Saturday, April 16, 2011

MAP's curriculum receives recognition

MAP's curriculum development and application program in China received a welcome boost last week when $25,000 was awarded by the Disney Friends for Change/Project Green towards the project.
"We'd like to give a big thanks to all MAP's friends and supporters for voting for the project," says MAP's Education Director, Martin Keeley. "The contribution will enable us to complete the translation and adaptation of our Teachers' Guide into Mandarin, for it to be reviewed by environmental educators and specialists in China to ensure its accuracy, and for a workshop to be held in the fall for 50 to 60 teachers." The workshop will be held in the southeastern City of Zhanjiang which is the central locat ion of the country's foremost and only government supported mangrove centre, the Zhanjiang National Mangrove Nature Reserve (ZNMNR).
Work began on the long process of translati on and adaptation in the summer of 2009, when Mr. Keeley visited China and the Zhanjiang Reserve at its specific invitation to develop e ducational programs on the environmental importance on mangrove for local schools. Last summer, a weeklong mini-workshop reviewed translated materials and worked with a core group of 6 t eachers and scientists to ensure that the activities and other materials are applicable for Chinese use.
"At that time further adjustments and additions to the content were made, reviewed and translated," Keeley explained. "Now they have gone out for review and we have almost reached the final stage of the publication. The Disney funds will assist us in achieving publication as well as towards the first major Chinese language workshop to be held in the late fall. To my knowledge, this will be the first education program of its kind to be held in China. One that is directly linked with local schools and the implementation of environmental principles within the country's education system."

MAP Announces new children's art contest

A fun and exciting Art Contest for children 6 to 14 years old

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 me and my community".

Selected winners will be published in a 2012 calendar to be distributed internationally to raise awareness of mangrove forest ecology. This creative contest aims to promote appreciation and awareness of mangrove forests, and to encourage and listen to creative voices of children living in mangrove areas.

Help us launch this program in your school by contacting science and art teachers in your area and encourage them to work together on this fun and innovative project.

What kind of art can be submitted?

Technique: Paint, color pencil, ink, collage, pastel, crayons, etc

Dimensions: Canvas, or paper, 45 cms x 30 cms. (18 in. x 12 in)
The Art Work should be in a format horizontal (long length across, the shorter length vertical), in order to fit on the calendar page. (We had received wonderful art work in a vertical format, but sadly were unable to use it. )

Artist Identification: On the back of each art work please write in English: the full name and age of the artist, the school name, address, city or town, country, and title of art work.

Age Limit: from 6-13 years old
Mailing instructions: The artwork has to be mailed in a small tube, such as the ones for mailing posters. Make sure the art is sent in certified or registered mail to MAP, PO Box 1854, Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279, USA.

How will entries be judged?

Each school will hold its own exhibition and select 3 or more winners in art. Winning entries will be collected in each country by a participating NGO and then mailed to MAP's office to be judged by a team of artists.

What are the prizes
-1st Prize will receive a certificate + calendar and the recognition of being published in an International calendar with global distribution.
-2 nd Prize '' ''
-3 rd Prize '' ''

School will receive 2 Calendars
NGOs will receive10 Calendars.

When is the deadline?

Please, we must receive the artwork in MAP's office by the end of July, 2011.

Mailed to: PO Box 1854,.Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279, USA
Please mail in a tube or flat in a box, but not folded!

Who do I contact?.

Please let us know if your school plans to participate by contacting:
Monica Gutierrez-Quarto,
Calendar Project Coordinator
c/o Mangrove Action Project
PO Box 1854
Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279, USA
tel./ fax (360) 452-5866
e-mail: and

All entries selected at the national level should be submitted to the same address.
Your local NGO contact is: (Please fill this in.)


Some suggested Field Trip and Classroom Lessons

It is suggested that this contest could coincide with an Associated Mangrove Ecology Educational Project with the children. This lesson will highlight the importance of mangrove forests for the environment, for their community, for fishermen and/or for the associated mangrove forest fauna. The intent of this educational project is to help the participating children better comprehend the important role mangroves play in their lives and for their communities.

1- Information and guidance in the classroom, aided by text books, mangrove curriculum, slides and videos.

2.- Eco-Study Field trips for firsthand observation with the teacher and/ or a local resource person, where they can observe the myriad forms of life that inhabit the mangroves, such as the many colored birds, fish, crabs, mollusks, reptiles, mammals, and insects, while also learning about the unique characteristics of the associated mangrove plants and trees.

3.- During, or after, the field trips, the children can hold interviews with their parents or local fishermen about the mangroves in their region, learning more about the history of the area's mangrove forest, as well as why they are important and what the problems are when the mangroves are lost.

4 - As a result of this research, the children may wish to create artwork for the 2012 calendar art competition.

