Thursday, March 17, 2016

MAP News issue 386, March 20, 2016

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The MAP News
386th Edition                               March 19, 2016


FEATURE STORY

Berta Cáceres, Honduran human rights and environment activist, murdered
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HONDURAS - Berta Cáceres, the Honduran indigenous and environmental rights campaigner, has been murdered, barely a week after she was threatened for opposing a hydroelectric project. Her death prompted international outrage at the murderous treatment of campaigners in Honduras, as well as a flood of tributes to a prominent and courageous defender of the natural world. The co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (Copinh) was shot dead by gunmen who entered her home in La Esperanza at around 1am on Thursday. Some reports say there were two killers; others suggest 11. They escaped without being identified, after also wounding the Mexican activist Gustavo Castro Soto. Police told local media the killings occurred during an attempted robbery, but the family said they had no doubt it was an assassination prompted by Cáceres’s high-profile campaigns against dams, illegal loggers and plantation owners. “I have no doubt that she has been killed because of her struggle and that soldiers and people from the dam are responsible, I am sure of that. I hold the government responsible,” her 84-year-old mother said on radio Globo READ MORE
 
AFRICA
 
U.S. Forest Service Scientist Helps Establish First Mangrove Experimental Forest in Africa
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TANZANIA - On December 23, 2015, Tanzania Forestry Services formally designated the Rufiji Mangrove Research and Training Forest and signed a memorandum of agreement with the University of Dar es Salaam Institute of Marine Studies to manage the forest and associated programs. The U.S. Forest Service, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), provided technical support for the establishment of the mangrove research and training forest (MRTF), the first of two planned for East Africa. “The new MRTF provides a focal point for long-term monitoring and research,” says Carl Trettin, Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientist who coordinates the Rufiji project with Mwita Mangora from the University of Dar es Salaam. “The aim is to provide the scientific foundation needed to address pressing coastal zone management issues, especially where mangroves occur.” Though making up less than one percent of the world’s tropical forests, mangroves store up to five times the carbon per area of upland tropical forests. Mangroves also have the highest carbon density among coastal and marine ecosystems, which collectively constitute the global Blue Carbon pool.  READ MORE
 
ASIA
 
Sweet golden honey helps communities and mangroves!
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THAILAND -  The successful honey project which started in Nai Nang, in Krabi province in Thailand has now expanded to Ta-Sanook, Phang-Nga province. The project started several years ago in Nai Nang when MAP implemented a mangrove restoration site with the support of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funding and through Global Nature Fund’s administered project entitled “Mangrove Restoration and Reforestation in Asia, a Project for Knowledge Exchange and Action to Protect Climate change, Forest and Biodiversity”. In order to secure the long-term protection of the restoration efforts MAP decided to help the  community develop their apiculture activity as an alternative livelihood.  The wonderful part is that honey is partly produced from mangrove flowers . Nai Nang villagers had already been involved in apiculture for some time but MAP helped provide material, technical training, develop labels, marketing and equipment support to take this project to the next level. Today, the village has more than 200 beehives and produced 270 kilos of honey last year. READ MORE


SAVE SEA – TURTLE! BAN FISHNET AS BANNED!! PLEA TO BOTH GOVERNMENTS OF INDIA!!!
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INDIA - Aalamaram, one of the Non Governmental Organizations in India based Cuddalore District at Thiyagavalli Village of Tamilnadu has made a plea to the both governments of Tamilnadu and India that in the months of November, December and January of every year, sea turtle nesting be protected.The Sea-Turtle usually will start its journey towards Indian ocean and will come across thousands and thousands of miles far from various oceans to fertile and cultivate its hatchery and promoting its generation. The family of Sea–Turtle will also choose or prefer particularly the sea shore side of Indian Ocean. In Cuddalore District, Tamilnadu, India, they are often destroyed before its cultivation because the fishermen use particular fishnet, having small holes. By utilizing such kind of small holes of Fishnets, which are banned but still spread over the sea by the fishermen, many turtles are destroyed. Though the See-Turtle is a fond of and a friend of Fishermen. it is very sad that they are so impacted while Fishermen hunt different kinds of Fishes for Trade motivation. The culture and fertility of sea-turtle eggs are being excavated and buried. A plea is put forth and brought notice to the both governments of Tamilnadu and India. that they take necessary steps to control the fishermen from using such kind of Fishnets. READ MORE
 
‘The Sundarbans Declaration 2016’ by the National Committee of Bangladesh
BANGLADESH - Folloiwing a three-day nationwide long march towards the Sundarbans, held between 10th to 13th March, 2016 by demanding a capping of all breeds of devastating mischeivious activities surrounding the Sundarbans, including the Rampal and Orion coal-based power projects, the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral resources, Port and Power Bangladesh has declated the following ‘Sundarbans Declaration 2016’. The declaration is a demand for the enactment of 7-points in order to resolve the country’s power crisis. The declaration was agreed by the protesters and marchers who joined the three-day long march to protest the coal based Rampal power plant. It was read out at Kantakhali on 13th March, 2016. “We, the people, have reached Katakhali, adjacent to Sundarban on 13th March noon crossing 400 kilometers in 4 days after we had started on 10th March from the Press Club in Dhaka and via Manikganj, Rajbari, Faridpur, Magura and Jhinaidaha, Kaliganj, Jessore, Nowapara, Fultola, Doulatpur, Khulna and Bagherhat. Hundreds of thousands of folks have expressed their solidarity with us in course of progression of this long march or during the time of preparation focusing the 7-point demands and also protect the Sundarbans. People of Bangladesh from all walks of life have participated here.” READ MORE
 
