The MAP News
British Virgin Islands mangrove population nearly wiped out
BVI - An assessment has shown that the British Virgin Islands’ mangrove population was nearly wiped out by last September’s hurricanes. A week-long assessment was done by Dr Gregg Moore, who is a coastal restoration ecologist. His assessment was to find out the current status of local mangroves and present a report to government and the public. The findings will also assist in identifying restoration and conservation priorities. This recently-concluded assessment done on the mangroves in Jost Van Dyke, Tortola, Frenchman’s Cay, Beef Island, Great Camanoe, Virgin Gorda and the Prickly Pear Islands, was sponsored by regional wildlife organisation, BirdsCaribbean. “The assessment confirms what BVI residents and visitors to the territory could probably already guess: At least 90 percent of all the mature red mangrove trees that form the coastal fringing system have been defoliated and are dead, with very few exceptions,” said a release from the Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society. A serious blow to the ecological system According to the findings, the loss is a serious one to the territory’s ecological system. “The significance of this finding is that not only does it represent a serious ecological blow to the system, but the storm also took with it the flowers and fruits that we’d expect would be the next generation.” READ MORE
Fishing in Oily Waters - Bodo's Long, Painful Wait for Pollution Clean-Up
NIGERIA - Michael Mpari, 45, has gone fishing for two and half hours in the oily creeks, but like every other day, he only came back with few crabs and crayfish, which he would sell for about N200 to fish merchants who were already waiting for fishermen by the bank of the oil spill-ravaged river. Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) had claimed that it has started the clean up of Bodo oil spill sites, but the condition of living of the people, showed otherwise. The Guardian visit to Ogoniland showed that the affected communities were still covered with black thick crude oil, which means no major clean-up has been carried out, thereby exposing the residents to grave danger. In 2008 and 2009, two incidents of massive oil spills from the Trans-Niger pipeline devastated the Bodo coastline destroying every living thing in the river. While the community was still dealing with the spill, another from the Trans-Niger pipeline at Koloma-Zommadom road rocked the community, this time beyond imagination. Bodo and other neighbouring communities mangroves and farmlands were heavily polluted with crude oil spill, that destroyed opportunities, made fishing impossible, and ruined income that could have come from other aquatic resources. The water still remains dark and slippery, the mangroves covered with black mud and the creeks, which are now a mixture of crude and water, have now become the only source of seafood classified as dangerous to health. READ MORE
A Boardwalk That Attracts Tourists in Droves
KENYA - On the boardwalk, the mangrove forest in Gazi village, a few kilometres from Kisite Mpunguti is picturesque. It is a perfect chill-out spot in South Coast, about 50 kilometres from Mombasa town. The wind blows swiftly as the trees dance to the tune of the air. We are seated on wooden benches in Indian Ocean. The scattered old canoes with fish nets at the shore of Mwakore creek define the fishing culture of the Gazi and Makongeni villages We had travelled by road to these villages. Besides the charm of the sea and coconut trees, the village is unspoilt and most houses are mud-and-grass thatched. From the benches, you can see six of the nine mangroves species in Kenya. There is a restaurant that is thatched with makuti. Mariam Shikeli, who serves as the chairlady of Gazi women, says they cook Swahili and sea foods from viazi karai, red snapper, coconut chicken curry to tamarind juices. The boardwalk is raised one metre high and one can have a better view of the numerous crabs in the sand which Ms Shikeli said have increased in number since the mangrove conservation started. READ MORE
NUS geography researchers determine benefits of Singapore's mangroves
SINGAPORE - A three-year study conducted by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has identified and quantified the benefits of mangrove forests to people in Singapore. These researchers concluded that apart from cultural benefits, mangroves act as nursery habitat for fish and as coastal defence, as well as storing carbon that could help offset some of our climate change emissions. Associate Professor Daniel Friess from the Department of Geography at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at NUS conducted the study with a team of ten researchers, undergraduate and graduate students between 2014 and 2017. A unique outcome from this in-depth study was quantifying the cultural benefits mangroves can offer, through the use of photographs taken and posted online on websites like Flickr. "If someone takes a photo of the landscape, we assume that is because they appreciate, or take value from the landscape; people think the view is nice. That is a type of cultural value. If they take a photo of a crab or otter, they're valuing the biodiversity there. Taking selfies means that people value social recreation, using the places as social spaces," explained Assoc Prof Friess. As the photographs were tagged with their specific locations, the researchers were then able to create maps based on the information gathered to approximate what different segments of the mangroves are valued for. This could be used as a tool to help managers to improve visitor experience in nature parks. READ MORE
