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Global celebration of 1st International Day of Forests, 21 March
PLANET EARTH - Ministers in Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and Korea and high-level officials in Rome were just some of the people who led the transformation of the International Day of Forests from a long-awaited and highly-welcomed UN General Assembly Resolution into a visible day of celebration, contemplation and vision for the future. See how other communities celebrated around the world. Algeria was a driving force behind the International Day of Forests resolution that was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2012. To celebrate the Day, a series of high-level activities took place. Key among them was a tree planting event in Tlemcen, with the presence of the Minister for Agriculture and other national dignitaries, which also attracted a wide range of other stakeholders. The event was one of the highlights of the Third Mediterranean Forests Week, as well as the venue for the launch of the first State of Mediterranean Forests 2013 report. READ MORE
State launches aquaculture incentive
SOUTH AFRICA - The Department of Trade and Industry has launched an R800-million (US $86 500 000) aquaculture grant scheme in an effort to stimulate investment and create more jobs in the sector. At the launch of the Aquaculture Development and Enhancement Programme (Adep), Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said the incentive initiative would target fish hatcheries, fish farms and the production, processing and preserving of aquaculture fish. It would function as a reimbursement grant for pre-approved projects once they had been up and running for a year. It was launched in Cape Town on 28 March. READ MORE
Group Calls for India to Protect Old-Growth and Abandon Coal
INDIA - India is a thriving democratic nation with tremendous potential to achieve just, equitable, and ecologically sustainable national development that could last forever. Yet India is heading towards social and ecological collapse unless it stops burning coal and clearing its natural ecosystems, especially important old-growth forest remnants. The momentum of unfettered economic and population growth sweeping India is so severely damaging to the environment that failure to stop burning and cutting threatens the nation's reliable climate, food and water supplies, and its future potential for sustained national advancement. India is an amazing place in so many ways. There is still hope that they will come to understand the importance of a different development model based upon intact natural ecosystems. READ MORE
Myanmar: the next big thing in seafood?
Myanmar - The annals of history has Burma, or Myanmar, recorded under cases of gross human rights violation during its decades under military rule. To imagine its name connected to being the next important seafood production and export nation is difficult to imagine, but as the modern day bard said, the Times They Are a-Changin’. Since the military began relinquishing more of its control over the government, the country’s foreign relationships have improved considerably, with trade and other sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union (EU) being eased. Exports to the United States are already increasing steadily and exports to the EU are likely to increase as soon it grants Myanmar the generalized scheme of preferences (GSP) status. READ MORE
Massive Chinese Dam Threatens Cambodia's Cardamom Rainforests
CAMBODIA - The Areng Valley in the Cardamom Mountains of south-west Cambodia is threatened with flooding by a Chinese hydropower dam. This biodiversity gem - home of the Siamese crocodile and indigenous Khmer Daeum - is to be destroyed for a relatively small amount of electricity. Standing large, connected, and ecologically intact old-growth forests are required for local and global ecological sustainability and well-being. Located in the Areng Valley of the Central Cardamom Protected Forest in southwestern Cambodia, the proposed 108 mega-watt Cheay Areng Hydropower Dam is a major threat to an area known as the biodiversity jewel of Southeast Asia. READ MORE
Chinese shrimp processor facing delisting
CHINA - One of China’s leading shrimp exporters faces a potentially disastrous delisting if it fails to turn a profit this year. Guangdong-based Zhanjiang Guolian Aquatic Products Co Ltd, forecast a net loss of CNY 220 million (USD 36 million, EUR 28 million) for 2012. According to Shenzhen Stock Exchange rules — in place since last May — listed companies will be delisted if they make a loss for three consecutive years. Guolian lost money in both 2011 and 2012, making 2013 a crunch year for the firm, which lately became the focus of a U.S. anti-dumping investigation. The firm is now hoping that domestic sales will rescue Guolian. A major supplier to U.S. shrimp markets, the firm says it’s now focused on improving its domestic distribution network for prawns, in particular through supermarkets and restaurants here. Guolian used cash raised on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2010 to build out its fries and feed processing facilities as well as its culturing and distribution network for domestic sales of shrimps and tilapia. READ MORE
Shrimp exporters eyeing S African countries
BANGLADESH -Shrimp exporters have set their eyes on South African countries which have long been untapped with a view to fortifying their footprints there to reduce dependency on traditional markets. The frozen fish export is severely hit hard in recent times mainly because of the ongoing global recession in the major destinations of European Union and the US. South Africa can become a lucrative destination for Bangladesh's frozen fish as export of products to that country has already started, exporters said. READ MORE
