Thursday, October 1, 2015

MAP News Issue 374, Oct 3, 2015


The MAP News
374th Edition                                Oct. 04, 2015


Mangrove crusader Kallen Pokkudan no more
INDIA - The noted environmentalist and mangrove crusader from Kerala, Kallen Pokkudan passed away on Sunday, Sep 27. He was undergoing treatment for age related illness in a private hospital in Kannur, Kerala. Pokkudan dedicated his entire life for the cultivation and protection of Mangrove forests across the state. In a span of three decades, Pokkudan also known by the name Kandal (Mangrove) has planted around 1 lakh mangroves across Kerala. Mangroves offer a lifeline to areas under the threat of natural disasters like Tsunami. Pokkudan had minimal education which extended only up to 2nd standard. He founded the Mangrove School and conducted over 500 classes in various parts of the state in an attempt to educate the masses about the ecological importance of mangroves. Pokkudan's last work, Kandal Inangal (Mangrove Species) is a work elaborating various species of mangroves found in Kerala. Pokkudan's work to extend the mangrove cover has earned him a UNESCO special mention. READ MORE
How to save Indonesia’s mangroves
INDONESIA – Which of the world’s great forests store the most carbon per hectare? The dense tropical rainforests of the Amazon, Borneo, the Congo or Papua New Guinea? The vast northern forests of Canada and Siberia, or the towering mountain ash forests of Victoria and Tasmania? None of the above. In fact (counting carbon stored in soils), mangrove forests store the most carbon per hectare. Mangrove forests are amazingly tough, versatile and productive. They play a critical role in the feeding and breeding cycles of many fish and other aquatic species, and fish catches are much higher close to intact mangrove communities. They provide valuable timber and many other forest products. Recent cyclones have reminded us yet again that coastlines with intact mangroves are much more resilient. READ MORE
New scheme to end row over forest encroachment
THAILAND - ABOUT 420 families in Nakhon Si Thammarat province will benefit from a government scheme allowing locals to use parts of a mangrove forest in their hometown, if they agree to vacate some areas they have long encroached on.
This scheme is designed to ease land disputes between the state and locals who claim they or their ancestors lived in the area long before it was officially declared a forest zone. "We hope the scheme will create a win-win situation," said Chakree Rodfai, director of the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry's Mangrove Resources Conservation Office. He said locals would get the right to use the land through newly issued land-rights documents, while authorities would be able to reclaim some parts of the forest for rehabilitation and conservation. But he said locals will not have the right to sell the land they would be entitled to via the scheme. He added that the scheme is in response to a policy announced by the ministry's permanent secretary, Kasemsun Chinnavaso. READ MORE
BIOTROP to join SEAMEO Centres for Mangrove Conservation
THAILAND - BIOTROP agreed to collaborate with three other SEAMEO Centres to undertake a Mangrove Conservation Education Project starting next year. The three SEAMEO Centres are the Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA), Regional Centre for Quality Improvement of Teachers and Education Personnel in Science (SEAQIS) and the Regional Open Learning Centre (SEAMOLEC). The collaborative project was the result of the mangrove conservation education consultative meeting and study trip organized by SPAFA on 9-10 September 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand as a follow up of the initial discussion during the SEAMEO Centre Directors Meeting in July 2015. SPAFA has been engaged with Khlong Phitthaya Longkorn Primary School (KPLPS) and Bangpakong Bovorn Witthayayon Secondary School (BBWSS) in their mangrove conservation education by supporting a Mangrove Eco-museum Project that uses the mangrove as nature and cultural learning centre, and promoting mangrove education teaching materials. READ MORE
Myanmar Floods Spark Concerns About Deforestation
THAILAND - This year's monsoon floods in Myanmar, the most severe in a decade, affected an estimated 1.6 million people and killed more than 100. Almost 400,000 hectares of farmland, largely rice paddies, along with fish ponds and farm animals, were lost.  A tropical cyclone followed the devastation wrought by monsoon storms, sweeping away homes, roads and bridges. Peter Brimble, an Asian Development Bank specialist in Myanmar, said deforestation was a factor. “You look at the floods, and clearly the deforestation, at least in the mountains or the hills or in the deforested areas, led to some exacerbated impact of the floods," he said. "It seems pretty obvious.” The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization said Myanmar faces a crisis because an average of more than 540,000 hectares of forest cover have been lost each year since 2010.  READ MORE
Demand justice for environmental activists!
