Saturday, January 18, 2020

MAP News Issue #486 - Jan 18, 2020

Mangrove Action Project
The MAP News
486th Edition                                                     Jan 18, 2019

FEATURE

Cameroon's mangroves could vanish without action
Cameroon mangrove thrreat
CAMEROON - The state of Cameroon’s mangrove forests is deplorable due to numerous destructive practices, according to local experts. In a study entitled Threats to Mangroves in Cameroon, Ulrich Waffo, a Cameroonian academic, detailed the importance of mangroves for the country. According to Waffo, 80% of the fish species caught at sea depend on mangroves. The wood found there is used to build canoes and make fire to smoke fish to be preserved. Rattans from the mangroves are also used to make furniture and many art objects. Mangrove forests are also rich in oil and gas resources and also offer protection against swells and winds. They are also an important source of income for the local population and a sacred place for some traditionalists. But these multiple benefits are threatened on a daily basis As of two years ago, the mangrove forests were 75% degraded. Today, this figure is much higher and the situation is worsening, Langmi Moses, president of a mangrove protection association, told Anadolu Agency. "By cutting down mangrove trees that have been planted in less than three years and with the government's permission, operators are destroying the mangroves and preventing their regeneration. The Ministry of Forests and Wildlife sells the wood from these mangroves for less than one dollar. We can't reforest all the time when our work is destroyed after two years," he said. "In 2011, a reforestation operation was launched by the government. However, it was led by men in jackets and ties who do not know the reality of this ecosystem. I have seen ministers ordering the reforestation of mangroves in inappropriate areas out of ignorance.” READ MORE

GLOBAL

Report claims shrimp farmers face financial risk from mangrove loss
mangroves-and-shrimp
GLOBAL - The world's shrimp farmers face increasing financial risks from factors such as mangrove deforestation, the increasing intensification of production and a global output oversupply, a new report charges. According to the report from the advocacy group Planet Tracker, some 30% of "mangrove deforestation and coastal land-use change" across Southeast Asia is linked to shrimp farming. This poses risks, as, according to the group: "Incorporating land-use change into shrimp life cycle assessments places shrimp ahead of beef for GhG [greenhouse gas] emissions on a per kilogram of production basis," it claimed. Planet Tracker is advocating for major publicly traded shrimp farmers to be "more transparent" in about the impact that mangrove destruction has in their financial statements. READ MORE

Editor's Note: Though global warming may provide more area for mangrove expansion, it should not be forgotten that rising sea levels my actually wipe out existing mangrove areas more rapidly than they can spread, and some species of mangroves will vanish because of  this rise in sea level. Also, as evidenced in northern Australia, a 10,000 ha mangrove die-off which purportedly was caused by rising temperatures, increased drought and rise in salinity of sea water did not bode well for the mangroves. 
Global warming will be a boon to mangrove forests
australia_mangroves
GLOBAL - Climate change is set to wreak havoc with natural ecosystems, but not all species of flora and fauna will suffer setbacks. Some species that thrive in warmer temperatures are bound to benefit from a warming climate. These species include mangroves, which flourish at tropical and subtropical latitudes near the equator. Species of mangrove trees grow in relatively inhospitable areas whose conditions most other trees are ill equipped to tolerate. Mangroves have adapted to waterlogged and anoxic soil, including slow-moving and brackish water. What many mangrove trees cannot stand, however, is freezing temperatures since they prefer warmth. As a result, global warming will be a boon to mangrove trees and aid their spread. Instead of being limited to their current homes in subtropical and tropical climates, mangroves will take advantage of warming temperatures and expand into temperate climate. A study published in the journal Global Change Biology reports that mangrove trees are now found at higher latitudes such as the Atlantic coast of the United States. READ MORE

