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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
HELP SAVE GOAT ISLANDS - No trans shipping Port Portland Bight Protected Area, Jamaica Sign The Petition
Please spread the word by sharing MAP's latest effort to raise awareness of mangroves and the role they play in global climate change mitigation CLICK HERE to watch short introductory video. Together we can work "at the roots of the sea".
Editors Note - This latest news is not in our favor! We tried to persuade them to not "green list" imported farmed shrimp, but the temptation to do so was too much for them to resist! They are connected to Packard Foundation, so this makes some sense in that Packard funded WWF $2 million to come up with certified shrimp standards, which the ASC is now releasing. I am assuming that ASC standards will also be soon approved by MBA, and one day may even be merged with GAA and Global Gap, so that there is just one "big" set of standards endorsed by all! This is nothing short of greenwashing, of course.
BAP Farmed Shrimp Equivalent to Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch ‘Good Alternative’
USA - Two-star Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) shrimp standards of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) are equivalent to a yellow “Good Alternative” rating from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program. Seafood Watch will recommend that consumers, chefs and businesses consider farmed shrimp assessed under the BAP standards as a “buy” option. The determination came after an extensive evaluation of BAP farm standards for finfish and crustaceans conducted by the Seafood Watch science staff. The process of benchmarking existing eco-certification programs against Seafood Watch criteria began more than two years ago when Seafood Watch business partners sought guidance in navigating a marketplace of proliferating global eco-certification programs. In order to meet the Seafood Watch “Good Alternative” recommendation bar, the GAA strengthened its certification requirements for habitat mitigation, water discharge and escapes. “This is a landmark recognition for the BAP certification program,” said Peter Redmond, BAP vice president of market development. “We have strived for years to deliver high-quality seafood to the marketplace that is farmed in a responsible way.” READ MORE
Youth learn about Qatar’s mangroves through kayaking
QATAR – Young people on a recent kayaking trip to Al Thakira Marina got a chance to learn about Qatar’s mangroves while having fun kayaking. The trip was organised by Entalek, an eco-adventure company in Qatar, for members of The Youth Company in Qatar (TYC). The young participants took turns kayaking through the mangrove saline waters, appreciating the natural beauty. The purpose behind the trip was to raise awareness about the country’s hidden natural heritage and the Qatari mangrove eco-system. Steve Rhodes, a professional kayaker and Entalek’s director of operations, provided TYC delegates basic kayaking lessons on how to paddle boats through the mangrove swamps while experiencing the natural beauty of the habitat. Rhodes said, “Qatar has amazing locations to explore and we have the tools to do it. It also has a lot more to offer in the way of outdoor activities than is currently being utilised.” READ MORE
‘Entrepreneur’ smashes down Phuket mangroves
THAILAND - They found the mangroves had been removed, the site had been levelled and construction of a property development was well under way. They seized seven trucks and a bulldozer. The case has been passed to the Thalang police to follow up and charge those responsible. The chairman, Punya Sumpaorat, said “Pa Khlok Municipality continually checks for mangrove forest encroachment by ‘entrepreneurs’ because most of the area [along the shore] is forest under the protection of HM the Queen, and locals and the municipality have replanted regularly. “If business people would like to invest in property in the Pa Khlok area, they should ask for proper permission from us and we will check on the area in order to ensure they are not encroaching and are not likely to run into problems with local people in the area.” Mangroves forests in Phuket have come under attack again and again by unscrupulous developers and others who see knocking down the forests as a way to acquire land for nothing. READ MORE
Mangroves of Asia-Pacific Countries In View Of Climate Change
