The MAP News
Communities struggle to save Sabah’s shrinking mangroves
MALAYSIA - The district of Pitas in the Malaysian state of Sabah is situated on the 40-kilometer Bengkoka peninsula on the island of Borneo, stretching east into the South China sea. This forested, hilly area slopes down to the coast along the Telaga River, through ancient mangrove forest. But since the 1980s, it has been increasingly opened up by government-sanctioned development projects; more recently, in 2013, mangrove clearance has resumed for the commercial farming of shrimp (also referred to as prawns). This resurgence has brought the company Sunlight Inno Seafood Company Sdn Bhd, which is supported by the government, into conflict with local communities that depend on the mangroves for their livelihoods. In response to mangrove clearance, six indigenous Orang Asli communities in the district have come together to form the “Group of Six” (G6) collective Pitas action committee. It aims to save around 1,000 acres of the remaining mangroves and get this area legally designated under their Native Customary Rights (NCR). Farmer and fisherman Mastupang Bin Somoi, 52, from Kampung Sungai Eloi, is founder and Chairman of the G6 collective. In his gardens he grows vegetables, rice and a few rubber and oil palm trees. He shows me a handful of large shellfish he has gathered from the muddy riverbed at the nearby boat landing. He says the villagers in the area depend on a mix of farming, fishing and collecting non-timber forest products from the mangrove forest for their livelihoods. READ MORE
Moz harbour scheme stuns scientists
MOZAMBIQUE - The news that Mozambique plans to go ahead with a $520-million (about R5,2-billion) harbour and industrial free trade development zone on the pristine southern Maputaland coast has been greeted with outrage by environmentalists workig in the area. The planned harbour will scuttle ambitious plans to establish a transfrontier conservation area (TFCA) stretching from St Lucia in KwaZulu-Natal, through the Lubombo area of Swaziland and into the Maputo Elephant Reserve in Mozambique. Not only will an area of pristine coastal and sand forest, wetlands and grasslands be threatened, but one of Africa's most important reef systems, which is almost certainly home to the prehistoric coelacanth, is also under threat. The harbour will be between Ponta Dobela and Ponta Mamoli on the Maputo Elephant Reserve's southern border, about 100km south of the Mozambican capital, Maputo, and will involve breaching the offshore reef and coastal forest, and excavating an area of grassland. READ MORE
Let the Women Harvest the Mangrove. Carbon Policy, and Environmental Injustice
SENEGAL - Carbon policy is a fascinating topic in geography and political ecology, because carbon is a new exchangeable good, which links the local to the international arenas through a complex set of instruments, norms, and institutions. In this paper, after explaining my theoretical and conceptual framework rooted in Africanist geography and currents of political ecology, I analyze the responses of local actors (knowledge, practices, logic, and strategies) to environmental policies and consider the effects of new mechanisms, upon local dynamics in Africa. I focus my attention on the impacts of mangrove reforestation policies on women, who harvest shellfish. My research, conducted over 35 years on coastal mangroves in Africa and Madagascar, provides me with examples. Through a long-term approach to the perception of mangroves and the changing modes of policies, I highlight the weight of imperialism and neo-liberalism and analyze types of environmental injustice against mangrove harvesters, particularly the women, who are the most directly concerned by the preservation of their heritage and are rarely recognized as stakeholders in environmental policies that are defined internationally and implemented at national and local levels. They are not informed (or are deliberately kept unware) of new devices such as REDD+. They have lost their rights of access to the reforested mangrove areas. Carbon policy requires comparative and empirical research, giving voice to local actors, especially women, about their perceptions of policies and actions. The approaches in terms of political ecology must be combined with analysis of the bio-ecological and socio-cultural dynamics of the mangrove. READ MORE
State will provide villagers employment opportunities that will encourage conservation
INDIA - Mumbai: In a bid to save mangroves spread over 30,000 hectares of government and private land, the State government has come up with a plan to create employment opportunities linked to mangroves for the people staying near them. The State Cabinet on Tuesday cleared the Mangrove Protection and Employment Generation Scheme for 2017-18 at a cost of ₹15 crore. The government has selected 50 villages in the coastal districts of Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg under the scheme. A Mangrove Co-Management Committee will run the project, under which businesses such as crab farming, bee-keeping, rice farming, fish farming and tourism will be set up. The businesses can be run through a committee or by an individual. “In case of businesses run by a committee, the government will invest 90% and beneficiaries will have to invest 10%. In the case of individual businesses, 75% will be invested by the government and 25% by the individual,” said an official. While 50 villages have been selected for 2017-18, the scheme will cover 75 villages in 2018-19 and 2019-20. “The idea is to make people’s livelihood dependent on and linked to the mangrove cover. It will mean people will voluntarily come forward to save the mangrove cover. The government believes that people’s participation is important in conservation of mangroves,” said the official. READ MORE
