Saturday, July 23, 2016

MAP News Issue #395, July 23, 2016

MAP News Issue #395, July 23, 2016

The MAP News
395th Edition                               July 23, 2016


Body Shop Foundation agrees to support MAP’s CBEMR
UK – In another vote of confidence for the scientific and proven results of its restoration projects, the Trustees of The Body Shop Foundation recently agreed to support Mangrove Action Project (MAP) with a substantial donation. The grant is towards the CBEMR – Community –Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration project to restore the mangroves on Kho Klan Island in the Krabi River Estuary. The Body Shop Foundation is a charitable company who operate closely with The Body Shop International. The group gives money to innovative, global projects working for social and environmental change. Since they began in 1989, they’ve funded thousands of projects across the world, donating just over £21 million. Through their funding, they’ve given support, awareness and vital funds for community based charities and organisations that strive to protect the planet, its people and the animals that share it with us. The Body Shop’s determination to protect, care for and cherish our planet with all its wondrous species is the reason they get out of bed every morning and fuels them into going that extra step every day. We think they’re amazing. Seriously amazing. READ MORE


A new power plant could devastate the world’s largest mangrove forest.
BANGLADESH - The planet’s largest mangrove forest could be facing serious trouble in the form of two new coal-fired power plants, environmentalists say — and they’re urging the United Nations to draw greater attention to the issue. A handful of environmental groups, including Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club and, have cumulatively collected 50,000 signatures on a petition just submitted to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) asking that the Sundarbans — a region of Bangladesh including a designated World Heritage Site — be placed on the official List of World Heritage in Danger. Meanwhile, activists continue to lobby against the construction of the power plants. The petition was submitted ahead of this year’s meeting of the World Heritage Committee, which convened in Istanbul last week. Meanwhile, progress on the Rampal power plant — the proposed project garnering the greatest amount of concern in Bangladesh — continues to move forward. Last week, local media reported that an official agreement had been signed awarding India’s state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. an engineering and construction deal on the Rampal project, paving the way for its continued development. READ MORE

MAP’s EPIC Mangrove video: A global success!
THAILAND - Back in December we reported on the filming of a new Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure Communities (EPIC) video by MAP’s visual communications consultant Leo Thom, and Tom Plowden, a British wildlife photographer based in Singapore. The two of them spent 6 days in the Krabi region of Southern Thailand gathering footage, before a lengthy post-production process by Leo. The video has since been completed and by now many of you may have had the opportunity to see the fantastic final product: “Reducing the Risk of Disaster through Nature-Based Solutions - Mangroves”. The video highlights the importance of restoring abandoned shrimp ponds of which there are an estimated 250,000 hectares in Asia. Formerly, these ponds were healthy mangrove ecosystems providing a long list of goods and services to their local communities and locking up vast quantities of carbon. READ MORE

Thailand's Shrimp Farms Threaten Rare 'Fishing Cats'
THAILAND - Normally, cats avoid water like the plague, but Thailand's "fishing cats," with their partially webbed feet and pointed heads evolved for diving, are built for hunting in the mangrove swamps and streams. But this rare breed's entire future could depend on the decisions made in, of all places, the frozen food section of the supermarket. Biologist Namfon Cutter, who has researched these fiercely private animals for eight years, said she has only once seen one in the wild with her own eyes."In a way, that kind of makes it even more exciting, because you want to give them some respect," Cutter said. Cutter and her team of researchers head out in the jungle to monitor the fishing cats through camera feeds and radio collars. When they find tracks, they set up a camera and put out a trap baited with a piece of chicken. Cutter is now tracking and studying dozens of these fishing cats through camera feeds and radio collars. Fishing cats only live in South and Southeast Asia and there are only several thousand of them left in the wild. One of the big culprits in their potential extinction is shrimp farms. READ MORE


