The MAP News
438TH Edition March 17, 2018
Award-winning Marvellous Mangroves (MM) curriculum educates children on the importance of mangroves
The award-winning Marvellous Mangroves (MM) curriculum educates children on the importance of mangroves and their ecological functions, teaching them about modern challenges and mechanisms for sustainability. MM training is an in-depth, hands-on, sciencebased conservation education program, which has not only been given to primary and secondary school children but also teachers themselves. The curriculum is already used in 15 countries by over 250,000 students and 2,500 teachers. Integrated with local and national curricula it encourages and facilitates students to spend time in mangrove forests, including participation in field studies, research and conservation. The empowering process for both students and teachers helps to create greener and healthier learning environment inside and outside of school. VIEW VIDEO
Women are championing mangrove conservation in Nigeria
NIGERIA - A group of women are working tirelessly to reverse life-threatening challenges facing local economies in Nigeria, as the country’s declining mangrove forests face extinction – after decades of degradation. The Society for Women and Vulnerable Groups (SWOVUGE) is helping communities to restore and sustainably manage mangrove forests in the five villages of the Ukpom Okom District in South East Nigeria. The Ukpom Community Mangrove in Akwa Ibom State is an important breeding site and home to numerous species of wildlife such as crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, fish, shrimps, crab, snails, clam and oysters. A large population of people also depends on resources from this rich mangrove forest to support their livelihoods. However, limited knowledge about sustainable resource management in the communities has exposed the mangrove to activities that threaten its biodiversity. Overharvesting of mangrove forest products, including trees used for firewood in homes, or to dry fish or build canoes, have reduced the mangrove at an alarming rate. Patches of the forested mangrove have also been cleared for housing development, putting the ecosystem services and economic benefits of the mangrove at risk. READ MORE
Kenya Gambles On Dirty Energy With Its First Coal Plant
KENYA - Mohammed Hassan is a worried man. In a few months’ time, the place he has called home for 27 years may be unrecognizable. Even scarier, he says, his newborn child may not enjoy the same little pleasures of life he did while growing up. The clear skies, the endless supplies of fresh fish and the midday plunge into the sky blue ocean from one of the many jetties along Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline may all be part of a painful past for generations that come after him. In a bid to maintain its dominance as one of East Africa’s biggest and most ambitious economies, Kenya is betting big on dirty energy by building a controversial Chinese-funded coal plant at a World Heritage site. “If these plans go on, maybe we might just have to move away,” Hassan said, his gaze first falling on the beach front, then farther west toward a cluster of mangrove trees behind which the sun, a big ball of orange, is lazily disappearing before a starlit night takes over. READ MORE
MAP welcomes its newest volunteer
Hello Everyone, My name is Zoë, I am the new MAP Volunteer, and I'll be working here in the Trang office until the end of May, 2018. I am writing to give you a bit of an introduction as to who I am and where I'm coming from! I am very excited to start working with all of you, and I absolutely love mangroves, so I think I'm in the right place! I am originally from Seattle, but I grew up in suburban Massachusetts (and I have dual citizenship with the UK). I recently graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, with a B.S. degree in Marine Science. For my undergraduate thesis research, I worked on a project surveying forest structure and floral diversity in the natural mangrove forests of Nusa Lembongan, Bali, and Bangka Island, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. This research was conducted as part of a grant-funded program with my college and the Henry Luce Foundation's Asia and the Environment Initiative. We also worked in the restored field site in Tiwoho Village, North Sulawesi, as well as in shrimp ponds in Semarang, Central Java. READ MORE