More than 1,200 participants from Asia-Pacific share their commitment to preserving rainforests for climate
INDONESIA - More than 1,200 participants from over 40 countries across Asia-Pacific met recently in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, to foster cooperation and share best practices to avoid deforestation and promote sustainable growth. At the 3rd Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit (APRS 2018), representatives of academia, civil society, companies, governments and research institutions are discussing the role of forests in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and other commitments made by each country under the Paris Agreement in 2015. The Indonesian Government, with the support of the Australian Government and in partnership with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), is hosting this event. The opening sessions included the participation of ministers and other high-level speakers. “More than 450 million lives depend on the sustainable management of forests,” reminded Indonesia’s Minister of Environment and Forestry, Siti Nurbaya Bakar. “Last year Indonesia took major measures to promote social forestry, setting a target to allocate 12.7 million hectares of land to social forestry by 2019.” She also highlighted the progress the country has made in fighting deforestation and future commitments. “In the last three years, we have managed to reduce the deforestation rate from 1.09 million hectares to 0.61 million hectares. We have a projected target of 0.45 by 2020 and 0.35 by 2030.” READ MORE
Struggling forests to become sanctuaries
CAMBODIA - Two community forests in Oddar Meanchey province – considered “hot spots” for forestry and wildlife crimes – are set to become a new wildlife sanctuary at the request of provincial authorities. The newly established Sorng Rukhavorn Wildlife Sanctuary consists of 30,254 hectares spanning across Sorng Rukhavorn and Rattanak Rokha community forests, as well as area flooded by the Stung Treng II hydroelectric dam in Anlong Veng. The sanctuary was created under a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen last Thursday and made public on the Ministry of Environment’s Facebook page on Monday. Phuong Lina, director of the provincial Environment Department, said his department and other provincial authorities had made the initial request to change the area to a protected wildlife sanctuary as the area is home to “rare and luxurious wood and endangered animals”, but faces threats. “Crimes [continue] happening in the area and it is a hotspot for both forestry and wildlife crimes,” Lina said. READ MORE
Researcher: Shrimp Farm Damages Mangrove Forest the Most
INDONESIA - A researcher at the Research, Development and Innovation Agency of Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Virni Budi Arifanti, stated Indonesia has the fastest rate of mangrove deforestation in the world. Virni said that the one that cause the most damage to mangrove ecosystem is the massive shrimp farm. The shrimp farming methods removed mangrove which leads the land decomposes rapidly, as revealed on Virni research in 2013-2015 in Delta Mahakam, East Kalimantan. “At least, it needs 226 years to recover the land [for mangrove],” she said. Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s director of soil and water conservation Muhammad Firman said Indonesia has lost 52,000 hectares of mangrove land per year. The number is equal to three football fields in a week. “The most significant cause is farming land, pond, and followed by infrastructure,” said Firman in the Asia Pacific Rainforest Summit in Yogyakarta, Tuesday, April 24. READ MORE
Individuals can change world: Mumbai man drives beach clean ups, species return
INDIA - Bombay High Court lawyer Afroz Shah has led a three-year effort to clean up Mumbai’s (once) incredibly filthy Versova Beach. This effort, which pulled in thousands of volunteers (Versova Beach Volunteers), is credited with “removing more than 13 million kg of toxic waste” (13,000 long tons) since 2015. Shah spent every single weekend in that time collecting trash — helping spark those 1,000s of unnamed others (perhaps 30-50 people in a typical weekend) in transforming a devastated space into something headed toward a living ecosystem. As to that living ecosystem, after two decades of absence, turtles have returned to the beach. While the direct measurements are arcane, the ‘clean up’ isn’t just the direct trash collected but the improved water quality. The Mumbai area waters (both river and ocean beaches) have low water quality indexes (WQI) — often well below 50 on a scale where 100 is ‘pristine’ and clean. In 2017, the waters by Versova “rose from 37 in February 2017 to 47 by the end of the year”. READ MORE
NASA team finds massive Everglades mangrove damage from Irma. Can it recover?
