The MAP News
Mexican court rules against development in Cancun mangrove
MEXICO - A Mexican court has issued an injunction blocking further work on a real estate project in the Caribbean coast resort of Cancun that activists say has almost killed a mangrove swamp at the site. Heavy machinery largely cleared the mangrove trees from the area known as Nichupte lagoon in January, over the objections of local environmentalists. But environmentalist Araceli Dominguez expressed hope after the order was announced Wednesday that the mangrove can be recovered now that a court has ruled the project violated the public interest in preserving the wetland. "This is an area than still be reforested. We haven't lost it as mangrove yet," Dominguez said, noting that appeals had been filed before government-sponsored developers could backfill lagoon-side lots and totally destroy the wetlands. READ MORE
Umm Al Quwain mangroves illegally cut down by ‘camel farm labourers’
UAE - Labourers thought to be from camel farms are illegally cutting down mangrove trees at the Khor Al Beidah wetlands, putting the area’s delicate eco-system and wildlife at risk. Wood from the trees is being harvested and driven away by men in pick-up trucks, said Zahidah Zeytoun Millie, who lives near the site and has observed the activity for a year. Foliage from mangrove trees is useful as camel fodder. “Sometimes they cut the branches, other times they cut the whole tree if it is small,” she said. The pick-ups usually have UAQ licence plates, although some have Dubai plates. Federal law forbids cutting down trees without the permission of authorities. The mangrove and its adjacent mudflats are home to diverse wildlife and attract tens of thousands of rare migratory birds each year. READ MORE
Who was Jurin Rachapol & why was he murdered?
THAILAND - Jan 30th, 2016 is an important, but very sad day as we mark the 15th anniversary of Jurin Ratchapol’s assassination. Jurin was a leading local activist against shrimp farm development which destroyed the mangroves in his home province of Phuket, Thailand. He was just an ordinary man, but cared passionately for the nature around him which provided food and livelihoods for his family and villagers. But it was his courageous campaigning efforts which drew attention and gained recognition from Queen Sirikit who honoured him with an award. Jurin was shot dead in cold blood, at close range on January 30, 2001 while picking cashews near his village home. WHY? Fifteen years later, how has the situation improved for Phuket’s mangroves? What are the current concerns and what actions are being taken? Have we really learned a lesson from Jurin’s sacrifice and the deadly tsunami which followed a few years later? READ MORE
PHILIPPINES - Jurgenne Primavera came of age in the shrimp farming industry, where she worked as a researcher for over 30 years. But by 1990, when she earned her PhD, she started to feel pangs of guilt about her profession, and in particular the damage that shrimp farming was doing to the environment. “I would observe some trees near the ponds, strange-looking trees, and eventually realized these were mangroves,” she said. She also realized that the industry that gave her a livelihood was damaging this coastal ecosystem. “I didn’t feel very good about it because I loved trees. I grew up with trees. So I had some kind of shift and I became critical of what was happening to the environment.” Primavera now devotes her energy to protecting coastal mangroves in her native Philippines, focusing on restoring green belts, the borders of vegetation that grow along the coastline. “For those countries that don’t have storms, green belts are interfaces for fisheries,” she said. “For those that have storms, they are protection.” READ MORE
Thailand announces regulations to rid forced labor from seafood supply chain
THAILAND - The government of Thailand has struck an agreement with a coalition of seafood companies and associations designed to eliminate forced labor and human trafficking from within the country’s seafood supply chain. Major players in the Thai fishing industry agreed to sign a memorandum-of-understanding (MOU) with the Thai Government’s Command Center for Combating Illegal Fishing on January 15, 2016, pledging to prevent seafood products to be sold to their seafood processing facilities that come from illegal fishing or that were harvested via illegal labor practices or human trafficking. Signatories to the MOU include Thai Union Group, the National Fishery Association of Thailand, the Thai Frozen Food Association, the Thai Overseas Fishery Association and the Thai Tuna Industry Association, according to a press release from the Thai government. READ MORE
Cancun’s millenarian mangrove swamp destroyed in just one day
MEXICO - Crocodiles were buried alive along with numerous others animal species who inhabited Cancun’s mangrove swamp after excavators destroyed it last Saturday. Grass-root organisation Save The Mangrove, which had set up camp inside in other to protect the flora and fauna of the area, explained that around 200 police dressed up in riot gear guarded this operation. Machinery working round the clock non-stop destroyed 90% of Cancun’s last wild nature enclave injust one day. The Federal government authorised this action carried out together with the go ahead of the Mexican National Fund for Fomenting Tourism (Fonatur). The 57 hectares of mangrove swamp, which are now just rubble, will be destined to building a residential area, a commercial centre and a catholic church, amongst other plans, in the area known as Malecon Tajamar. READ MORE
Dying to save the world
HONDURAS - Jeannette Kawas was an accountant whose concept of value was broader than any balance sheet. No number could capture for her the natural wealth she saw in the forests, rivers, beaches and mangrove swamps of Punta Sal, near her hometown of Tela in northern Honduras. On February 6, 1995 Jeannette Kawas was shot dead in her home. Years later a ruling from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights said Kawas’s work in defense of the environment had motivated the murder. Kawas was a victim of a largely unreported war that still rages around the world two decades later. Its casualties are women and men who through peaceful acts work to defend their local environment from polluters and miners, land grabbers and loggers. In the past decade, close to 1,000 such activists in 35 countries were murdered, according to a report published in April 2014 by Global Witness. “This report is a good one to alert people to the sad reality at hand,” says Alfredo Quarto, executive director of Mangrove Action Project, which has documented murders of activists and community leaders who stood in the way of shrimp farmers. “In a five-year period in the 1990s, over 100 local community members and activists were killed protesting shrimp farm encroachment and mangrove loss in Bangladesh. Similar reports of murdered community leaders who stood in the way of shrimp farmers come from Thailand, India, Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil.” READ MORE