West African Coastal Towns Swallowed by Ocean
IVORY COAST - Rising sea levels and coastal erosion threaten the homes and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people across West Africa. Grand-Lahou, an Ivorian tourist destination, is among the areas slowly being washed away. The waves are swallowing the coastline of Grand-Lahou’s old town, located about 100 kilometers west of Abidjan, at a pace of 1-to-2 meters a year. Eugène Koffi has spent his entire life on a shrinking patch of land called Lahou-Kpanda, which is situated between the sea and a lagoon. "The sea used to be back there, two kilometers away," said Koffi, pointing his finger at the horizon. Today, it comes up to just a few meters away from where he is standing. "There used to be people living here," he adds. "There used to be coconut trees." READ MORE


Can Land-Based Fish Farms Solve Farmed Seafood Woes?
USA - More than half the seafood eaten globally is now farmed. And yet for some, aquaculture conjures up images of escaped fish, crowded pens, antibiotics, and ocean pollution in Asia, where nearly 90 percent of today’s aquaculture takes place. Now some entrepreneurs are bringing aquaculture on land. In the process, many hope to find a sustainable solution to the growing demand for a low-input, clean source of protein. One of them is Tracey Carrillo, an agronomy professor at New Mexico State University. Carrillo initially started producing chemical-free shrimp as part of an experiment to see if they could be fed with organic cottonseed protein, an underutilized part of the cotton crop. When he had an abundance of shrimp on his hands, eager locals lined up around the block.Quixotic fish farm tilapia “We’d send an email out to the college and the response was overwhelming,” he said. “[It was] the novelty of ‘Whoa, they’re growing fresh shrimp in the desert.’” READ MORE

Choosing sustainable shrimp
USA - Shrimp remains the most popular seafood in the United States: the typical American consumes around four pounds a year, adding up to more than 1 billion pounds. Almost 90 percent is imported, largely from Southeast Asia and Latin America. Outside of the United States and Canada, both farmed and wild shrimp carry a destructive burden, making it difficult for conscientious eaters to find shrimp that meets their values. Shrimp aquaculture can have an extraordinarily negative impact on the environment, particularly critical mangrove ecosystems that are clear cut to make way for shrimp ponds. These ponds have high stocking densities and, in an effort to keep the shrimp healthy, farmers often utilize a wide array of chemicals to control pathogens. If any chemical or bacterial contamination is found on shrimp imports, they're not allowed to enter the United States. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only inspects 1 to 2 percent of all seafood every year, meaning tainted shrimp likely is ending up in American kitchens. The FDA has ramped up testing recently and, subsequently, refusals of imported shrimp have spiked. READ MORE


Shocking images' reveal death of 10,000 hectares of mangroves across Northern Australia
AUSTRALIA - Close to 10,000 hectares of mangroves have died across a stretch of coastline reaching from Queensland to the Northern Territory.International mangroves expert Dr Norm Duke said he had no doubt the "dieback" was related to climate change. "It's a world-first in terms of the scale of mangrove that have died," he told the ABC. Dr Duke flew 200 kilometres between the mouths of the Roper and McArthur Rivers in the Northern Territory last month to survey the extent of the dieback. He described the scene as the most "dramatic, pronounced extreme level of dieback that I've ever observed". Dr Duke is a world expert in mangrove classification and ecosystems, based at James Cook University, and in May received photographs showing vast areas of dead mangroves in the Northern Territory section of the Gulf of Carpentaria. READ MORE

Climate art: Tuvalu plan for giant mangrove QR code
TUVALU - Vincent Huang outlines plans for world’s first giant QR code from mangroves to highlight threat of rising seas to Pacific Islands. The tiny Pacific island nation of Tuvalu has revealed plans to plant a mangrove forest in the shape of a QR code in a bid to highlight its vulnerability to climate change. It’s the idea of Taiwanese artist Vincent Huang, who has long worked with Tuvalu’s government to draw global attention to the country’s struggle against rising sea levels and erratic rainfall. In a statement sent to media, Huang said he will start planting mangrove trees at Funafala islet next month. When complete, he said people could use their QR readers to scan the mini forest and read about the impacts of climate change around the world. READ MORE

