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
Mexican Everglades Threatened
Editors Note: For months we have been following the environmental disaster that looms over the pristine island of Bimini. In this issue we feature several news stories that seem to indicate our voices are being heard, as the natural turning of the tide slowly erodes the movement to overdevelop the island. We must continue to press for conservation and protection of this last pearl.
Anyone For Golf? Not Us, Say Biminites
BAHAMAS - The mood in Bimini is changing to reflect that the island should not accede to the needs of tourism at all costs, Rashad Rolle writes. Amid conflict in May over the construction of a large pier in North Bimini, former Bimini Chief Councillor Lloyd Edgecombe told The Tribune that the following month’s local government elections on the island would be a referendum on whether Biminites supported recent tourism developments. He seemed sure he would be re-elected While the veteran Bimini politician led protests against similar developments on his island a decade ago because they threatened to destroy the environment, he vocally supported Resort World Bimini’s (RWB) recent ventures, even blasting critics as selfish when their opposition threatened to derail the construction of the 1,000-foot pier. After the votes were tallied, Mr Edgecombe was rejected from office, along with most members of the council who had chosen him to lead. Current local council member Al Sweeting is careful not to reduce that result to a single reason but summed it up like this: “People make changes when they’re dissatisfied.” READ MORE
Enhanced Elevation Data to Sharpen Global Focus on Climate Issues
UNITED NATIONS - In Africa, accurate elevation (topographic) data are vital for pursuing a variety of climate-related studies that include modeling predicted wildlife habitat change; promoting public health in the form of warning systems for geography and climate-related diseases (e.g. malaria, dengue fever, Rift Valley fever); and monitoring sea level rise in critical deltas and population centers, to name just a few of many possible applications of elevation data. On September 23, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS, a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior) released a collection of higher-resolution (more detailed) elevation datasets for Africa. The datasets were released following the President’s commitment at the United Nations to provide assistance for global efforts to combat climate change. The broad availability of more detailed elevation data across most of the African continent through the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) will improve baseline information that is crucial to investigating the impacts of climate change on African communities. READ MORE
Editor’s note:The Lao dam will adversely affect area mangroves as well.
Cambodians oppose Lao dam
CAMBODIA - Cambodians staged a protest to share the concerns of more than a quarter of a million people who are calling on Laos to suspend construction of the Don Sahong hydropower project on the Mekong River. Cambodian activists hold placards and banners on a boat during the handover of petition signatures against the Don Sahong dam, in Phnom Penh. At the protest Chhith Sam Ath, country director of the World Wide Fund for Nature, said Don Sahong Dam, a 260-megawatt hydropower project, could bring about the demise of important fisheries and critically endangered Mekong dolphins. In June, Laos announced its decision to have the Don Sahong project undergo a Mekong River Commission consultation process. READ MORE
Editor’s Note: The importance of mangroves as a carbon sink as a buffer against climate change continues to be a growing interest. Mangrove, seagrass and tidal marsh ecosystems sequester up to five times more carbon than tropical rainforests, say marine scientists who are calling for their protection . . . another good reason to protect and restore mangroves. Here are two recent news items:
Mangrove Forests Key to Carbon Sequestration and Blue Carbon. We at Mangrove Action Project have long contended that so-called "natural disasters" are better called "unnatural disasters" because of the human caused damages to the protective mangrove buffers that have tragically increased the damages and death toll from natural events that would otherwise have been mitigated by the mangroves' living bio-shield. For information, please visit MAP's website.
