Thursday, April 28, 2016

MAP News Issue 389, April 20, 2016

MAP News Issue 389

The MAP News
389th Edition                               April 20, 2016


Mangroves: The roots of the sea
By MAP’s Executive Director Alfredo Quarto
I first stumbled upon mangrove forests and the shrimp aquaculture industry that threatened them back in March 1992. Traveling in southern Thailand I visited several fishing communities located along the Andaman Sea for an article I was writing. I noticed a com- mon thread of problems faced by the fisherfolk I interviewed – outside investors were ruining their lands and livelihoods by cutting man- groves to make way for shrimp farms, devastating their local fishery and agriculture. One village headman spoke about the shrimp farms that threatened Andaman fishing communities. His father had been murdered by the shrimp mafia for opposing their cutting mangroves. Speaking with deep emotion, he noted: “If there are no mangrove forests, then the sea will have no meaning. It is like having a tree with no roots, for the mangroves are the roots of the sea.” READ MORE


MAP Asia ventures into developing mangrove nature trails
THAILAND - MAP Asia has been developing Mangrove Interpretation Nature Trails in partnership with two communities involved in mangrove restoration. 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. READ MORE

Scientists warn about shrimp farms' effects on environment
VIET NAM - The big profits that farmers can expect explains why shrimp farming has been developing so rapidly in recent yearrs. According to Vo Hong Ngoan, who is known as the “Shrimp King’ of the Mekong River Delta, shrimp farming can bring very high profit: one dong can bring 2-2.5 dong. In Bac Lieu province, for example, farmers can get VND300-400 million worth of profit for every hectare of water surface used for industrial shrimp farming, which is dozens of times higher than rice tilling. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam had 500,000 hectares of brackish shrimp areas in 2005, while the figure increased to 600,000 hectares. This means that 10,000 hectares of new shrimp ponds appear every year. In order to expand the cultivation areas, farmers have shifted from extensive farming into industrial farming which allows them to get a higher yield on the same cultivation area and seek higher profit. As a result, the environment has been harmed seriously. According to Truong Quoc Phu from Can Tho University, with the industrial farming model, shrimp is bred in high density and fed a great deal. This has created more waste, thus leading to pollution and an epidemic outbreak. “Farmers discharge water from their shrimp ponds to the environment without any treatment. As a shrimp hatchery develops uncontrolled the waste water from these shrimp ponds is pumped into other ponds. As a result, the water gets polluted,” Phu said. READ MORE

India to help Cambodia tigers in restoring fauna to their forests
INDIA - The third Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation concluded on Thursday with the 13 Tiger Range Countries adopting a resolution reasserting their commitment to the Global Tiger Recovery Programme (GTRP). Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said the 'New Delhi Resolution on Tiger Conservation' will help strengthen the commitment of the member countries toward the "Global Tiger Summit" resolution adopted in 2010 at St. Petersburg, Russia — which was to double the tiger population by 2022. "Restoration, Reintroduction and Rehabilitation is needed to increase tiger population in low density areas," Javadekar said. According to a report in The Hindu, Sokhun TY, Secretary of State, Ministry of Agricultue, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia said that talks are in place about taking six female tigers and two males from India in order to replenish the Cambodian forests Artem Sidorov, head of the Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service, Russia said, "We understand that our common goals and compliance still exists. This resolution must not be limited to the respective ministries of environment or forest only. It's ambit must be broadened and other departments must be included," said Chencho Norbu, director general of Department of Forest and Park Services, Bhutan. READ MORE

Those living near mangrove areas before 2005 will not be evicted
INDIA - Social activist Medha Patkar said that forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has assured her that the slum dwellers living near the mangrove areas since before 2005 will not be evicted. Patkar, along with a delegation of representatives of Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA), had called on Mungantiwar to hand over a memorandum, demanding protection for the residents of Bheemchaya locality. She said the minister agreed that since the Bombay High Court judgment in this regard came on October 6, 2005, it would be inhuman to evict the residents who have been living in the area before 2005. She added the minister welcomed the idea of joint forest management by formulating joint committees of residents and forest officials. The Mangrove Cell has demolished around 3,000 hutments from the mangrove areas across the city in the last one year, based on satellite maps that show these as encroachments. READ MORE