GUATEMALA - Environmental activist Rigoberto Lima Choc was murdered in northern Guatemala. This happened just after a court upheld charges he filed denouncing massive pollution caused by a palm oil company called Reforestadora de Palma de Petén (REPSA). Rigoberto was a 28-year old schoolteacher and indigenous activist. He was shot outside of a courthouse just one day after a court ordered the palm oil company to suspend operations due to a huge spill of palm oil waste. He had been among the first to report a massive fish die-off from the polluted water. The spill killed hundreds of thousands of fish, putting at risk the livelihoods of thousands of people in riverside communities. Experts call it an “ecocide” and among the largest single environmental disasters in Guatemalan history. By reporting and denouncing the spill, Rigoberto did the only responsible thing. READ MORE
Indigenous peoples bear the brunt of global greenwash
PARAGUAY - As ever more companies and governments pledge to 'go green' and protect forests, the world's tribal peoples should be among the main beneficiaries, writes Amy Dickens. Yet the reverse is the case. All too often the promises are purest greenwash, used to conceal the human and environmental tragedy of land-grabbing for plantations, mines, logging and even 'conservation'. In Paraguay's vast Chaco region, the familiar sounds of the forest are being drowned out by the rumble of heavy machinery. "Where jaguars once trod, now there are just the tracks of bulldozers", protests Porai Picanerai, a member of the Ayoreo tribe. His people are being chased from their ancestral lands by Brazilian corporation Yaguarete Pora. While some Ayoreo remain hiding in the forest, living in fear and isolation, those forced out are vulnerable to disease and illness. READ MORE
Vegan prawns take home PETA's top faux seafood prize
UK - At this year’s PETA UK Vegan Food Awards, the Best Faux Seafood distinction was awarded to Veggie World Vegan Prawns. For the ideal vegan prawn experience, PETA suggested that the product be grilled or barbecued with some oil, lemon and garlic. Such “prawns” are comprised of seaweed extract, wheat , salt, vegetarian spice and natural seasoning, according to the JR Vegetarian Ltd website. “The succulent ‘prawns’ bring an additional dimension to any last-minute vegan curry you happen to be whipping up – and no one had to die for them,” PETA UK said. The animal rights group noted that 2015 was a popular year for vegan cuisine with more vegan cookbooks hitting bookshelves and vegan home delivery services, like that developed by music artist Beyoncé, gaining notoriety VIEW SOURCE
Fisheries worldwide on the brink of collapse
UK -  Populations of some commercial fish stocks, such as a group including tuna, mackerel and bonito, had fallen by almost 75%, according to a study by WWF and the Zoological Society of London, ZSL. Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International said mismanagement was pushing “the ocean to the brink of collapse”. “There is a massive, massive decrease in species which are critical”, both for the ocean ecosystem and food security for billions of people, he said. “The ocean is resilient but there is a limit.” The report said populations of fish, marine mammals, birds and reptiles had fallen 49% between 1970 and 2012. For fish alone, the decline was 50%. The analysis said it tracked 5,829 populations of 1,234 species, such as seals, turtles and dolphins and sharks. It said the ZSL data sets were almost twice as large as past studies. READ MORE
New study exposes true costs of converting mangroves in Southeast Asia
NETHERLANDS - The world’s coastal mangroves are under pressure from increasing industrialization and growing populations, especially in Southeast Asia, where mangrove forests are still frequently converted into aquaculture developments. Wiping out a mangrove and converting it into an aquaculture operation is the most extreme management option available, of course. Some mangroves are protected, some are even open to ecotourism, and others are managed for timber production. Every mangrove provides different services, depending on how much it has been impacted by human activity and how well it has been managed or protected. Yet despite the diverse approaches employed today, there is a significant gap in our knowledge of mangrove ecosystem services under the various management regimes, according to the authors of a new report released by Wageningen University and Netherlands-based Wetlands International. READ MORE


Dear Alfredo
We are delighted to inform you that your abstract titled “Mangrove Action Project—Standing at the Roots of the Sea ” has been accepted for presentation at the symposium “Turning the Tide on Mangrove Loss “A focus on the state of mangroves in Asia” to be held at Xiamen University, Fujian Province, China from the 12th-13th of November 2015, jointly hosted by Xiamen University and the IUCN Mangrove Specialist Group. My colleague from Xiamen University Mrs Chenjuan Zheng and I will be dealing with logistical arrangements for the symposium. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me or my colleague.
I look forward meeting you at the symposium.
Zebedee Njisuh
Mangrove conservation biologist
IUCN SSC Mangrove Specialist Group Programme Officer
Conservation Programmes
Zoological Society of London


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Rigoberto Lima Choc was a 28-year old schoolteacher and indigenous activist. He was shot outside of a courthouse just one day after a court ordered the palm oil company to suspend operations due to a huge spill of palm oil waste. Sign the petition to protect activists
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