The MAP News
427th Edition October 14, 2017
Alarm as study reveals world’s tropical forests are huge carbon emission source
GLOBAL - The world’s tropical forests are so degraded they have become a source rather than a sink of carbon emissions, according to a new study that highlights the urgent need to protect and restore the Amazon and similar regions. Researchers found that forest areas in South America, Africa and Asia – which have until recently played a key role in absorbing greenhouse gases – are now releasing 425 teragrams of carbon annually, which is more than all the traffic in the United States. This is a far greater loss than previously thought and carries extra force because the data emerges from the most detailed examination of the topic ever undertaken. The authors say their findings – published in the journal Science recently – should galvanise policymakers to take remedial action. “This shows that we can’t just sit back. The forest is not doing what we thought it was doing,” said Alessandro Baccini, who is one of the leader authors of the research team from Woods Hole Research Center and Boston University. “As always, trees are removing carbon from the atmosphere, but the volume of the forest is no longer enough to compensate for the losses. The region is not a sink any more.” READ MORE
Cameroon palm oil campaigner arrested in crackdown on activists
CAMEROON - A prominent campaigner against palm oil plantations has been arrested amid a growing crackdown on environmental and human rights activists in Cameroon, according to local lawyers and NGOs. Nasako Besingi, who has led opposition to a US-funded 73,000 hectare farm in a biodiverse rainforest, is among more than 100 individuals who have been detained during an escalation of tension between the predominantly French-speaking authorities and the country’s large English-speaking minority. Supporters of Besingi claim the authorities are using the “anglophone crisis” to put pressure on the campaigner, who has been jailed, threatened, and sued on several previous occasions. READ MORE
Governing mangroves: From Tanzania to Indonesia
TANZANIA - scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), coordinated by Principal Scientist Esther Mwangi, set out to explore tenure and governance arrangements of mangroves through a global review. They have so far conducted case studies in the Rufiji delta of Tanzania, which has one of the two most extensive mangrove areas in East Africa, and in Lampung province in Indonesia, the country with the largest mangrove forest cover in the world, accounting for up to 22 percent of the world’s mangroves. At these sites, scientists analyzed national-level legal and policy frameworks, coordination across government agencies, and institutional arrangements at the local level — looking at “how decisions are made and the ability to implement them, both in terms of resources and capacity,” says the Coordinator of the Tanzania study, Baruani Mshale. READ MORE
MAP-Asia staff attended the Daimler Review Meeting in India
INDIA - Three MAP-Asia staff (Jim Enright, Jaruwan Enright (Ning) and Udomsak Pariwatpan (Em)) participated in Daimler Review Meeting "Involving communities in the restoration and rehabilitation of tropical mangrove ecosystem in Asia" held at Chennai Park Hyatt Hotel and the YWCA International Guest House, Chennai, India on 19-20 September 2017. The meeting was co-organized by Global Nature Fund (GNF) of Germany and the Center for Research on New International Economic Order (CReNIEO) based in Chennai. There were 24 participants from 7 organizations in 5 countries (The Center for Research on New Economic Order (CReNIEO) and Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS) from India, EMACE Foundation and Nagenahiru Foundation from Sri Lanka, The Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT) from Cambodia, The Mangrove Action Project (MAP) from Thailand, The Global Nature Fund (GNF) and Daimler AG from India & Germany. READ MORE
Conserve mangroves to save Mumbai
INDIA - Mumbai historical records indicate that there were several islands around the city during 1670. However, the Britishers, who were ruling the country, identified the importance of these islands for commercial purpose. They deforested the fringing mangroves and reclaimed these islands into one continuous landmass, which later came to be known as “Greater Bombay”. Since then the developmental and eventually population pressure rapidly increased and being the coastal area, it took the toll of mangrove land. During the process of deforestation and reclamation, a few mangrove patches were still left in the heart of the city, which proves that today’s megacity had a luxuriant past of mangrove forests. Rapid developments like housing, industrialisation, pollution and increasing population of Mumbai has resulted into degradation of mangroves. There are two important creeks, Vasai Creek towards north and Thane Creek towards south where luxuriant mangrove patches are still remaining. Otherwise the state govt agencies have failed to protect this important, productive mangrove ecosystem from building mafias. The worst disturbed area in Mumbai is the entire western front except Carter Road where the mangroves have grown and have also registered an increase in height in the last 10 years. This has been possible due to the participation of citizen’s forums fighting individually. READ MORE