MALASIA - The International Conference on Mangroves of Asia-Pacific Countries in View of Climate Change 2014 (MAPCVCC-2014) will be held from 11 to 13 November 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For the first time, it will be jointly organised by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia (JPSM), the National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM), the MARA University of Technology (UiTM), the University of Malaya (UM), the Institute for Environment & Development, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (LESTARI, UKM) and the Asia Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI). This Conference offers excellent opportunities and brings together researchers, academicians, students, policymakers, NGO’s, forest managers/foresters and individuals involved in mangrove forest management, development and commercialisation of mangrove products and services from all around the globe to exchange research results and address open issues in various aspects of mangroves. READ MORE
Mangroves being uprooted for power project in Port Qasim area
PAKISTAN - Mangrove forests are being destroyed in the Port Qasim area, where a private company plans to establish a coal-based power project of 660 megawatts, it emerged recently. The provincial government had declared mangrove forests protected a few years ago and the ones located in the Port Qasim area were accorded the protected status in the 1950s.The private company, according to sources, has started removing mangroves without taking approval from the forest department. The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project reportedly being built by a Chinese company is yet to be submitted, the sources say. During a recent visit to the site, workers were found uprooting mangroves with the help of bulldozers. Most trees were mature, at least 12 to 15 feet high. Land reclamation activities were also found to be hectically in progress at the site located some distance away from a thermal power plant. READ MORE
Local communities key to saving forests
INDONESIA - Indonesia has the third largest area of tropical rainforest on the planet, with 68 percent of its landmass covered by forests and has 50 percent of the world’s tropical peatlands, which are rich in carbon and key to fighting climate change. These forests are also home to tens of millions of Indonesians. Forest-dependent communities have relied on forests for their livelihoods and their culture, developing age-old management practices that carefully protect the forests for the benefit of not just their community but all Indonesians. Forests are vast storehouses of plants and animals, feed the nation’s rivers and help regulate the climate. They are a core part of Indonesia’s identity. Yet since 1900, Indonesia has lost half its forests and despite promises of reform is still losing between 1 and 2 million hectares a year. From 2000 to 2012, more than 15 million hectares were converted to industrial plantations. Oil palm, timber and pulp and paper production are among the biggest drivers of this dramatic deforestation, which has made Indonesia one of the world’s top greenhouse gases polluters through land clearing, draining peat lands and annual forest fires. READ MORE
Global partnership tackles threats to mangrove ecosystems
INDONESIA -Mangroves for the Future (MFF) is a partner-led initiative promoting investment in coastal ecosystem conservation for sustainable development. Co-chaired by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), MFF provides a platform for collaboration among the agencies, sectors and countries addressing challenges to coastal ecosystems and livelihoods. The goal is to promote an integrated ocean-wide approach to coastal management and to build the resilience of ecosystem-dependent coastal communities. MFF builds on its history of coastal management interventions before and after the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which was triggered by a 9.15 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Indonesia’s Aceh province killing about 226,000 people. READ MORE
White Spot Syndrome Virus Threatening Shrimp
PHILIPPINES – A lawmaker has called on the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to investigate and eradicate White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) that has infected shrimp farms in various parts of the country. Zamboanga City Rep. Lilia Macrohon-Nuno said the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) has become a serious threat to the fishpond industry and has affected the livelihood of thousands of Filipinos, reports the Manila Standard Today. “Its presence is practically all over the Philippines as represented by the geographical location of the provinces that were attacked by the virus in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao,” Ms Macrohon-Nuno said. The virus attacked the barangays of Vitali, Tictapul and Mangusu in Zamboanga City recently. It can wipe out all shrimps in a farm in two or three days and the infection can eventually cripple the country’s shrimp industry. Ms Macrohon-Nuno, in her resolution, said the presence of the virus has been detected in various parts of the country and it could affect the status of the Philippines as the world’s third largest export of shimps. READ MORE
West Bengal's costly shrimp farming boom
