Thursday, May 14, 2015

MAP News Issue 364, May 16th, 2015

The MAP News
364th Edition                                May 16, 2015


Sri Lanka first nation to protect all mangrove forests
SRI LANKA - Sri Lanka has become the first nation in the world to comprehensively protect all of its mangrove forests. A scheme backed by the government will include alternative job training, replanting projects and microloans. Mangroves are considered to be one of the world's most at-risk habitats, with more than half being lost or destroyed in the past century. Conservationists hope other mangrove-rich nations will follow suit and adopt a similar protection model. Commenting on the agreement, Sri Lanka President Maithreepala Sirisena said: "It is the responsibility and the necessity of all government institutions, private institutions, non-government organisations, researchers, intelligentsia and civil community to be united to protect the mangrove ecosystem." The Sri Lankan government is a joint partner overseeing the measures, alongside global NGO Seacology, and Sri Lanka-based Sudeesa, which was formerly known as the Small Fishers Federation of Lanka. READ MORE


Unilateral Boundary Demarcation by Herakles Farms Causes Tensions
CAMEROON – The people of Mokange village in Mundemba subdivision spotted unidentified persons conducting land demarcations of their forest. This information was conveyed to SEFE by the proposed chief of Mokange and two elites who informed SEFE of the presence of some 30 persons working for Herakles Farms who had come to the Talangaye area. After spotting the people demarcating the forest, the villagers quickly contacted the Divisional Officer (D.O) for Mundemba, who told the people that his office was not aware of the exercise. As tensions heightened, the company dispatched its Community Relations Manager, Daniel Agoons, to the concerned villages to appease the population. Danial Agoons is said to have visited the following villages: Mokange, Lipenja, Kuma, and Esoki Bima. In all four villages, Agoons made apologies to the people on behalf of Herakles Farms for demarcating their lands without consulting or informing them. Herakles Farms had previously promised to pay the villagers 50,000 frs per month, starting in 2010, following the signing of MoUs with chiefs and supporters. But they have still not started making these payments. Agoons told the villagers that these amounts will be paid as arrears without specifying when they would be made. READ MORE


Survey on mangroves to be out soon
INDIA – A comprehensive survey report on mangroves in the district will be released soon, District Collector P. Bala Kiran has said. Inaugurating a seminar on mangrove forests in Kerala, he said the procedure for takeover of the mangrove areas by the government was in the final phase. The district has nearly 2,500 acres of mangrove vegetation spread over 32 villages, and collective efforts are required for its conservation, he said. Environmental activist Khaleel Chovva, delivering the keynote address at the seminar, called for wetlands of Kattampally to be declared as Ramser a site. Participants of the seminar included environmental experts who spoke on various issues relating to the conservation of the biodiversity-rich ecosystem in the upper reaches of estuaries, lagoons and backwaters of the coastal districts of the State. READ MORE

Mangrove crusader Pokkudan to start mangrove school
INDIA - Mangrove crusader and environmentalist Kallen Pokkudan is slowly giving a concrete shape to his long-cherished green dream a school to train the young generation about the importance of mangrove conservation. Probably this is the first such institute in the country, he says without any claim. Though there are umpteen organizations, including nongovernmental organizations, working in the field of environment conservation, there was no serious effort to protect mangroves or teach the society about its importance in preventing natural calamities and environmental equilibrium. "So, I decided that I should only venture into that mission too, as I had planted hundreds of mangroves in different parts of the state, against all odds," said Pokkudan. "When I planted mangroves here nearly 25 years ago, I was termed mad and the local CPM leaders even turned against me. Time proved that I was right. So this school has a historic relevance as it is a continuation of that mission," he said. READ MORE


Gaston Browne: Don't let Chinese Developers break laws conserving our Marine Protected Areas.
ANTIQUA - Recently a Chinese development company purchased some 1600 acres of undeveloped waterfront land with the intention of creating hundreds of villas, several marinas and luxury hotels, a casino, a school, a hospital, a horse racing track and two golf courses. All of it lies within an incredibly delicate marine ecosystem which is currently protected by the Laws of Antigua and Barbuda. Among several laws which aim to conserve this national treasure is a section within the Fisheries Act dealing with Marine Protected Areas. All of the coastline within this project are within the North East Marine Management Area (NEMMA) which was designated a Marine Protected Area in 2005. Despite this, plans show vast marsh lands, mangroves, flats, reefs and nesting vegetation cleared to make way for the project. This would mean laws either being broken or changed for the developer. This can not be permitted to happen. READ MORE

Half violated environment
BRAZIL -  Late 2014 and early 2015 were catastrophic for the environment in Brazil. Several media reports show how the nature has been "raped". And the eternal contradiction between theory and practice is more than this in Brazilian politics. Deforestation in the Amazon continues to grow - according to information produced by the Deforestation Alert System (SAD), the Institute of Man and Environment in the Amazon (Imazon). In the month of January 2015 were cleared 2 288 km, representing an increase of 195% over the same month in 2014. In February and March were deforested respectively 42 km 2:58 km2, representing, in relation to 2014, increases of 169% and 282%. The cumulative devastation August 2014 to March 2015 reached 1761 km 2, equivalent to an increase of 214% over the same previous monitoring period. Contrary international efforts, Brazil refused to sign the "Declaration of New York on Forests", during the Summit of Climate that took place in September 2014. This statement, considered a letter of intent was signed by more than 30 countries (United States, Canada, European Union and others), plus dozens of companies, environmental organizations and indigenous peoples. Once implemented can halve the felling of forests in the world by 2020 and zero by complete deforestation by 2030. LEA MAS EN ESPANOL

