The MAP News
Aquaculture is main driver of mangrove losses
INDONESIA - Expanding aquaculture in South-East Asia over the last two decades has been the main driver of mangrove loss in the world, says a study published in PLOS One this month (June). The study, conducted by a team of scientists at Global Mangrove Watch (GMW), mapped the distribution and changes of mangrove ecosystems in the world during 1996 — 2010 using satellite imagery. The team analysed 1,168 mangrove areas in North, Central and South America, Africa, Middle East, India, and South-East Asia. Nathan Thomas, lead author of the study, found 38 per cent of mangrove areas observed in the study are affected by human activity. South-East Asia, home to 33.8 per cent of the world’s mangroves, as well as 90 per cent of the world’s aquaculture, was the worst affected region with half of its mangrove areas suffering degradation. “Mangroves are being threatened across their entire range and have suffered large losses over the past century, primarily due to increasing coastal populations and the conversion of mangroves to aquaculture. Mangroves are being threatened across their entire range and have suffered large losses over the past century, primarily due to increasing coastal populations and the conversion of mangroves to aquaculture,” says Thomas, currently a post-doctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory. READ MORE
Oil spill clean-up delay angers Ogoniland residents
NIGERIA - Under a leaden sky in oil-rich southern Nigeria, young men hang around with nothing to do, covering their noses from the noxious fumes of the polluted swamp. The sight in Bodo, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Port Harcourt, is repeated in communities elsewhere in the maze of creeks that criss-cross Ogoniland. One year after the launch of a much-heralded clean-up programme, the oil slicks which blackened the waters, killed the fish and ruined the mangroves remain untouched. Locals, deprived of their livelihoods from fishing and farming, and with the billions of dollars extracted from under them channelled elsewhere, are angry and frustrated. "The progress made on the Ogoni clean-up is known only to the government," said Fegalo Nsuke, from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People pressure group. "The people of Ogoni still cannot have access to safe drinking water, not to talk of electricity, basic schools and roads," he told AFP. READ MORE
What is the Future of Artisanal Fisheries in West Africa?
“They are part of the social and traditional fabric, they employ nearly seven million people, and provide 75% of the animal protein intake.” Scientists with a research focus in West Africa have developed a new standardized measurement unit that allows comparing the impacts, efficiency and value between industrial and artisanal fisheries. The new standard of measure was developed by a team of researchers from the Sea Around Us to enable them to compare the two industries by calculating how much each sector catches per kW/day. Through the study, the researchers are not only comparing sizes, but also examining the implications of artisanal fleets’ growth and their sustainability. READ MORE
An Initiative By Communities in Kilifi To Protect Mangroves
KENYA -An initiative by local communities in Kilifi County to protect mangroves from destruction has had a double blessing blending conservation and economic benefits.
In some areas, conservation groups have come up with unique ways that ensure food on the table while at the same time securing the environment for posterity. Elvis Ndundi from Majajani quit his hotel job in Lamu to join a group of young men and women venture into fish farming just adjacent to the ocean breaking the long held tradition that nature would always provide. Today Mr. Ndundi who leads a conservation team of about 20 members by the name Mtangani Conservation and Eco-Tourism does not regret the decision to leave a gainful employment to soil his hands in the mangrove forest. READ MORE
Mangrove loss threatens migratory shorebird route in North Sumatra
A new study examines the impact of agricultural expansion on an important shorebird habitat in North Sumatra
INDONESIA - A key stopover site for migratory shorebirds in western Indonesia is imperilled as the area’s mangrove forests are exponentially developed for human land use, according to research published in HAYATI Journal of Biosciences last month. The authors conducted a field observation from Oct. 2014 until Apr. 2015, a typical full migration season, on the eastern coastline of Deli Serdang district, North Sumatra province, home to at least eight habitat types for migratory shorebirds, including mangrove forests, marshes and agricultural lands. The study cited a 2001 report on Sumatra’s importance to migratory shorebird populations in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, which helps usher dozens of bird species on their travels through 22 countries. The researchers — all from Indonesia’s prominent Bogor Agricultural University — recorded 30 species in seven different natural domains in the region, with wetlands holding the highest population of shorebirds, such as mudflat habitat with 10,687 individuals. READ MORE
Court slams Mira-Bhayander Corporation over mangrove cutting
INDIA - A bench of Justices VM Kanade and A M Badar slammed the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation for the proposal to cut down mangroves for pre-monsoon clean up. The Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had approached the Bombay High Court for permission to cut the mangroves in the Mira-Bhayander area. The corporation had undertaken the activity of the pre-monsoon clean-up and claimed that the mangroves were an obstruction to clear the sludge and debris dumped in the creeks. The bench said, “The Corporation seemed to be only interested in removing mangroves so that unscrupulous builders can usurp land.” Previously, the corporation had filed an application to the court, which had given permission to “trim” mangroves, only if it was absolutely necessary, and to conduct a survey to give the exact number of mangroves which would have to be cut for the clean-up. The court also gave a timeline of one week to complete the cleaning and present the survey. Neither did the corporation complete the clean-up nor did it present the survey in a week, saying that the cutting of the mangroves is essential for the cleaning. READ MORE