The State Of The World’s Coral Reefs Is Getting Dire
AUSTRALIA - Warmer-than-usual waters have been causing major stress for corals around the world for the past two years, and they aren’t likely to get a break anytime soon. The International Coral Reef Symposium held recently in Hawaii, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) unveiled projections that show that water temperatures will be high enough in the coming months to carry the global bleaching event into a third year. Already, the bleaching event, which started in 2014, is the longest in global history — stretching into a third year would be “unprecedented,” NOAA says. Bleaching is a grave threat to coral reefs. Corals, which are made up of tiny polyps that live symbiotically with photosynthetic algae, expel that algae when they get stressed by things like pollution or too-warm or too-cold water. This algae gives the coral its color, so when it’s expelled, the coral turns white. Its photosynthetic abilities also provide food for the coral, so without the algae, the coral is greatly weakened; if ocean temperatures don’t fall quickly enough for the algae to recolonize the coral, it can die. READ MORE

Rising sea shocks Pacific's Kiribati
THAILAND - One clear bright day last winter, a tidal surge swept over an ocean embankment here in the remote, low-lying island country of Kiribati, smashing through the doors and windows of Betio Hospital and spewing sand and debris across its maternity ward. Beero Hosea, 37, a handyman, cut the power and helped carry frightened mothers through the rubble and water to a nearby school. "If the next one is combined with a storm and stronger winds, that's the end of us," he said. "It's going to cover this whole island." For years, scientists have been predicting that much of Kiribati may become uninhabitable within decades because of an onslaught of environmental problems linked to climate change. And for just as long, many here have paid little heed. But while scientists are reluctant to attribute any specific weather or tidal event to rising sea levels, the tidal surge last winter, known as a king tide, was a chilling wake-up call. "It shocked us," said Tean Rube, a pastor with the Kiribati Uniting Church. "We realised, OK, maybe climate change is real." READ MORE


London protest against Rampal power plant deal

Dear Friends,

It’s very shocking that the people’s urge to abandon the coal based power plant in Rampal, an adjacent area of the world’s largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans is being ignored. The Government of Bangladesh has signed an agreement with India’s state run Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd to implement the Rampal Power Plant.

The National Committee to Protect Oil Gas and Mineral Resources in Bangladesh (NCBD) will march towards the Prime Minister’s Office on the 28th July 2016 to protest against the deal.

In solidarity with the protesters in Bangladesh, the UK branch of NCBD will hold a protest meeting at Altab Ali Park on the same day, at 6.30pm on 28 July.

Please join us along with your friends and raise your voice against this destructive Rampal power plant to protect the world’s largest mangrove forest, environment, ecology and species.


A.S.K. Masroor, NCBD, UK branch.
Rumana Hashem, PhD,
Skype: rumanahashem
Twitter: @RumanaHashem


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ACTION ALERTS WANTED: MAP News is looking for links to calls to actions/petitions and letter writing campaigns on mangrove issues, tropical coastal communities and other related topics. Not all submissions can be selected, but we look forward to hearing about your work and want to let our readers' voice be heard!
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Action Alerts:

Tell the Ex-Im Bank: Don't let Big Coal wreck mangrove forests
The U.S. Export-Import Bank is considering using US tax dollars to pay for two coal plants in Bangladesh. These projects would wreck the world’s largest mangrove forest and devastate the Bengal tigers that live there. We need your help to stop it! 

The world's largest mangrove forest is in danger from a massive coal plant.
UNESCO can put pressure on India and Bangladesh to protect the forest, but they need to see that people around the world are speaking out. Click here to add your voice.

Our new short documentary, Reducing the Risk of Disaster through Nature-Based Solutions : Mangroves
EPIC-Film 2
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
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?mangrove-action-project-presentation-1-1024.jpg?cb=1424228039
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

Donate to MAP via Paypal
Giving could never be easier
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. —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

Join MAP on Facebook

Sign the Consumer's Pledge to avoid imported shrimp


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