AFRICA

One mangrove, a thousand hopes
shop_selling_mangrove_produce
NIGERIA - Mangrove ecosystems support the planet and people in unique ways. Many Nigerians living near the river in Cross River State know that. “Mangroves provide the best firewood, as people who roast fish know,” says Idem Williamson, a villager living in Esierebom community in Cross River State. “But by cutting the wood, the mangroves disappeared. And without the mangroves, water floods our houses.” The need to restore mangroves inspired Williamson to get involved for a REDD+ project that saw the whole community come together to plant more than 10,000 seedlings. “The positive effect is that it controls the level of water coming in from the rivers and allows us to use the creeks for fishing. And we can pick the unwanted branches of the mangroves in specific areas for firewood.” READ MORE

The people planting mangroves to revive a Gambian community
Replanting mangroves
GAMBIA - Severe drought has been affecting the town of Sankandi in The Gambia for the last four decades, and it has taken its toll on the environment. Mangrove forests that grew along the river died, which had repercussions on the local community, who use mangroves as a main resource. Our Observer wanted to work out how to restore the mangrove forests and help the struggling local population. Ansumana Darboe co-founded the Sankandi Youth Development Organisation in 2005 to promote sustainable development in the region and empower local rural communities. Since 2014, the organisation has been focusing on restoring the once-lush wetlands near the river, which Darboe hopes will boost the local ecosystem and so help the community by repopulating the river with fish. The presence of mangroves encourages fish to breed, so mangrove forests are often linked with a high fish population. READ MORE

Confronting the challenges of climate change on Africa’s coastal areas
global_somalia_flooded_street
AFRICAN CONTINENT - Climate change will undoubtedly present one of the most significant risks to Africa’s sustainable development objectives over the next decade, and nowhere is the threat more imminent than on its coastlines. Indeed, recent estimates show that sea levels could rise 100 cm by 2100, further compounding the many hazards threatening the region. Mangroves offer an effective buffer against coastal vulnerability to storm surges by obstructing the flow of water and hence attenuating inundation. Therefore, they can play the same role as infrastructure designed to protect coastal areas from such extreme events as storm surges and cyclones. Notably, mangrove rehabilitation projects can be two to six times cheaper than other protection infrastructure. However, mangroves have varying tolerance to salinity, depending on the species. Flooding, deforestation, and increases in ocean surface temperature that raise the salinity of inland water are increasingly putting mangroves in jeopardy and further weakening the already fragile adaptive capacity of African coastlines. READ MORE

Living Planet: How Kenya saved its mangrove forest
Kenya's mangroves
KENYA - In East Africa, terrestrial and mangrove forests used to run along the coast from Somalia to Mozambique, but climate change and human interference have decimated the Somali and Mozambican sections over the years. But in between, in Kenya, the forest is flourishing. There, locals are helping to support their communities by planting mangroves, which absorb carbon dioxide. LISTEN TO AUDIO

Carbon credits key to keeping Indonesian shrimp out of the mangroves
Indonesia's Mangroves
INDONESIA - A team of analysts from the US-based Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has completed an extensive study of the economic benefits in mangrove preservation as part of its recent report on the current state of shrimp farming in major Southeast Asian producing nations.Although their research shows mangrove deforestation in Indonesia has slowed or even reversed in recent years -- the team estimates that mangrove area increased overall by 6% from 2014 through to 2018 -- it remains a significant issue in many parts of the country. "Historically, aquaculture has been responsible for around 50% of mangrove deforestation in Indonesia, and in some regions, this destruction continues, mainly as a result of extensive P. monodon [black tiger] shrimp production," BCG writes. This is of particular concern, as BCG estimates that approximately 17% of the world's mangroves can be found in the country, or roughly 3 million hectares as of 2018. READ MORE

