The MAP News
Editor’s Note – MAP News covered Nasako Besingi’s efforts in MAP News Issue 330, January 18th, 2014. You can read his open letter here.
International Civil Society Alarmed by Conviction of Environmental Human Rights Defender
CAMEROON -A coalition of international organizations have denounced Cameroonian authorities’ repression of community leader and environmental defender Nasako Besingi. Nasako Besingi is the director of the organization SEFE (Struggle to Economize Future Environment) which has been fighting alongside local communities to protect ancient rainforests of southwestern Cameroon from plans for a massive palm oil plantation. Since 2010, U.S. investors Herakles Farms have repeatedly violated communities’ rights to give Free, Prior, Informed Consent as they moved forward with clear cutting rainforests that communities have traditionally used for small scale agriculture and foraging. Beginning in 2013, Nasako has been pursued many times with legal charges brought by Herakles Farms, for alleged offenses of the publication of false news and holding an undeclared public meeting, among others. On November 5th, after a protracted and controversial legal process, Nasako was convicted by local Cameroonian courts on two counts of propagation of false news against the US agribusiness company Herakles Farms and two counts of defamation against two employees of the company. READ MORE
The fisherman and the forest
SENEGAL - Mangrove forests can be found where the land meets the sea, supporting a wealth of tropical life. But in many parts of the world they are disappearing and preserving them takes dedication. Stepping through the mud, Abdou Karim Sall introduces the stands of trees as though we're strolling through a community allotment. "These are from this year, those are from 2014. Those over there, they were planted in 2013," he says, waving his arm to indicate which stand is which. We are in the mangroves in the backwaters of Joal, a town in Senegal about two hours' drive south of the capital Dakar. Joal is best known as a fishing town. Each afternoon, open boats called pirogues arrive at its beach to offload their catches of herring-like sardinella and other sea fish. They've come from several kilometres offshore. The beach comes alive with activity - porters carrying heavy crates of silvery fish up the shore, horses and carts splashing through the shallows, people buying and selling. READ MORE
What is threatening Mekong Delta fisheries?
VIETNAM - Recent data and reports show the richest inland fishery in the world, situated in the Mekong Delta in Southeast Asia, is under serious threat from the twin effects of global warming and the more direct actions of man on the landscape. In the longer term, if these conditions continue, major export species could be affected. An unusual drought from mid-May has reduced water levels in the upper section of the Mekong River to record lows. As a result, sea water is encroaching from the south caused by the annual tide, which this year is pushing further up the river and bringing in more seawater than normal – salt water has been found 60 km (37.3 miles) inland according to a report by the BBC World Service in Vietnam. The highest salinity is likely to be reached in March 2016, with the level beating the previous record set in the dry season of 2005. In addition, a proliferation of hydropower dams in the north and large-scale sand mining are endangering the delta. As a result of these changes, an alarming 500 hectares (5 sq km) of land are being lost to soil erosion every year. READ MORE
6,400 Signatures and Thumbprints Submitted in Support of Local People
VIETNAM - More than 100 people gathered yesterday in An Giang, Vietnam for the historic Mekong People’s Forum: “Local Mekong People’s Voices: the message to Mekong governments on Mekong dams.” Participants included community members from the Tonle Sap lake, communities along the Mekong and 3S Rivers in Cambodia, from Northern and Northeastern Thailand’s communities along the Mekong and from An Giang, Dak Lak and Ca Mau, Vietnam. Most people have already experienced direct impacts from dams on the Mekong and its tributaries. The meeting marks the first time that communities from different Mekong countries have organized themselves to create a common platform from which to raise their concern regarding the impacts of existing and planned hydropower projects on the Mekong River. At the forum, community representatives presented a statement (attached) by local people entitled “Mekong governments: Listen to the People!“ to regional governments, signed by more than 6,400 local people from the Mekong River Basin, along with supporting organizations and individuals. The statement calls for Mekong governments to urgently listen to the concerns of the people, and to respect the rights of local communities to make decisions about the future of their lives and able to continue in protecting their rivers READ MORE
Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away?