Incidental impacts from major road construction on one of Asia’s most important wetlands
THAILAND - Large-scale infrastructure development projects can have devastating impacts upon biodiversity. We investigated the impacts of roads on land-use change in a coastal area of South-east Asia, an area of high biodiversity subject to intense human pressure. The objectives of this study were (1) to examine impacts of major roads on rates of land-use change and habitat conversion in and around the Inner Gulf of Thailand, a large wetland of international importance; and (2) to evaluate the conversion rate of salt-pans (a critical habitat for several species of threatened shorebirds) between 1990 and 2011. Nine land-use types were categorised into two groups: seminatural and human-dominated. Proportions of each land-use type at different distances from major roads were determined using GIS data. More than 40% of the area was used for aquaculture during the entire study period. The amount of seminatural habitats was positively correlated with distance from major roads. READ MORE


Waste creating jobs for creative heads in Cameroon
CAMEROON - They are four young students of the University of Douala. Once a week, they visit markets and the streets of Douala to pick up garbage. They created in 2014, a small business called Kemit Ecology, with one goal, to fight against deforestation and environmental pollution. “The idea of clean coal came to us because we realized that people in the mangroves where we settled and cut mangrove wood for smoking fish and the other to cut into coal. And we said, but if they can also turn into coal from garbage, why not give them this coal which is 100% more environmental because it does not pollute. So we get to solve the mangrove degradation problem,” Muller Tenkeu Rhea, Kemit Ecology (white knit) Project Sponsor said. Here in the Douala central market, traders have abandoned leaves and vegetable waste. But it remains a gold mine for those young people who go into a new energy source. “All these are biodegradable organic wastes. Inside we have plantain skins, banana skins, it has leaves, but the scrap of sugar cane, oil palm waste, rattan and agricultural scrap howsoever provided that they are biodegradable and organic,” Muller Tenkeu Rhea added. READ MORE


Puerto Rico Turtle Defender Wins Goldman Prize
PUERTO RICO - Longtime Puerto Rico Sierra Club partner Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera has won the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for helping lead a successful campaign to establish a nature reserve in Puerto Rico's Northeast Ecological Corridor -- an important nesting ground for the endangered leatherback sea turtle -- and to protect the island's natural heritage from harmful development. Honorees come from all the inhabited continents of the world, plus Islands and Island Nations, the category for which Rivera Herrera was awarded the prize. READ MORE

Synthetic shrimp redefining seafood sustainability
USA - Back in 2013, scientist Mark Post made headlines with perhaps the most expensive hamburger ever created. The burger’s price tag, however – according to Post, the patty cost USD 325,000 (EUR 250,000) to make – was only part of what made it so newsworthy. The most interesting part of the story was that Post’s beef didn’t come from a cow in a pasture, it came from a test tube. Fast forward to present day, where California-based startup company New Wave Foods is taking the same lab-cultured approach as Post did, but with shrimp. If all goes according to plan, in about eight months consumers could find themselves purchasing the company’s take on “popcorn” shrimp, which is made out of plants and algae in a lab, and engineered to feel, look and taste like the real deal – a large selling point for the consumers of today and tomorrow, said Florian Radke, a marketing specialist with the technology-driven food producer. “I truly believe that the future consumer will not care if the product came from an animal or not as long as it tastes in a way that they want it to taste and it’s sourced in a responsible way that’s appealing. As long as the texture, the flavor, etc. is the same, we believe that the consumer will see [New Wave shrimp] as seafood,” Radke told SeafoodSource. READ MORE

Mangrove Loss From Climate Change Poses Threat to Lives and GDP
MEXICO - Mangroves substantially reduce the vulnerability of coasts from inundation and erosion. However, climate change poses a large threat to mangroves, according to recent findings from a World Bank Group working paper.Mangroves as Protection from Storm Surges in a Changing Climate quantifies the coastal protection provided by mangroves for 42 developing countries in the current climate, and under a future climate change scenario with a one-meter sea level rise and a 10 percent intensification of storms. The findings show that although sea level rise and increased storm intensity would increase storm surge areas putting built infrastructure at risk, the greatest impact is the expected loss of mangroves. In the countries with the highest vulnerability to tropical cyclones and the largest area of mangroves, the estimates show that sea level rise due to climate change “is likely to destroy 100 percent of coastal mangroves” in Mexico, 85 percent in the Philippines, 59 percent in Venezuela, 31 percent in Papua New Guinea and 27 percent in Myanmar. READ MORE

