Thursday, October 15, 2015

MAP News Issue 375 - Oct 17, 2014

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The MAP News
375th Edition                                Oct. 17, 2015


FEATURE STORY

Mangrove forests in Indo-Pacific region may drown by 2070: Study
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AUSTRALIA - Researchers in Australia have suggested that rising sea levels pose a huge drowning risk to mangrove forests in the Indo-Pacific region so much so that all forests in the region could be submerged by 2070. According to an international research carried out by scientists including those from University of Queensland, mangroves in parts of Thailand, Sumatra, Java, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and in danger of drowning even with relatively low sea-level rises. Researchers say that while outlook for mangroves in Indo-Pacific region is grim, those in other parts of the world may not suffer the same fate. Ecologist Professor Catherine Lovelock is one of the researchers involved with the study and according to her, mangroves are likely to persist in east Africa, the Bay of Bengal, eastern Borneo and north-western Australia. Professor Lovelock, who works in UQ’s School of Biological Sciences and the Global Change Institute, added that through accretion of sediment and maintenance of wetland soils, mangrove forests do have the capacity to avoid inundation and keep pace with sea-level rise. READ MORE
 
AFRICA
 
Mangrove ‘the plant that offsets most carbon in the Arabian Peninsula’
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UAE - The mangrove has been identified as the plant that offsets most carbon in the Arabian Peninsula. A report from the National Blue Carbon Project published on Monday represents the findings of a 18 month-long project to investigate the capacity for mangroves to store carbon and offset car emissions. “What makes the mangroves so special is their ability to stock carbon,” said Ahmed Al Hashmi, director of biodiversity at the Ministry of Environment and Water. “If we understand the effects on climate change in the UAE we might dedicate more efforts to finding out how much the mangroves can actually offset.” The concept of carbon stocks, although relatively new, has gained ground in international conservation efforts as a way of encouraging policymakers to declare legislation to preserve natural habitats. Conservationists and researchers use carbon stocks to discourage the destruction of these habitats, as their eradication would release carbon gases into the atmosphere. “When you’re cutting down mangrove trees, not only are you destroying environments and natural habitats, but you’re destroying carbon sinks that can mitigate the carbon dioxide that you’re emitting,” said Mariam Harib, an assistant undersecretary at the Ministry of Environment and Water. READ MORE
 
ASIA
 
Conserving Indonesia’s Mangroves Could Mitigate Climate Change
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INDONESIA - As much as 42 percent of coastal carbon emissions and 3-19 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions could be reduced if Indonesia's remaining mangroves are conserved, according to a study published in Nature Climate Change. Ranked fifteenth in the world by land area and fourth by population size, Indonesia has more than 17,500 islands and 95,000 km of coastline. In 1980, Indonesia had an approximate 4.2 Mha of mangrove forests but in 2005 the remaining area only measured 2.9Mha. This loss is equivalent to deforesting an area of 52,000 football field-sized mangrove forests each year. Worldwide, only 0.7 percent of all tropical forests consist of mangroves. However, carbon emissions from mangrove forests alone account for 10 percent of global tropical deforestation emissions. This enormous potential for mangroves to act as excellent carbon sinks or enormous carbon sources is the clinching point for mangrove conservation. READ MORE
 
Shrimp farms kept away, Indian mangroves grow
E.D. NOTE: In 1996 the Indian Supreme Court made its important ruling that all shrimp farms must be located outside the mangrove zone. This ruling was not always enforced, but by and large it was, and especially it was an important factor in dissuading further shrimp farm developments in the mangrove wetlands. This in turn resulted in mangrove regeneration and when existing shrimp farms were forcibly removed or simply closed down because of other issues, such as pollution or disease, these lands naturally, after time, returned to mangroves. MAP executive director Alfredo Quarto was involved in providing needed reports and studies used by the legal defense representing the conservation side in getting this Supreme Court decision in their favor.
INDIA – Rapid expansion of shrimp aquaculture is usually held responsible for the depletion of mangrove forests. Countries like Thailand, which is the largest exporter of shrimps, have lost more than 80% of mangroves. In India, too, shrimp farming has been growing exponentially but the mangrove cover in many Indian states has gone up, shows a six-year study . This is because aqua farms are away from the ecologically sensitive patches and shrimp farming is not done in mangroves. The study was carried out by scientists at Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture by comparing satellite images of mangroves from four decades with reports from field visits. Principal scientist M Jayanthi said the study was carried out to address concerns that India too may be losing its mangrove resources to shrimp aquaculture. READ MORE
 
New mangroves to be planted at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
SINGAPORE - A new arboretum - collection of trees - at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve will soon house about half of the world's true mangrove species to enhance its conservation. To be planted over the next two years along a 500m stretch at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve Coastal Trail, the arboretum will have 2,000 native mangrove trees across 35 true species, which grow only in intertidal environments. Currently, the wetland reserve has about 30 true mangrove species. The project will enable Singapore to conserve species such as the globally critically endangered Eye of the Crocodile - which has only 200 mature trees in the world. READ MORE
 