Indonesia’s sinking shoreline: Climate change and environmental destruction cause daily flooding
INDONESIA - Nur Anisa Rahmadani has to wade through shin-deep seawater to get to her primary school in Pantai Bahagia village on the north coast of Indonesia’s Java island. Almost every day, the sea, which used to lap the shore a few kilometres away, floods their schoolyard and classrooms – clear evidence of the threat that Java’s sinking coastline poses to millions of people. Experts say Pantai Bahagia, or “Happy Beach”, and scores of other villages and towns along the shoreline are being inundated because of a grim combination of manmade environmental destruction and climate change. Roughly 40 per cent of Jakarta is below sea level and a new sea wall has had to be built in a bid to hold back the waves. READ MORE
India lost 40% of its mangroves in the last century. And it’s putting communities at risk
INDIA - The first line of defence against cyclones and rising seas, mangroves also succour coastal communities The sight of the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, straddling India and Bangladesh, is humbling. This biodiversity hotspot is home to 180 species of trees and plants growing within its marshy boundaries, the Gangetic dolphin, estuarine crocodiles, river terrapins, hawksbill turtles, horseshoe crabs and of course the iconic Bengal tiger. The tides in this 10,000 sq.km. swamp are so dramatic that about a third of the land disappears and reappears every day. It has been happening for centuries, but the changes have become more extreme in the past few decades. In this delta of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, the sea is rising more dramatically than in other parts of the world, research shows. Known as the biggest carbon sink in South Asia, these mangrove forests are recognised as a world heritage site. READ MORE
We need to change the way we talk about climate change
BANGLADESH - In a January 19 article about the impacts of climate change in Bangladesh, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof describes a coastal island on the verge of disappearance and farmers forced to "marry off" their underage daughters as a result of losses linked to sea level rise. This dystopic imaginary of Bangladesh in the time of climate change is well-worn territory. The key points in this ubiquitous narrative include: a land mass disappearing thanks to sea level rise, wretched and desperate inhabitants watching their land and livelihoods wash away, millions of "climate refugees" flooding out of the small country's porous borders. There is no question that climate change is happening - with impacts being felt in Bangladesh as in the rest of the world. Coastal Bangladesh, like coastal Manhattan, will suffer. The inhabitants of both of these communities will have to grapple with an uncertain ecological future. Yet in narratives like Kristof's, it is Bangladesh that is the climate sh**hole (albeit one that warrants our pity rather than scorn). These dystopic climate narratives share parallels with Donald Trump's already-fabled description of "sh**hole countries" migrants from which he believes are not desirable. READ MORE
New findings could rewrite Bangladesh's history
BANGLADESH - Traces of human presence dating back some 1,000-1,200 years have been found in the world's largest coastal mangrove forest in southwest Bangladesh, according to local and foreign researchers. The remains of the near-ancient buildings were discovered in five places within the Sundarbans forest, and various artefacts have also been found in forest areas up to 83 kilometres away. These findings were revealed by a local independent researcher, Ism Azam. Sufi Mostafizur Rahman, an archaeologist at Jahangirnagar University and executive director of Oitihya Onneswan (Explore the Heritage), an archaeological research group, told Anadolu news agency that this discovery adds a new chapter to the history of Bangladesh. "If a deeper study of those structures is done, we may uncover many facts about the Sundarbans and the history of this land. READ MORE
NOTE FROM THE E.D. - It seems the Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) are now being put in place for shrimp production in the US. This could be an alternative to coastal based shrimp farms that are so problematic! Perhaps, time will tell!
Land-based shrimp aquaculture is expanding. Will it pay?
