Thursday, March 31, 2016

MAP Issue 387, April 2, 2016

The MAP News
387th Edition                               April 2, 2016


Protecting the Sundarbans is our national duty
BANGLADESH - The Sundarbans, the last reserve forest in the country and a world heritage site, is again under attack. On March 19, 2016, a cargo vessel carrying 1,300 tonnes of coal sank in Shela River of the Sundarbans. This incident, along with other similar cases of oil and cement-laden cargo sinking since 2014, clearly illustrates the enormity of the threat of carrying coal through the forest and of coal-related pollution in the power generation process of the Rampal coal-fired power plant. Earlier in the oil spillage disaster on December 2014, the government was hopelessly ill-prepared to control the damage. The local population came forward with whatever knowledge they had to clean up the oil from the river, risking their lives and health. We did not see any effective action from the government except a flurry of rhetoric. In the last one year, the government has repeatedly promised to stop the plying of vehicles through this route within the Sundarbans. These words have proved to be hollow and that's why we have seen another disaster in the Sundarbans. We can only conclude from the government's lacklustre attitude that they are not sincere about protecting the mangrove forest. READ MORE


Time to End “Blood Oil” Disaster in the Niger Delta
NIGERIA - The Niger Delta’s legendary “blood oil” disaster has persisted for decades, and is now deepening. Oil in the Delta fuels a dangerous mix of environmental devastation, a violent militancy that has killed thousands, human rights abuses, corporate greed and exploitation, epidemic corruption, massive oil theft, sabotage, repression, poverty, anger and despair. It is time to put an end to this ongoing atrocity, once and for all. The 30,000 square mile Niger Delta — including rich coastal waters, islands, mangroves swamps, and rainforests — was once one of the most productive and diverse ecological habitats on Earth. But today, after 60 years of oil extraction, the region’s environment and society are devastated — a textbook example of the “oil curse.“ The Delta is arguably the most severely oil-damaged environment anywhere in the world. READ MORE

Turtles Key as Kenya Balances Ecology, Development
KENYA - Kenya is striving to strike a balance between developing its 330 miles (530 kilometers) of coastline for a billion-dollar tourism industry that employs a half-million people and preserving the environment that attracts those visitors. As the East African nation does so, some experts say that turtles are key, because they are so picky when it comes to laying eggs that if the right environment is maintained for them, then things are going well. Kenya's record is mixed in protecting endangered turtles, but is going pretty well, a top wildlife official says. One of several sore spots for conservationists and locals — and not least of all, the turtles — is a hotel of former Renault F1 tycoon Flavio Briatore, 25 kilometers (16 miles) north of here. READ MORE


Synchronicity Earth Keen to Learn from Local Communities
By Manon Whittaker, MAP Asia Intern
THAILAND - From March 29th to 31st MAP Asia had the great pleasure to receive Jim Pettiward, communications strategist, at Synchronicity Earth a funder and collaborator of MAP since 2014. This is the first time MAP Asia has received a visitor from Synchronicity Earth.  “It’s much more interesting and valuable to see and experience projects on the ground rather than just read reports, if you want to really understand the issues” stated Jim. MAP Asia staff had the occasion to show Jim Pettiward around six mangrove restoration sites utilizing the Community-based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR) method within the provinces of Krabi and Phang Nga, Southern Thailand. The local community representatives at different sites were available allowing us to exchange information and ask questions directly to the villagers concerned with the mangrove restoration projects. READ MORE
SAM calls for shrimp farms to be closed
MALAYSIA - The Penang state government has been urged to shut down aquaculture farms in Balik Pulau and repossess mangrove forests which had been given to the Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda). The environmental group Sahabat Alam Malaysia said shrimp farms in the area were a threat to the environment and to the livelihood of more than 1,000 coastal fishermen. SAM president SM Mohamed Idris alleged that the environmental problem began more than 10 years ago after Perda obtained ownership of the mangroves at Lot 802, covering an area of 93 hectares or 230 acres, and leased the land for aquaculture. He urged the state government to repossess the land and the area to be gazetted a permanent reserve forest, with rehabilitation of the mangroves and replanting with suitable species. Idris said the problems had worsened after shrimp farmers expanded their project areas, destroying vast areas of mangrove forests and discharging poisonous waste into the waterways. READ MORE
Protesters call for an independent Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Rampal coal plants
BANGLADESH - The Sundarbans, as the world’s largest mangrove forest, is home to more than 300 species of plants, 200 species of fish, 315 species of birds and 49 species of mammals. And soon, the World Heritage site will sit just over eight miles south from two huge coal plants — planned developments that many worry will damage the air and water quality of the forest and destroy the livelihoods of the thousands in Bangladesh and India. Since the Rampal plant is a joint project of India’s state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation and Bangladesh’s Power Development Board, getting a government agency to conduct the EIA “raises questions on the objectivity of the report,” a study on the coal plants by South Asians for Human Rights states. READ MORE