INDIA - Though shrimp farming looks like a money minting mechanism, the inherent risks can hardly be ignored. Dependent on global demand, shrimp farming in West Bengal has come up as an unorganised sector, requiring astute cultivation skills. In 2012, Japan, a key importer of tiger shrimp from Purba Medinipur, rejected almost all exports on account of high anti-oxidant content. Purba Medinipur is known for exporting tiger shrimp, which has select buyers as it is costlier than the commonly exported variety of L Vannamei, cultivated mainly in Andhra Pradesh. “In 2012, there were cases of farmers' suicide, as there were no buyers of shrimp,” said an official. The wheel of fortune turned for farmers in 2013, when a large amount of L Vannamei shrimp was infected with a virus. In general, of the total shrimp export from India, 80 per cent is of the L Vannamei variety. Last year, with the outbreak of disease in the latter, tiger shrimp export surged 150 per cent and profit margins exceeded 100 per cent for farmers in Medinipur. READ MORE
Locals told to develop mangroves to protect coasts
INDONESIA - The Environment Ministry is encouraging locals in several regions across the country to develop mangroves as part of larger efforts to protect coastal areas and tackle climate change. The ministry initiated the coast rehabilitation program in 2011 and endorsed it again during the 18th Indonesia Environmental Week. The exhibition, part of activities to commemorate of World Environment Day on June 5, will be held from May 29 until June 1 in Jakarta. Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya said the ministry wanted to promote the protection of the coastal ecosystem to sound the alarm over the dangers of climate change. “The rising of earth’s temperature impacts sea levels. This will affect our coasts and small islands in the archipelago,” Balthasar said in his speech during the announcement of the event on Thursday. According to the ministry’s statistics, Indonesia owns 30 percent of world’s best mangroves and coral reefs, with 85 percent of its coasts contributing to the country’s fishery industry. READ MORE
Locals, scientists fear slow extinction of Mangrove Clams
INDIA - The thriving mangroves of Chorao island in the backwaters of the River Mandovi, with a rich distribution of shellfish, was once a thriving habitat for mangrove clams, but local fishermen are painfully aware of the dwindling population. Locals would ferret out clams in this mangrove area almost throughout the year. "But these clams are much lesser now as compared to the past when they could be harvested almost any time of the year," said Anant Kundaikar, a local resident. The bivalves could be found in the mangrove swamp, and often had to be fished out by sticking out one's toes in the soil. "They would sell for between 10 and 20 a piece, and five of them were enough to make a parcel," said another resident Shrikrishna Haldankar. READ MORE
Why Is Jamaica Selling Out Its Environment to a Blacklisted International Conglomerate?
JAMAICA – A $1.5 billion investment and the promise of 10,000 jobs were enough incentive to convince Jamaican officials to turn their backs on conservation. Tourism has long been the leading economic sector in Jamaica, bringing in half of all foreign revenue to support a quarter of all jobs. Yet government officials now risk jeopardizing that lucrative business, and Jamaica’s reputation in the international community, with a secretive deal to let a Chinese company build a mega-freighter seaport smack-dab in the nation’s largest natural protected area. The planned port would occupy the Goat Islands, in the heart of the Portland Bight Protected Area, which only last year the same government officials were petitioning UNESCO to designate a Global Biosphere Reserve. Instead, the lure of a $1.5 billion investment and a rumored 10,000 jobs has resulted in the deal with China Harbour Engineering Company, part of a conglomerate blacklisted by the World Bank under its fraud and corruption sanctioning policy. READ MORE
Here a very special picture for you. Seu Miro asked me to take this to send for you. But he had a question : "In which month should I open the calendar for the photo?" I suggest him April, the month he received the gift. And he accepted. You can share with your friend Alfredo (?) if you like.
Here is a holiday. A family friend invited me to have holiday in their farm in Pernambuco State. They will pass by soon, by car, and I will return on Wednesday next week.
Hope have access to internet by mobile there, but not sure.
~ WE WELCOME YOUR LETTERS - If you’d like to have the last word on this or any other mangrove related topic, please send us your submission for upcoming newsletters. We’ll choose one per issue to have “the last word”. While we can’t promise to publish everyone’s letter, we do encourage anyone to post comments on our Blog at www. mangroveactionproject.blogspot.com
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|Mangrove Action Project|