USA - Last spring, a team of NASA scientists looking at South Florida's dwindling wetlands flew over the Everglades hoping to use aerial 3D imaging and data from the planet's longest orbiting satellites to plot changes. Then Irma hit. In a matter of hours, about 40 percent of the mangroves were damaged or flattened. The massive toll from the storm was not all that surprising. Irma was as wide as the state and slammed the Lower Keys as a Cat 4 before barreling north and making a second landfall near Marco Island as a Cat 3. But what was baffling was how little of the forest, perfectly evolved to endure hurricanes, had recovered when scientists retraced their flight three months later. "What took me aback was not so much the immediate damage, because you expect to see that. But some areas are really struggling to return," said Lola Fatoyinbo, a forest ecologist and the project's principle investigator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. "It was really, really hammered. There was basically just a bunch of stumps left, and they don’t seem to be recovering." READ MORE
Join the celebration of a great natural wonder on World Migratory Bird Day!
USA - Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation” is the theme of World Migratory Bird Day 2018. This year, the campaign will have a new global dimension, bringing together the world’s main migration corridors, also called flyways – and for the first time, with two peak campaign days in the year. You can now take action and celebrate migratory birds twice a year, on the second Saturdays in both May and October for major events – and in fact at any time of the year, as birds actually migrate over your region! Help us raise awareness of migratory birds and the need for their conservation on 12 May and 13 October 2018 by organizing educational programmes, lectures, bird walks, visits to bird-watching sites, competitions, art exhibitions and other public events. 2018 is an important transition year in the history of World Migratory Bird Day - unifying the planet’s major migratory bird corridors, or flyways: the African-Eurasian flyway, the East Asian-Australasian flyway, and the Americas flyways. Celebrated from now on twice a year, on the Second Saturday in May and in October, WMBD aims to reach out to a broader audience and amplify its message for bird conservation. READ MORE
Logging in tropical forests jeopardizing drinking water
SOLOMON ISLANDS - Globally, remaining tropical forests are being rapidly cleared, particularly in countries like the Solomon Islands where commercial logging accounts for about 18 percent of government revenue, and at least 60 percent of exports while providing the largest number of formal sector jobs. However, the loss of native forests has huge ecological and social consequences, many of which are poorly documented. A team of researchers from The University of Queensland (UQ), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and other groups have found that increasing land clearing for logging in Solomon Islands-even with best management strategies in place -- will lead to unsustainable levels of soil erosion and significant impacts to downstream water quality. Combined, these impacts will compromise the integrity of the land for future agricultural uses, interrupt access to clean drinking water and degrade important downstream ecosystems. READ MORE
On Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 6:58 AM, Prarthi shah <email@example.com> wrote:
I am hoping this email finds you well!
I feel extremely nostalgic while writing this email to you. I am replying on the thread email so it can help you recognize me.
Its been 10 years since we communicated on email and that small girl interested in mangroves has now become a working professional in the same field.
I graduated in B.sc with Geography and completed my masters in Heritage Management in November. I have recently joined UNESCO Category 2 Centre for Natural Heritage on the post of World Heritage Assistant. As you guided me I have tried doing quite good with my academics. Hopefully I will be able to contribute something concrete in the field of nature conservation in coming years.
I emailed you just out of my curiosity to know what is new at your end, the current state of conservation projects and how far we have been able to achieve the targets in saving the Mangroves. I will be happy to know if I can contribute something from my side in any work.
