Friday, July 7, 2017

Mangrove to Seagrass, a journey into Thailand’s coastal ecosystems

By David Matyas, MAP Volunteer Intern

During a two month immersion into the mangrove world as a volunteer with the Mangrove Action Project in Trang, southern Thailand I learned there are more than 60 species, they livelihoods for local communities, play a role in coastal protection, and have been greatly reduced in Thailand, mainly due to shrimp farming … It is indeed a unique ecosystem which has had so much research  on a whole range of different kinds of issues and many books have been written about this magnificent forest.  Some people have even devoted their entire life to protecting it. 
Personally, I needed time to step back and explore something else. 
Dr. Barry Bendell monitors seagrass on Koh Phra Thong an island off the coast of Phang-nga Province, Thailand. He is one of MAP’s volunteer scientific advisors, which is how I got in touch with him. 
So, on Wednesday 22nd of June with the big Spring tides approaching — it was time to monitor seagrass — So I hit the road to meet him. 
It was a long journey from the south to the north along the Andaman sea’s coast, taking me from Trang, through Krabi, past Phuket island to Phang-nga province, which by the way has the largest mangrove area in all Thailand.
Around Trang, it’s mainly flat and rolling land with oil palms and rubber tree plantations where a few limestone walls pop-up in the scenery, especially along the coast. Then, on the way, more and more cliffs unveiled themselves from Krabi to Phang-nga, a small mountain range of karst limestone emerges.  Passing Phang-nga town, it becames more hilly and the winding road is surrounded by tropical rainforest all the way to my final destination for today: Kuraburi located on the main coastal road with a few houses and shops lining both sides. 
Buses as well show a contrast between north and south on the Andaman coast. A comfy large seat in a fast AC bus from Trang to Phang-nga and then an old, orange painted, Mercedes-Benz bus, with benches as seats, open windows and fan on the ceiling, cruising at 30km per hour on average, struggling to get at the top  of the hills.
I arrived just before nightfall to meet Barry We had a good dinner near the bus station, a cold beer and then we went to bed early. Early morning was announced to catch a boat to the Island. 
In the morning, after a rice porridge and some purchases at the market, we went to the Kurburi pier. No boat was leaving to the island so we travelled to a second pier. Waiting for our boat, we were watching three local boats being filled up  with sacks of concrete. The loaded boat’s gunnels were riding just above sea level and a small wave and some rains would be enough to sink them. Kind of laughing about the danger these people take, we were astonished when we understand that these were the only boats available to reach the island today.
Our long-tail boat to Koh Phra Thong 

