Thursday, January 7, 2016

MAP News Issue 381, Jan. 9, 2016

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The MAP News
381st Edition                               Jan 9, 2016


FEATURE STORY

Flooding in India
Tuticorin Flood Proposal
INDA - Nearly 50 localities in Tuticorin were flooded and several houses inundated following rains. People could not move out of their houses. Flood water rose to above 5 feet in most parts. Affected people were evacuated in boats by Indian Coast Guard, Coastal Security Group and Fire and Rescue Services personnel. Since water bodies had not been desilted at regular intervals and had been encroached upon, residents of many areas are suffering. Vehicular traffic on Tuticorin-Palayamkottai four-lane was suspended as water flooded the road near Anthoniyarpuram and inundated nearby areas, including District Employment Office, Collectorate and District Industries Centre, paralysing work in offices. Office-goers and Collectorate employees could not reach Palayamkottai Road. Tuticorin-bound buses from Tirunelveli took a diversion for a while, but traffic on Tiruchendur Road was also cut off following floods over the stretch at Mullakadu. Besides, bus services to interior places were suspended since these localities were flooded. Six reception centres were set up to extend relief to the victims. 92 victims from Korampallam and Anthoniyarpuram had been evacuated by boats. READ MORE
 
AFRICA
 
Mangrove deforestation in Madagascar: What are the options?
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MADAGASCAR – The island nation of Madagascar has long captured the world’s curiosity and is renowned for its unparalleled biodiversity, magnificent landscapes and unique culture. In the northwestern coastal Ambaro-Ambanja bays region, you will encounter mountains transitioning into lowlands littered with lush agro-forest mosaics producing vanilla, cacao, coffee and a cornucopia of fruits – output that would be impossible on the arid lands found further south.  These lush landscapes reach right to the coast where they meet postcard perfect white sand beaches and turquoise waters, but also vast, dense mangrove swamps. It was during my first trip here in February 2012 that I initially experienced the diversity of these vast and fascinating coastal ecosystems, but also their rapid decline.  Clambering down a steep bank, transitioning from agro-forest to mangrove, I recall taking my first steps into what remained of a mangrove forest that had been clear-cut; sinking deeply into the muddy soil as I was confronted by a sweeping panorama of stumps. READ MORE
 
ASIA
 
Why are Southeast Asia’s mangroves being destroyed? Hint: it may be your diet
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INDONESIA - To better understand how quickly Southeast Asia’s mangroves are disappearing and what is driving it, researchers at universities in Singapore and the UK analyzed satellite-gathered data and identified land use changes in the region. They found that more than 100,000 hectares of mangrove forest were lost between 2000 and 2012, amounting 2 percent of Southeast Asia’s mangrove cover. Spread out over the study period, this equates to a loss of around 0.18 percent per year, which is less than previous estimates. The authors say this is due largely to today’s higher-resolution satellite imagery. The biggest mangrove deforestation “hotspots” were in Myanmar, Sumatra, Indonesian Borneo, and Malaysia. Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines showed comparatively lower rates of loss. The biggest drivers of mangrove deforestation turned out to be aquaculture, rice, and palm oil production. Of these, aquaculture – the farming of fish and other aquatic commodities – won out, amounting to 30 percent of the region’s mangrove displacement. In Indonesia, nearly 50 percent of mangrove clearing was driven by aquaculture. The authors also highlight high levels of rice production in Myanmar, which drove around 88 percent of the country’s mangrove deforestation. READ MORE
 
India's Sundarbans mangroves now a beacon of solar power
INDIA - In the Sundarbans mangroves of eastern India, solar power is not an environmentally conscious luxury but the only viable source of electricity."It was like a curfew at dark earlier," says Tapan Mandal of Rabat Jubilee village. "But today the village has a new life after sunset. Households are abuzz with activities and shops stay open till late." Thirteen million people live on the forest fringes among the mazes of salty waterways. Home to the Bengal tiger and several national parks, the magnificent ecosystem is a Unesco world heritage site. But grid power cannot be transmitted to the remote and scattered islands, leaving the local population dependent on other sources including kerosene, but also solar power. The necessity has turned the region into a showcase for India's renewable energy drive, with more than 1 million people in the mangrove delta now using solar electricity. The first solar lighting system was installed in 1993 for 100 families by local authorities. Now solar power covers around 40 per cent of the population, says SP Gon Chaudhuri, the former director of the state renewable energy agency, which was responsible for launching the project. READ MORE
 
Mangroves along 15 km length damaged in floods
INDIA - The rain ravaged district of Cuddalore has seen about 15 km length of young mangroves planted a decade ago and estimated to be worth about Rs 10 crore destroyed in floods, an NGO which had undertaken the exercise said here today. "Mangroves planted 10 years back by Aalamaram at Thiyagavalli village in Cuddalore District have been destroyed to a length of 15 km," Arjunan Elayaraja, Secretary of the unit said. He said that the NGO has planted the mangrove saplings on the shoreline along the backwaters of River Uppanar. These young mangroves in the west bank were destroyed, but those on the east bank escaped the fury of the floods, he said. Following this, the NGO brought in imported mangrove saplings from West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh under the guidelines of Prof. T Venugopal of Agriculture College, Annamalai University and M Rajan, Assistant Director, Department of Agriculture, Cuddalore District, he said. "Mangrove ecosystems are threatened by climate change. We review the state of knowledge of mangrove vulnerability and responses to predicted climate change and consider adaptation options of all climate change outcomes. Relative sea-level rise may be the greatest threat to Mangroves," he said. READ MORE
 
