongst power giants that run this coastline, it has its rewards, rewards that can be seen on the ground. If RAMSAR Mexico could take a more active position to help we could together make a change, but in the past as I have had dialogs with this group, there has been no action, and no change…” READ HER ENTIRE LETTER


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Action Alerts:
No trans shipping Port Portland Bight Protected Area, Jamaica SIGN OUR PETITION

Volunteer Opportunities with Mangrove Action Project CLICK HERE


Introducing the “refreshed” Blue Planet Links website, a go-to resource for teachers, students, and the interested public as they navigate the web for useful material about water.

What is CBEMR? Easy to follow fact sheet – CLICK HERE

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".
Join us in saving our beautiful country!
We hope you have been following the ongoing battle in Bimini, Bahamas.
We are in need of your help more than ever Click here

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
Sign the Petition

Question Your Shrimp- Don't Buy or Sell Imported Tropical Shrimp! Sign the Petition

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

Order your 2015 Calendar
Mangrove Calendar 2015 FRONT 2
1-20 calendars, $12 each plus shipping
21-49 calendars, $10 ea plus shipping
50-100 calendars, $8 each plus shipping.
Over 100 $7 each plus shipping

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View MAP’s uploaded Videos at MAPmangrover’sChannel

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
Question Your Shrimp

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