Hidden Gems: A Visit to Birch State Park
by Liz Cunningham | Mar 10, 2016
USA - Hugh Taylor Birch had a memory of the wild coast he discovered, where marlin and swordfish weighing hundreds of pounds filled the waters and thousands of turtles laid their eggs on the beach. Without his wise action, Birch State Park wouldn’t exist, nor the three miles of public beach which gives Fort Lauderdale a beautiful waterfront and for many people, their livelihood. Preserving mangroves is no peripheral exercise. There are two main pathways to dealing with climate change. One: stop pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The other? Get carbon out of the atmosphere. Mangroves store fifty times more carbon in their soil per square meter than the same amount of Amazon rainforest. To restore our earth we not only need to protect and restore remote places, but the small gems of nature in some of the most densely-populated parts of the world. And the people who do that—park rangers, volunteers, board members, donors—they too are the hidden gems of the world. READ MORE

Stress in mangrove forests: Early detection and preemptive rehabilitation
By Robin Lewis
USA - Mangrove forest rehabilitation should begin much sooner than at the point of catastrophic loss. We describe the need for “mangrove forest heart attack prevention”, and how that might be accomplished in a general sense by embedding plot and remote sensing monitoring within coastal management plans. The major cause of mangrove stress at many sites globally is often linked to reduced tidal flows and exchanges. Blocked water flows can reduce flushing not only from the seaward side, but also result in higher salinity and reduced sediments when flows are blocked landward. Long-term degradation of function leads to acute mortality prompted by acute events, but created by a systematic propensity for long-term neglect of mangroves. Often, mangroves are lost within a few years; however, vulnerability is re-set decades earlier when seemingly innocuous hydrological modifications are made (e.g., road construction, blocked tidal channels), but which remain undetected without reasonable large-scale monitoring. Download #100

Baja's desert mangroves suck up carbon dioxide
USA - As climate change has heightened concerns about the global decline of mangroves, a new study found that such ecosystems along the desert coast of Baja California may be more important than previously thought for keeping heat-trapping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.Researchers at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography discovered that despite their short and stunted appearance, mangroves in these desert locations had surprisingly high rates of sequestering carbon underground. In some cases, the ability was several times greater than that of lush mangroves in tropical locations.“Desert mangroves specifically in Mexico, which are much smaller and cover a very small total land area, sequester comparable amounts of carbon to tropical mangroves in tropical rainforests,” said Paula Ezcurra, a scientist at Scripps and lead author of the new report. READ MORE


A monitor lizard looks for food in trash-filled Phra Khanong canal, Bangkok. International World Water Day is marked annually on March 22 to focus global attention on the importance of water and advocate sustainable water resource management.PHOTO BY PATIPAT JANTHONG

Dt : Jan 4, 2016

Hon’ble Minister (E, F& CC)(I/C)
Government of India
6 Kushak Road, New Delhi 110 001
Ph 011 24695127 Fax 011 23011317

Sub: Save Sundarban to protect existence of homosapien on earth

Dear Sir

Human race could have lasted on earth for 60,000 years if we have not damaged the environment which brought it down to few hundred years only. The most important single factor responsible is increase of carbon dioxide in the air which is increasing at an alarming rate after 1850. Now only one third of the carbon dioxide we are releasing to atmosphere is getting converted back to carbon by the woods and two third is increasing its concentration in atmosphere with predicted global warming, damage to water cycle on which human race fully depends.

We are going to face this dooms day in a short time unless we try to reduce the CO2 in air. Forests transforms CO2 back to carbon but worldwide denuding of forest has brought us to this stage of self-destruction. For our existence on earth we have to develop and avoid damage to the existing forest to protect the water cycle on which our agriculture fully depend .