Students Reviving Mangrove Wetlands
BAHAMAS - FORTY-five students planted 135 baby mangrove trees in Camp Abaco last week after growing them in their classrooms throughout this school year. The students, from Abaco Central High School and Forest Heights Academy, and their teachers, participated in a pilot programme called the Bahamas Awareness of Mangroves (BAM), a project about mangrove education and restoration. The BAM programme was created by Amy Heemsoth, of the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation, in partnership with Friends of the Environment. Their main goal is “to deliver a message about conservation, and to help continue education about mangrove ecosystems here with Bahamian high school students,” said Ms Heemsoth, the Director of Education at the Foundation. “A lot of times when you’re trying to promote conservation, it has to start with the youth,” she said. “They’re our future generation that’s going to protect our resources, and help conserve them for the best.” In the first phase of the project, at the beginning of the school year, the tenth-grade students visited the restoration site at Camp Abaco, where they collected propagules, or mangrove seedlings, to grow and study throughout the year. READ MORE

Study reveals hidden value of Baja California mangroves in climate change fight
MEXICO - As climate change has heightened concerns about the global decline of mangroves, a study released this week 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, lead author of the report. "Their value in mitigating climate change was sorely underestimated," she said. READ MORE

Community Fights to Protect Cherished Mangrove in Cancun
MEXICO - Across the bay from the glittery hotel district, Cancun residents often enjoy some cool respite on the city's breezy malecón, Latin America's name for a seafront promenade. On a typical evening, people can be found jogging, playing, dog walking, or just taking in the fresh Caribbean trade winds. Until January 16, a dense mangrove forest led up to Cancun's malecón, separating the peaceful walkway from the bustling city. But at 2 a.m. on that Sunday, bulldozers moved in and tore the mangrove trees away, destroying a much-needed green space for residents and demolishing the habitat of thousands of creatures. The residents of Cancun reacted, and moved to protect and restore what was left of the mangrove forest. Leveraging social media, notably Facebook pages Salvemos Manglar Tajamar (Let's Save Tajamar Mangrove) and Guardianes del Manglar Cancún (Mangrove Guardians of Cancun), as well as Twitter, calls to action have been rapidly answered by the community, leading to connections with Greenpeace and the international network to save mangrove forests worldwide. READ MORE


Global fisheries are collapsing — What happens when there are no fish left?
UNITED KINGDOM - "Commercial overexploitation of the world's fish stocks is severe," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said back in 2012. "Many species have been hunted to fractions of their original populations. More than half of global fisheries are exhausted, and a further third are depleted." According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 85 percent of global fish stocks are "overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion." Yet despite these alarms having been sounded loud and clear, life in the oceans is continuing to deteriorate at an ominously rapid pace. Fisheries for the most sought-after species of fish have already collapsed. The populations of all large predator fish in the oceans have declined by 90 percent in the 50 years since modern industrial fishing became widespread around the world, according to a shocking paper by scientists with Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, published in Nature in 2003. READ MORE

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you very much for your help and assistance on this paper [Incidental impacts from major road construction on one of Asia’s most important wetlands], which is now appeared in print in Pacific Conservation Biology. (I may have previously already sent you an Online Early version with no page numbers).

It is imperative to do something to stop the spread of highways in the coastal zone of (especially) the Inner Gulf.


Assoc. Prof. Philip D. Round
Regional Representative, The Wetland Trust,
Department of Biology,
Faculty of Science,
Mahidol University, Rama 6 Road,
Bangkok 10400.


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Action Alerts:

The Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve’s Bioluminescent Bay is under NEW attack by our local National Park Service. WE NEED TO PROTECT THE PARK FROM THOSE WHO PRETEND TO PROTECT IT.

CALL FOR CHILDRENS ART: We invite all primary school children from tropical and sub-tropical nations, and whose schools are located near mangroves, to create art telling us "why mangroves are important to my community and me?” Selected winners will be published in the 2017 calendar to be distributed internationally READ MORE

MAPs 2016 Childrens Calendar now available ORDER TODAY

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

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
Mangroves: Guidebook to Malaysia – available for download here
Mangrove rehabilitation in Asia – Local Action and cross-border Transfer of Knowledge for the Conservation of Climate, Forests and Biodiversity VIEW VIDEOS HERE


Volunteer Opportunities with Mangrove Action Project CLICK HERE

Want to learn more about mangroves?

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

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

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
Article in Canada's Green Teacher Magazine - Read More


FREE MAP Mangrove e-cards CLICK HERE

MAP’s e-Cards offer you a unique way to spread the word about MAP’s good works, while sharing beautiful photographs of the mangroves

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—Mahatma Gandhi

Green Planet Fundraising Assists MAP – LEARN MORE


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

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

Question Your Shrimp


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