AMERICAS

America’s Shrimp Gluttony Is Bad for the Planet and Maybe Worse for Human Health
Americas love affair with shrimp
USA - Nearly all of the shrimp we eat — greater than 90 percent of it — is foreign. Even if you live in New Orleans or some other place on the ocean, at least 50 percent of the shrimp you’ll find in your local grocery store — and probably an even greater percentage of the stuff you’re served in restaurants — is imported. “We do have domestic shrimp production, but it’s not nearly enough to meet demand,” says Ryan Bigelow, Seafood Watch senior program manager at the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the world’s leading ocean conservation organizations. While not all foreign shrimp producers are treating their stock with antibiotics, right now it’s almost impossible for U.S. importers to know whether the shrimp they’re bringing home and selling to domestic distributors have been raised with or without these drugs. “A lot of the shrimp farmers in Southeast Asia are very small-scale, and they’re selling their shrimp to someone who shows up at their town or village and buys up all the shrimp that’s available,” Bigelow says. There is no financial benefit for farmers who eschew antibiotics or other harmful chemical treatments; they’ll be paid the same as the farmers dumping drugs into their shrimp ponds. READ MORE

Volunteers help replant mangroves
Chris-Luijten-holding-cut-down-mangrove
CAYMAN ISLANDS - A group of volunteers is helping to restore mangroves along the South Sound shoreline Cayman resident Chris Luijten’s newly established group, Cayman Mangrove Conservation which he started last month, already has 10 volunteers. Luijten said he is seeking advice from a lawyer on how to register the group a non-profit organisation. “In the meantime, we already have a website. We have started the project all alongside South Sound … up until Red Bay Dock,” he said. Last month, Luijten donated $75,000 to purchase an area of mangroves to help offset carbon dioxide emissions by Protect Our Future students’ travel to Spain last month for a United Nations climate change conference. He has set a 10-year timeline to restore mangrove species along the southern coastline. The plan includes replanting mangroves and protecting them from threats, he said. “The threats that are impacting mangroves are human activity, but it’s also sargassum [seaweed],” he said. “You can change the human aspect by educating people and creating new laws, but the combination of high tide and sargassum are going to kill what you’re doing. Sargassum management and mangrove restoration go hand in hand.” READ MORE

Mangroves under threat from development, agrichemicals
Trinadad and Tobago
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO - Mangroves have declined over the last seven years, due in part to development as well as the use of agrichemicals from local farmers, according to the Ministry of Planning and Development. In a statement issued earlier this month, the Ministry said it’s now taking action to raise awareness on the protection of mangroves, which are critical for protecting the country from coastal erosion. “Much of the mangrove forests in Trinidad and Tobago have been impacted by human activities, and are now projected to be negatively affected by sea-level rise especially where they are starved of sediment and/or constrained on the landward side by built development – a process known as coastal squeeze.” The Ministry said between 2007 to 2014, mangrove coverage has declined in Trinidad by approximately 3.3 percent or 10 square miles (252.4 hectares), while in Tobago it declined by 7.8 percent from 16.6 hectares in 2007 to 196.1 hectares in 2014. READ MORE

ASIA

Reckless Development Worsens Maldives’ Environmental Crisis
asia_maldives_flooding
MALDIVES - To most of the world, the Maldives are a tempting tourist destination, with over 1,192 islands of coral reefs and pristine beaches. But the Maldivian government has long ignored its own environmental regulations and the needs of communities in developing these precarious, low-lying islands. Foreigners generally only see the luxury resorts, not the islands where most Maldivians live. During a torrential downpour this month while I was on Kulhudhufushi, the island flooded within hours. Residents rushed to bolster embankments with sandbags and dig channels to clear waterlogging. As the waters receded, residents told me that flooding now happens more frequently and affects more homes than anything like in previous years. In the past, mangroves provided a natural protection against flooding. Kulhudhufushi, they said, has grown more vulnerable since 70 percent of the island’s mangroves were bulldozed to make way for a new airport. Areas adjacent to the destroyed natural mangrove buffers were worst hit by the floods. READ MORE