Maharashtra government to use helicopters to drop seed bombs for mangrove plantations
INDIA - In a first for the country, helicopters will be used to drop mangrove seeds to restore wetlands and mudflats which are inaccessible by foot in and around Mumbai. Last week, the state mangrove cell submitted a proposal to the state government, seeking permission to carry out a pilot project using 20 tonnes of Avicennia marina (grey mangrove), the most common mangrove species in Mumbai, and Aveicennia officinalis (Indian mangrove) at various areas in the suburbs. While aerial broadcasting of seeds has been done in terrestrial areas, this is the first time it will be tested for restoration of mangrove areas. Mangroves grow quickly and can be a foot tall within a year. They are suited for salt marsh growth and are capable of releasing salt through their leaves if necessary. Mangrove cell officials said the method would be cost-effective, fast and can be repeated instead of entering mangrove patches with seeds only once a year. “We realised that aerial broadcasting for mangroves will be a good idea because the seeds will be spread across different areas instead of being concentrated in one. Since it is marshy land, it will not get washed away, leading to germination,” said N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forest, state mangrove cell. READ MORE
Kerala has no data on mangroves
INDIA - The Forest Department is as vague about the protection of mangroves as it is about the extent of mangrove forests in the state. The Department is not just reluctant to take over private mangrove forests but has no geographical database either. Since 2007 there were plans to take over private mangrove forests but, till now, nothing has happened. Result: a highly fragile ecosystem is in danger of extinction. “Mangroves are salt tolerant plant community found in tropical and sub-tropical inter-tidal regions and are unique ecosystems which provide habitat for various migratory birds and breeding and feeding ground for many aquatic species,” a top Forest Department official said. “These forests have proved to be capable of acting as a protective belt against the tsunami waves and as such require effective conservation and scientific management intervention,” he added. Way back in 2006 there was a move to take over private mangroves under Section 4(1) of Ecologically Fragile Lands Act. The plan was to take over 50 acres each in Kozhikode, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kollam and Kannur districts. But in 2009, the plan was shelved on the grounds that reclaiming mangroves could prompt private owners to destroy mangroves. “Instead, they mooted an incentive for private owners who protected mangroves in lands in their possession. An action plan was also drawn up,” said environment activist and lawyer Harish Vasudevan. “Truth is, till now the scheme has not taken off.” READ MORE
Why the Everglades Might Never Look the Same After Hurricane Irma
USA - As Hurricane Irma rakes the west coast of Florida, all eyes are on the cities and human lives in the storm’s path. But Irma is also hammering the Florida Everglades, and the scientists familiar with this fragile ecosystem are concerned the storm could deliver a devastating blow. “They’re losing out,” said Hal Wanless, a geologist at the University of Miami, when asked what’s been happening to the Everglades’ coastal marshes and mangrove swamps in wake of recent, powerful hurricanes. According to Wanless, a trifecta of urban development, extreme weather, and climate change has eroded the Everglades’ resilience. The system, he said, “is getting set back, it’s having trouble keeping up.” A sixty-mile wide river of sawgrass and mangrove forests that used to stretch all the way from Orlando to the Florida Keys, the Everglades is an internationally-recognized ecological treasure, home to alligators, panthers, manatees, crocodiles, more than 300 species of birds, and hundreds of rare or endemic plants. Its very existence is both predicated on water and existentially threatened by it—but the threats have been dramatically amplified over the past century, by unnatural drainage and development, and by unnatural changes to Earth’s climate. READ MORE
Coming soon—Cape Coral’s third annual Mangrove Mania event
USA - When Cape Coral was first developed, its shorelines were stripped of the mangroves that protected them from storm surges in our tempestuous tropical-storm season. Later, environmental protection legislation restored some of our mangroves, but two years ago, Cape Coral citizens took mangrove propagules into their own hands and waded in to help. This now annual mangrove restoration effort, called Mangrove Mania, takes place in September and is sponsored by Keep Lee County Beautiful, Inc. (KLCB), an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. The launching site for boaters, canoers, kayakers and SUP paddlers who register for the event is Tropicana Park in Cape Coral. In each of its first two years, Mangrove Mania has attracted some 200 volunteers, who hand plant 10,000 red mangrove propagules (“seeds”) in the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve in north Cape Coral. Volunteers are led into knee-deep water by microbiologist Dave Scott, who hands each of them a plastic bag containing 150 propagules, explaining that the seeds propagate in the mangrove tree and fall into the water when mature. A propagule can float up to a year before it becomes water logged, turns vertically, and in a shallow spot, grabs hold by the roots. The propagule then sends the first shoot of a new tree out its top.The red mangroves, explains Dave Scott, form prop or buttress roots that shelter hundreds of species of fish in their juvenile stage and the oysters that attach themselves to the roots not only feed the fish, but also filter out impurities in the water. READ MORE