After a heavy downpour, we left the pier, fingersed crossed. The long-tail boat, slowly found his way through the numerous canals. Not a sound came out of the mangrove nor a breeze. Silence, except for the monotonous sound of the motor. Time started to slow down and I forgot about the boat and the rain.
I took time to contemplate the mangrove forests.  Young trees, sometimes an area with much diversity but mostly Rhizophora. Getting close to Phra Thong (Golden Buddha) Island I could see seagrass beds, mudflats, then mangrove and forest. A continuous natural setting. Why should we just protect the mangrove? Actually all this nature which we divide into units forms one large interconnected ecosystem. 
Navigating through the mangrove forest
My feelings of contemplation and calmness continued when I walked through the village of  Lions. The island was hit by the 2004 Tsunami, people died, and one village was totally destroyed. With the money from the international Lions Club, a new village has been built but hardly no one is living there because of poor planning, bad management and a short-term development program. 
Afternoon arrives and we head to Tha Pae Yoi, the main village on the island from where we took a kayak and glide onto some sandbanks where seagrass was growing. 
Time to learn more about the seagrass ecosystem.
Invisible at high tide, seagrasses, are a type of submerged aquatic vegetation. Many people confuse seagrass and seaweed which are quite different. These plants evolved from terrestrial plants and have become specialized and are able to live in the marine environment. They have leaves, roots, flowers and seeds like any terrestrial plants, but amazingly they can live covered with saltwater most of the time. Salt kills plants and being submerged underwater means the lack of oxygen would drown plants.  
Seagrasses are the foundation species for the system with a single acre (0.4 ha) of seagrass producing over 10 tons of leaf biomass per year. Seagrasses support the associated ecosystems of coral reefs and mangroves by providing food, shelter, and essential nursery areas to fish species (especially juveniles), countless invertebrates like crabs, shrimp, mollusks or sea cucumber and mammals like the dugongs who need more than 40 kg of seagrass per day.  Seagrass meadows also provides livelihood for local communities. I was amazed by the number of people at each low tide collecting and harvesting conch, mussels, crabs and sea stars in the seagrass ecosystem. This not only provides food but also medicines and soil fertilizer for their gardens. Furthermore, seagrasses have a role in stabilizing sediments and improving water quality.
Barry is interested in a fair amount of research about invertebrate and seagrass. During the afternoon, we searched for a species of conch, an edible sea snail that people harvest, called dog conch. We collected all of them, both the small ones and the adult ones to measure them and then we released them. Barry took measurements of the adults as he is interested in the proportion between juvenile and adults in a seagrass area unprotected and protected.
As fresh air arrived as suddenly as the winds picked up, I looked at the horizon. A curtain of rain was moving down on us. A moment later, heavy rain and lightning ended our field work for the day. We paddled hard in the cold rain to reach the shore then it was a long motorbike drive back to our base in the village. The hot coffee was a fair reward. 
Low tides were in the afternoon. In the morning, between down pours, I explored the Island. Koh Phra  Thong is situated in Phang-nga province on the north-west coast of peninsular Thailand. It’s a flat and sandy island surrounded by mangrove on the landward side and beach facing the open Andaman Sea into the Bay of Bengal.  On the western seaward side, beach forest with pine like trees (Casuarina equisetifolia) and in the island interior, a landscape with tall grasses and paper bark tea tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia) depicts this unique savannah ecosystem, not found on any other island along the Andaman coast.  
Savannah in front and behind, Casuarina trees hidding the ocean view
We start the seagrass monitoring. Pa Nee, our homestay cook, was there to help as well. The data collected is sent to Seagrass Watch, a global scientific seagrass assessment and monitoring program based at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. Monitoring gives one a long-term perspective which is the opposite of most biological research, geared to the time it takes to do a Ph.D. or Master’s thesis, and funding for projects in few year time frame.
Pa Nee helping us with the seagrass monitoring
Seagrasses are subject to a number of stresses such as storms, excessive grazing, disease, and pollution. The long-term perspective allows one to identify patterns that cannot be seen in the short-term. Once you have identified trends you can begin to ask what is it that is causing them and look for answers that are consistent with the patterns found.  
There are disadvantages though. Usually, there is no clear end point for the monitoring and the objectives can be vague, and so it can be difficult for a funder to support long-term monitoring.
The Seagrass Watch monitoring uses the same method worldwide which consists in three transects of 50 meters each. Every 5 meters we dropped our square quadrat (50cm x 50cm) to sample everything from crab holes to any kind of invertebrates. Then we estimate the total coverage of seagrass and the coverage by seagrass species and finally record the length of the long seagrass.
During the next couple days, we sampled a second site, situated in a locally protected area (LPA). More seagrass was present and we could find bigger conch. The site is located just in front the village where local people support the idea of a seagrass conservation zone.  Barry asked people in a survey about the protected seagrass area and everyone thought it was a good idea and many people certified that the number of conch has increased where they collected them outside the LPA.  They feel the protected conservation area is acting as a nursery which is the primary purpose of a LPA. 
Although a few people have helped on occasion with monitoring, most people are not really involved in any direct way although they think it is a good idea. They really just want to be able to collect conch for local consumption and to increase their incomes.  I think it is the same in most places that people support conservation but only a minority gets involved.
Barry is also involved in sea cucumber raising in old extensive ponds2. I helped him to collect some young juveniles that can be stocked for grow-out in peace. At nightfall, we tried to monitor big sea cucumber in the protected area but the water was too turbid and we could hardly see anything except small fish and shrimp attracted by our lights.
On the way back to Trang, proceeding as on the way I came, I had plenty of time to think about restoration and ecosystems at much larger scale. Living in a small village with no electricity and few possibilities to earn an income I understand the needs of local communities which harvested the natural ecosystem for food, livelihood and money. A week of insertion into the local environment was indeed a rewarding experience.  I regained my confidence in the need to protect the natural ecosystem and the importance of developing a holistic approach to understanding the complexity of the ecosystem, but also not forgetting the needs and benefits of resources for the local communities. 



  1. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History : http://ocean.si.edu/seagrass-and-seagrass-beds 
  2. Rufford foundation, Barry Bendell’s project http://www.rufford.org/projects/barry_bendell

Thursday, July 6, 2017

MAP News Issue 420, July 8 2017

Mangrove Action Project

The MAP News
420th Edition                               July 8, 2017

FEATURE STORY
 
Mangrove Action Day is July 26
Let us know your plans

Heart shaped mangrove forest
GLOBAL - Mangrove Action Project (MAP) has been working since 1992 (25 years!) to halt the rampant destruction of the earth’s mangrove forest wetlands that are threatened by unsustainable development. Such industries as charcoal and petroleum production, tourism and urban expansion, golf courses and marinas are all threats to mangrove forests today. Still, the largest threat stems from industrial shrimp aquaculture production, which is the largest contributor to current mangrove loss. In the past 100 years, over half the world’s mangrove forests have been lost to such short-sighted development pressures. Today, only around 15 million ha of the estimated original 36 million ha of mangroves still exist, while much of the remaining mangroves are degraded and in poor health. Mangroves also protect coastal communities from hurricane force winds and wave surges. For these reasons and more, in 2003, MAP joined other organizations from the global South to promote July 26th as Mangrove Action Day. We ask that you and/or your organizations please join us all in a global protest against the ongoing losses of the mangrove forest ecosystems and the local communities that depend upon the mangroves for their lives and livelihoods. Please send MAP your regional or local plans for actions that are meant to commemorate this international Day for the Mangroves! MAP would like to again share your plans and ideas with our global network. We look forward to hearing from you soon in this regard! READ MORE

