Thursday, April 30, 2015

MAP News Issue 363, May 2. 2015


The MAP News
363rd Edition                                May 2, 2015


Innovative project helps women conserve mangroves
CAMEROON - About 400 women in Cameroon’s coastal zones are contributing to environmental conservation by smoking fish with fish scales and kitchen waste as alternatives to using wood from mangrove forests. In Cameroon, mangrove forests — made up of salt-tolerant trees and shrubs found between small streams and the sea — are in danger of becoming extinct because of the tendency of women to harvest them for smoking fish. “Since 2009 when we got in contact with Organisation pour l’Environnement et le Développement Durable (OPED), we learnt to smoke fish using fish scales and kitchen waste, [which add] add local aroma and the result is an even better colour and taste,”says one of the beneficiaries, Wendi Eko, a fish smoker in Kribi, Cameroon.  “Before then we used mangrove wood to smoke fish because we obtained a good colouration and better taste than wood from tall trees of the dryland.” READ MORE

Mangroves battling after Mobeni oil leak
SOUTH AFRICA - Delicate ecosystems affected by a fire that ripped through a cooking oil refinery in Mobeni last month are struggling to recover. Mangroves in the Bayhead area, spanning about 15ha and home to numerous land and aquatic species, were hard hit by the fire and resultant oil leak. The fire – which raged for six hours and was possibly caused by an electrical fault – started at 4am at Africa Sun Oil Refineries, which produces cooking oil, beauty and laundry soap and margarine.  Reaching temperatures of 1 300°C, the blaze ruptured one of the pipes, causing the unprocessed oil to leak into the canals nearby and end up in the mangroves. The company has not disclosed how much oil leaked into the ecosystem, and the site – being investigated by the Department of Labour – has still not been released back to the company. READ MORE
World Earth Day: Environmental Education and Community Development Camp
THAILAND - In celebration of World Earth Day on the 22nd of April 2015, MAP Asia held a two and a half day environmental education and community development camp in Bang Kang Kao community, Trang province one of the GNF (Global Nature Fund) sites between the 20th and 22nd of April. This camp involved around 20 facilitators including staff from MAP, members of the community, and student volunteers from Surat Thani Rajabhat University and staff from the Bang Kang Kao School. The objective of this camp was two fold; provide the Bang Kang Khao School with mangrove awareness display exhibits and expand the environmental education knowledge of of 21 students in years four and five, with a focus on mangrove ecosystems. READ MORE

Rampant mining damaging one of China's largest mangroves - and authorities 'turning blind eye'
CHINA – Illegal "rampant quarrying" has damaged one of mainland China's largest mangrove reserves in southern west Guangxi autonomous region say villagers, who accuse local authorities of "receiving benefits in return for turning a blind eye". Nineteen huge open limestone pits - some up to 40 metres deep and stretching over an area of more than 1,300 square metres - have been dug in the mangrove forests and tidal flats of Hepu county where locals once farmed shrimps and crabs. The mining had caused ecological damage, and air and noise pollution, The Beijing News reported. A villager in Dushan told the Sunday Morning Post that quarrying in the area - which comes under the administration of coastal Beihai city - had been going on for about a decade, but intensified in recent years. READ MORE
Note from the Exec. Dir. - Discovering slave labor aboard fishing boats coming so close to Earth Day should be a wake up call to all who are so drowsy as to not see the problem runs deeper than slave ships plying the waters of SE Asia to put food on the plates of wealthy importing nations, who can afford the higher prices for their imported seafood. Butt in the long run, can humanity afford the price of such deep rooted wrongs? All of these issues from human rights abuse, food insecurity, climate change and countless wars and engendered violence point to a civilization seriously needing to reflect upon itself. Where humankind is not so kind and the food we consume is poisoned by chemicals, blood and slavery, by the end of the day, our means to our ends will determine our end.   Perhaps, it's time to question where our diets are bound to, and make sure they are not food chains of slavery. Alfredo Q.
Associated Press links slave fishing labor to Thai Union, prominent U.S. firms
THAILAND - The Associated Press (AP) on Tuesday linked seafood products harvested by slave laborers on fishing boats in Indonesia to major seafood companies around the world, including Thai Union Frozen Products (TUF), Thailand’s largest seafood corporation and one of the largest in the world. Its article, titled “Are slaves catching the fish you buy?” details oppressive living and working conditions for laborers, mostly from Myanmar, one of the world’s poorest nations, on fishing boats and in isolated locations in Indonesia. Those considered flight risks are often locked up as prisoners. The AP then linked the products the workers harvested to major international and U.S. seafood companies like TUF, California distributor Santa Monica Seafood, Stavis Seafoods in Boston and retail giants like Walmart, Kroger and Safeway and foodservice distributor Sysco. READ MORE
Mangrove cell, MSEB see red over destruction of greens in Airoli
INDIA – Hundreds mangrove trees on a five-acre plot near the Airoli Kalba complex get destroyed, but no one knows who did it. While the Maharashtra state mangrove cell officials, who visited the site on Friday, claimed the trees were hacked for construction of an electricity tower undertaken by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB), the latter has denied the allegations. HT had reported how more than 100 mangrove trees in sector 20 were felled, in a breach of the 2005 high court order that bans destruction of mangrove forests across the state, and also within 50m of the vegetation. “The trees have been hacked with the Centre’s permission to make way for high-tension transmission lines passing through the area and a new tower that is coming up,” said N Vasudevan, chief conservator of forests of the mangrove cell. READ MORE