Nasinu Council Clears Rubbish Along Mangrove Swamps
FIJI - Why is there so much litter on the shore? Where does all this litter come from? When we DON’T throw litter into a proper bin, it falls to the ground, goes into the drain, and flushes into the canal, then into the sea. And most of the litter on our shores comes from land based activities. Litter that floats comes in with the tide and is deposited on the high water mark. The Fiji Sun anti-litter team took a visit around Suva and Nausori corridor on Wednesday and found huge piles of rubbish dumped along the mangrove swamps at Bailey bridge in Laucala Beach. Rubbish found includes Styrofoam cups and boxes, plastic oil drums, food wrappers, plastic bags and bottles, and other different kinds of rubbish. There is usually so much litter in the water, especially near shores frequented by people that every tide brings in a new load of trash. Heavier trash that does not float is probably dumped on the shore or nearby. Nasinu Town Council chief executive officer, Lute Berends, said the heavy rainfall in the past few days and high tides resulted in huge piles of rubbish along the mangrove swamp. READ MORE
Please see the important message below from Bill Ripple at Oregon State University.
Twenty five years ago, in 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists and more than 1500 scientists published the famous declaration entitled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity”. They called on humanity to curb environmental destruction, warning “all humanity that a great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.”
Now, on the 25th anniversary of their famous call, we looked back at their warning and evaluated the human response over the last quarter century. This 25-year update will soon be published by BioScience. To see the in press article “World scientists’ warning to humanity: a second notice” and add your name as a co-signatory, click: http://scientistswarnin g.forestry.oregonstate.edu/
This short article is only 1,000 words long and can be read in 6 minutes. If you are a scientist, we invite you to endorse this article by adding your name to the co-signatory list. In doing so, when the article is published by BioScience, you will be included in the full list of co-signatories in the article’s online supplemental material. We invite all types of scientists to sign (e.g. ecologists, economists, social scientists, medicine, etc.) including graduate students in the sciences.
Please forward this email to any other scientists in your contact list that may also be interested in signing. For example, you could simply forward this email to your working group. If you use Twitter, consider inviting your colleagues to add their signatures by including #ScientistsWarningToHumanity in a tweet.
With your help, by forwarding this email to your scientist contacts, we will have many more scientists as co-signatories to present to world leaders. The deadline for signing is September 19, 2017.
Thanks for helping get this important message to world leaders and to humanity. As of today, September 1, 2017, the article has been signed by nearly 7,000 scientists from 135 countries.
Thank you, Bill
William J. Ripple
Distinguished Professor of Ecology
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
William F. Laurance, PhD, FAA, FAAAS, FRSQ
Distinguished Research Professor
Australian Laureate & Prince Bernhard Chair in International Nature Conservation (Emeritus)
Director of the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science (TESS)
Director of ALERT (ALERT-conservation.org)
Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science (TESS)
& College of Science and Engineering
James Cook University
Cairns, Queensland 4878, Australia
Phones: +61-7-4038-1518 and +61-7-4232-1819
Lab website: http://laurancelab.org/
All Expenses Paid
Workshop on Ocean Tipping Points
A Workshop for Scientists and Natural Resource Managers - Apply Now!
The Ocean Tipping Points Project is offering an all-expenses paid 3-day training in Santa Barbara, CA, November 1-3, 2017. DEADLINE IS FRIDAY SEPT 22
HOW TO APPLY
The Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI) at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies is pleased to announce our upcoming online training course that will take place from September 25 to November 5, 2017, entitled: Tropical Forest Restoration in Human-Dominated Landscapes VIEW MORE
EPIC REPORT Download the paper ‘Mangrove Restoration: to plant or not to plant’, available in 7 languages.
We invite all school children from tropical and sub-tropical nations, and those who love mangroves, to create art for the 2019 Children's Art Calendar CLICK HERE
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
Want to learn more about mangroves?
Mangrove Action Project
Thursday, September 14, 2017
MAP News Issue 425, Sept 16, 2017
Posted by BlogAdmin at 6:40 PM