By Manon Whittaker, MAP Asia Intern
MAP Asia has been developing Mangrove Interpretation Nature Trails in partnership with two communities involved in mangrove restoration.
Klong Lu Mangrove Interpretive Nature Trail, Krabi
The first project is located at the Klong Lu Homestay, on Koh Klang Island, Krabi Province, Southern Thailand with the combined trail and mangrove restoration project completed in December 2015, with the support from the Global Nature Fund (GNF). The mangrove restoration site, which was an abandoned shrimp pond, is situated next to the Klong Lu Homestay and appears to be a great opportunity for the community to develop a nature trail as part of their eco-tourism activities.
With the help from MAP and volunteers from Projects Abroad the construction of the trail advanced rapidly and is already in use. The Mangrove Nature Trail consists of a short loop pathway around the Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration site with three interpretation signs on mangrove ecology along the trail. There are also mangrove species identification signs which describe the various species found on site. This is a great opportunity to promote mangrove ecosystems and educate visitors who include daily tourists, individuals and groups staying at Klong Lu Homestay, local school kids and other students. This year, already 2000 people have utilized this nature trail.
The second mangrove nature trail project is located at Ta Sanook Village, in Phang Nga Province. It is being funded by DAIMLER AG as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project which is managed by GNF. The short nature trail will go through a very biodiverse mangrove stand passing over a tidal stream which provides an opportunity to see a variety of species close-up. Careful route planning not a single mangrove tree had to be cut down for construction. The community plans to repair a shelter over-top a pond at the end of the walkway which will be used for group discussions. The construction of the 70 meter-path started in early March 2016 and aims to be completed by May 2016. This Mangrove Nature Trail will mainly serve to support mangrove environmental education of local schools.
Construction of the nature trail in Ta-Sanook is advancing quickly.
MAP is excited to be involved in these environmental education projects as it is the first time for the organization to be involved in developing mangrove interpretation nature trails. We hope they will be a fantastic tool for education of local communities, students as well as visitors and tourists.