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Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.
The MAP News
Volunteer Needed for Mangrove Ecosystem Monitoring Program READ MORE
MAP 40,000ha of mangrove forest in Malaysia threatened by land clearing
MALAYSIA - One of Malaysia’s biggest mangrove ecosystems is under threat as land clearing activities have begun at a patch near Kampung Kuala Gula. At over 40,000ha, the Matang mangrove forest in Perak’s Kerian district is the largest mangrove ecosystem in the peninsula, but it was subject to a series of land clearing activities last week. Friends of Mangroves (FoM) chairman Zakaria Mohamed said about 6ha of mangroves had been cleared to pave way for the construction of a shrimp farm located about 30km from here. The area is near the popular Kuala Gula bird sanctuary, where an estimated 200,000 birds stop over during the migration season between August and April every year. “What upsets us the most is seeing our efforts in rehabilitating the mangrove swamps go down the drain,” Zakaria said. READ MORE
World Wetlands Day: Need to save our marshlands and mangroves
INDIA - "Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten." -- Cree Indian prophecy. For yet another anniversary of World Wetlands Day today (February 2), worried environmentalists all over the planet tend to agree with this Cree Indian philosophy, suggesting that there is an urgent need to save our marshlands and mangroves. The sight of dead mangroves standing still in the disturbed wetland near Seawoods railway station, as hectic landfill and flattening work takes place at the site to lay the 27-km Nerul-Uran railway line, makes for a sad, contrasting picture. What were lush green mangroves just a year ago are now simply deadwood standing in the shrunken marsh. These mangroves have paid the price of development work of the railway line. Earlier, part of this area was reclaimed for the tracks layout, after which these mangroves slowly started dying,'' said a local resident, Baldev Singh. READ MORE
Editor’s Note: This closed door system CP is using sounds closely related to an idea MAP has been pushing since 1996 when it recommended closed-system approach for shrimp farming. The problem is though that this approach does not really constitute a "closed system" approach as it should be devised. It still represents one end of an open system approach which is not sustainable.
CPF method seeks to curb shrimp disease fatalities
THAILAND - The disease has halved Thai shrimp production to about 300,000 tonnes this year. EMS caused serious damage to shrimp farming in China in 2009 and in Vietnam and Malaysia in 2010. It was first detected in shrimp farms in Thailand in late 2011. The toll of the disease is mass mortality of shrimp during the first 20-30 days of culture in grow-out ponds. CPF executive vice-president Sujint Thammasart expressed confidence that the close-door, biosecure system is an effective way to prevent disease and boost production. CPF's shrimp production is expected to increase from 30,000 tonnes in 2013 to 50,000 tonnes next year.
"We forecast that both production and price will continue to rise after shrimp farmers solve EMS," said Mr Sujint, who oversees aquatic farming research at CPF.
The unit has taken more than a year to figure out how to battle the disease, introducing the solution at the Roiphet Farm in Trat. READ MORE
Asian megacities being menaced by the sea
PHILIPPINES - Typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines in November was yet another devastating reminder of what climate-related extreme weather may mean for coastal communities. While the underlying causes and the full impact of the typhoon are yet to be known, this disaster was by no means an isolated occurrence. Several studies indicate that coastal communities in Asia are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and among the hardest hit will be the region's megacities. The sprawling cities by the sea - cities like Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta - face an increased risk of flooding thanks to the combined impacts of sea level rise, storm surge from intensified tropical cyclones and land subsidence. The ecological vulnerability of these cities is exacerbated by the fact that Asian cities are some of the most populous in the world and continue to grow at a staggering rate. A 2007 OECD study estimates that by 2070, of the 20 coastal cities with the highest population exposure to coastal flooding, 15 would be Asian. READ MORE
Editor’s Note: India may be increasing its production of shrimp now, and taking advantage of EMS forced reductions elsewhere, such as the 50% decline in Thailand's shrimp production caused by Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS). However this big boost in India production may come at a later great cost to those investing in this production surge, if EMS later strikes in India. It may well happen, as now EMS is seen in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Mexico. This jump to Mexico signifies the kind of rapid spread of these kinds of viruses. In any case, it looks like the US is still a number one importer and consumer of shrimp though the price increase and less reliable sourcing may dampen the appetite of many US importers and consumers.