Pic story of grassroots mangrove protecting personnel in Hainan
Danzhou City mangroves
CHINA - Chen Zhengping, a forest ranger in a city-level nature reserve in Danzhou City, inspects mangroves in the reserve in south China's Hainan Province, Dec. 9, 2019. Hainan, rich in mangrove resources, now has about 5,727 hectares of mangrove forests, most of which are distributed in a variety of protected areas - nature reserves and wetland parks. Chen Zhengping, Feng Erhui, Luo Lixiang and Lyu Shiyang are all grassroots mangrove protecting and managing personnel in different mangrove reserves in Hainan Province, taking on responsibilities including patrolling, monitoring and knowledge popularizing. Through years of practicing, they gradually transformed themselves from normal mangrove protectors to experts who truly know about the situation of ecological environment and the status of the animals and plants in their patrol areas. VIEW MORE

OCEANA

Mangrove trees must be protected, says Mori
Minister-for-Trade-Industry-Wera-Mori
PAPUA NEW GUINEA - Minister for Environment and Conservation and Climate Change, Wera Mori, is strongly urging people living along coastlines not to destroy and cut down mangroves. “I’m appealing to developers and potential developers to take note that mangrove trees consume the biggest amount of carbon dioxide, especially the settlers along the National Capital District who are destroying mangrove trees to stop,” Mr Mori said. He said a fair amount of mangrove trees have been destroyed at the Taurama’s Bootless Bay and this was bad for the environment and did not help in their efforts to fight climate change. Mr Mori said the conservation of mangroves was important because they protected the shorelines from climate change and Papua New Guineans, and especially developers, must be responsible and help protect mangroves. He said mangroves were vitally important to coral reef and commercial fisheries as well as coastal protection because their dense root systems trap sediments flowing down the rivers and off the land. This helps stabilises the coastline and prevent erosion from waves and storms. VIEW SOURCE
 

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ACTION ALERTS

Enough! Pledging zero tolerance to attacks against environmental and human rights defenders. SIGN THE PETITION


Stop plundering the oceans for industrial aquaculture! SIGN THE PETITION


PETITION - NO new coal power – protect local people and wildlife!
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PETITION - Help stop the advance of oil palm plantations in Gabon!
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PETITION - Don't trash coral reefs for the cruise industry! - TAKE ACTION

PETITION - Sea turtles or condominiums?
Sand mining and construction work would wipe out a marine biodiversity hotspot and destroy the livelihoods of local people, who have not been consulted. Please SIGN!

PETITION - Save Penang! Reject the 3-Islands Reclamation! 
The lack of public consultation and detailed information about the project is shocking in view of the size of proposed reclamation which is 4,500 acres or 7 square miles
PLEASE SIGN

PETITION - Save Pulau Kukup National Park - second largest mangrove island in the world. Sign The Petition

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69 million tons of carbon stored thanks to mangrove restoration, as demonstrated by the new Mangrove Restoration Map VIEW MAP HERE

Restoring natural forests
Restoring The Natural Mangrove Forest
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Tanzania CBEMR
Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration in Rufiji Delta 
VIEW VIDEO

Video: Mangroves for the Future - A look bacK. As the latest phase of Mangroves for the Future (MFF) draws to a close, this video highlights some of the project’s most successful initiatives – from local women supporting national park management in Viet Nam to an island in the Maldives that has become a model for waste management, and everything in between. View Here

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MANGROVE ISSUES 

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

What is EPIC? - The Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) project:  the role of ecosystems as protective barriers against climate induced hazards

MANGROVES APP AVAILABLE
A pictorial field guide for easy identification of various mangrove species and learning about the mangroves ecosystem. CLICK HERE

View MAP’s uploaded Videos at MAPmangrover’sChannel
Question Your Shrimp Consumer/Markets Campaign!  
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Mangrove Restoration in Asia – Watch Short Video

The Value of Mangrove Forests View Video

CBEMR Experience Exchange MAP 2017 English Subtitles
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Mangroves: Guidebook to MalaysiaClick Here
 
Mangrove rehabilitation in Asia – Local Action and cross-border Transfer of Knowledge for the Conservation of Climate, Forests and Biodiversity VIEW VIDEOS HERE

SHARE MAP'S VISION 
CLICK HERE to watch short introductory video. Together we can work "at the roots of the sea".