AFRICA

Alarm as mangrove forests at the Kenyan Coast rapidly disappear
mangroves disappearing in Kenya
KENYA - Mombasa is becoming hotter due to the depletion of mangrove forests, a vital ally in the fight against climate change, with the situation along the Kenyan coast projected to get worse with time. A recent study carried out at Tudor Creek - the water body separating Mombasa Island from the mainland - shows that more than 80 per cent of mangroves along the Indian Ocean coast in the area have been wiped out. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) assistant director of wetlands and marine conservation, Dr Mohamed Omar, says urgent intervention is required to conserve the disappearing forests. “From the 1960s, the mangrove cover at the creek to date has diminished by 80 per cent if not more. This is a very serious situation because we foresee a situation without mangroves in Mombasa especially within Tudor Creek,” warned Dr Omar at the launch of the National Mangrove Ecosystem Management Plan in Mombasa. Mangrove forests are key to regulating climate at the coast since they capture carbon dioxide from the environment at a rate that's five times more efficient than other forests. Apart from their central role in fighting climate change, they also help support tourism and fishing sectors as they play host to a variety of fish and wildlife species. “We are losing the battle against climate change due to the status of the mangroves...that is why Mombasa is getting hotter,” he noted. READ MORE

ASIA

Endangered mangrove species found in West Kalimantan
Endangered Mangrove found
INDONESIA - A Kalimantan-based environmental institution has released findings of an endangered mangrove species discovered within the coastal landscape of Padang Tikar and Dabung in Kubu Raya regency, West Kalimantan. “The finding of this tumuk putih species, or Bruguiera hainesii, is the first in Indonesia. This type of mangrove previously only existed in Malaysia, Singapore and Papua New Guinea,” said Denni Nurdwiansyah, the program manager of Friends of Coastal Communities (Sampan) Kalimantan as quoted by Antara news agency. Denni said the species is listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species’s critically endangered category. The species has a population of around 203 trees, 80 of which are found in Malaysia, three in Singapore and 120 in Papua New Guinea. The community's mangrove specialist Bekti Saputro said the finding indicated that the mangrove ecosystem in Padang Tikar is still healthy and well-preserved. READ MORE

A workshop on Lessons Learned using Community based Ecological Mangrove Restoration
CBEMR Groups photo
THAILAND - The Mangrove Action Project (MAP) in collaboration with the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) and Raks Thai Foundation (CARE-Thailand) organized a two days workshop on “Lessons Learned from Community based Ecological Mangrove Restoration” which was held in Krabi on July 1-2, 2017.  There were 24 participants, including seven staff, and seventeen representatives from the CBEMR community network from the villages of Thale Nok, Ranong Province, Tha-sanook, Phang Nga, Nai Nang, Koh Klang and Thung Yor, Krabi Province and Bang Khang Khao and Leam Makham, Trang Province.  The workshop was facilitated by two resource persons from RECOFTC and two from Raks Thai Foundation. MAP has been working on mangrove restoration utilizing the CBEMR method with mangrove communities on the Andaman Coast (Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi and Trang provinces) since 2009 under a number of different implementing projects.  CBEMR uses hydrological restoration to support the natural regeneration of mangroves in former shrimp ponds and degraded mangroves. READ MORE

Climate change impact: Sunderbans steadily losing its famed mangroves
Sundarbans Mangroves
BANGLADESH - In a development that will ring alarm bells for both environmentalists and policy makers, the mangrove forest cover in the Indian Sunderbans has been depleting alarmingly over the past few decades. Mangrove Forest Cover Changes in Indian Sundarban (1986-2012) Using Remote Sensing and GIS, a publication by the School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University, reveals that from 1986 to 2012, 124.418 sq. km. mangrove forest cover has been lost. The total forest cover of the Indian Sunderbans as assessed by remote sensing studies for the year 1986 was about 2,246.839 sq. km., which gradually declined by 2,201.41 sq. km. in 1996, then down to 2168.914 sq km in 2001 and to 2122.421 sq km in 2012. The loss in the mangrove forest in the Indian Sunderbans is about 5.5 %. READ MORE

Where once were mangroves, Javan villages struggle to beat back the sea
Javan Village saves mangroves
INDONESIA - A mangrove forest once surrounded this village on Java’s northern coast. That was before the woods were clear-cut to make way for shrimp and fish farms. The new industry improved the local economy; residents could finally afford the pilgrimage to Mecca. The bounty days were soon to vanish. The mangroves’ decline exposed Mangunharjo to massive erosion. In less than a decade, it wiped away the fishponds and almost sank the village. Local resident Sururi, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, remembers when the sea invaded the land, turning the aquafarms into a muddy lagoon. The shoreline, once 1,500 meters from their homes, the mosque, the school, advanced to within a third of that. In a desperate fight against the march of the sea, Sururi planted mangroves, hoping to stop the erosion and save the village. Step by step, with the support of volunteers and the entire village pitching in, they reclaimed 200 meters (656 feet). READ MORE

Fisheries university plans mangrove tourism project
Mangrove Tourism Site
INDIA - Tourists and students may soon get to observe the city’s threatened mangrove ecosystem from tree-top huts and bamboo walkways. Hoping to increase awareness about mangroves, the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies (KUFOS) is set to launch a mangrove tourism centre on its Puthuvype campus this year. The proposed Mangrove Demonstration and Tourism Centre, which is pending approval from the State government, will be developed at a cost of ₹27 lakh in 10 acres of mangrove forest at the university’s existing Fisheries Station and Mangrove Research Centre at Puthuvype. The project will include bamboo walkways and bridges across the canal system with resting spots powered with solar lighting. Display boards will be arranged throughout the centre with photographs of local fauna and flora detailing biological information. Guests will be able to sit in tree-top huts equipped with basic facilities and watch the ecosystem’s nocturnal fauna including birds such as night herons and mammals such as otters. READ MORE