I will be looking forward to hear back from you! :)
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Mangrove Action Project
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Posted by BlogAdmin at 10:17 PM
Thursday, April 12, 2018
The MAP News
MAP calls for attention to mangrove loss in Pitas, Sabah Malaysian
MALAYSIA - The Pitas development is a government initiative through state subsidiary company Inno Fisheries Sdn in collaboration with Sunlight Seafood (Sabah) Sdn Bhd, is reported to entail a RM1.23 bn (c US $320m) investment and the creation of about 1,500 shrimp ponds. Around 20% of the total funding is from state sources. Yayasan Sabah’s Inno-Fisheries is a government agency whose website states its mission as being “to uplift the quality of life of Malaysians in Sabah”. Sunlight Seafood is one of the leading processors and exporters of frozen seafood products in Malaysia. Local people, however, do not see the benefits. Noridah Samad, a local youth and a member of the G6 collective says: “Seeing our land being destroyed in the name of profit making, impedes us from sustaining our traditional livelihoods and culture. With the destruction of the 2300 ac, many youths will never learn the ways of our grandfathers and traditional knowledge will be lost.” Another local farmer and fisherman, also a member of the G6 collective, says that the shrimp farm developments over 2300 acres have significantly depleted resources and affected the livelihood of subsistence farmers and fishermen in the area. Speaking at a press conference organised by Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) in 2015, he said: “We now have remaining about 1,000 acres of mangrove land which has a sensitive biosystem and hold our livelihood as well as traditional practises like traditional medicine, building materials and sacred sites. “We are concerned that any further expansion of the farm into this land will permanently and completely destroy our source of income and livelihood on the very ground that we have lived on for eight generations now.” READ MORE
In Central African Republic, natural wealth so near and yet so far for most
CAR - For Central African Republic to develop, the immense wealth of its tropical forests must be shared among its people. Despite its vast natural resources, in 2016 CAR was ranked last in the U.N.'s Human Development Index of 188 nations. Meanwhile 2.5 million out of a population of 4.6 million are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance, and average life expectancy languishes at 51.5 years. If the country is to be lifted from its plight, the forest sector must play a central role. The industry is the country’s second largest employer (after the state), while timber is CAR’s number one official export – its position assuming greater importance in the economy since the Kimberley Process cracked down on ‘conflict’ diamonds. But for change to occur, then the corruption that has plagued the forest sector for generations must end, along with the flow of illegal timber that still saturates the market. To grasp the scale of the challenge, it’s necessary to understand its context.READ MORE
Editor’s Note: The young country’s amazing marine life has created hope that visitors could uplift its urgently poor economy. But preservation concerns remain.
Tourists Could Be East Timor’s Lifeline. But Will They Ruin Its Reefs?
INDONESIA - On a rainy spring morning, Fizzy Moslim strapped on her weathered-chrome diving tank and slipped into the warm water. Few visitors make it out to the sleepy fishing village of Com, a backbreaking seven-hour drive from the capital, and usually no one except the locals ever dives into its waters. Below she found an underwater metropolis. Sea turtles swam beside hundreds of reef fish, feeding on the rich coral below. Two young dugong, a manatee-like sea mammal, sped away, and a blacktip reef shark swam along the ocean floor. “This isn’t even nearly the best of what I’ve seen,” said Ms. Moslim, an instructor for Compass Diving tours, as she came up from the depths. In March, Ms. Moslim and a team of divers and conservationists set out on a mission to chart these sea sanctuaries in hopes of bringing in a new kind of species here: tourists. “If these corals will stay strong, the people around them will need the money to keep them safe,” said Trudiann Dale, the East Timor country director for Conservation International. “Eco-tourism, if done right, could provide that.” READ MORE
Citizens, NGOs fighting to save mangroves, wetlands across Mumbai
INDIA - With land mafia eyeing mangroves and wetlands across Mumbai, citizens, NGOs, state machinery as well as courts are focusing on conserving these green spaces in the financial capital of the country. According to non-profit Mangrove Society of India (MSI), intertidal regions are in high demand as they can be potential hotspots for construction and infrastructure development. HT has been consistently reporting and breaking stories related to mangrove and wetland destruction over the past year, with major cases and conservation-related developments over the past month. “A battle is underway in Mumbai,” said Arvind Untawale, executive secretary, MSI. “Citizens, NGOs and state government bodies are on one side against the space-starved builder lobby eyeing mangrove and wetland patches, some of the last remaining open areas that protect the city from flooding. Many cases in private areas, especially involving the builder lobby, have gone undetected where structures such as housing complexes, apartments and several private projects are currently built. With increasing awareness, citizens have forced the state machinery to act against them, and we are currently witnessing a contest between development and conservation.” READ MORE