CRIMES AGAINST WETLANDS must not go unpunished
HONDURAS – Since 1997 the World Wetlands Day is celebrated to help increase awareness about wetlands and their importance. Despite its valuable importance as water reservoirs, sites of biological wealth, natural buffers against the effects of climate change and food reserves for native peoples and local communities, the destruction of the world's wetlands continues. In Latin America we have recent examples of serious ecocide against wetlands. On 5 November in the municipality of Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil, the breaking of a dam generated unprecedented environmental disaster. Toxic waste affected thousands of families, mainly fisherwomen and fishermen in the region. The tragedy of Mariana is an environmental and social crime, so the mining company SAMARCO should be judged under those charges. In Mexico, on the morning of January 16, 57 hectares of mangroves in Cancun were destroyed. Tajamar mangroves were destroyed with the approval of state and federal authorities. Tajamar must not go unpunished. The full weight of the law must apply to officials making use of public office involved in serious crimes to benefit the interests of the real estate industry in the area. READ MORE
Endangered birds threatened by mangrove removal
NEW ZEALAND - The Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society was given consent to clear some mangroves from the middle of the harbour in 2012, and earlier this month they announced plans to remove more. The fairy tern is New Zealand's rarest endemic breeding bird with half of its 10 breeding pairs living in Mangawhai, and the restoration society's plans put the birds at risk, said Forest and Bird's seabird conservation advocate Karen Baird. "The problem in this situation is it's very hard to prove that something is going to happen, but what you have to do is you have to look at the risks," said Ms Baird. "And the risk with this situation is if you mess around too much with that harbour, you are going to contribute to the potential extinction of that bird - which is already on the edge." READ MORE
World Wetlands Day Celebrated
February 2nd is World Wetlands Day, an international day to remember the importance of wetlands for all the goods & services they provide us, and a day to take action for wetlands conservation. Our lives really do depend on wetlands. Take freshwater for example, wetlands are great at storing surface water runoff, filtering it, absorbing nutrients, aiding infiltration to the groundwater table and also slowly releasing water in surface water waters. In terms of mangroves wetlands the following article in Hakai Magazine shows the importance of the entire watershed, as what happens upstream is going to impact the mangroves down stream. If mangroves are destroyed then tidal mudflats, seagrass meadows and coral reefs further down stream of the mangroves will be negatively impacted. It's all connected, as they say. READ MORE
We are so happy to have new people joining MAP’s efforts and reporting on the influence if its programs worldwide! WELCOME and thank you!
My name is Manon Whittaker, I am the new intern for MAP in Thailand. I arrived in Trang a couple of days ago so I am still trying to get used to this new lifestyle (especially the heat).
I have a British nationality (as my parents are from England and Wales) but I am born in France and I have lived there my whole life. However, I moved to Australia (Sydney) in July 2014 to study a Master of Environmental Management at the University of New South Wales (Sydney). I will be graduating in June 2016. Previously, I completed a degree in Geosciences in Grenoble – a city in the French Alps.
I will be the MAP volunteer for the next three months, until approximately the 20th of April. I am excited to gain some experience in mangrove restoration and community involvement. I also hope to use some of the knowledge and skills, I have obtained in my studies so far, to contribute to the projects in which MAP is involved.
I look forward to working and exchanging with all of you.
My name is Allison Jacobson, and I'm the second new arrival to the Trang office. I will be based in Trang until mid-April while I complete research on mangrove forests in protected areas.
I am an American from Chicago, but I have been living near San Francisco for the past two years. I recently completed a master’s degree in Environmental Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. My thesis was focused on post-project monitoring of a coastal creek restoration project managed by the National Park Service in California. Before graduation, I was awarded funding to study coastal protected areas in other countries, and I chose Southeast Asia.
I am very interested in examining the threats to mangrove forests in protected areas and the approaches used by park management to mitigate impacts. In addition to researching protected areas in Thailand, I hope to study parks in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia. If you are aware of any interesting case studies, I am open to suggestions :)
I'm back from Khulna, Mehedi was very helpful and sends you greetings.
I visited Badamtala Laudop school with Akbar Hossein my translator and your workshop facilitator, I found there a very impressive active mangrove club led by 14 yr girl, Pronoti Mridha, she wants to be an entomologist, she led the group thru a dance and pantomime about mangroves, she was a 3-day workshop participant and she really learned well.
So kudos and keep up good work in Bangladesh.
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Mangroves: Guidebook to Malaysia – available for download here
Singapore is dredging our home away: hands off our sand! TAKE ACTION
|Mangrove Action Project|
Thursday, February 4, 2016
MAP News Issue 383, Feb 6, 2016
Posted by BlogAdmin at 10:08 PM