Thursday, August 20, 2015

MAP News Issue 371, August 22, 2015

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The MAP News
371st Edition                                Aug 22, 2015


FEATURE STORY

Costco sued over claims shrimp harvested with slave labour
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USA – Costco Wholesale Corp was sued for selling farmed shrimp from Thailand, where slave labour and human trafficking in the fishing industry are widespread, and allegedly misleading US consumers about it. A California woman, Monica Sud, filed what may be the first such lawsuit against the retailer over liability for the Thai fishing industry. She cited state laws that bar companies from making false claims about illegal conduct in their supply chain, including human rights violations. The lawsuit also names as a defendant the US distributor of the prawns, Columbia, Maryland-based CP Food Products Inc., and the company's Thailand-based parent company, Charoen Pokphand Foods Pcl, a "global conglomerate.'" Costco's purchases of Thailand's farmed prawns, which are fed a diet of cheap fish caught at sea with unpaid, forced labour, helps prop up an industry whose practices are ignored by local authorities, according to the complaint filed Wednesday in San Francisco federal court. READ MORE
 
AFRICA
 
Threats to Senegal's southern mangroves:
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SENEGAL - Two companies are eyeing an environmentally sensitive coastal area in southern Senegal, causing locals to fear the loss of this protected area. The  Australian and Chinese Astron Carnegie, one of the largest zircon buyers in the world, plan to extract zirconium mineral massively for worldwide consumption. The mineral is used by the nuclear industry and for paints and abrasive papers. An exploration permit has been issued by the Government of Senegal in 2004 setting in motion a classic theme "employment against environment". And since 2007, hundreds of small exploratory drilling took place in "Dune". On 1 August 2014, the State of Senegal issued a decree allowing Carnegie/Astron to move into the exploitation phase.  Locals in the area are concerned by this operation between Niafarang, Diouloulou, Kabadio and Abéné and oppose this devastating mining project against their precious ecosystem. READ MORE
 
ASIA
 
India group celebrates Mangrove Action Day 2015
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INDIA - Over the years, APOWA (Action for Protection of Wild Animals) has been contributing innovative ideas into action for the restoration, conservation and sustainable management of the mangroves through involving community members in Odisha. With support from Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project (ICZMP), Odisha, Centre for Environment Education (CEE) SGP, Mangroves for the Future (MFF), Mangrove Forest Division (WL), Rajnagar, other stakeholders and APOWA has taken the initiative to restore mangroves in coastal Odisha. Since the coastal communities have been motivated and make aware the importance of mangroves, they have shown interest to participate in the restoration programme. At the village level, a community network has constituted such as 'Village Mangrove Councils (VMC)' which have taken the entire responsibility to restore mangroves around the village. Because of this, the households in the village are becoming a watch dog for the protection of the mangroves.  READ MORE
 
Sindhudurg’s mangrove cover increasing, study reveals
INDIA - Even as mangroves in Mumbai continue to be destroyed, a different story has panned out in Sindhudurg. A study by the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Centre (MRSAC) based on satellite images has revealed 3,300 hectares of mangrove in the coastal district as against 2,000 hectares recorded in 2005. More than 1,070 hectares have been notified as dense mangrove areas, while 349 hectares are sparse, said Dilip M Kolte, senior resources scientist, MRSAC. Around 20 mangrove species have been recorded and 19 species are being raised in nurseries. “The area in Sindhudurg is conducive for natural regeneration of plants, which could be a major factor determining the increase in mangrove cover,” said Arvind Untawale, retired marine biologist and executive secretary, Mangrove Society of India. “The marine biodiversity around Sindhudurg should be exposed to the public for education, recreation and most importantly, conservation,” said Untawale. READ MORE
 
Stop mangrove destruction in Indonesia to slow climate change
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INDONESIA – The loss of Indonesia's coastal mangrove forests for shrimp farming is a huge source of carbon emissions, writes Prodita Sabarini. But equally, a policy flip to preserve and recreate mangroves offers a major climate win. Preventing the loss of Indonesian mangroves would help in the global fight against climate change, new research shows. The study, published recently in Nature Climate Change, estimated that if Indonesia halts mangrove deforestation it could reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions by between 10% to 31%. That would be globally significant, since Indonesia is among the world's highest contributors to global emissions - ranked 12th in the world in 2012, according to European Commission figures, behind others led by China, the US and the European Union, and just ahead of Australia. READ MORE
 
Divar’s mangroves face ‘Champion’ threat; villagers unite to fight yacht club
INDIA - Is this another Tiracol in the making? The pristine island of Divar is witnessing the beginning of a similar agitation against the reported threat to the ecology of the village because of the construction of a yacht club.
Destruction of mangroves and the disturbance of the peace on the island of Divar have got the islanders up in arms against a private company that is planning the yacht club project on the island. The story began on July 8, 2014, when Goltim-Navelim-Piedade Panchayat granted provisional NOC (No Objection Certificate) to Champions Yacht Club, which led to the destruction of mangroves on the island and disturbed the peace of the villagers. The destruction of mangroves and dredging of small tributaries, on which traditional fishermen banked upon, occurred to develop the private land that falls within Survey Number 118/1. The village gram sabha held on August 9 resolved that henceforth NOCs and permissions for such projects on the island would not be issued until placed before the villagers at a gram sabha.
“We had given provisional NOCs based on their request and now it has been revoked as Champions Yacht Club has failed to furnish permissions from other state government authorities as per conditions of the NOCs,” Sarpanch Prasad Harmalkar told Herald. READ MORE
 