Marvellous Mangroves - 10 years in Brazil
BRAZIL - It has been over ten years since work started to translate and adapt Marvellous Mangroves for use in Brazilian schools by MAP’s partners, Instituto BiomaBrasil (IBB). In April, 2006, the process began when IBB’s Clemente Coelho Jnr. and Renato Almeida observed and participated in a MM workshop held in Tilapa on the Northwest coast of Guatemala. It was only six months later that MAP Education Director Martin Keeley and Elaine Corets (then South American co-ordinator for MAP) rejoined Clemente and Renato together with several teachers and scientists in Cariacica, southeast Brazil, and started work on adapting and translating MM into Portuguese for use in Brazilian schools. Marvellous Mangroves has enabled IBB to become recognised by the Ministry of Environment as an institution dedicated to the conservation of mangroves and the implementation of extensive educational initiatives involving marine protected areas. Many university students actively support IBB initiatives as a practical part of their studies. MM has made a long-lasting impact on regional and municipal authorties, says Clemente. READ MORE
Organizations worldwide condemn UN aviation agency’s biofuel plans
MEXICO - Environmental and development organisations from five continents have written to the UN’s aviation agency (ICAO) condemning a proposal for large-scale use of biofuels in planes. The letter signed by 96 NGOs states that using biofuels on a vast scale will inevitably lead to further palm oil expansion, which will cause more deforestation, increasing climate-changing emissions, and more landgrabbing and land and human rights abuses. The proposals will be discussed (October 11-13) by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) at its Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels in Mexico City. According to ICAO’s “Vision” proposal, the aviation industry would use 5 million tonnes of biofuels a year from 2025, which will be scaled up to 286 million tonnes by 2050 - more than three times the amount of all biofuels produced today . It is part of an attempt by the aviation industry and ICAO to maintain high levels of aviation growth while presenting them as “carbon neutral” from 2020. Mary Louise Malig from the Global Forest Coalition, one of the signatories of the Open Letter said: “Biofuels are already responsible for large-scale deforestation, and for more land-grabbing, human rights abuses, loss of food sovereignty and food security. Fuelling planes in addition to cars with them would magnify those serious impacts, while doing nothing to address climate change.” READ MORE
Flamingos return to mangrove area in Progreso
MEXICO - The mangrove area of the old narrow road that was used during the time of the railroad and that connected this port with the towns of Chicxulub Pueblo and Conkal has become a nesting site for flamingos. A little more than a kilometer south of the Progreso-Chicxulub trail is the nesting area of flamingos, wading birds that usually inhabit the mangrove area of Uaymitún, but which have begun to congregate in the mangrove swamps near Progreso where they have found food, explained the farmer Remigio Cuytún. To get to the area where the flamingos are located, we travel along the road that leads to the old municipal dump. The dense mangrove growing in that area is a result of the institutional program for the protection, conservation, restoration and reforestation of the mangrove that has been carryied out since October 2014 by the Ninth Naval Zone through its Port Oceanographic Research Station. Flamingos flock to less than 20 meters from the narrow old road, from where they are easily seen, and they occupy an area of about 500 meters. According to the farmer Remigio Cuytún ,for several years, these birds were not seen in this area. READ MORE
There was an article in the Guardian on Friday about Nasako Besingi. I didn't know you knew him.
Front Line Defenders:
"Nasako Besingi has been leading his community in the protests against the development of palm oil plantations by the American agribusiness company Herakles Farm."
It seems pressure has to be put on the US company, Herakles Farm, the one implementing 73,000 ha of oil palm plantation.
thanks for sending this. I had met Nasako many years ago at the In the Hands of the Fishers workshop in Cameroon. He was one of the few English speakers there, and was very involved with trying to protect the rights of local communities at the time. He was then, as he obviously is now, a very dedicated, uncompromising activist. This Herakles Farms company in the US needs to be spotlighted as the blight on the environment and the bane on human rights it is!
PETITION: Cameroon: Release forest defender Nasako Besingi SIGN NOW!
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Mangrove Action Project
Thursday, October 12, 2017
MAP News Issue 427, October 14, 2017
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