Our short documentary, Reducing the Risk of Disaster through Nature-Based Solutions : Mangroves
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Exclusive Interview with Alfredo Quarto, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Mangrove Action Project - See more


Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum

The Marvellous Mangroves Education Forum is an online hub for those utilizing the Marvellous Mangroves (MM) Curriculum. It gives students, teachers and anyone interested in mangroves, the opportunity to learn and share ideas themed around the curriculum, to connect and communicate with others around the globe whilst exploring mangroves from your computer or on the go. VISIT

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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. VIEW VIDEO

Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum in Bangladesh - WATCH VIDEO
MARVELLOUS MANGROVES IN BRAZIL
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Marvellous Mangroves – A Curriculum-Based Teachers Guide.


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Education in the Mangroves - China
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Read this 10 page history of the development of MAP’s educational curriculum VIEW DOCUMENT
 
Article in Canada's Green Teacher Magazine - Read More


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Editor’s Note: Mangrove Action Project’s Executive Director, Alfredo Quarto was interviewed about shrimp by Green Acre Radio’s Martha Baskin
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Mangrove Action Project

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Saturday, January 4, 2020

MAP News Issue #485 Jan 4, 2019

Mangrove Action Project
The MAP News
485th Edition                                                     Jan 4, 2019

FEATURE

Southeast Asia's Water Troubles Underscore Climate Threat
SE Asia rising waters
SOUTHEAST ASIA - Over the past year, growing environmental threats in Asia have had much to do with water—most importantly rising seas driven by global warming. Southeast Asia is proving to be particularly vulnerable. New studies show that climate change and rising sea levels will threaten the lives of tens of millions of people and much of the wildlife in East Asia sooner than had originally been expected. A recent study referred to by some as a “Doomsday Report” suggests that rising sea levels could flood three times more land than previously predicted. In Southeast Asia, if the study prepared by a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued in late September 2019 proves accurate, parts of Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok could be underwater by 2050. Some scientists caution that these could be “worst case scenarios.” But nonetheless, millions of people in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta could be forced to flee coastal areas. The Mekong, Southeast Asia’s longest river, is where everything may go wrong due to the impact of man-made dams, rising sea levels, deforestation, and droughts that alternate with heavy rainfall. And all of this is exacerbated by climate change. In the meantime, contrary to what might seem common sense, some experts say that due to a combination of these factors the Mekong may someday run dry. READ MORE

GLOBAL

2019: The year rainforests burned
Forests burning on global scale
GLOBAL - 2019 closed out a “lost decade” for the world’s tropical forests, with surging deforestation from Brazil to the Congo Basin, environmental policy roll-backs, assaults on environmental defenders, abandoned conservation commitments, and fires burning through rainforests on four continents. A recent report covers some of the biggest rainforest storylines for the year. The list isn’t exhaustive, so if there are important things missing, feel free to add them via the comment function at the bottom (visit link to story to comment). A team led by Matt Hansen of the University of Maryland updated their annual tree cover loss dataset and added a new dataset on primary forest loss, a breakthrough development for monitoring global forests. According to the data, the tropics lost around 12 million hectares (around 46,300 square miles) of tree cover last year, of which 3.64 million hectares was primary forest, the most biodiverse and carbon-dense type of forest. 2018’s tree cover loss was down nearly 30 percent from its 2016 high, but 2019 may well break that record given the extent of forest fires across the Amazon, Indonesia, and Africa this year. READ MORE

AFRICA

Nigerian communities struggle with devastating oil spills
Nigerian Oil Spill
NIGERIA - Martha Alfred used to harvest 20 bags of cassava each year before an oil spill forced her to abandon her field and hawk roasted fish to survive. Her smallholding at Ikarama-Okordia, a community in southern Nigeria's Bayelsa state, became unfit for growing crops after crude from a nearby Shell facility spewed into the environment last August, she says. Today, the 33-year-old mother of two looks angry and helpless, her woes compounded by downpours during the last rainy season that flooded her land. "The soil has become infertile because of the spills," Alfred told AFP. "Each time I remember the spills and now the floods, my heart bleeds," she said. "People from Shell came and promised to do something for me. Up until now I have not heard from them." Ikarama-Okordia, a collection of villages, is one of the most polluted sites in the oil and gas-rich Niger Delta. READ MORE

