Sunday, August 5, 2018

MAP Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration Network members from Andaman Sea Coast visit the Gulf of Thailand’s East Coast


By: Jaruwan (Ning) Enright, MAP Thailand Field Coordinator

I was so delighted to visit the Pred Nai mangrove community near the Cambodia border as I felt like I had returned home. I first visited Pred Nai while working with RECOFTC (the Regional Community Forest Training Center for Asia and Pacific, now called the Center for People and Forests) before I joined MAP 12 years ago and have since visited Pred Nai many times. As this is the first place I learned about mangrove I am full of good memories when visiting Pred Nai. 

Between 23-25 July, 2018 my colleague Em (Mr. Udomsak Pariwatpan) from the MAP Thailand team and I, together with eight CBEMR network representatives from Ranong, Phang Nga, Krabi and Trang Provinces in Thailand celebrated Mangrove Action Day or the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem on the 26th of July by learning and sharing experiences on community-based mangrove conservation and restoration at Pred Nai Community, Trat Province on the eastern coast of Thailand.  Our CBEMR members gained valuable knowledge from the Pred Nai Community who have over 30 years of experience in participatory mangrove management.  The highlight of the trip was visiting the 7.2 hectares of restoration site which the villagers started to restore 9 years ago in abandoned shrimp ponds back to natural forest again. This mangrove restoration project was a concrete example of a conservation group allocating their own community conservation funds to buy the abandoned shrimp ponds and return them back mangroves.  Through their experience, Pred Nai members have become well-equipped in community-based practices and have developed a strong community organization working as a learning center for the region and even at the national and international levels as well.

One outstanding concern made by Uncle Yai (Mr. Amnuay Chumanee), one of the conservation leaders at Pred Nai, concerned how to transfer their conservation awareness to the Pred Nai youths so what they’ve achieved is not lost.  This is clearly an important issue looking forward for the sustainability of the conservation group and the work they carry-out.

Participants from the Andaman CBEMR network were asked to reflect on the key lessons learnt which they will be taking home while at the Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Center, an excellent mangrove restoration area with boardwalk in Chantaburi Province before returning home.  Most of the members observed and emphasized the importance of the strong community organization at Pred Nai, which is not only a conservation group but also includes collaborating with all the other groups in the community.  The community mangrove forest regulation needs to be practical but not conflict with official law and strictly enforced by the local conservation committee.  Another learning point shared at the meeting was that the learning center management needs to collect high-quality accurate information and be able to be clearly   presented to visitors groups with the participation of local people in all aspects of the process.  As learning center is one of our CBEMR members projects which members plan to develop in their own community so that local people can validate the information and proudly present from their own personal experience.

Besides all the lessons the group learned from this study trip, I think the trip was a great success because the relationship between MAP and the participants have become stronger through the time we spent together.  I am very confident that we will continue working together as a small network and that we will grow strong as we follow the motto “small but strong”.


MAP staff and Andaman CBEMR network members at Pred Nai mangrove boardwalk, Trat Province, eastern Thailand.

Photo 2011 of the Pred Nai mangrove restoration site.  The community planted some Rhizophora apiculata propagules and then allowed natural regeneration to occur.

July 2018 photo: Look at the difference!!  In just 7 years the area is now a thriving healthy mangrove forest.
For more study trip photos please see our FB photo album: https://tinyurl.com/ycgyz4s4

Thursday, August 2, 2018

MAP News Issue 448, August 4, 2018

Mangrove Action Project
The MAP News
448th Edition                                                     August 4, 2018

FEATURE
We need your help - Vote for your favorite mangrove photos!
MongoBay_Sundarban_Tiger
GLOBAL - Throughout the month of July, we asked for and received stunning photos from around the world for our 4th annual global photography exhibition We would like to thank each and every person who contributed to this project! Vote for your favorite photos to decide which will receive the People’s Choice Award. There's still time to submit your photos! We've extended our photo contest until August 15th - send in your photos here. Or use #mangroveactionday to submit photos on Instagram! Donate to Protect MangrovesProtect mangroves and the coastal communities that rely on them. Join MAP by pledging to defend mangrove forests today! READ MORE

