Thursday, February 4, 2016

MAP News Issue 383, Feb 6, 2016

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The MAP News
383rd Edition                               Feb. 6, 2016


FEATURE STORY

Mexican court rules against development in Cancun mangrove
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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
 
AFRICA
 
Umm Al Quwain mangroves illegally cut down by ‘camel farm labourers’
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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
 
ASIA
 
Who was Jurin Rachapol & why was he murdered?
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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
 
‘Big Shrimpin’
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
 
AMERICAS
 
Cancun’s millenarian mangrove swamp destroyed in just one day
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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

Oceana
 
Endangered birds threatened by mangrove removal
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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
 
GLOBAL NEWS
 
World Wetlands Day Celebrated
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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

LAST WORD(S)
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!
 
Hello everyone.
 
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.
 
Best regards.
 
Hi Everyone!
 
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 :)
 
Regards,
Allison
 
Hi Jim, Martin, and Alfredo,
 
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.
Lou Werner


 

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Action Alerts:

Mangroves: Guidebook to Malaysia – available for download here
 
MAP letter to Lic. Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Secretario de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales regarding recent devastation of Cancun mangroves READ LETTER
 
Petition to end the Cancun Ecocide Sign Here

Immediate Relief Intervention for Tamil Nadu Floods Needed
Relief support funding sought to help volunteers in India trying to offer relief for flood victims in southern India. READ MORE

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MAPs 2016 Childrens Calendar now available ORDER TODAY

Mangrove rehabilitation in Asia – Local Action and cross-border Transfer of Knowledge for the Conservation of Climate, Forests and Biodiversity VIEW VIDEOS HERE
Singapore is dredging our home away: hands off our sand! TAKE ACTION
Volunteer Opportunities with Mangrove Action Project CLICK HERE
 
STOP PLANTING MANGROVES ON SEAGRASS BEDS _ A CALL TO ACTION

Want to learn more about mangroves?

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Our short presentation will give you a better understanding of the issues we are working to solve. WATCH PRESENTATION

What is CBEMR? Easy to follow fact sheet – CLICK HERE

SHARE MAP'S VISION 
CLICK HERE to watch short introductory video. Together we can work "at the roots of the sea".

Join us in saving our beautiful country!
We hope you have been following the ongoing battle in Bimini, Bahamas.
We are in need of your help more than ever Click here
 
Exclusive Interview with Alfredo Quarto, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Mangrove Action Project - See more
Save the Sundarbans from Rampal power plant – View Sample Letter to Minister
Sign the Petition
 
Question Your Shrimp- Don't Buy or Sell Imported Tropical Shrimp! Sign the Petition
 

Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum


Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum in Bangladesh - WATCH VIDEO

MARVELLOUS MANGROVES IN BRAZIL
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Marvellous Mangroves – A Curriculum-Based Teachers Guide.


FOR MORE ON MAPs AWARD WINNING CHINA MANGROVE CURRICULUM VISIT
Education in the Mangroves - China
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Check out our presentation for more details on Marvellous Mangroves

“Education In The Mangroves" can now be seen on the  PhotoPhilanthropy website here!

Read this 10 page history of the development of MAP’s educational curriculum VIEW DOCUMENT
 
Article in Canada's Green Teacher Magazine - Read More

 

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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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MANGROVE ISSUES 

View MAP’s uploaded Videos at MAPmangrover’sChannel

The importance of restoring mangroves in an effective, long-term manner. Mangrove CBEMR video - VIEW

Question Your Shrimp Consumer/Markets Campaign!  WATCH VIDEO

Mangrove Restoration in Asia – Watch Short Video

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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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Information sheds clear light on shrimp-mangrove connection

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