Shrimp farming in Viet Nam: the search for sustainability
Editor's Note: This article could have been written 20 years ago describing a common scene in India, Thailand, Ecuador or Honduras, where a rush for that "pink gold" of farmed shrimp had disastrous consequences for thousands of local entrepreneurs who after a few years went bankrupt. Overcrowded siting, abundant bad practices in raising their shrimp and fluctuating market prices have led many an investor in shrimp farming on the road to ruin. Now this same old horror story is being repeated in the Mekong Delta.
VIET NAM - Due to its favorable natural conditions, farmers in coastal communes of the southern Ben Tre Province started to switch from rice cultivation to shrimp farming 15 years ago. The rapid success and high income that the industry ushered in pushed many local people to invest in this sector. After a few years, Thanh Phuoc transformed from a poor commune into a wealthy locality, and the number of households with an annual turnover of more than US$50,000 increased rapidly. Ngo Van Thu, a farmer in Thanh Phuoc Commune, said the land had not yet been exploited at that time, so the water resources were abundant and the clean environment supported the production. Due to attractive profits, farmers in other areas of unfavourable natural conditions also did whatever it took to raise shrimp, including in Ben Tre, but the Ba Lai project area is filled with freshwater. Local people spontaneously drilled wells to bring in salt water and made ponds to raise shrimp. The rapid growth of shrimp farming and poor infrastructure has led to disease outbreaks, shrimp kills and huge losses for farmers in many places. Thu said he stopped farming for almost three years. "The more I raised, the more money I lost," he said. Shrimp died of unknown causes." READ MORE
 
AMERICAS
 
Meet the father-son farmer duo revolutionizing Ontario's shrimp business
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CANADA - Paul Cocchio’s introduction to inland shrimp farming did not go well. There is no manual, after all, for converting a rural Ontario hog barn into a temperature-stable complex of tropical saltwater shrimp pools – nobody had ever tried it before him. And it’s a surprisingly finicky business growing baby crustaceans, each of them translucent and about the size of an eyelash, into the sort of full-sized, sweet-flavoured specimens that could grace a proper seafood plate. Cocchio, who had spent most of his life raising pigs and dairy cows and farming his 450 rolling acres, and who had devoted his years so far to the terrestrial and the visible, could barely keep the tiny things alive. They got sucked into water pumps. They got wiped out from over- and underfeeding; a few grams of food either way spelled certain doom. Last winter, his hot water heaters all gave out. After years of planning and construction – not to mention the two years it took to have Pacific white shrimp added to the list of species that can be legally farmed in Ontario – the 49-year-old farmer nearly gave up. READ MORE
 
Ecocide of mangrove swamps bringing catastrophes ashore
MEXICO – Amongst the luxury of Cancun´s hotels and hectic shopping malls, just a few metres away from the Caribbean sea, we walk through empty concrete pathways which cross the city's impressive mangrove swamp. But despite it being one of Cancun's last wild nature enclaves, it is the focus of a million dollar investment plan to transform it into a tourist building complex. The water is covered with broken branches and damaged trees, signs of what might come if the go ahead is given to seal it with concrete. They are part of the destructive trail left behind by the excavators that stormed the area last July but were forced to stop after a group of concerned animal lovers and environmentalists stood before them so they could not go further. But despite the area looking ghostly, when we enter it is full of wildlife. According to the grassroots organisation 'Guardians of the Mangrove', which has set up a protest camp inside, this mangrove swamp is home to more than twenty different species of animals, including crocodiles.  The area is delimited by fences covered in thick black plastic, which has been ripped to shreds by protesters so that everyone can see what goes on inside. READ MORE
 
Can Land-Based Fish Farms Solve Farmed Seafood Woes?
USA - More than half the seafood eaten globally is now farmed. And yet for some, aquaculture conjures up images of escaped fish, crowded pens, antibiotics, and ocean pollution in Asia, where nearly 90 percent of today’s aquaculture takes place. Now some entrepreneurs are bringing aquaculture on land. In the process, many hope to find a sustainable solution to the growing demand for a low-input, clean source of protein. One of them is Tracey Carrillo, an agronomy professor at New Mexico State University. Carrillo initially started producing chemical-free shrimp as part of an experiment to see if they could be fed with organic cottonseed protein, an underutilized part of the cotton crop. When he had an abundance of shrimp on his hands, eager locals lined up around the block.Quixotic fish farm tilapia. “We’d send an email out to the college and the response was overwhelming,” he said. “[It was] the novelty of ‘Whoa, they’re growing fresh shrimp in the desert.’” READ MORE

LAST WORD(S)
Greetings.
 
Received your mail with thanks. I am again just giving the picture of the situation in the flood affected areas.
 
As we are aware Tamil Nadu is massively affected by rain and flood. Especially Chennai, Cuddalore, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur District in the north and Tuticorin District in the south are badly affected. At Tuticorin District most of the salt pans and agriculture lands were damaged and thousands of informal workers lose their work especially the coastal dependents communities such as salt and the fish workers are badly affected their houses and the livelihoods are lost and now they are living under misery and poverty losing their belongings and getting no livelihood options and struggling win their bread.
 
So Centre for Community Services is submitting a proposal for the flood affected communities of salt and fish workers in Tuticorin District. Kindly consider this proposal and provide us with the relief support for the community who are very badly in need of support.
 
Looking forward for your response.
 
Thanking you,
 
With Regards,
Juliet Theresita
Contact Details: Ms. Juliet Theresita,
8, Nadar Street North, Tuticorin
628001,
TamilNadu, India.
e-mail : ccs244@gmail.com, Mob : +91 9865147893


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