Mangrove Loss Exacerbated Cyclone Devastation
THAILAND - When researchers surveyed the battered coastlines of Asian countries after the December 2004 tsunami, they stumbled upon an arresting fact – that mangroves can save lives. In Sri Lanka, for instance, one village on the flattened coast revealed a tale that contrasted with the death and destruction all around. Kapuhenwala’s dense mangroves protected its residents and only two deaths occurred there when the South Asian nation accounted for 35,000 of the 220,000 tsunami-related fatalities across 12 Indian Ocean countries. The value of mangroves now haunts Burma which was hit by Cyclone Nargis in the early hours of May 3, resulting in the deaths of over 100,000 people and affecting 2.5 million others. On that night, the storm, with wind speeds of up to 190 km per hour, churned up a sea wall that rose 3.5 m and swept 40 km inland on the flat terrain of the Irrawaddy Delta. READ MORE
MAP-Asia Hosts China Mangrove Conservation Network Field Study
THAILAND - Seven staff from China Mangrove Conservation Network (CMCN) and one representative from Shenzhen Spring Environmental Protection Volunteer Association (SENGO) visited Thailand 16th-25th August 2014 for a field study trip to learn about mangrove and coastal conservation efforts in Thailand. During this 10 days trip, the team, led by the founding director – Dr. Liu Yi, visited numbers of places in Thailand, including MAP-Asia Office and EMR sites in Trang Province, Leeled Community-based Tourism in Surat Thani Province, Kao Sam Roi Yod National Park in Prachuab Khirikan Province, the Sirindhorn International Environmental Park (SIEP) in Petchaburi Province, Amphawa District in Samut Songkram Province, IUCN Asia Regional Office (IUCN ARO) and UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UNEP/ROAP) in Bangkok, as well as Sea Turtle Conservation Center Royal Thai Navy in Chonburi Province. The members visited MAP – Asia office in Trang in the morning of 17th August to exchange their experiences about mangrove with MAP – Asia team, and to understand about the different aspects of MAP’s work, as well as threats to mangrove in Thailand. READ MORE
Malaysian Sustainable Seafood Guide released
MALAYSIA - Malaysians love seafood and are the biggest consumers of seafood in Southeast Asia. However, did you know that in 40 years we run the risk of not having any seafood to eat, if we continue to consume indiscriminately? Malaysians love seafood and are the biggest consumers of seafood in Southeast Asia. However, did you know that in 40 years we run the risk of not having any seafood to eat, if we continue to consume indiscriminately? Deciding what seafood to order at the restaurant and what to purchase at the supermarket can shape the future of our global marine environment. To educate the public, we have produced a seafood guide that provides information to individual consumers and businesses to help them make sustainable seafood choices. READ MORE
International conservationists alarmed over Bimini development
BAHAMAS - A group of international conservation experts has expressed serious concern over the environmental impact of ongoing resort construction on and around the island of Bimini. The experts, hosted on a tour of Bimini by fast-growing social and environmental advocacy group Save The Bays (STB), said they fear the work may destroy some of the most significant coral reefs in the region and put the island’s traditional industries at risk. “The Bahamas are some of the most beautiful and wonderful places in the world,” said Marydele O’Donnely, director of international policy for the Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC). “I’ve traveled extensively and I have been absolutely amazed by how the habitat looks here. READ MORE
Save The Bays urges government to announce Bimini Reserve
BAHAMAS – Environmental advocate Lindsey McCoy has called on government to immediately announce the establishment of the North Bimini Marine Reserve (NMBR) to protect that island’s unique ecological heritage. Noting that more than two months have passed since Bimini’s local council sent a letter asking the Christie administration to honor this longstanding promise, McCoy said there has been no response amid growing fears that the island’s sensitive mangrove forests may be under threat from development. “A recently released image showing a golf course located within the NBMR boundaries has caused serious concern among Biminites,” McCoy said. “This is an area of unparalleled ecological importance, the mangroves providing a nursery for the marine life throughout the northern Bahamas. “It must be protected at all costs, and I call on the Prime Minister to respond to the council and immediately grant their requests.” READ MORE
International Day of Struggle against Monoculture Tree Plantations
BRAZIL - On September 21st we celebrated the International Day of Struggle against Tree Monocultures. This date, that was launched in 2004, in Brazil, by the Alert against the Green Desert Network, serves to create a special moment in the year to denounce the serious negative impacts of the industrial model of timber production on communities and local ecosystems. Year after year, organizations and social movements carry out a number of activities during this month to give visibility to their struggles and to denounce the negative impacts plantations have on their livelihoods and territories. But above all, September 21st is a date to celebrate the resistance and solidarity and to say no more tree monocultures! READ MORE
Obama just created an ocean reserve twice the size of California
USA - On Thursday, President Obama created the world's largest ocean reserve. The new reserve, an enlargement of the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, nearly quadruples the total amount of US ocean territory that's protected from commercial fishing, oil drilling, and other activities. Previously, the monument — a cluster of reserves surrounding seven uninhabited islands south and west of Hawaii — covered about 86,888 square miles. The new monument will cover nearly 490,000 square miles in total, with the gains coming from extending the borders to 200 miles off the coasts of Wake Island, Jarvis Island, and Johnston Atoll. This is as far as the US government is permitted to protect, according to international law. READ MORE
Dear friends and colleagues,
A group of individual tourism activists and representatives of civil society groups from six continents, gathered in Istanbul from 28 to 30 August 2014 to discuss human rights, social justice and sustainability concerns in tourism. The outcome of the meeting was the foundation of the Tourism Advocacy and Action Forum as a first step to rebuild an international network and forum for courageous dialogue on tourism impacts and to develop a proactive global tourism advocacy and action platform.
Please find TAAF’s Istanbul Statement below. If you endorse the Statement and you are interested in receiving regular information from TAAF, please email the TAAF Secretariat, c/o Equations, at info(at)equitabletourism.org and/or tim-team at timteam02(at)yahoo.com.
tourism investigation & monitoring team (tim-team)
P.O. Box 51 Chorakhebua
Bangkok 10230, Thailand
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|Mangrove Action Project|
Thursday, September 25, 2014
MAP NEWS Issue 348, Sept. 27, 2014
Posted by BlogAdmin at 10:19 PM