AMERICAS

How Can Mangrove Restoration Be Successful?
beautiful-mangroves-DW
CANADA - My first introduction to mangroves occurred in Vietnam in 2007, when my mother and I toured the Mekong river. In 2009, I volunteered for an organization in Honduras and was once again struck by the beauty of the mangrove ecosystems. Little did I know that I would be working in the Honduran mangroves three years later. As I coordinated a community resilience and mangrove restoration program in Honduras for Falls Brook Centre, we were confronted with environmental difficulties at one of our project sites that went beyond my knowledge and expertise. Looking for mangrove expertise, I made contact with Alfredo Quarto, Co-Executive Director of the Mangrove Action Project, in 2014. The Mangrove Action Project (MAP) aims to, among other things, implement a successful method of mangrove restoration. The results were great. Mangroves began to thrive and regenerate naturally. Black and white mangroves predominated. Two and a half years later, mangroves are approximately 4 m high! The ecosystem is healthier. Crabs, birds and fishes are observed in the site. READ MORE

Treasure in the Mangroves
Florida mangroves
USA - According to the state Department of Environmental Protection, Florida is home to an estimated 469,000 acres of mangrove forests and this halophyte’s ecological importance simply cannot be overstated. Aside from trapping and cycling organic materials and nutrients from the water, mangroves provide a protected nursery environment for a variety of fish, crustaceans and shellfish and are a favored food site for many marine species as well. Above the water’s surface, mangrove branches serve as rookeries for coastal birds from roseate spoonbills to brown pelicans. All of these characteristics make a mangrove forest an ideal spot to spend a day exploring the wonders of our region’s coastal environments, as Williams tells us in this week’s essay. READ MORE
 

NOTES FROM OUR VOLUNTEERS

Mangrove to Seagrass, a journey into Thailand’s coastal ecosystems
By David Matyas, MAP Volunteer Intern
THAILAND - During a two month immersion into the mangrove world as a volunteer with the Mangrove Action Project in Trang, southern Thailand I learned there are more than 60 species, they livelihoods for local communities, play a role in coastal protection, and have been greatly reduced in Thailand, mainly due to shrimp farming … It is indeed a unique ecosystem which has had so much research on a whole range of different kinds of issues and many books have been written about this magnificent forest. Some people have even devoted their entire life to protecting it. Personally, I needed time to step back and explore something else. Dr. Barry Bendell monitors seagrass on Koh Phra Thong an island off the coast of Phang-nga Province, Thailand. He is one of MAP’s volunteer scientific advisors, which is how I got in touch with him. READ MORE
VOLUNTEER WITH MAP
Hello everyone, 
 
Well, today its my last day after a three month rewarding experience here at MAP office Thailand.
 
 I want to thank all of you who shared your knowledge and passion with me and taught me so many things about mangrove conservation and restoration. This internship was a real human experience where I enjoyed to help you out with some projects and to be part of the team during this too short time.
 
Wish you all the best in the future, 
 
David
 
LAST WORD
 
Dear sir/ma’am,

The information provided by MAP is wonderful and highly important to those who are working on Mangroves.

I am lucky to have the information. I have been working with mangroves in our location (A.P., INDIA) since 2009.

I am focusing on diversity, previous and present status, effect of aquaculture, encroachment and also more importantly the identification of secondary metabolites available in Mangroves. working location :

KANDIKUPPA, PANDI,PORA etc
E.G.Dt., A.P, INDIA

Sairam Krishna
Date: Sun, Jun 25, 2017 at 5:00 AM
Subject: Re: MAP News Issue 419, June 24 ,2017 - Autoforwarded

Mangrove.is Photography Contest!
Send us your best photos of mangrove forests to help raise awareness of their importance for this years Mangrove Action Day 2017 ENTER NOW

Calling schools, teachers and students!
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We invite all school children from tropical and sub-tropical nations, and those who love mangroves, to create art for the 2018 Children's Art Calendar CLICK HERE


ACTION ALERTS

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
Become a volunteer at Gunjur Environmental Protection and Development Group (Gambia) GEPADG, see the photos below on some volunteer activities. http://gepadg.jilankanet.com/our-volunteers/4548872938


The Value of Mangrove Forests View Video

Protecting the sea for people:  a new WFF video on the Philippines largest marine protect area
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The entire Los Cedros Eco System is under attack. This is a call for help. Let’s make it known- Mother Earth is NOT open for business. SIGN OUR PETITION

CBEMR Experience Exchange MAP 2017 English Subtitles
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Save the mangrove forest in Pitas (Sabah), Eastern Malaysia
Please support this important alert being launched by Forest Peoples Program (FPP) SIGN PETITION
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The world's largest mangrove forest is in danger from a massive coal plant.
UNESCO can put pressure on India and Bangladesh to protect the forest, but they need to see that people around the world are speaking out. Click here to add your voice

Mangroves: Guidebook to Malaysia – available for download here
 
Mangrove rehabilitation in Asia – Local Action and cross-border Transfer of Knowledge for the Conservation of Climate, Forests and Biodiversity VIEW VIDEOS HERE
 