Tree plantations in the South to generate energy in the North: A new threat to communities and forest
UK - Apparently out of concern over climate change and the urgent need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions produced by the burning of fossil fuels, the governments of the North – particularly those of the member states of the European Union, but also those of the United States and Canada – are increasingly promoting the use of a certain type of raw material, considered “renewable”, for large-scale energy generation: wood. To meet the growing demand for wood in the countries of the North, vast areas of land in the South face the threat of being occupied by monoculture tree plantations, which would even further exacerbate the current process of land grabbing. There are already close to 60 million hectares of land occupied by industrial tree plantations in the South. READ MORE
Editor’s Note, this freeing up of the dammed waters of the Bolas River will help save the settlements and coastal wetlands whose waters were being shunted away by the dam, thus condemning these areas and the dependent local communities to bear the losses. Here is a rough Google translation:
Community frees river deflected for palm oil and sugarcane plantation
Guatemala – The Bolas River disappeared completely and so, upset by their resource grabbing neighbors, the affected communities staged a peaceful demonstration in the Rosario bridge to gain the attention of municipal authorities. The mayor asked the Victorian communities of Ovando to form a commission to verify the problems. On April 9, Champerico communities with local authorities conducted a monitoring on the Bolas River to identify the place where it was diverted. The procession came to a dam located at the La Virgen, dammed shut by oil palm and sugar cane, and proceeded to unlock and open the river from the dam. The hoarding of water affects local communities and ecosystems in the area. The river empties into Bolas and mangrove wetlands of Champarico, so the lack of water can affect the quality of these important ecosystems. READ MORE (Spanish Text)
Shrimpers intend to halt Argentinean prawn imports
BRAZIL - Once again, the Brazilian Association of Shrimp Breeders (ABCC) requested Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture (MPA) to desist from opening the domestic market to allow entry of Argentine shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri). The MPA ratified earlier this year the annual purchase of 5,000 tons of frozen shrimp for human consumption derived from fisheries Argentina. The Association insists that the import of Argentine crustacean income carries the danger of disease. In a letter to the head of the MPA, Marcelo Crivella, ABBC reiterates the potential risks associated with the entry of foreign crustaceans. The Brazilian government, for its part, says it is taking the necessary precautions and provides free imports from this month. READ MORE
NGOs reject attempts to cut back RAMSAR site protection in PANAMA BAY
PANAMA CITY. April 2, 2013 - civil society organizations environmental spoke today to call on the authorities to cease their attempts to weaken the protection of wetlands in Panama Bay Ramsar Site. They stressed that the recent government actions in this sense seeks the benefit of a few at the expense of a collective prejudice. It has never happened that a country in the Americas, a member of the Ramsar Convention, aimed at the protection and wise use of wetlands in the world, has tried to eliminate or restrict formally the limits of a Ramsar Site. However, our country has been trying by various means to reduce the limits of Panama Bay Ramsar Site, even ignoring the Convention proceedings. On 26 March, the Ministry of Housing and Land Management (MIVIOT) presented the results of a study contracted by them to justify the reduction of the limits of this site called 'urgent national interest' which clearly was not evidenced in the presentation. The study results presented force special interests and seems to ignore the true national interest to protect these wetlands that help reduce the risk of natural disasters caused by socio flooding in Panama City are increasingly common in the rainy season and, aggravated by the phenomenon of rising sea level. Environmental organizations felt that towards the lives of people at risk, with events in years past, should not be allowed any more affection towards these valuable ecosystems. READ MORE
For several years, MAP has pointed out the potential of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) as a better way forward for aquaculture systems. Since aquaculture has actually been around for a thousand years, it is not likely to just disappear as a means of raising marine or fresh water fish, clams, shrimp, crabs and seaweed. Yet we all know and have been struggling against the terrible consequences of what is termed "open, throughput systems" of aquaculture, which in all too many cases lead to environmental and social ills. Both the salmon and shrimp aquaculture industries are representative of some of the worst problems resulting from this "open system" style of aquaculture production, and MAP is committed to opposing these deleterious open production systems. We need to ensure that those promoters of RAS, such as Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seafood Choices, are promoting the following aspects as vital to what closed systems must include before being given this "green" label of their endorsement: READ MORE
For the Mangroves And the Mangrove Communities!
Mangrove Action Project
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|Mangrove Action Project|
Saturday, April 13, 2013
MAP News Issue 312, April 13, 2013
Posted by BlogAdmin at 10:00 AM