Editorial: Make it mangroves
PHILIPPINES - Last July 31, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 halted a real estate developer whose project reportedly damaged 200 mangrove trees in Liloan. A cease-and-desist order was filed against the Psalm Property Venture and Development Corp. (PPVDC) for damaging mangroves in a timberland area in Sitio Tulay, Cotcot in its backfilling operations for the La Costa Ivyza Subdivision project. Last March, or four months earlier, the DENR 7 contracted 14 people’s organizations (POs) to restore approximately 180 hectares of mangroves and beach forest plantations in 11 northern towns in Cebu that bore the brunt of super typhoon Yolanda in November 2013. In March 2015, mangrove reforestation was prioritized by the DENR 7 to aid the recovery of families devastated by Yolanda’s battering of seaside communities in Bantayan Island, Camotes Island, Daanbantayan, Medellin, San Remigio, Bogo City, Tabogon, Borbon, Sogod, Catmon and Carmen. The work-for-food program had also a long-term objective: mitigate the effects of climate change in a sustainable manner. As essential as the protection of coastal communities from storm surges and flooding is the restoration of coastal resources through the protection, reforestation and management of mangrove plantations. READ MORE
 
Forest department gives green signal for mangrove parks
INDIA - Every conservationist dreams about a walk-through in the vast mangroves (wetland) in the city and Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). This dream may soon become a reality, as the state forest department has agreed to go ahead with a proposal for mangrove parks, keeping in view the guidelines issued by the High Court. Giving this assurance in the state Assembly, Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said that the city’s mangrove cover had increased manifold in the past 15 years. The minister was responding to a calling attention notice from Shiv Sena’s Sada Sarvankar and others. The legislators claimed mangrove cover had reduced because of illegal felling and dumping of construction material. BJP’s Ashish Shelar asked the minister if his department would approve the mangrove parks proposed by Debi Goenka, head, Conservation Action Trust, a non-profit organisation. Mungantiwar said he was all for such parks and that he would go ahead with the proposal in tune with the directives of the High Court. READ MORE
 
AMERICAS
 
Grand Coral continues environmental damage despite lack of permit
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MEXICO - The Grand Coral continues filling in a mangrove that, according to municipal officials, they do not have permission to do. Grand Coral workers began filling in the mangrove earlier this week when local authorizes were alerted by concerned citizens. Aké Liana Singing and Navarro Emilio Tamargo, Director of Environment and Urban Development Councilor, respectively, announced the municipality’s intervention to inspect the Grand Coral and its filling in of the mangrove. According to Ake Canto, representatives of Grand Coral have hidden behind a felling permit they received from the municipal administration when Alonso Durán served as director of Environmental Planning and Urban Management. During his time as director, the Grand Coral was also granted with two hectares of mangrove. READ MORE
 
OCEANA
 
Climate stance of Australian politicians 'disturbing' – US Geological Survey chief
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AUSTRALIA - A senior US government official has decried a “disturbing” rejection of climate science by Australian politicians. Virginia Burkett, chief scientist for climate and land-use change at the US Geological Survey, said the denial of climate science by Australian decision-makers was a surprise to her. “I thought it was just a US problem but it’s not, apparently, it’s a global problem,” she said. Burkett said an Australian study on the response of government to coastal planning showed “most policymakers don’t trust the science, which is so disturbing to me”. “When we scientists talk, we are trained to qualify our statements with uncertainty and perhaps that throws policymakers a little bit,” she said. “If I picked one single sea level rise for the future, it would probably be the wrong one. We have to give you a range. READ MORE

New book contains an extensive review of the role of mangroves in estuarine ecosystems
AUSTRALIA-UK – A recently released book explains the workings of an estuary ecosystem, quantifies the human impact on those processes, and proposes ecohydrology solutions that will serve as a toolkit for designing a management plan for the ecologically sustainable development of estuaries. Estuarine Ecohydrology: An Introduction provides an ecohydrology viewpoint of an estuary as an ecosystem by focusing on its principal components, the river, the estuarine waters, the sediment, the nutrients, the wetlands (including the mangroves), the oceanic influence, and the aquatic food web, as well as models of the health of an estuary ecosystem. Estuaries, the intersection of freshwater and coastal ecosystems, exhibit complex physical and biological processes which must be understood in order to sustain and restore them when necessary. This book demonstrates how, based on an understanding of the processes controlling estuarine ecosystem health, one can quantify its ability to cope with human stresses. The theories, models, and real-world solutions presented serve as a toolkit for designing a management plan for the ecologically sustainable development of estuaries. READ MORE

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Action Alerts:

India: stop fishing cat poaching now!
The fishing cat is a sleek, stealthy predator at home in mangrove forests and marshlands in South Asia. Habitat loss and poaching have cut their numbers in half in less than two decades. Tell the Indian forest authorities to finally give it the protection it deserves!

 
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Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum


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It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.
 
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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

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