GLOBAL

Why mangroves matter: Experts respond on International Mangrove Day
Sundarban_mangrove
GLOBAL - The importance of the protective mangrove buffer zone cannot be overstated. Mangroves are living buffers against the forces of storms and waves that can otherwise devastate a coastline. In regions where these coastal fringe forests have been cleared, tremendous problems of erosion and siltation have arisen, and terrible losses to human life and property have occurred due to destructive hurricanes, storm surges and tsunamis. Today there is a growing urgency to recognize the importance of conserving and restoring protective mangrove greenbelts to lessen the dangers from future catastrophes, because as oceans warm and sea levels rise, so will the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and storm surges. Seeking the most effective path toward long-term mangrove conservation and recovery, Mangrove Action Project (MAP) promotes the concept and practice of community-based ecological mangrove restoration (CBEMR). This holistic approach to mangrove restoration views the proposed plant and animal communities to be restored as part of a larger ecosystem, connected with other ecological communities that also have functions to be protected or restored. READ MORE

Trash Hero recognised by UN Environment
Trash Heroes
GLOBAL - From the icy splendour of the Arctic to the inky depths of the Mariana ocean trench, plastic waste is threatening our seas, killing our wildlife and polluting our food chain. The facts are undeniable: each year more than 8 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans. According to one estimate, 99 per cent of seabirds will have ingested plastic by the middle of this century. It is a sobering picture, but working together we can change this narrative. And we can take inspiration from individuals across the globe who are doing all they can to stem the toxic tide and advocate for long-term changes that will permanently redefine our relationship with plastics. To celebrate World Oceans Day, we’re profiling a few remarkable people who are fighting the good fight for our seas. READ MORE

AFRICA

Integrated Rice–Mangrove Cultivation brings Renewed Hope to Farmers.
West African Mangroves
WEST AFRICA - Rice–mangrove integration, also known as rice agro–silviculture, is a best practice employed in several African countries such as The Gambia, Guinea and Senegal as a smart way of sustaining food security while increasing resilience to climate impacts and promoting biodiversity conservation. In other countries, this practice concentrates on rehabilitating abandoned rice farms and managing soil and water. The USAID/West Africa’s Biodiversity and Climate Change Program (WA BiCC) approach involves planting mangroves on the edges of rice farms to prevent the loss of farmland and crops to erosion as well as to protect crops from pests. This initiative was piloted in 2017 in selected communities in Sierra Leone’s coastal areas. The intervention initially met a great deal of apprehension from community members. But now, eight months into the pilot program, beneficiary-farmers are beginning to see the potential for rice-mangrove integration. A climate change vulnerability assessment, conducted by WA BiCC in the coastal landscape of Sierra Leone in 2016, revealed that about 1% of mangrove forests in the Sierra Leone Coastal Landscape Complex are depleted annually. READ MORE

The value of mangroves in Kivalo
Madagascar-Fisherman
MADAGASCAR - The west coast of Madagascar boasts the largest and most intact stretches of mangrove forests in the WIO region. These forests are home to endangered endemic birds and provide shelter and breeding grounds for marine species that are critically important to local livelihoods. Mangroves also serve key ecological functions, from protecting coastlines to maintaining water quality. Despite their importance, large swaths of mangrove area have been lost, and these ecosystems remain underrepresented within the Madagascar protected area system. Indeed, the Tsiribihina-Manambolo mangroves area has been identified as a WWF priority landscape To preserve this area, WWF implement a landscape conservation programme which aims to establish an effective community-based natural resources management, and to improve traditional fisheries. READ MORE

ASIA

Trash Hero Partners with MAP
Plastic Trash Workshop

THAILAND - Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Scientists have tried to measure just how much plastic ends up in our Oceans and found more than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year. This significantly impacts on marine wildlife, who often mistake marine debris for food and clog their intestines or they become trapped in plastic waste and discarded fishing nets. Plastic pollution affects nearly 700 different marine species with over 100 million marine mammals and turtles in the North Pacific being killed every year by plastic in the Ocean. The plastic problem is not much bigger anywhere else than in Thailand where they are ranked 6th among countries in the world with the highest amounts of plastic production and usage. Thailand has been recently plagued with two high profile deaths of a rare pilot whale and endangered green turtle whose autopsies both showed stomachs packed with plastic. The whale, specifically, had around 80 plastic bags found in its stomach. This led the basis for MAP-Thailand's most recent Environmental Education (EE) class on Thursday 19th July 2018 held at Bang Kang Khao school, Sikao District, Trang. READ MORE