STOP PLANTING MANGROVES ON SEAGRASS BEDS _ A CALL TO ACTION
Want to learn more about mangroves?mangrove-action-project-presentation-1-1024.jpg?cb=1424228039
Our short presentation will give you a better understanding of the issues we are working to solve. WATCH PRESENTATION
What is CBEMR? Easy to follow fact sheet – CLICK HERE

SHARE MAP'S VISION 
CLICK HERE to watch short introductory video. Together we can work "at the roots of the sea".
Our short documentary, Reducing the Risk of Disaster through Nature-Based Solutions : Mangroves
EPIC-Film 2
 
Exclusive Interview with Alfredo Quarto, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Mangrove Action Project - See more
 
Question Your Shrimp- Don't Buy or Sell Imported Tropical Shrimp! Sign the Petition

Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum
 
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MAP Education Director Martin Keeley’s most recent book is Marvellous Mangroves: Myths and Legends, a compilation of stories from “Mangrove Peoples”—those who live on shorelines where mangroves thrive—from around the world. READ MORE

Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum in Bangladesh - WATCH VIDEO
MARVELLOUS MANGROVES IN BRAZIL
En Portuges

MAP%20Curriculum%20Video
Marvellous Mangroves – A Curriculum-Based Teachers Guide.


FOR MORE ON MAPs AWARD WINNING CHINA MANGROVE CURRICULUM VISIT
Education in the Mangroves - China
VIMEO SHOW
VISIT OUR "MM" WEBPAGE

Check out our presentation for more details on Marvellous Mangroves

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

Read this 10 page history of the development of MAP’s educational curriculum VIEW DOCUMENT
 
Article in Canada's Green Teacher Magazine - Read More

FREE MAP Mangrove e-cards CLICK HERE
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MAP’s e-Cards offer you a unique way to spread the word about MAP’s good works, while sharing beautiful photographs of the mangroves

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 Volunteer Opportunities with Mangrove Action Project CLICK HERE

MANGROVE ISSUES 
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Question Your Shrimp Consumer/Markets Campaign!  WATCH VIDEO

Mangrove Restoration in Asia – Watch Short Video

Mosaic of Life 
READ A MOSAIC OF LIFE Peek into the underwater world of mangroves, "womb of the sea." By Liz Cunningham Photos By Wes Matweyew and Liz Cunningham

 

"Question Your Shrimp" Campaign

Learn more about the affects of the shrimp industry on mangroves by visiting our blog
Editor’s Note: Mangrove Action Project’s Executive Director, Alfredo Quarto was interviewed about shrimp by Green Acre Radio’s Martha Baskin
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Mangrove Action Project
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A workshop on Lessons Learned using Community based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR)

By Jaruwan Enright, Field Project Manager

The Mangrove Action Project (MAP) in collaboration with the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) and Raks Thai Foundation (CARE-Thailand) organized a two days workshop on “Lessons Learned from Community based Ecological Mangrove Restoration” which was held in Krabi on July 1-2, 2017.   There were 24 participants, including seven staff, and seventeen representatives from the CBEMR community network from the villages of Thale Nok, Ranong Province, Tha-sanook, Phang Nga, Nai Nang, Koh Klang and Thung Yor, Krabi Province and Bang Khang Khao and Leam Makham, Trang Province.  The workshop was facilitated by two resource persons from RECOFTC and two from Raks Thai Foundation.

Figure 1: Group photo of the workshop participants
MAP has been working on mangrove restoration utilizing the CBEMR method with mangrove communities on the Andaman Coast (Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi and Trang provinces) since 2009 under a number of different implementing projects.  CBEMR uses hydrological restoration to support the natural regeneration of mangroves in former shrimp ponds and degraded mangroves.  MAP has nine small-scale CBEMR demonstration sites, in different coastal communities on the Andaman Coast, Southern Thailand. In the last eight years we have gained vital hands-on experience and built strong relationships with the partner communities.

This workshop aimed to build a more formal network among the CBEMR sites and to increase capacity within the communities. The output from this workshop will be part of a Forest and Landscape Restoration (FLR) book which will be prepared by RECOFTC. In addition, the lessons drawn out of this workshop will be further discussed and shared with the experiences of other partners throughout the country at the National Forest and Landscape Restoration Forum on 7 September 2017 in Bangkok.


The Key lessons learned and shared among participants at the workshop are:

Figure 2: One of the key leaders presenting his CBEMR lessons learned
1) The process of restoration site access provides an opportunity to work with many partners: A lot of attention was paid to dialogue with key leaders and the community members about the restoration projects from the very early planning stages.  Local village chiefs, key community leaders who are keen in conservation, local government and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) were consulted with and efforts were made to access the potential restoration sites in the community and also gain their support for the project.  This process has been found to not only provide an opportunity to work with relevant partners but also an important step for success.  It has also been shown that it is important for community members to work together and to fight together to get the common use forest area returned to the community.

2) CBEMR steps highlighted community local knowledge: Participants have learned a great deal about the need to think through many steps before jumping directly to planting. The steps emphasise using nature and building capacity to use local knowledge for restoration.  CBEMR requires a lot of participants’ time to monitor and to learn about how to restore the sites.  The restoration process takes a long time, but it is worth the effort to achieve sustainable results.  When MAP have group visits and taking time-lapse photos at their site this helps to motivate the community members to monitor and discuss solutions and improvements to problems.  For example, deciding what species should be planted, tidal flushing monitoring and making corrections if there are any blockages or silting of channels.