Shrimp exports rise 90%
INDIA - There has been a whopping increase in shrimp exports recorded during the April–December period of the current financial year. Earnings from exports increased 89.89% during the period to Rs 14,364.45 crore versus Rs 7564.79 crore in the same period last fiscal. According to Anwar Hashim, a leading exporter and former president of Seafood Exporters Association of India [SEAI] this upsurge was due to two major factors - serious fall in the production and export of shrimp from South East Asian countries and the lowering of countervailing duty [CVD] on Indian shrimp in USA. READ MORE
China stays world’s top seafood exporter
CHINA – China’s seafood exports broke the USD 20 billion (EUR 14.7 billion) mark last year for the first time. Fisheries officials in China will be ecstatic that 2013 export of aquatic products totaled USD 20.26 billion (EUR 14.9 billion), from volume of 3.95 million metric tons (MT) — an increase of 4.15 percent and 6.74 percent respectively. This means China keeps its place as the world’s top exporter of seafood. Yet it appears that China is also growing its imports faster. The brief note from the ministry of agriculture doesn’t give a figure for imports. Interestingly, the figure given for “total import and export of aquatic products” in 2013 is 8,129,000 MT, or USD 28.9 billion (EUR 21.3 billion), up 2.58 percent and 7.12 percent, respectively. That suggests that imports (a large percentage of which are for re-export) shaded exports in overall volume terms. READ MORE
‘We will do our best to save city’s mangroves’
INDIA – The chief conservator of forests (mangroves cell) N Vasudevan, who visited the city on the eve of World Wetlands Day on Saturday, told TOI illegal activities along the city coast that damaged the green cover was disconcerting. "Mangroves in several places in the city have been damaged or destroyed by certain elements. We are now planning to take concrete steps to stop any further degradation of the forest areas," said Vasudevan. He said change can be implemented only if local authorities such as City and Industrial Development Corporation ( Cidco) and Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) cooperate. "The support of local authorities is vital. I am confident that positive work will be done soon," he added. READ MORE
Mangroves in Africa
MOZAMBIQUE - Mangroves are invaluable for fuel, fishing, climate change, disaster protection and tourism, but are rarely valued and protected appropriately. We spoke to Romy Chevallier, a researcher with SAIIA's Governance of Africa's Resources Programme who has recently been to Mozambique to conduct field research on mangroves, about this rare and misunderstood resource. We asked her: What are mangrove forests and why are they important? How do local communities in mangrove areas benefit from them? Why are mangroves under threat, and how might we protect and conserve them? During your work in the field, were the communities you met with aware of their role in protecting mangroves? READ MORE
Blue Carbon Report Proves Climate Benefits of Restoration
USA - Today, Restore America's Estuaries has released the findings of a groundbreaking study that confirms the climate mitigation benefits of restoring tidal wetland habitat in the Snohomish Estuary, located within the nation's second largest estuary: Puget Sound. The study, the first of its kind, finds major climate mitigation benefits from wetland restoration and provides a much needed approach for assessing carbon fluxes for historic drained and future restored wetlands which can now be transferred and applied to other geographies. The Study, "Coastal Blue Carbon Opportunity Assessment for Snohomish Estuary: The Climate Benefits of Estuary Restoration" finds that currently planned and in-construction restoration projects in the Snohomish estuary will result in at least 2.55 million tons of CO2 sequestered from the atmosphere over the next 100-years. This is equivalent to the 1-year emissions for 500,000 average passenger cars. If plans expanded to fully restore the Snohomish estuary, the sequestration potential jumps to 8.9 million tons of CO2, or, in other terms, equal to the 1-year emissions of about 1.7 million passenger cars. READ MORE
The problem with this "integrated system" of shrimp farming is that there is not enough area set aside for the stated purpose of creating a healthy mangrove wetland. It is like suggesting a field of potted mangroves will constitute a healthy mangrove forest. Healthy, functioning mangrove forests need a greater extent of mangroves than a mere 50% mangrove / 50% shrimp farm. The figures that mangrove experts have cited are more to the tune of 80% mangrove/ 20% shrimp farm, and in this way a more healthy, biodiverse ecosystem can be maintained while a still productive, but smaller-scale shrimp farm can be managed. I think this existing system has merits in reducing some of the big problems with shrimp culture, but it cannot really promise to bring back a healthy functioning wetland, and will in essence open the door to further degraded, partially functioning mangrove areas.
Protection of mangroves and organic shrimp go hand in hand
VIETNAM - A four-year mangrove forest protection plan, funded by the German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, will help sustain both, ecosystem and shrimp farmers in the south of Vietnam. Last May, 1,075 households living in Vietnam southernmost province of Ca Mau's Nhung Mien Protective Forest were invited to take part in an initiative to get organic shrimp certification by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Netherlands Development Organisation. The project focuses on a group of about 2,700 farmers who use an integrated shrimp farming model in mangrove forests, in which each family has to invest 60 per cent of the land for the development of mangroves. Although they may get significantly lower yields per hectare than intensive shrimp farms, they have lower costs, and a reduced risk of crop failure. READ MORE
Europe-based groups to fund mangrove reforestation
GERMANY – Europe-based groups have said that they are willing to fund the mangrove plantation and rehabilitation in Negros Occidental. The two groups, Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the German Development Cooperation Deustche Gesselsschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), are conducting a three-day forum on the conservation of mangrove, beach forests, and fishponds in Western Visayas at Palmas del Mar Resort in Bacolod City since Tuesday, February 11, 2014. Patrick Schwab, chief advisor for Adaptation to Climate Change in Coastal Areas Project of the GIZ, said that through the forum, the partnership hopes to determine the site for mangrove plantation because it is not appropriate just to plant mangroves is any coastal area, Schwab said. According to the partnership, mangroves and beach forest play an important role in climate change adaptation and mitigation, and flinging mangroves form part of the coastal green belts that protect local communities from increasingly intense and frequent storms, and storm surges as experienced during Super Typhoon Yolanda's wrath across the Visayas. READ MORE
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