14 environmental groups raise their voices to demand a halt to the destruction of wetlands in Panama
PANAMA – The battle for wetlands in Panama City has a new episode. Fourteen groups in defense of Wetlands of Panama made an appeal to the state to stop the destruction of wetlands and "recognize the urgent need to halt the destruction of wetlands'. In a letter that was sent yesterday and in which five points, including stringent requirements on the approval of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) by the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) are included. In addition, the National Civil Protection System (Sinaproc) will require more detail to determine the cause of the destruction of mangroves and their impact on communities; the Ministry of Housing and Land Management require you to meet the standards to protect mangroves. In its request, the ANAM asked to 'act is demanding and that all projects that seek to destroy wetlands are not admitted with a lower Category Category III EIA, considering their cumulative impacts'. Another point that Community Organization Users of Wetlands he requested the authorities is to ensure public consultation with accurate and updated information, and no recurrence cases whose EIA omitted consulting the communities of several provinces. LEA MAS EN ESPANOL

Whigham Elementary’s Earth Day features mangroves and butterflies
USA - More than 400 students participated in an all-day event called “Birds, Blooms, Butterflies and Bees” as part of International Global Youth Service Days. “The event was coordinated with help from Whigham students participating in Youth Service America’s Semester of Service as part of a State Farm Good Neighbor Student Achievement Grant,” said Adrian Delesdernier, a third grade science, social studies and WAVE (Whigham Aquatic Visionary Explorers) teacher. Delesdernier and three other Whigham teachers — Sue Cummings, Dionie DeSilva and Louis Saenz — were recipients of a $2,000 grant for the 2014-15 school year to help promote service learning among 80 students. During their semester of service, students learned how to identify environmental issues and propose solutions that benefit the community. READ MORE

Marine biologist in Haiti creates a national park
HAITI – A Haitian marine biologist who successfully fought to create a national park to protect a large swath of Haiti's north coast has won a prominent US environmental activism prize. Jean Wiener was awarded a Goldman Environmental Foundation prize for his efforts to establish the Caribbean nation’s first Marine Protected Areas while working with local communities to promote sustainable fishing practices and preserve mangrove forests. In awarding the $175,000 prize, the Goldman foundation highlighted Wiener's efforts in overcoming extreme poverty and political instability in Haiti, a country with few full-time environmentalists and almost no government programs to protect natural resources. READ MORE


Hi all

I am contacting you because of your prior interest in tidal wetlands, mangroves and or saltmarsh habitats around Australia.

This message flags the launch of our first website for the Australian Mangrove & Saltmarsh Network (AMSN). The site is generously supported by Dr Damien Burrows, Director of TropWATER, and James Cook University. The url is: Please check it out soon.

Note that, while our network is informal, it is active and growing fast. To keep things so, we rely on individual contributions and donations from our special stakeholders. This years meeting was well attended in Wollongong. It was led by Dr Kerrylee Rogers, and hosted by UoW along with support from TNC and the NSW Dept. Environment & Heritage.

If you are interested in continuing your interest and involvement in the network, please register using the website portal. It is free! Being registered will guarantee you will get the latest news and updates from AMSN members, the best methods for habitat assessment & evaluation, the best ways to restore damaged sites, and early news about AMSN meetings. And, there is a lot more likely ... the network is as good as its memberS.

For example, as a result of the Wollongong meeting, a position paper is in preparation about national policy issues regards mangrove habitat in Australia. This professional view is much needed to emphasis further that while tidal wetlands are profoundly beneficial, they are also seriously threatened. At best, these shoreline habitats face an uncertain future.

For those who can make it to the next annual meeting, I hope to see you in Darwin next year.

Best regards: Norm Duke
AMSN Facilitator
Mangrove Biologist, TropWATER JCU
CEO Director, MangroveWatch Ltd

This is Toe Aung @ Myanmar.

It is very delighted to inform you that I have been selected by the Fulbright Scholarship Program. Without your contribution, I would not have achieved this scholar. I also understand one of the strong points in my application was with the invitation letter from you. Thank you very much for your support.I will try the best to complete my program under your guidance and supervision.

For your reference, please kindly find attached my proposed theme in the application that was basically prepared by following your fields of research. In this regard, please let me know if there are anything I should prepare from my country in advance.

Since now, I may receive a couple of questions from the Fulbright program regarding my accommodation at your institution. So, let me get back to you with some points they would like to know, particularly the possible time frame and condition of office space you can provide for me.

Again, thank you very much for your support. I also never forget Jim Enright and Robin Lewis who did great efforts to introduce me with you all. Then, I will write a separated letter to them for special thanks.

I look forward to working together with you soon for mangroves as well as water.


Toe Aung, PhD.
Mangrove Section
Watershed Management Division
Forest Department


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“Education In The Mangroves" can now be seen on the  PhotoPhilanthropy website here!

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Article in Canada's Green Teacher Magazine - Read More

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A fun and exciting Art Contest for children 6 to 16 years old. We invite all primary school children from tropical and sub-tropical nations, and whose schools are located near mangroves, to create art telling us “why mangroves are important to my community and me?”. Selected winners will be published in a 2016 calendar to be distributed internationally to raise awareness of mangrove forest ecology.  READ MORE

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