Figure 3: MAP staff facilitating the session
3) Community livelihoods not only help to generate supplementary income, but also empower the community members to work together on conservation.  

4) Building capacity of the youths needed to extend the CBEMR: Encouraging and working with youth and school students has positive impacts as they may take up  the CBEMR methodology and share knowledge and experiences amongst themselves and other coastal mangrove communities in Thailand.    
   

On the second day of the workshop, Mr. Donnapat Tamonsuwan and Mr. Sumree Khaemoh from Raks Thai Foundation led a training session on how to produce video clip stories using a mobile phone.  This session taught community representatives to share their own experience using CBEMR through videos which anyone who has a mobile phone can produce.  Video is an effective tool, which even community people can now use with simple smart phone technology to share their first-hand experience with others.


The workshop ended with all participants being enthusiastic and committed to producing a 5-7 minutes video about their own lessons learned about CBEMR.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

MAP News Issue 419, June 24, 2017

Mangrove Action Project

The MAP News
419th Edition                               June 24, 2017

FEATURE STORY
 
Aquaculture is main driver of mangrove losses
Aquaculture is main driver of mangrove losses
INDONESIA - Expanding aquaculture in South-East Asia over the last two decades has been the main driver of mangrove loss in the world, says a study published in PLOS One this month (June). The study, conducted by a team of scientists at Global Mangrove Watch (GMW), mapped the distribution and changes of mangrove ecosystems in the world during 1996 — 2010 using satellite imagery. The team analysed 1,168 mangrove areas in North, Central and South America, Africa, Middle East, India, and South-East Asia. Nathan Thomas, lead author of the study, found 38 per cent of mangrove areas observed in the study are affected by human activity. South-East Asia, home to 33.8 per cent of the world’s mangroves, as well as 90 per cent of the world’s aquaculture, was the worst affected region with half of its mangrove areas suffering degradation. “Mangroves are being threatened across their entire range and have suffered large losses over the past century, primarily due to increasing coastal populations and the conversion of mangroves to aquaculture. Mangroves are being threatened across their entire range and have suffered large losses over the past century, primarily due to increasing coastal populations and the conversion of mangroves to aquaculture,” says Thomas, currently a post-doctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology Jet Propulsion Laboratory. READ MORE

AFRICA

Oil spill clean-up delay angers Ogoniland residents
clean-up delay angers Ogoniland
NIGERIA - Under a leaden sky in oil-rich southern Nigeria, young men hang around with nothing to do, covering their noses from the noxious fumes of the polluted swamp. The sight in Bodo, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Port Harcourt, is repeated in communities elsewhere in the maze of creeks that criss-cross Ogoniland. One year after the launch of a much-heralded clean-up programme, the oil slicks which blackened the waters, killed the fish and ruined the mangroves remain untouched. Locals, deprived of their livelihoods from fishing and farming, and with the billions of dollars extracted from under them channelled elsewhere, are angry and frustrated. "The progress made on the Ogoni clean-up is known only to the government," said Fegalo Nsuke, from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People pressure group. "The people of Ogoni still cannot have access to safe drinking water, not to talk of electricity, basic schools and roads," he told AFP. READ MORE

What is the Future of Artisanal Fisheries in West Africa?
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“They are part of the social and traditional fabric, they employ nearly seven million people, and provide 75% of the animal protein intake.” Scientists with a research focus in West Africa have developed a new standardized measurement unit that allows comparing the impacts, efficiency and value between industrial and artisanal fisheries. The new standard of measure was developed by a team of researchers from the Sea Around Us to enable them to compare the two industries by calculating how much each sector catches per kW/day. Through the study, the researchers are not only comparing sizes, but also examining the implications of artisanal fleets’ growth and their sustainability. READ MORE

An Initiative By Communities in Kilifi To Protect Mangroves
Communities in Kilifi To Protect Mangroves
KENYA -An initiative by local communities in Kilifi County to protect mangroves from destruction has had a double blessing blending conservation and economic benefits.
In some areas, conservation groups have come up with unique ways that ensure food on the table while at the same time securing the environment for posterity. Elvis Ndundi from Majajani quit his hotel job in Lamu to join a group of young men and women venture into fish farming just adjacent to the ocean breaking the long held tradition that nature would always provide. Today Mr. Ndundi who leads a conservation team of about 20 members by the name Mtangani Conservation and Eco-Tourism does not regret the decision to leave a gainful employment to soil his hands in the mangrove forest. READ MORE

ASIA

Mangrove loss threatens migratory shorebird route in North Sumatra
Mangrove loss threatens migratory shorebird route
A new study examines the impact of agricultural expansion on an important shorebird habitat in North Sumatra
INDONESIA - A key stopover site for migratory shorebirds in western Indonesia is imperilled as the area’s mangrove forests are exponentially developed for human land use, according to research published in HAYATI Journal of Biosciences last month. The authors conducted a field observation from Oct. 2014 until Apr. 2015, a typical full migration season, on the eastern coastline of Deli Serdang district, North Sumatra province, home to at least eight habitat types for migratory shorebirds, including mangrove forests, marshes and agricultural lands. The study cited a 2001 report on Sumatra’s importance to migratory shorebird populations in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway, which helps usher dozens of bird species on their travels through 22 countries. The researchers — all from Indonesia’s prominent Bogor Agricultural University — recorded 30 species in seven different natural domains in the region, with wetlands holding the highest population of shorebirds, such as mudflat habitat with 10,687 individuals. READ MORE