On our love affair with Malaysian mangroves
Malaysian Mangroves
MALAYSIA - No matter how sturdy they seem to be, or how eerie they may appear, mangrove forests deserve vigilant attention and tender loving care. Caring for mangroves is a simple, straightforward love affair. Just by setting them free from vicious anthropogenic disturbances, they in return shall unconditionally defend and serve us to the best of their ability. As a matter of fact, they have been doing this for a very long time. Mangrove forests provide multiple ecosystem services and benefits to humans and nature. Their full functions and roles are still way beyond our understanding. But a miniscule portion of their gifts have been identified by scientists, and many more aspects are yet to be discovered. Some of their documented functions are as a regulator of various natural cycles and processes. For instance, mangroves are identified as the most efficient tropical habitat to capture and fix atmospheric carbon in the pursuit to mitigate the increase in temperature and to adapt to global climate change. They are also able to efficiently absorb and sustain water and precipitation. READ MORE

Vietnamese farmers are migrating en masse to escape climate change
VietNam Rice Fields
VIETNAM - At the Southern end of Vietnam lies the Mekong Delta. It’s Vietnamese name, Cuu Long means “Nine Dragons,” referring to the nine rivers that come from six countries, and meet there, ending a journey of several thousand kilometres to the sea. The Mekong Delta is the most fertile area in Vietnam, and also the most fragile. It is the country’s rice bowl, and it is now slowly sinking into the sea. The Mekong Delta is the only place in the entire river basin where rice can be grown and harvested 7 times a year. But climate change and other human activity has begun to turn this oasis into a waste land. The delta is rapidly urbanizing and that is requiring more extraction of groundwater to provide for the needs of a burgeoning population. The water extraction projects have caused many local waterways to sink and dry up providing seawater an entry way into the delta poisoning the rich soil. Meanwhile, erosion and drought is affecting productivity while leaving homes and infrastructure to collapse. READ MORE

This shocking chart shows the true impact of plastic on our planet
Plastic Trash
PHILLIPINES - In February of 2018, a dead sperm whale washed up on along the picturesque shoreline of Cabo de Palos in Spain. Officials noted that the whale was unusually thin, and a necropsy confirmed that the whale died from an acute abdominal infection. Put simply, the whale ingested so much plastic debris – 67 lbs worth – that its digestive system ruptured.Today’s infographic comes to us from Custom Made, and it helps put the growing marine debris problem in perspective. VIEW GRAPHS

AMERICAS

Let’s celebrate mangroves and blue carbon!
El Salvador blue carbon
EL SALVADORE - Did you know that mangroves act like a water and air purifier for our Earth? They make up what are known as ‘blue carbon ecosystems’ that include tidal marshes, mangroves seagrass and the marine life that live within them. Together they make up the ocean’s natural infrastructure that captures and stores carbon. Less than 0.5% of the coast is covered by this ecosystem, yet it is responsible for “70% of the carbon permanently stored in the marine realm.” But these ecosystems are rapidly diminishing, and their preservation is essential to the long-term environmental and economic sustainability of people worldwide, like in the Lower Lempa of El Salvador. This year, we are celebrating our joining the International Partnership for Blue Carbon, a network of over 30 governmental, research and nonprofit institutions working to preserve and protect coastal blue carbon ecosystems. READ MORE

LAST WORD

Dear Mangrove Action Project,

I hope this email finds you well and that you’re having a nice week. 

My name is Ella Morgan, and I am a Researcher at the BBC Natural History Unit in the UK. We have just started production of a 5-part, four-year natural history project about plants, that we are currently calling ’Green Planet'. This will have a similar scope and ambition to our recent series Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, and will build upon our work in the 1995 series ‘The Private Life of Plants’. 

I am currently in the process of digging out stories about the world’s most spectacular plants, in terms of their behaviour and interactions with other organisms, and have been particularly looking into mangrove stories. I have heard about a few interactions that I would love to know a bit more about, and was wondering if you might be able to help. Do you know about otters fishing in mangroves in Malaysia? If so, where and when might be able to film this? Also, are there macaques that go swimming for crabs in the mangroves? If so, where is this? Finally, where would be the best place to film fireflies flashing in mangroves?

Do you have any other suggestions, or contacts who it might be worth me reaching out to about some more detail on these topics?

Thanks so much in advance for your time, and I look forward to hearing back from you,

Kindest Regards
Ella Morgan
Researcher – Green Planet | BBC Natural History Unit
Rm 0.12, 7-9 TPR | Broadcasting House | Whiteladies Road | Bristol | BS8 2LR

 
 
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Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum

The Marvellous Mangroves Education Forum is an online hub for those utilizing the Marvellous Mangroves (MM) Curriculum. It gives students, teachers and anyone interested in mangroves, the opportunity to learn and share ideas themed around the curriculum, to connect and communicate with others around the globe whilst exploring mangroves from your computer or on the go. VISIT

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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

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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

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