Gender equality integrated into Mangroves for the Future projects
INDONESIA - The involvement, contribution and role of both men and women are important to the functioning and well-being of coastal communities, but often not well understood. Poor understanding of the distinct roles and contributions of men and women often leads to lack of recognition of their distinct needs and interests in policies and programmes. This lack of recognition can result in failure to meet sustainable livelihood goals in ecosystem dependent coastal communities – the target beneficiary group of Mangroves for the Future (MFF). Mangroves for the Future (MFF) recognizes that gender equality is fundamental to conservation and sustainable development, and has established gender as a cross-cutting or strategic consideration in its programme. As part of its resilience approach to coastal management, MFF strongly focuses on gender responsive project planning. READ MORE
 
Mangrove park near new airport on cards
INDIA - The state forest department has shown interest in developing a mangrove park on Waghivli island, which has been earmarked for the relief and rehabilitation package for airport development. The park will be spread across 245 hectares and birds throng the region that abuts the core aeronautical area. "We are seriously considering transferring the island to the forest department as mangroves come under the forest department as we do not have the expertise of developing the island into a mangrove park," said a Cidco official said Tuesday. "One of the conditions for the green nod for the airport was to develop the land into a mangrove park," the official added. The planning authority has appointed Lewis International, a US firm, as a consultant to provide the methodology to develop the island into a mangrove park. VIEW SOURCE
 
AMERICAS
 
Honduras privatizes it's fisheries
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HONDURAS -  Jorge Varela Márquez, Goldman Environmental Prize 1999, denounces the new fishing law of his country, which, after year of resistance by fishing communities, surrenders it's national sovereignty to transnational cooperations ... "Worldwide, and with special intensity in the countries of the South, the "Grabbing of Land and Oceans" takes place, that is, the facilitated acquisition by the oligarchies and transnational corporations of the biodiversity that inhabit the lands, seas, lakes, ponds, rivers, wetlands of a country. This dispossession of resources violates human and cultural rights of millions of people and is facilitated by the World Bank, supported by many governments of the "First and Third World!" with the cooperation of some international organizations once pro-environment and now pro-business. This policy of plundering works against the food security of millions of people. To deprive countries of their goods attractive terms are used such as the "right to private property," "transferable fishing quotas," "secure access," "Marine Protected Areas" etc. READ MORE
 
BU Students Discover Corals in Unlikely Place
BELIZE – The photos evoke what a stoner must see while watching Fantasia: a kaleidoscope of vibrant-hued corals in all kinds of shapes. As striking as their colors and forms—although you wouldn’t know it by looking at the photos—is their neighborhood: they’re clinging to mangrove roots, not a place you’d expect to find them. For four years, BU undergraduate students have snorkeled around an atoll off Belize to study mangroves, the “flooded forests” with roots breaking the water surface that are the membrane between islands and sea. It’s not research for the squeamish. “We often saw large rays, barracudas, upside-down jellyfish,” says Zachary Bengtsson (CAS’15). The long days in the water could chill the body, and the students endured numerous stings and bites from jellyfish and bugs that didn’t appreciate intruders. Despite the discomforts, Bengtsson loved all of it. The highlight came in 2013 when the students, acting on a suggestion of their professor, Boston University Marine Program (BUMP) director John Finnerty, looked for and found corals, better known for living in magnificent reefs, not in underwater forests. READ MORE

Local Volunteers Replace Exotic Plant Species With Red Mangroves
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USA - Volunteers recently planted 10,000 red mangroves along North Spreader Canal in Lee County. Biologists are concerned the canal’s bank is eroding. That’s because the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been removing nonnative plant species from the land. More than a hundred volunteers launched their vessels into the Cape Coral canal. The water was covered with kayaks—a medley of orange, red, yellow, blue and green. David Scott is a biologist. He's also on the board of the event’s organizer Keep Lee County Beautiful, a local nonprofit. Scott said biologists consider red mangroves to be Florida’s most valuable natural resource. "This creates a habitat for hundreds of different fish species in their juvenile stage, as well as a substrate for oysters to grow on. The red mangrove is a buffer for storm surge." said Scott. "So on any count, the red mangrove is an incredibly valuable tree." READ MORE


LAST WORD(S)

Hi all
 
Please find this opportunity for a postdoctoral fellowship with the
International Center at the University of Florida to qualified and
potentially interested graduate students and recent (since 2012) PhD
graduates. The fellowship is for research on ecology and environmental
science in the tropics/subtropics. There are no nationality restrictions
on applications.
 
http://www.ufic.ufl.edu/OGRE/EwelFellowship.html
 
With best regards,
 
Katherine C. Ewel
Professor Emerita
University of Florida
 
2126 NW 7th Lane
Gainesville FL 32603 USA
Tel. 352-373-6035
Alt. tel. 386-418-0870
Email: kewel@ufl.edu


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