An Ode to Mangroves on World Oceans Day
MYANMAR - World Oceans Day is a day of global ocean celebration and collaboration for a cleaner and healthier future for our oceans. This year's focus is to encourage solutions to plastic pollution and preventing litter in marine environments. One of the ocean's most threatened ecosystems are mangrove forests. The plants are recognizable by their distinctive stilt-like roots, which have adapted to grow and thrive in salty, sandy coastal intertidal zones. Mangrove forests are some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth, according to WWF. The forests provide support to a huge variety of species, from fish, to seabirds to land mammals that use the ground for hunting and protection. The idea that mangroves are home to endangered, threatened and vulnerable marine life, such as sea turtles, fish and dugongs, commonly known as "sea cows," may not be surprising. But these ecosystems also offer support to land mammals, such as the Bengal tiger. READ MORE
Why we must understand the mangroves
INDIA - Over the past decade or so, Mumbai has lost about 40% of its mangroves due to reclamation, encroachment, and garbage dumping, among other causes. But patches of this resilient plant species still exist, in the Thane and Vasai creeks, and in Mahim, Versova and Gorai. While many commuters are likely to see this unique form of plant life every day, few have a proper understanding of their ecological value to the city. One of the longest and best-preserved mangrove forests within the city are near the Godrej headquarters in Vikhroli. Last week, ahead of World Environment Day, the Godrej Culture Lab hosted a talk by wildlife photographer Anish Andheria, about how mangroves are one of the city’s major green lungs. Mr. Andheria is president of the Wildlife Conservation Trust, and a member of the Maharashtra State board of wildlife.READ MORE
New research shows protective value of mangroves for coastlines
USA - The threat to coastal regions posed by climate change, overdevelopment and other human caused stressors is well-established. Among the most prized and valuable land throughout the world, shorelines everywhere are imperiled by sea level rise, beach erosion and flooding. But a recently published NASA-funded research study in which Villanova University Biology Professor Samantha Chapman played a key role has discovered a new, natural phenomenon that could offer an economic and ecological solution to coastal wetland protection—the spread of mangrove trees. The new study, titled, "Impacts of mangrove encroachment and mosquito impoundment on coastal protection services," compares the coastal protection value of salt marshes with mangroves along Florida's East central coast and the overlying area of The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) in which NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is located. The study, published in Hydrobiologia, turned up some remarkable results in comparing the protective value of salt marshes to mangroves. Mangrove expansion was the clear winner in providing superior coastal protection over salt marshes. Mangrove habitats provide a staggering 800 per cent more coastal protection than salt marshes. In all, mangrove habitats could provide $4.9 million worth of coastal protection more than manmade barriers. READ MORE
Bahamian students monitor diseases in local mangroves
BAHAMAS - Students enrolled in the Bahamas Awareness of Mangroves (BAM) program launched an environmental monitoring program and a new partnership with North Carolina State University to study diseases in Bahamian mangrove trees. The BAM program, spearheaded by the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation and partners at FRIENDS of the Environment, combines science education with mangrove restoration. Amy Heemsoth, director of education for the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation said, “This is the second year we have run the BAM program, and the students have grown in their understanding of mangroves, as well as their enthusiasm to conserve them.” Students enrolled in BAM venture into the mangrove forest to learn about the plants and animals that live there. They also collect mangrove seedlings which they raise under test conditions throughout the school year, before returning to plant them in restoration sites. READ MORE
I am a teacher at a small homeschool co-op in Austin, Texas, called the Austin Rising School. My class of nine and ten-year olds, the Sequoia's, just completed an ecology unit in which we learned all about coral reefs, mangrove forests and their symbiotic relationships. we became very inspired when we learned about the late Dr. Gordon Sato and the community at Eritrea right about the time he departed this world. Finally, after reading a National Geographic article entitled " To Save Coral Reefs, First Save the Mangroves," my class became very excited about the possibility of doing their part to help.
Immediately, their brains were formulating creative ideas for fundraisers. As a result, we created a gorgeous mangrove tree collage (the size of six poster boards) that became the background for an informative video we made. On the last day of classes, we showed our school, including parents and grandparents, our video and held a very successful fundraiser. Trees donated by a local organization, plants we grew, cookies and lemonade we made and homemade bracelets were all sold in order to raise money for your organization. Our small community was very generous and we were able to raise $300. we would like to donate this money in honor of the great Dr. Gordon Sato.
Austin Rising School
8205 Landsman Drive
Calling schools, teachers and students!
Mangrove Action Project