Court slams Mira-Bhayander Corporation over mangrove cutting
Court slams Mira-Bhayander Corporation
INDIA - A bench of Justices VM Kanade and A M Badar slammed the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation for the proposal to cut down mangroves for pre-monsoon clean up. The Mira Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) had approached the Bombay High Court for permission to cut the mangroves in the Mira-Bhayander area. The corporation had undertaken the activity of the pre-monsoon clean-up and claimed that the mangroves were an obstruction to clear the sludge and debris dumped in the creeks. The bench said, “The Corporation seemed to be only interested in removing mangroves so that unscrupulous builders can usurp land.” Previously, the corporation had filed an application to the court, which had given permission to “trim” mangroves, only if it was absolutely necessary, and to conduct a survey to give the exact number of mangroves which would have to be cut for the clean-up. The court also gave a timeline of one week to complete the cleaning and present the survey. Neither did the corporation complete the clean-up nor did it present the survey in a week, saying that the cutting of the mangroves is essential for the cleaning. RREAD MORE

An Ode to Mangroves on World Oceans Day
An Ode to Mangroves
MYANMAR - World Oceans Day is a day of global ocean celebration and collaboration for a cleaner and healthier future for our oceans. This year's focus is to encourage solutions to plastic pollution and preventing litter in marine environments. One of the ocean's most threatened ecosystems are mangrove forests. The plants are recognizable by their distinctive stilt-like roots, which have adapted to grow and thrive in salty, sandy coastal intertidal zones. Mangrove forests are some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth, according to WWF. The forests provide support to a huge variety of species, from fish, to seabirds to land mammals that use the ground for hunting and protection. The idea that mangroves are home to endangered, threatened and vulnerable marine life, such as sea turtles, fish and dugongs, commonly known as "sea cows," may not be surprising. But these ecosystems also offer support to land mammals, such as the Bengal tiger. READ MORE

Why we must understand the mangroves
we must understand the mangroves
INDIA - Over the past decade or so, Mumbai has lost about 40% of its mangroves due to reclamation, encroachment, and garbage dumping, among other causes. But patches of this resilient plant species still exist, in the Thane and Vasai creeks, and in Mahim, Versova and Gorai. While many commuters are likely to see this unique form of plant life every day, few have a proper understanding of their ecological value to the city. One of the longest and best-preserved mangrove forests within the city are near the Godrej headquarters in Vikhroli. Last week, ahead of World Environment Day, the Godrej Culture Lab hosted a talk by wildlife photographer Anish Andheria, about how mangroves are one of the city’s major green lungs. Mr. Andheria is president of the Wildlife Conservation Trust, and a member of the Maharashtra State board of wildlife. READ MORE

AMERICAS

New research shows protective value of mangroves for coastlines
New Research on Mangroves
USA - The threat to coastal regions posed by climate change, overdevelopment and other human caused stressors is well-established. Among the most prized and valuable land throughout the world, shorelines everywhere are imperiled by sea level rise, beach erosion and flooding. But a recently published NASA-funded research study in which Villanova University Biology Professor Samantha Chapman played a key role has discovered a new, natural phenomenon that could offer an economic and ecological solution to coastal wetland protection—the spread of mangrove trees. The new study, titled, "Impacts of mangrove encroachment and mosquito impoundment on coastal protection services," compares the coastal protection value of salt marshes with mangroves along Florida's East central coast and the overlying area of The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) in which NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is located. The study, published in Hydrobiologia, turned up some remarkable results in comparing the protective value of salt marshes to mangroves. Mangrove expansion was the clear winner in providing superior coastal protection over salt marshes. Mangrove habitats provide a staggering 800 per cent more coastal protection than salt marshes. In all, mangrove habitats could provide $4.9 million worth of coastal protection more than manmade barriers. READ MORE

Bahamian students monitor diseases in local mangroves
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BAHAMAS - Students enrolled in the Bahamas Awareness of Mangroves (BAM) program launched an environmental monitoring program and a new partnership with North Carolina State University to study diseases in Bahamian mangrove trees. The BAM program, spearheaded by the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation and partners at FRIENDS of the Environment, combines science education with mangrove restoration. Amy Heemsoth, director of education for the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation said, “This is the second year we have run the BAM program, and the students have grown in their understanding of mangroves, as well as their enthusiasm to conserve them.” Students enrolled in BAM venture into the mangrove forest to learn about the plants and animals that live there. They also collect mangrove seedlings which they raise under test conditions throughout the school year, before returning to plant them in restoration sites. READ MORE

LAST WORD
 
Sequoia's Collage
Dear Mangrove Action Project

I am a teacher at a small homeschool co-op in Austin, Texas, called the Austin Rising School. My class of nine and ten-year olds, the Sequoia's, just completed an ecology unit in which we learned all about coral reefs, mangrove forests and their symbiotic relationships.

We became very inspired when we learned about the late Dr. Gordon Sato and the community at Eritrea, right about the time he departed this world.