South Sudan Oil Spill Causes Environmental Damage, Health Problems
Sudan Oil Spill
SUDAN - Two months after a pipeline ruptured and spilled crude oil over a wide swath of South Sudan's former Unity State, residents and government officials are grappling with a new pipeline break and the subsequent impact of leaks on public safety and the environment. In the latest incident, residents said oil leaked at Kailoy, about 10 kilometers west of the Unity Oil Field. They said it caught fire Dec. 21 and burned for two days, sending thick plumes of smoke into the air. The Chinese Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC) owns and operates the field. Area residents said they were concerned about the failure of oil companies to detect spills and their inability to put out the fires that the residents said were likely started by nearby charcoal makers. READ MORE

AMERICAS

Cuba Considers Mangroves to Fend off Rising Sea Level
Mangrove-trees-along-the-turqu
CUBA - Many people in this hamlet on the southern coast of Cuba remember when the shore lay about 100 meters (yards) farther out. That was four decades ago. Since then, rising waters have gradually swallowed up rustic homes, a narrow highway that once paralleled the coast, even an old military tank that people now use to measure the sea’s yearly advance. “There was a road there,” said Jose Manuel Herrera, 42, a fisherman and former charcoal harvester, pointing toward the gentle waves. “You could travel from here all the way to Mayabeque.” Worried by forecasts of rising seas from climate change, the effects of hurricanes and the salinization of farmlands, authorities say they are beginning a forced march to repair Cuba’s first line of defense against the advancing waters – its mangrove thickets, which have been damaged by decades of neglect and uncontrolled logging. READ MORE

Reckless rule change will drown more than 1,000 sea turtles a year
Turtles at risk
USA - The disturbing level of harm the shrimp fishing industry causes to other marine life has long been known. Even conservative estimates suggest that on average shrimp trawlers routinely kill and discard about three pounds of unintended “by-catch” for every pound of shrimp they haul in. Included in that carnage are thousands of sea turtles that drown every year along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts while being dragged to their deaths in shrimp nets. That’s why federal fisheries officials drafted, but never finalized, a plan three years ago to make several thousand shrimpers, whose smaller boats trawl waters close to shore, install escape hatches called turtle excluder devices or “TEDs” in their nets. The 2016 proposal to require TEDs on approximately 5,800 additional shrimp trawls was projected by scientists to save the lives of more than 2,400 sea turtles every year. But recently, in an abrupt change of course, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under President Donald Trump suddenly announced it would dramatically scale back that proposal. The severely gutted plan will now only require the turtle-saving devices on fewer than 1,100 shrimp boats trawling coastal waters from Texas to North Carolina by 2021. The much less-protective scheme is projected to cut by more than half the number of turtles saved. READ MORE

ASIA

Editor's Note: We are running this piece because it shows the government sort of self-condemns its own past actions and we can see the weaknesses in its future plans. For one thing, why were these old shrimp ponds abandoned in the first place? Were they abandoned because of disease and pollution issues? Also, how will attempts at reviving these abandoned ponds help conserve the mangroves unless strict enforcement of intended mangrove protection measures are followed, which based on recent history tin Indonesia is not at all likely. The thing about this article that boggled my mind are the photos of the vast array of shrimp ponds. I still am taken aback by such images, and even after so many years of working on these issues am dumbstruck (up to a point!) by such wanton destruction of the coastal areas for such a short-lived profit-making!
Indonesia to revive idle shrimp farms to boost fisheries and save mangroves
Indonesian Shrimp Farms
INDONESIA - Indonesia plans to restore more than 300,000 hectares (741,300 acres) of idle shrimp-farming ponds to boost its fisheries and reduce deforestation of the country’s mangrove ecosystems, according to a top official. More than double that area, much of it in coastal regions rich in mangroves, have been cleared for shrimp farms, but only about 40% of the farms are in production, according to 2018 government data. “We must revitalize this area that’s abandoned or poorly managed … over the next five years,” Alan Koropitan, a senior expert in the office of the president’s chief of staff, told Mongabay on the sidelines of an event in Kuta, Bali. He said rebuilding shrimp farms on these idle lands could give a much-needed boost to the Indonesian fisheries sector. While Indonesia is a top global exporter of frozen seawater shrimps, the Southeast Asian country lags behind its neighbors in exports of freshwater shrimps and fresh, salted or smoked shrimps. Some of its top seafood exports include Asian tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) and whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei). “But we don’t want to clear more land either [for shrimp farms] by clearing mangroves and such,” Alan said. READ MORE