Open University collaborate for Thailand’s coastal resources
THAILAND - Mangroves for the Future (MFF) and Marriott Resort and Hotels have joined hands with Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University to improve the sustainability of communities’ livelihoods and bolster conservation efforts in Bangkaeo Sub-district of Samut Songkram Province, Central Thailand. Co-funded by MFF and Marriott Hotels and Resorts, an IUCN partner, the initiative is part of MFF’s Small Grant Facility for Private Sector Engagement, in which MFF matches cash funding from the private sector to implement small projects in MFF countries. The objectives of the initiative, which started in March, are primarily to establish an Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) network, develop a community-based land use map and sustainable management plan, and utilise the management plan to restore mangroves and create sustainable livelihood opportunities. READ MORE
Mangrove forest to make way for road upgrade
MALAYSIA - Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) is worried about the effects from a road upgrading project cutting through the mangrove forest in Sepang. According to the staff at MNS’ Sepang Environmental Interpretive Centre, the 10km-long Jalan Besar Salak (B48) will be upgraded in stages starting from the junction at Simpang Tiga Jenderam up to Pekan Sepang Lama. The project by Selangor Public Works Department (JKR) will widen the single-lane road to four-lane dual carriageway. Residents have been complaining about heavy congestion anytime in the day. “We received a notice that trees will be chopped down from March 19 onwards,” said MNS executive director Shanmugaraj Subramaniam. He said about 70 trees would be felled. READ MORE
Teen Plants Hundreds of Mangroves to Replace Trees Trampled by Hurricane Irma
USA - After Hurricane Irma ravaged the South Florida landscape in 2017, an 18-year-old took it upon himself to protect and preserve the environment – and he did it from the roof of his house. Though the tropical storm wreaked havoc on buildings and properties, Theo Queenee was primarily shocked by how many mangroves had been damaged by the tropical storm. Mangroves are an essential part of a marine eco-system. In addition to providing a healthy and complex habitat for fish, sharks, and turtles, they also protect the coastline from erosion. ”After the hurricane there was a massive amount of [mangrove] seedlings mixed within the seaweed/debris mixture,” Queenee told Mother Nature Network. “Everything was then going to be gathered and thrown in a truck to dump at a landfill. I realized that all of South Florida would ultimately kill thousands of mangroves in the clean-up process.” READ MORE
The tropical family tree: Tracking forests’ evolutionary past
USA - Scientists have traced the evolutionary history of the world’s tropical forests, with some surprising results – and new insights that may help improve responses to climate change. To the uninitiated, tropical forests in Africa, Asia and Latin America might look the same: exuberant green vegetation from the forest floor to the canopy. Look closer, and they are actually quite different. Just 4% of tropical tree species are found on all three continents. There are very few palms in the African forests, for example, while in Asia and Latin America palm fronds are found throughout the understory. Based on the few shared species, scientists initially made a distinction between the ‘old world’ forests of Africa and Asia and the more distantly related ‘new world’ American forests. But a new study has used a technique called ‘community phylogenetic similarity’, which involves digging back into plants’ evolutionary past to uncover new connections. READ MORE
A Consumer's Guide to Shrimp Certification
USA - A Consumer's Guide to Shrimp Certification is a much needed document for anybody who is a 'stakeholder' in the business of Shrimps, Prawns, or in fact any kind of Aquaculture product. Now how do we define who a stakeholder is? Obviously, the consumer, the person eating Shrimps, either bought at the Supermarket, the neighbourhood store, local market, restaurants etc. Stakeholders are also fishers, the workers on shrimp farms, the people evicted from their lands, forcibly or willingly, the shrimp farmers themselves, the agents buying the shrimp. the processing industry, the retailers, the importers, the exporters and those that are 'selling' the idea of 'safe' and 'responsibly produced' shrimps. It is a big big business as we found out along with the people who one day suddenly found out that they were left out in the cold, due to this enormously profitable business. They lost their homes, their livelihoods and often their lives. While working with these communities, the fishers, the farmers, the agriculture workers, we found the issue to be beyond borders. Shrimp Aquaculture can be used as an example whenever you want to describe a skewered and negative form of production in the name of 'food security', development or creating 'innovative' alternative production systems and livelihoods at the cost of local communities, fishers, a system that increases greatly wide income and wealth disparities, unequal growth, unsustainable models, environmental degradation leading to ecological stress and most of all a very high level of human rights violation. This is true in all the tropical shrimp producing countries. This very Comprehensive Guide is exactly what it states: a consumer's guide to shrimp certification. READ MORE
Mangrove Action Project
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