Finally, after reading a National Geographic article entitled " To Save Coral Reefs, First Save the Mangroves," my class became very excited about the possibility of doing their part to help.

Immediately, their brains were formulating creative ideas for fundraisers. As a result, we created a gorgeous mangrove tree collage (the size of six poster boards) that became the background for an informative video we made.

On the last day of classes, we showed our school, including parents and grandparents, our video and held a very successful fundraiser.

Trees donated by a local organization, plants we grew, cookies and lemonade we made and homemade bracelets were all sold in order to raise money for your organization.

Our small community was very generous and we were able to raise $300. we would like to donate this money in honor of the great Dr. Gordon Sato.

Thank You
Christi Schwarz
Austin Rising School
8205 Landsman Drive
Austin, Texas, USA 78736-3141
Calling schools, teachers and students!
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We invite all school children from tropical and sub-tropical nations, and those who love mangroves, to create art for the 2018 Children's Art Calendar CLICK HERE

ACTION ALERTS
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY
Become a volunteer at Gunjur Environmental Protection and Development Group (Gambia) GEPADG, see the photos below on some volunteer activities. CLICK HERE


The Value of Mangrove Forests View Video

Protecting the sea for people:  a new WFF video on the Philippines largest marine protect area
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The entire Los Cedros Eco System is under attack. This is a call for help. Let’s make it known- Mother Earth is NOT open for business. SIGN OUR PETITION

CBEMR Experience Exchange MAP 2017 English Subtitles
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Save the mangrove forest in Pitas (Sabah), Eastern Malaysia
Please support this important alert being launched by Forest Peoples Program (FPP) SIGN PETITION
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The world's largest mangrove forest is in danger from a massive coal plant.
UNESCO can put pressure on India and Bangladesh to protect the forest, but they need to see that people around the world are speaking out. Click here to add your voice

Mangroves: Guidebook to Malaysia – available for download here
 
Mangrove rehabilitation in Asia – Local Action and cross-border Transfer of Knowledge for the Conservation of Climate, Forests and Biodiversity VIEW VIDEOS HERE
 
STOP PLANTING MANGROVES ON SEAGRASS BEDS _ A CALL TO ACTION
Want to learn more about mangroves?mangrove-action-project-presentation-1-1024.jpg?cb=1424228039
Our short presentation will give you a better understanding of the issues we are working to solve. WATCH PRESENTATION
What is CBEMR? Easy to follow fact sheet – CLICK HERE

SHARE MAP'S VISION 
CLICK HERE to watch short introductory video. Together we can work "at the roots of the sea".
Our short documentary, Reducing the Risk of Disaster through Nature-Based Solutions : Mangroves
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Exclusive Interview with Alfredo Quarto, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Mangrove Action Project - See more
 
Question Your Shrimp- Don't Buy or Sell Imported Tropical Shrimp! Sign the Petition

Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum
 
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MAP Education Director Martin Keeley’s most recent book is Marvellous Mangroves: Myths and Legends, a compilation of stories from “Mangrove Peoples”—those who live on shorelines where mangroves thrive—from around the world. READ MORE

Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum in Bangladesh - WATCH VIDEO
MARVELLOUS MANGROVES IN BRAZIL
En Portuges

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Marvellous Mangroves – A Curriculum-Based Teachers Guide.


FOR MORE ON MAPs AWARD WINNING CHINA MANGROVE CURRICULUM VISIT
Education in the Mangroves - China
VIMEO SHOW
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Check out our presentation for more details on Marvellous Mangroves

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

Read this 10 page history of the development of MAP’s educational curriculum VIEW DOCUMENT
 
Article in Canada's Green Teacher Magazine - Read More

FREE MAP Mangrove e-cards CLICK HERE
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MAP’s e-Cards offer you a unique way to spread the word about MAP’s good works, while sharing beautiful photographs of the mangroves

Donate to MAP via Paypal
Giving could never be easier
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It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result. —Mahatma Gandhi

Green Planet Fundraising Assists MAP – LEARN MORE

 

 Volunteer Opportunities with Mangrove Action Project CLICK HERE

MANGROVE ISSUES 
View MAP’s uploaded Videos at MAPmangrover’sChannel
Question Your Shrimp Consumer/Markets Campaign!  WATCH VIDEO

Mangrove Restoration in Asia – Watch Short Video

Mosaic of Life 
READ A MOSAIC OF LIFE Peek into the underwater world of mangroves, "womb of the sea." By Liz Cunningham Photos By Wes Matweyew and Liz Cunningham

 

"Question Your Shrimp" Campaign

Learn more about the affects of the shrimp industry on mangroves by visiting our blog
Editor’s Note: Mangrove Action Project’s Executive Director, Alfredo Quarto was interviewed about shrimp by Green Acre Radio’s Martha Baskin
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Information sheds clear light on shrimp-mangrove connection
Question Your Shrimp
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Help Mangrove Action Project through your recycled E-Waste.  List of Accepted E-waste Items:
Injet Cartidges, Cell Phones, Pagers, GPS, Radar Detectors, Mobile Hot Spots, Calculators, eBook Readers, iPods/MP3 players, Digital/Video Cameras/Camcorders, PDAs, iPads/Tablets/Laptops, Video Game Consoles, Handheld Video Games
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