INDONESIA - I’ve often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped. Then they would ask their financial correspondents how the disaster affected share prices, before turning to the sport. As you can probably tell, I don’t have an ocean of faith in the industry for which I work. What I did not expect was that they would ignore it. A great tract of Earth is on fire. It looks as you might imagine hell to be. The air has turned ochre: visibility in some cities has been reduced to 30 metres. Children are being prepared for evacuation in warships; already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate. It is almost certainly the greatest environmental disaster of the 21st century – so far. READ MORE
Philippines to ramp up shrimp production
PHILIPPINES - In light of growing demand for shrimp in the US and Japan, the Philippines hopes to ramp up white shrimp production to 130,000 metric tons and become a major shrimp player in the Southeast Asian region, reports Rappler. The government will help boost efforts by setting up hatchery plants in each of the country's coastal regions, which will be funded and run by local government units with initial funding coming from the federal government. Senator Cynthia Villar of General Santos City, Philippines, said that large producers in the country, such as Alson Aqua, Sarangani Agricultural Company and RD Corporation, are already in a position to compete with other industry leaders in Thailand and Vietnam. She also said that General Santos and Sarangani have the potential to become shrimp capitals of the country. READ MORE
PHOTO ESSAY - Amid the world’s tallest mangroves, children help fuel a thriving ecosystem
ECUADOR – Ecuador is home to the tallest mangroves in the world: The Cayapas Mataje Reserve. Its soil is filled with small black cockles — a culinary delicacy prized in Ecuador — and the arduous task of searching for and picking those shelled creatures from the mangroves falls on the shoulders of children, who use their long limbs and agile bodies to scale the spindly branches of the trees and mine the thick mud that surrounds them. Pickers, also known as concheros, can earn up to 8 cents per cockle. The average conchero gathers 50 to 100 cockles a day, a staggering toll if one considers searching for a mud-covered cockle shell amid hundreds of jutting tree limbs while enduring the changing conditions of the mangroves’ environment. Photographer Felipe Jacome spent several trips over the course of a year documenting how children as young as 10 go about navigating Ecuador’s spider web of trees limbs “exploring the relationship between childhood, manual labor and this unique ecosystem.” READ MORE
Note from the Executive Director - This may not mention mangroves, but it fits in with one of our aims to restore a healthy marine environment, including healthy mangrove wetlands, which in turn support a more resilient and natural biodiversity. As we have stated in the past, a restored healthy ocean can produce much more marine life, including harvestable seafood to feed more people than aquaculture. We need to restore the health of our oceans if we are to resolve the problem of declining wild fisheries.
Cleaning up the oceans to feed the future
USA - Who is responsible for the health of the oceans? Is it fishermen, fish farmers, shipping magnates, oil and gas companies, renewable energy concerns, carbon capture and storage operations, dredging, cable and pipeline businesses? Where does the public fit into the scenario and who cares? The answer is that we are all responsible, and we should all care, for without a healthy, productive, biodiverse ocean, seafood as part of the solution for global food security would be a non-starter. The Sustainable Ocean Summit 2015, organized by the World Ocean Council in Singapore from 9 to 10 November 2015, will tackle the issue of how to ensure the health, productivity and sustainable development of the ocean over the next 50 years, and includes representations from fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the wider, diverse ocean business community. Some of the biggest issues affecting marine life, which after all, is the lifeblood of the seafood industry, are plastic and microplastic pollution, marine litter, and ghost fishing. READ MORE
Rising Sea Levels Threaten Tiny Islands Home To Indigenous Panamanians
PANAMA - A hundred-and-fiftyyears ago, the Guna people of Panama left the mainland to escape deadly mosquitoes that carried malaria. They ended up in low-lying islands in the Caribbean. But now rising sea levels are forcing the Guna people to go back to the mainland, and that is changing the way they live. Jaime Avila zooms his motorboat over clear blue Caribbean water and tosses a baited hook overboard. Avila, like many indigenous Gunas who live off of Panama's Northeastern coast, used to fish every day. Now instead of fishing, he mostly shuttles tourists from island to island. But the water is now the enemy. "Because Arctic ice is melting," he says, and that means rising sea levels fueled by climate change threaten to swamp the Guna's tiny islands flecking Panama's coast. And leaders in Avila's community, Gardi Sugdub, a tiny island about a mile from the coast, plan to relocate to a hereditary tropical rain forest on the mainland. Avila says they'll lose a long tradition of living off the sea. READ MORE
Mangrove Forests Are Being Starved of Mud
AUSTRALIA - Around the world, millions of people rely on mangroves. The trees support rich fisheries, provide timber and wood for fuel, and help protect shorelines from erosion. But mangroves face many threats; the biggest, globally, is mangrove clearance for shrimp farms and other coastal developments. But now, for the first time, researchers have shown that the future of mangroves may also depend on the flow of mud. When left to run freely, rivers sweep muddy water toward the coast. Mangroves’ tangled roots trap the suspended sediment, adding it to the soil. So, when a dam curtails a river and cuts off the sediment, it chokes the forest of a replenishing supply of dirt. A research team led by Cath Lovelock from the University of Queensland, Australia, combined high and low-tech methods to show the effect of dams on mangrove forests. READ MORE
This is a certificate for your video in the Think Forests video competition because it made the shortlist from over 80 entries
Best of luck in the future and thanks for participating.
From: McHugh, Lucy Rosamund (CIFOR) <L.McHugh@cgiar.org>
Date: Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 12:46 PM
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MAP NEWS ISSUE 377, Nov 14, 2015
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