Importance of Sundarban is multifarious including saving environment and biodiversity in this zone, on which life of man and animals, fish etc, fully depends. Sundarban and tiger is two side of same coin as one can’t be saved without the other. To survive tiger needs forest and for protecting Sundarban we need tigers. One tiger can protect 10kmx10km very easily which can’t be done by hundreds of guards who can be bribed easily. Huge pressure from human has reduced sundarban to its present size which is less than one third of the original size. Human pressure is so much that if tiger is not in Sundarban the forest will become human habitat in no time

Damage to the Sundarban and biodiversity by human encroachment is more than 10% as predicted in many research papers. Over the years there is population explosion is the Sundarban biosphere by natural growth and migration form Bangladesh & other part of India. Most of them depend on collection of minor forest produce as they have no other means of living. More than 33,000 families in the Sundarban fringe community, venture more than two times per month in the forest of duration 3- 10 days for collection of minor forest produce; resulting enormous damage to the forest. In the process they also get killed by tiger and crocodile but it has not stopped their encroachment. Fear of heavy punishment ie 3-7 years in jail and fine of IRS 2,00,000 failed to stop encroachment which is increasing day by day. There are hundreds of families who lost more than 4-5 members over three generations in fishing in Sundarban but are still going to forest as there is no other means of living.

There are many other causes of damage to the Sundarban which can’t be controlled due to politics & Govt policies like the Rampal Episode which alone will destroy Sundarban. But we should try to remove the causes which can be controlled by national & international community like human encroachment to forest

With Best Regards

Nakul Jana - President
Sunderban TigerWidow Welfare Society
51A, Lake Place
Kolkata- 700 029,India
Ph- +91 98364 77465

CC to

1) Director World Heritage Centre UNESCO
7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 Paris 07 SP, France
Tel.: +33 (0)1 45 68 24 96
Fax: +33 (0)1 45 68 55 70

2) India Country Director, World Bank,
70 Lodi Estate , New Delhi 110003
Tel: +91-11-41479301 / 49247000

3) Dr Donald Macintosh MFF Senior Advisor
MFF Regional Secretariat
63, Soi Prompong Sukhumvit Soi 39, Wattana
10110 Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: +66 2 662 4029

4) The Director General The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Rue Mauverney 28, 1196 Gland, Switzerland
Ph +41 22 9990000 Fax +41 22 9990002

5) John Seed, Director - Save mangroves
The Rainforest Information Centre
Box 20681, Nimbin, NSW 2480 Australia

 6) The Director General WWF-International
1196 Gland, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 364 9111
Direct: +41 22 364 9292 Fax: +41 22 364 5468

7) The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
 62-63 Upper Street, London, N1 0NY.
Ph +44 (0) 207 3547960

8) Global Nature Fund (GNF)
Fritz-Reichle-Ring 4
78315 Radolfzell, Germany
Phone +49 7732 9995-0
Fax +49 7732 9995-88


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Petition for Shrimper's Rights
The benefit for those who harvest wild shrimp in the state of Louisiana and possible health issues involved with consuming possibly diseased imports outweigh the savings to the consumer. Please sign this petition to insure imported shrimp stay off market and help insure the future of Louisiana's fishing families


Tell Dam Builders to Pull Out of Agua Zarca Dam! For years, critics of the Agua Zarca dam project in Honduras have been targeted by a campaign of violence, intimidation and outright murder. Then, on March 2, Berta Cáceres – vocal critic of the Agua Zarca Dam, Goldman Prize winner and mother of four – was brutally murdered in her home. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH Sign out Petition

Tell Red Lobster its "Endless shrimp" deal is damaging and unfair to the workers SIGN THE PETITION

Training Opportunity
Course on mangrove ecosystems in the Western Indian Ocean region

The AMSN 2016 Conference Muddy Mangrove Movie-fest wants your mangrove and saltmarsh short films! CLICK HERE

Mangroves: Guidebook to Malaysia – available for download here

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

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CLICK HERE to watch short introductory video. Together we can work "at the roots of the sea".
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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
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Question Your Shrimp- Don't Buy or Sell Imported Tropical Shrimp! Sign the Petition

Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum

Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum in Bangladesh - WATCH VIDEO
En Portuges

Marvellous Mangroves – A Curriculum-Based Teachers Guide.

Education in the Mangroves - China


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

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Mosaic of Life
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

Information sheds clear light on shrimp-mangrove connection
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