PORT ANGELES, WA: 15 September 2014: Mangrove Action Project (MAP) has been awarded a $24,300.00 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF). The conservation grant recognizes Mangrove Action Project’s efforts to educate young people throughout the world on the vital importance of mangrove wetlands, in this instance the focus is on introducing MAP’s “Marvellous Mangroves” curriculum to Bangladeshi schools.
“Bangladesh is the twelfth country throughout the world where MAP has begun the process of translating, adapting, researching and introducing “Marvellous Mangroves” – a 300-page curriculum linked teaching resource guide,” said MAP Global Education Director Martin Keeley. “The Disney grant will enable us to complete this exciting program for the home of and inspire local people to protect the magnificent Sundarbans mangrove forest.”
In the past twelve years, thousands of teachers and over 250,000 students in eleven countries worldwide have learned through exciting hands-on science the wonders of tropical mangrove wetlands through the Mangrove Action Project. The expansion and adaptation of MAP’s innovative education program into Bangladesh will include recent additions focusing on restoration, ecotourism and research. The Marvelous Mangroves Teachers' Resource Guide will become the core of community understanding of mangrove ecology.
In Bangladesh, MAP is teaming with the Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN, formerly Humanity Watch) which has several decades of successes behind it and concentrates its efforts on the southwest coastal zone of Bangladesh. With a special focus on the Sundarbans, CLEAN has an strong track record of working with communities in the world’s largest mangrove forest. MAP's education program will reinforce CLEAN’s philosophies of local community involvement. While focusing specifically on the Mangrove Curriculum, it is essential to recognize that MAP's principales of conservation and& restoration have many years of successful implementation in the communities the group serves.
The Disney funding will allow the production and publication of Marvelous Mangroves in Bangladesh as well as enabling enable the operation facilitation of several teachers’ workshops incorporating Marvellous Mangroves into the existing schools curriculum.
According to Hasan Mehedi, CLEAN’s Chief Executive, the Sundarbans region is included in both the UN’s World Heritage Sites, and Ramsar’s critical wetlands. “The mangrove forest here plays a crucial role in reducing the vulnerabilities of climate change including cyclones, coastal flooding and tidal surges,” says Mr. Mehedi. “It also acts as one of the world’s largest fish breeding sites which contributes to the livelihoods of over100,000 fisher folk. Around one million people depend on the Sundarbans for their lives and livelihoods,” he adds.
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund focuses on protecting wildlife and connecting kids and families with nature. Since its founding in 1995, DWCF has provided more than $25 million to support conservation programs in 114 countries. Projects were selected to receive awards based upon their efforts to study wildlife, protect habitats and develop community conservation and education programs in critical ecosystems.
The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund works to protect species and habitats, and connect kids to nature to help develop lifelong conservation values. Since its founding in 1995, DWCF has supported more than 1,000 conservation programs in 112 countries with over $25 million in contributions. The DWCF is focused on supporting nonprofit organizations that provide expertise and solutions to make positive conservation impacts worldwide.
For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature visit www.disney.com/conservation.
# # #
About The Mangrove Action Project: Witnessing firsthand the rapid devastation of the world’s mangrove forest wetlands and their associated coastal ecosystems, the founders of the Mangrove Action Project (MAP) decided in 1992 that it was time to form a global network to address the problems of mangrove loss worldwide. MAP has grown steadily during the last 20 + years to become a respected member of the global environmental movement. MAP's international network has grown to include over 500 NGOs and 350 scientists and academics from over 60 nations. In recent years, MAP has transformed from a network-and advocacy focused organization into one still involved in advocacy, but with programs and activities on the ground, supported through local offices in Thailand and Indonesia, as well as close partner groups in S. Asia, Latin America and S. Africa. MAP’s pro-active approach to long-term mangrove conservation involves: education, advocacy, collaboration, conservation and restoration, as well as sustainable community-based development. Learn more at MangroveActionProject.org