Big aquaculture bulldozes Borneo
Borneo Shrimp Farming
MALAYSIA - Swinging his machete with an economy of movement that only the jungle can teach, Matakin Bondien lopped a stray branch from the path of his boat. He hopped barefoot from the prow, climbed a muddy slope and stared once more at what he’d lost. Not long ago, the clearing had been home to mangroves, saltwater-loving trees that anchor a web of life stretching from fish larvae hatching in the cradle of their underwater roots to the hornbills squawking at their crown. Now the trees’ benevolent presence was gone, in their place a swath of stripped soil littered with felled trunks as grey as fossils. “Do you think we can find any food in this place now?” asked Bondien, a village leader of the Tombonuo people. “The company thinks it can do anything it wants — that we don’t count.” The company is Sunlight Inno Seafood. Owned by Cedric Wong King Ti, a Malaysian businessman known as “King Wong,” it has bulldozed swaths of mangroves in the Tombonuo’s homeland in northern Borneo to make space for plastic-lined ponds filled with millions of king prawns. The shrimp are destined to be fattened for three months, scooped up in nets, quick frozen, packed into 40-foot refrigerated containers and loaded onto cargo ships bound for distant ports. READ MORE

Learn from our past
Malaysian Mangroves
MALAYSIA - Mangroves are making the headlines again in the continuous conflict between development and the preservation of nature. The survival of a stretch of mangroves and mudflats near Penaga and Kuala Muda is under threat by the proposal from the Penang Aquaculture Industrial Zone. In neighbouring Kedah, the mangroves of Sungai Merbok are declining fast, due to the clearing of mangrove forests to make way for shrimp farming, housing and other developments. Bear in mind, these were the worst-impacted sites in Peninsular Malaysia during the Boxing Day tsunami that happened exactly 15 years ago. The scars of the natural disaster can still be seen and the emotions are still felt by the locals, but sadly, we never learn. The mangroves of Penaga and Kuala Muda have played an instrumental role in protecting the coastline and the surrounding communities from the immediate effects of winds and waves from the Straits of Malacca. Besides, both these areas are primary stopovers for seasonal migratory birds and are home to a large diversity of plants and marine fauna. READ MORE

6,000 ha of mangrove forests in southern Iran undergo restoration
Iran Mangroves
IRAN - The mangrove forests or Hara forests are located on the southern coast of Iran, particularly on and near the island of Qeshm in the Persian Gulf. Dominated by the species Avicennia marina, known locally as the "hara" or "harra" tree, the forests represent an important ecological resource. The "Hara Protected Area" on Qeshm and the nearby mainland is a biosphere reserve where commercial use is restricted to fishing (mainly shrimp), tourist boat trips, and limited mangrove cutting for animal feed. The area is a major habitat for migratory birds in the cold season, and for reptiles, fish, and varieties of Arthropoda and bivalves. Green (or hooked) turtles and venomous aquatic snakes are also indigenous to the forests. Birdlife includes herons, flamingos, pelicans, and angler eagles. Another important feature of these forests is the appropriate and suitable seabed conditions for the ovulation of fish in the Persian Gulf. Unique mangrove forests are under the special protection and conservation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands while being controlled by the FRWMO, IRNA quoted Kamran Pour-Moghaddam as saying. READ MORE