USA - Two companies – one Japanese, the other American – are bringing revolutionary technologies into commercialization in large-scale shrimp aquaculture facilities. But questions remain as to whether the operations can be profitable. “The Texas A&M system is housed indoors, with shrimp raised in raceways with a water depth of just 12 inches. The shallow depth allows raceways to be stacked in eight levels, greatly reducing the space needed. Temperature and water conditions can also be closely controlled for optimal health and growth conditions. We’re able to produce jumbo size shrimp, each weighing 1.1 ounces, known as U15 shrimp, which gives us world record production of up to 25 kilograms of shrimp per cubic meter of water using either zero water exchange and/or recirculating water, The world’s first commercial application of Lawrence’s stacked raceways will break ground just miles from his office in Port Aransas, according to Kemp. His company will own and operate the project. We’ll construct a facility of about 70,000 square feet, hire 15 to 20 people, some of them with advanced degrees, and produce shrimp year-round. We expect to produce some 835,000 pounds of shrimp per year,” he said. “Also of significance is that this technology will allow shrimp farms to be built inland in proximity to major metropolitan areas and provide live, fresh-dead and fresh-frozen shrimp on a daily basis,” Kemp added. READ MORE
Mangrove deforestation may be releasing more CO2 than Poland
Just how much carbon do mangroves contain, and how much is being lost to their deforestation? To find out, researchers at Salisbury University in the U.S. and National University of Singapore analyzed the carbon content of mangrove vegetation as well as the soil underneath it. Their results were published recently in Nature Climate Change.In addition to estimating how much carbon mangrove deforestation released, the study also looked at the impact of this activity on the mangroves’ overall carbon-sequestering ability. They found that had no mangroves been deforested between 2000 and 2012, then they likely would have taken an additional 3.5 million to 4.5 million metric tons of carbon out of the atmosphere. Zooming in, the study found Indonesia harbors the lion’s share of the world’s mangroves – around 30 percent – while also experiencing the biggest proportion of its 2000-2012 mangrove carbon loss, with deforestation there accounting for more than 48 percent of the global total. Other parts of Southeast Asia, such as Myanmar, are also undergoing high rates of mangrove deforestation, making the entire region a hotspot of global mangrove carbon loss. READ MORE
Halting Deforestation and Increasing Forest Area– from Aspiration to Action
ITALY - In 2015, countries made a bold and ambitious commitment when adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Target 15.2 of SDG 15 on Life on Land calls for halting deforestation by 2020, among others. In addition, the UN Strategic Plan for Forests 2017-2030 (UNSPF) adopted in 2017 by the UN General Assembly calls for reversing the loss of forest cover and increasing forest area by 3 percent worldwide by 2030 (Global Forest Goal 1, Target 1.1). While global rates of deforestation have decreased in the recent past, from a net annual forest area loss of 7.3 million hectares in 2000 to 3.3 million hectares in 2015, the decrease has not been even across regions and deforestation rates in some regions, especially Africa and Latin America, are still alarmingly high. The greatest loss of forests has been in tropical and low-income countries. At the same time, these countries have experienced the greatest expansion of agricultural land. Between 2000 and 2010, annual net forest loss in tropical countries was 7 million hectares and the annual net gain in agricultural land was 6 million hectares. This illustrates that agriculture is still the main driver of deforestation.READ MORE
Talks focus on upscaling the use of mangroves eco-systems to reduce disaster risks
Mangrove eco-systems around the region were the focus of talks in Suva, Fiji last week as regional representatives joined experts in discussing how the mangroves eco-systems can help reduce risks in the face of changing climate. Hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the workshop combined government representatives from Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, who joined the IUCN and three representatives from the ‘Mangroves for the Future’ in Asia and the ‘Global Mangrove Alliance’ partners. Tonga was represented by Ms Ta’hirih Fifita Hokafonu, the Principal Assistant Secretary (Principal Biodiversity Officer & Head of Biodiversity Division) at the Department of Environment here with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MEIDECC). The workshop was held under the theme “Mangrove Eco-systems for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Deduction”. READ MORE
I became aware of your work through Justin Kenrick at Forest Peoples Programme, and I would like to introduce myself and our work in the hope that our resources could be helpful to you.
We have produced a series of educational videos that are designed to support community facilitators in indigenous communities. The videos aim to raise awareness of the impacts of land grabbing and to raise discussions about how communities can defend their lands and cultures and their right to FPIC. The videos are all available in Swahili, English and French (among other languages) and can be watched and downloaded online.
Please see the Swahili page here: http://www.lifemosaic.net/eng/tol/more/swahili-version-himaya-za-maisha/
and the English page here: http://www.lifemosaic.net/eng/tol/
and french: http://www.lifemosaic.net/fre/tol/
If you feel they would be useful to the communities you work with please get in touch and we can discuss this further with you. Also if you know of any upcoming meetings, trainings or gatherings where a screening could be relevant, please let me know.
I hope to hear from you, Gemma
Territories of Life - A video toolkit for indigenous peoples about land and rights.
LifeMosaic. Company No.SC300597, a company registered in Scotland and limited by guarantee.
Registered as a charity in Scotland. No.SC040573
Desks available for rent in our MAP Seattle co-working space! Click here to read more
Mangrove Action Project