Yours sincerely,

Monica Alicia Paz Gutierrez-Quarto,
Calendar Project Coordinator
Mangrove Action Project

Carbon in mangroves - Donato et al 2011

When referencing the article regarding carbon sequestration in MAP News ISSUE #261, we want to emphasize certain salient points that reinforce MAP's position since our founding in 1992:

We at MAP would like to urge our readers to review the referenced article on the importance of mangroves in sequestering and especially in below ground storage of carbon. The following excerpted points are especially relevant to MAP's stance on mangroves since our founding in 1992:

"Tropical wetland forests (for example, peatlands) contain organic soils up to several metres deep and are among the largest organic C reserves in the terrestrial biosphere11–13. Peatlands’ disproportionate importance in the link between land use and climate change has received significant attention since 1997, when peat fires associated with land clearing in Indonesia increased atmospheric CO2 enrichment by 13–40% over global annual fossil fuel emissions11. This importance has prompted calls to specifically address tropical peatlands in international climate change mitigation strategies7,13.

Overlooked in this discussion are mangrove forests, which occur along the coasts of most major oceans in 118 countries, adding ∼30–35% to the global area of tropical wetland forest over peat swamps alone4,6,12. Renowned for an array of ecosystem services, including fisheries and fibre production, sediment regulation, and storm/tsunami protection2–4 , mangroves are nevertheles declining rapidly as a result of land clearing, aquaculture expansion, overharvesting, and development2–6. A 30–50% areal decline over the past half-century1,3 has prompted estimates that mangroves may functionally disappear in as little as 100 years (refs 1,2). Rapid twenty-first century sea-level rise has also been cited as a primary threat to mangroves14, which have responded to past sea-level changes by migrating landward or upward15 ..."

"Carbon emissions from land-use change in mangroves are not well understood. Our data suggest a potential for large emissions owing to perturbation of large C stocks. The fate of below-ground pools is particularly understudied, but available evidence suggests that clearing, drainage, and/or conversion to aquaculture—aside from affecting vegetation biomass—also decreases mangrove soil C significantly16,22,26–28. In upland forests, the top 30 cm of soil are generally considered the most susceptible to land-use change9; however in wetland forests, drainage and oxidation of formerly suboxic soils may also influence deeper layers29. .."

From this study reference is made to the following as a recent estimate of present global mangrove area:

"Coupled with published ranges of mangrove deforestation rate (1–2%; refs 1,4) and global area (13.7–15.2 million ha; refs 4,6),"

This must reflect that recent study that put present area of mangroves at 12% less than the previous accepted FAO estimates of 15 million ha. This study on Carbon footprint regarding various wetland and upland forests types provides excellent reference material for better reflection upon the truly significant role coastal wetlands, including mangroves and peatlands play in combating climate change, and how their rapid rates of loss pose grave threats to life on our planet.

A final point the study cites concerning the resilience of mangroves to adapt to rising sea levels is sobering, and this point was raised by MAP's director at the "Mangroves As Fish Habitat" conference in Miami, Florida nearly a decade ago:

"In addition to direct losses of forest cover, land-use activities will also impact mangrove responses to sea-level rise14,15. Man- groves have been remarkably persistent through rapid sea-level rises (5–15 mm yr−1 ) during the late Quaternary Period (0–18,000 yr bp) because of (1) landward migration, and (2) autogenic changes in soil-surface elevation through below-ground organic matter production and/or sedimentation15. Under current climate trends, sea level is projected to rise 18–79cm from 1999–2099 (higher if ice-sheet melting continues accelerating)8,30, implying a period- averaged rate of ∼1.8–7.9 mm yr−1 , notwithstanding local variations and temporal nonlinearities. Although this rate is not unprecedented, it is unclear yet whether mangroves are currently keeping pace with sea levels14,15. Anthropogenic influences could constrain future resilience to sea-level rise through coastal developments that impede inland migration (for example, roads, infrastructure), upland land uses that alter sediment and water inputs (for example, dams, land clearing), and mangrove degradation that reduces below-ground productivity14. This synergy of land use and climate change impacts presents additional uncertainties for the fate and management of coastal C stores... "

"...Because land use in mangroves affects not only standing stocks but also ecosystem response to sea-level rise, maintaining these C stores will require both in situ mitigation (for example, reducing conversion rates) as well as facilitating adaptation to rising seas. The latter challenge is largely unique to management of coastal forests, calling for watershed-scale approaches, such as landscape buffers for accommodating inland migration where possible, maintenance of critical upstream sediment inputs, and addressing degradation of mangrove productivity from pollution and other exogenous impacts14,15."

Saturday, April 2, 2011

New Book Let Them Eat Shrimp by Kennedy Warne!

Coal Climate Showdown in Bangladesh

The bulldozers are warming up: any moment now a massively destructive coal mine could be approved in northwest Bangladesh that would displace tens of thousands of families, destroy vital farmland, and devastate mangrove forests that protect the climate-fragile country from rising sea levels.

A movement of local protesters has stopped the mine once before, and this week they bravely blocked major roads in a desperate bid for the government's attention. But the global consortium backing the mine has launched a massive lobbying effort to win, flying MPs to Europe for VIP coal tours. Wikileaks cables even show the US ambassador lobbying for them.