Building with Nature Program Recognized for Innovative Engineering Solutions
INDONESIA - The program in Northern Java to stop coastal erosion through Building with Nature has won the annual award for innovative engineering solutions (Vernufteling) in the Netherlands. On behalf of the project, Rob Nieuwkamer from Witteveen+Bos, received the award on Wednesday 16 March 2016 in the presence of many prominent people from the engineering world. The award gives a great boost to the Building with Nature Indonesia consortium, which is currently carrying out this pilot project in the Demak district in Northern Java. The Building with Nature initiative in Indonesia enhances coastal resilience for residents by avoiding further coastal flooding and erosion. The solution is low-tech, but high concept: in the most heavily eroded parts of the Demak coastline, this program is building permeable dams to attenuate the waves and trap the sediment. This brings the massive coastal erosion to a halt and stimulates the natural re-growth of the mangrove greenbelt. The mangrove forest should take over the role of the dams and attenuate the waves and keep the sediment in place. READ MORE

AMERICAS
 
End the violence, stop the Agua Zarca dam
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HONDURAS - Berta Cáceres took a courageous stand to protect the land and natural resources her community depend on. As a result, she was brutally murdered. Take action to support Berta’s work, and stop the violence. Join the fight and call on all investors and companies involved in the Agua Zarca dam project to withdraw their funding and involvement now. The project, which is not yet built, is strongly but peacefully opposed by the Lenca people. They face losing their access to the river Gualcarque, an important sacred site and a major source of water and food. Standing up against powerful interests is dangerous and Ms Cáceres’ is the latest murder of land activists – both in Honduras and world-wide – and it must be the last. READ MORE


LAST WORD(S)

Dear Alfredo Quarto,
 
Thank you for your e-mail on the Agua Zarca Hydro-electricity Generating Project.
 
First allow me to share with you that Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) deeply regrets the violent death of Berta Cáceres, and also insists that the investigation into her murder is done in a thorough manner. We have shared our concerns with the government of Honduras. We reject any form of violence. We strongly believe that our projects are best served when all voices are heard and understood, and these voices should be protected.
 
In your mail, you ask FMO to pull out of the project. Your question is a legitimate question to ask, and one that we ask ourselves as well. Allow me to share with you my considerations and questions. From our own regular site-visits and through our own independent advisors we continuously learn that the hydropower project has the ability to, and is welcomed to bring positive development impacts to the region, and that all human-rights related impacts as signaled by COPINH and international NGOs have been fully mitigated through a complete redesign of the project. For more information on what this redesign has entailed, I refer you to a FAQ that we have published on our website. We continuously are advised that there is broad support in the affected community for this project.
 
However, we also note that protests against the project continue, which we are aiming to understand. As such, a high level delegation of FMO, including myself, together with external independent parties, aim to visit the project-site and the affected communities to hear what their concerns are. We will do so, as soon as the security situation allows for it. On the basis of our visit, we will be able to provide an answer to your question. I trust you understand that these types of decisions need thorough consideration.
 
Thank you for your mail which we truly do appreciate.
 
Sincerely,
Nanno Kleiterp
Chief Executive Officer
Netherlands Development Finance Company
T: +31 (0)70 314 96 72 I M: +31 (0)6 51 55 99 06 I F: +31 (0)70 314 97 67 I E-mail: n.kleiterp@fmo.nl
Anna van Saksenlaan 71 I P.O. Box 93060 I 2509 AB I The Hague I The Netherlands I www.fmo.nl
 
FMO’s legal name is ‘Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V.’ and is also known as the Netherlands Development Finance Company
 

Dear Alfredo,
 
We have big news to share. After the murder of a second COPINH activist this month, FMO and Finnfund have suspended their support for the Agua Zarca dam project.
 
It is tragic and wrong that it took two murders to convince FMO and Finnfund to pull out of this terrible project. But your voices made the difference.
 
Thousands of you demanded justice for Berta and put FMO and Finnfund in the spotlight. The international pressure we created made this success possible, and ensures that Berta's death was not in vain. Thank you for standing with us.
 
Yet, despite international pressure, powerful circles in Honduras continue to disregard the lives of people who stand in the way of their economic interests. On March 15, Nelson Garcia, an activist of COPINH, the Honduran organization Berta Cáceres had co-founded, was shot and killed when he helped a group of poor families resist a land grab in the small town of Rio Lindo.
 
READ MORE
 
In solidarity,
 
International Rivers
 

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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

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