Shrimpers get crabby about EMS, low prices
THAILAND - Shrimp farmers are calling for urgent aid measures to ease their plight caused by the double blow of early mortality syndrome (EMS) and falling prices. Representatives of 3,000 small shrimp farms, hatchery operators, processing factories and related industries led by Banchong Nisapavanich, chairman of the Thai Shrimp Farmers Federation, and Somsak Paneetatyasai, president of the Thai Shrimp Association , filed a request letter yesterday with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. They have asked his administration to help stabilise the local white shrimp or vannamei prices, ease financial liquidity for exporters, tackle the early mortality syndrome, and list shrimp on the national agenda, meaning the industry is worthy of special treatment and care from authorities. The coalition also called on the government to work out measures to control the appreciation of the baht in order to increase Thai shippers export competitiveness. READ MORE
Jean Wiener - Islands and Island Nations 2015 Goldman Prize Recipient
HAITI - In a country plagued by extreme poverty and political instability, Jean Wiener led community efforts to establish the nation’s first Marine Protected Areas by empowering Haitians to see the long-term value in sustainably managing fisheries and mangrove forests. Haiti is home to an incredibly diverse array of marine life, housed in mangrove forests and coastal reefs. It is also the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80 percent of the population living in poverty. Natural disasters and political instability have further hampered the nation’s ability to create meaningful economic opportunities for its citizens. Driven by extreme poverty, many Haitians have resorted to overfishing. Fish stocks have been further decimated as locals cut down mangrove trees—key habitat for young fish—to illegally make and sell charcoal. Others have turned to harvesting coral reefs, which also provide protection and shelter for fish, for construction material such as rocks and lime. READ MORE
Manifesto of Earth Day REDMANGLAR
HONDURAS - In the present context there is little to celebrate, the rate of destruction of our natural systems accelerated from just over 50 years, as in any other period of humanity. Although more and more information about current and future effects of climate change worldwide have not taken steps to stop burning fossil fuels measures, the main source of CO2 production. Nor has effort managed to effectively reduce deforestation and loss of forests and woodlands. The loss of forests continues at an alarming rate, even organizations like FAO, indicate that the "reduction of forest land use caused by deforestation over a period of 20 years, is offset by the increase in forest area." What it does not say is that often is considered within this increase in forest area, large monoculture tree plantations or oil palm, responsible for deforestation in many countries, loss of biodiversity and indigenous territories. READ MORE
Test finds 60% of raw shrimp tainted with bacteria, including superbug MRSA
USA - If you’re one of many people who eat shrimp regularly, this may give you pause: A new study by Consumer Reports found that 60% of the raw shrimp that it tested was tainted with bacteria, including some with a dangerous, drug-resistant strain. Most shrimp is farmed in exporting countries like Thailand, Vietnam, India, and Indonesia, which provide 94% of the US supply. And conditions are pretty gross: If ponds aren’t properly managed, “a sludge of fecal matter, chemicals and excess food can build up and decay,” Consumer Reports said in its study, “How Safe is Your Shrimp?” Shrimp are often given heavy doses of antibiotics to ward off bacteria and algae that thrive in their crowded tanks and ponds. READ MORE
MAGROVES – An Asset to Treasure
FRANCE - The   CNRS (Centre National  de la Recherche Scientifique,  National Center for Scientific Research) and IRD ( Institut de Recherche pour le développement,  Institute for Research and Development), two of the most important  French  Research Institutes, have decreed the year 2015 as "Mangrove's Year". Within the framework of this Mangrove's Year, different actions are underway or planned: specific research programs, workshops, scientific papers, and also articles aimed at the general public, photographic exhibitions, etc..  Research teams are studying mangroves across the globe to explore the crucial role these ecosystems play for the well-being of local populations and the planet. READ MORE


 Hello All,
It is with real sadness that I have to say that my time is over here in Thailand. One month really has not been enough!
A huge thank you for the opportunity to work with a great organisation, I have learned so much and made lifetime memories. I have been inspired by the hard work that everyone puts in to make this work so successful.  I hope that I can cross paths with many of you in the future and be back in Thailand to visit again very soon.
Thanks again,
Emily Godfrey
MAP-Asia Office Development & Field Project Assistant (Intern)


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Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum

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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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