Now, the movement has appealed to our global network for solidarity -- to raise a worldwide outcry to counter the international financiers and stop this mine. Prime Minister Hasina has spoken out against the mine, but she is under enormous pressure to approve it. Let's build a massive petition urging the Prime Minister to side with her citizens and their environment by rejecting the devastating mine -- local organisations will deliver it to the Prime Minister and consortium if we reach 300,000 signatures.

Please sign the petition!

To Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina:

We call on you to listen to the people of Bangladesh and protect people and planet by rejecting Global Coal Management Resources’ proposal for open-pit coal mining in Phulbari.

World Bank’s forest climate fund slammed for sidelining indigenous peoples’ rights and failing to protect forests

DALAT, Vietnam (23 March 2011) – A new report launched today at the 8th meeting of the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) reveals that the Bank is not fulfilling its promises to protect the rights of forest peoples. Smoke and Mirrors: a critical assessment of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility by Forest Peoples Programme (FPP) and FERN exposes the World Bank’s failure to uphold its commitments on human rights and its engagement in never-ending changes to its social and environmental policies, weakening its accountability to affected communities and the public. Co-author of the report, Francesco Martone, FPP policy advisor, said:

The FCPF is backsliding on its social commitments, using a smokescreen of constantly changing standards and guidance notes that pay lip service to forest peoples’ rights, governance and benefit-sharing without clear binding rules that would hold the Bank and recipient governments accountable. The whole question of which standards apply to the FCPF has just become more complicated as the Fund now plans to use different international agencies to implement its projects...

The FCPF is administered by the World Bank. It is one of the main international climate initiatives set up to fund developing country schemes for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD). The report finds serious faults in government proposals seeking FCPF funding for planning and preparation activities in support of REDD schemes. It finds that while proposals for monitoring and measuring forest carbon are well-advanced, plans for activities that could actually reduce deforestation, such as clarifying and securing land rights and dealing with corruption and weak governance in the forest sector, are poor. Kate Dooley, FERN’s policy advisor, said:

In none of the eight REDD preparation plans developed by the governments of Panama, Guyana, Peru, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Nepal and Indonesia are land rights adequately addressed or existing land conflicts acknowledged. Proposals for governance reform are often limited to setting up new institutions to oversee forest carbon trading, at the expense of legal reform, including land tenure.

Many of the governments applying for funds have laws and national policies which are contrary to their international obligations to respect the rights of indigenous peoples and forest-dependent communities. Smoke and Mirrors shows that these shortcomings are ignored in REDD “readiness” proposals and, more worryingly, indigenous peoples and local communities are often unjustly blamed for deforestation. Onel Masardule of the Foundation for the Promotion of Indigenous Knowledge in Panama said:

The FCPF must uphold indigenous peoples’ rights in line with its commitments. FCPF decisions on financing for national proposals for REDD must respect the demands of indigenous peoples without whom forest and climate schemes will not work. Full respect for our right to free, prior and informed consent is essential, yet this fundamental safeguard is missing in FCPF policies and World Bank safeguards...

In Peru the government plans for REDD have attracted heavy criticism from indigenous peoples’ organisations for failing to address land conflicts and outstanding territorial claims. Daysi Zapata, Vice President of AIDESEP in Peru said:

The FCPF says that all its activities will ensure that countries meet their obligations to respect the rights of indigenous peoples, yet state plans in Peru are not respecting our collective rights, including our rights to territories and free prior and informed consent. We have not travelled for two days to reach Vietnam for nothing: we have come here to obtain firm guarantees that our rights will be respected and that the FCPF lives up to its promises....

The authors of the report are further concerned that the FCPF intends to move ahead with plans to make agreements to pay governments from its Carbon Fund before countries have completed the preparatory work that is required to ensure that future actions to curb forest emissions are fully sustainable.

The report concludes that the FCPF Carbon Fund and finance for emission reduction agreements must not move ahead until readiness actions are completed and the social and environmental safeguards are strong enough to uphold human rights and protect the environment.

The full report is available at:


In Vietnam - Conrad Feather: 0084 1254154032

Daysi Zapata: via 0084 1254154032

Onel Masardule:

UK: Kate Dooley +44 7824687376

Italy: Francesco Martone +39 3384051174

Note to readers:

FERN is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) created to keep track of the European Union’s involvement in forests and coordinate NGO activities at the European level. Our work centres on forests and forest peoples’ rights and the issues that affect them such as trade and investment and climate change. All of our work is done in close collaboration with social and environmental organisations and movements across the world. The name FERN was chosen because ferns are one of the few species that grow in all forests.

Forest Peoples Programme is a non-governmental human rights organisation that works in South and SE Asia, Central Africa and South and Central America and internationally to support the rights of peoples who live in forests and depend on them for their livelihoods. Our work aims to counter top-down forest, conservation and development policies and make international finance institutions accountable to affected peoples and communities.

Forest Peoples Programme

1c Fosseway Business Centre
Stratford Road
Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9NQ
United Kingdom