Authorities seize Rp 12 billion worth of mangrove charcoal
Indonesia Charcoal bust
INDONESIA - Three containers of mangrove charcoal worth around Rp 12 billion (US$ 860,000) were confiscated from a vessel in waters near Batam, Riau Islands, on Wednesday. Rear Adm. S. Irawan, secretary of the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla), which confiscated the charcoal, told The Jakarta Post on Dec. 27 that the agency would strengthen its surveillance of mangrove charcoal exports following the issuance of an export limit regulation by the Environment and Forestry Ministry. The ministry designated Batam a mangrove conservation zone in June, which limits the amount of mangrove charcoal exports. “During Christmas, two corporations tried to export three containers of mangrove charcoal worth Rp 12 billion to Singapore and China,” Irawan said. He added that, based on Bakamla data, more than 38 containers of mangrove charcoal were shipped to Singapore each month. Mangrove charcoal is popular among restaurants and families for its low-moisture content and various other characteristics. READ MORE

OCEANA

Australia bushfires taking toll on public health/nature
Australia Fires
AUSTRALIA - Warning of the devastating effects of the super fires on wildlife, Pep Canadell, a scientist at the Climate Science Centre of Australia said it will destroy habitats, leading to many species suffering long-term falls in populations. "As a key species, koalas’ habitat, which has been reduced over the decades, have seen the most rapid and devastating reduction during these fires in New South Wales and South Queensland," he said. "Over the past 10 years we have seen the collapse of a series of ecosystems with no precedent in the recorded history of the nation," Canadell, said, stressing Australia’s position at the front line of climate change. They include the collapse of mangroves, the breakdown of Kelp forests, and the burning of alpine forests in Tasmania. On the Australian government's stance on climate change, he said that there have been some positive policies, but much more needs to be done, such as moving away from the use of coal, as Australia is far behind the goals of the 2016 Paris Agreement."Climate scientists warned us of these impacts of climate change. And we are experiencing much of what they warned us about," Glen Klatovsky, deputy CEO and campaign strategist at 350 Australia, told Anadolu Agency by e-mail. READ MORE
 

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ACTION ALERTS

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PETITION - Sea turtles or condominiums?
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The lack of public consultation and detailed information about the project is shocking in view of the size of proposed reclamation which is 4,500 acres or 7 square miles
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69 million tons of carbon stored thanks to mangrove restoration, as demonstrated by the new Mangrove Restoration Map VIEW MAP HERE

Restoring natural forests
Restoring The Natural Mangrove Forest
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Tanzania CBEMR
Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration in Rufiji Delta 
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Video: Mangroves for the Future - A look bacK. As the latest phase of Mangroves for the Future (MFF) draws to a close, this video highlights some of the project’s most successful initiatives – from local women supporting national park management in Viet Nam to an island in the Maldives that has become a model for waste management, and everything in between. View Here

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MANGROVE ISSUES 

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What is EPIC? - The Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) project:  the role of ecosystems as protective barriers against climate induced hazards

MANGROVES APP AVAILABLE
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View MAP’s uploaded Videos at MAPmangrover’sChannel
Question Your Shrimp Consumer/Markets Campaign!  
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Mangrove Restoration in Asia – Watch Short Video

The Value of Mangrove Forests View Video

CBEMR Experience Exchange MAP 2017 English Subtitles
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Mangroves: Guidebook to MalaysiaClick Here
 
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Our short documentary, Reducing the Risk of Disaster through Nature-Based Solutions : Mangroves
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Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum

The Marvellous Mangroves Education Forum is an online hub for those utilizing the Marvellous Mangroves (MM) Curriculum. It gives students, teachers and anyone interested in mangroves, the opportunity to learn and share ideas themed around the curriculum, to connect and communicate with others around the globe whilst exploring mangroves from your computer or on the go. VISIT

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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. VIEW VIDEO

Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum in Bangladesh - WATCH VIDEO
MARVELLOUS MANGROVES IN BRAZIL
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