The MAP News
496th Edition June 6, 2020
Cayman Islands Protect Mangroves
CAYMAN ISLANDS - After more than 20 years of legal action Cayman Islands’ mangroves finally have official legal protection, which should, finally, prevent these dwindling yet critically important species from being removed by developers without consequence. The protection was finalized through the adoption of a Species Conservation Plan. Cayman and international environmental organizations, including the Mangrove Action Project (MAP) have warned about the dangers of mangrove clearance for years. Since urban and tourism developments started accelerating in the early 1980s, Cayman has lost over 25% of its mangroves. With no specific penalty in place, the courts have the discretion to fine perpetrators up to half a million dollars or send them to jail for as long as four years, which is the maximum penalty for conservation law infractions. Meanwhile, Protect Our Future, a group of young people in the Cayman Islands who campaign for conservation and environmental awareness, are not letting the current lockdown stop their efforts and are using social media to campaign hard for the Caribbean-wide initiative to plant trees, including mangroves. READ MORE
Fragmentation and connection of mangroves and wetlands around the world
GLOBAL - Two new papers led by the Global Wetlands Project (GLOW) highlight some of the challenges facing mangroves around the world. 1. In "Global trends in mangrove forest fragmentation" , published in Scientific Reports, fragmentation of mangrove habitats was mapped at a global scale. The findings show that fragmentation of habitats into patches may be a better indicator for some ecological functions than area. Additionally, this study found that many areas with high rates of mangrove loss, like south-east Asia, also have high rates of fragmentation. 2. "Integrating Outcomes of IUCN red list of ecosystems assessments for connected coastal wetlands", published in Ecological Indicators, studied a coastal wetlands region in Queensland, Australia. This region was used as a model to understand how several different ecosystems (seagrass, mangrove, and saltmarsh) are connected and rely on each other for services and long-term success. READ MORE
Mangrove Photography Contest
GLOBAL - The Mangrove Action Project has just launched its 6th World Mangrove Day Photography Awards! The contest is now open and runs through the 24th of July, just in time for Mangrove Day on the 26th. Select photos will be added to a special exhibition and an expert panel will be judging entries. There will also be special prizes this year for three chosen winners. Wherever you live in the world and whether you are an amateur or professional, beginner or expert, young or old, this contest is for you! Your images have the power to inspire people and to help raise the profile of mangroves. READ MORE
A Holistic Training Approach for Tanzania's Mangroves
TANZANIA - Save our Mangroves Now! and the Mangrove Action Project are working to improve mangrove restoration efforts. In Kenya, a 2018 scoping workshop of mangrove best practice gaps in the Western Indian Ocean region highlighted the important fact that many field-based forestry officials receive limited training on mangroves within their forestry college curriculums. Their most recent training took place in Tanzania, where planting efforts were seeing high rates of failure, so the two organizations worked together on holistic community-based ecological mangrove restoration (CBEMR) trainings for both government agencies and civil society. There is interest in future trainings of this nature, including targeting government decision makers. Save Our Mangroves Now!, in its second funding cycle, is dedicated to increasing national and regional policy advocacy for mangroves in the Western Indian Ocean region. READ MORE
Group helps turn abandoned shrimp farms into carbon-storing mangrove ecosystems
USA - Along many tropical shorelines, swampy mangrove forests create habitat for fish and buffer the impact of heavy waves. “Mangroves reduce the effects of climate change, protecting coastlines against erosion and rising sea levels and hurricanes or storm surge events,” says Alfredo Quarto, cofounder of the Mangrove Action Project. He says mangrove forests also store a huge amount of carbon, so they help slow global warming. But around the world, mangrove forests have been cut down for development and agriculture. For example, in Thailand, vast areas were destroyed to make room for shrimp farms. Many of those farms have since been abandoned. So Quarto’s group is helping turn those shrimp ponds back into ecosystems where mangroves can thrive. He says the work requires more than planting seeds. For example, the group works with local communities to repair and reconnect waterways, which helps mangroves regenerate on their own. READ MORE
Mass Extinctions Are Accelerating, Scientists Report
USA - We are in the midst of a mass extinction, many scientists have warned — this one driven not by a catastrophic natural event, but by humans. The unnatural loss of biodiversity is accelerating, and if it continues, the planet will lose vast ecosystems and the necessities they provide, including fresh water, pollination, and pest and disease control. Recently, there was more bad news: We are racing faster and closer toward the point of collapse than scientists previously thought, according to research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The extinction rate among terrestrial vertebrate species is significantly higher than prior estimates, and the critical window for preventing mass losses will close much sooner than formerly assumed — in 10 to 15 years. “We’re eroding the capabilities of the planet to maintain human life and life in general,” said Gerardo Ceballos, an ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and lead author of the new study. The current rate of extinctions vastly exceeds those that would occur naturally, Ceballos and his colleagues found. Scientists know of 543 species lost over the last 100 years, a tally that would normally take 10,000 years to accrue. “In other words, every year over the last century we lost the same number of species typically lost in 100 years,” Ceballos said. READ MORE
Nature's wrath ruins mangrove plantation, leaves city more vulnerable to cyclones
INDIA - Experts will urge the state government to impose tax on the people of Kolkata to save the mangrove plantation in Sunderbans for safety and security of the city during heavy cyclone. There has been constant onslaught on the mangrove plantation since 2009 when Aila had devastated the area. Subsequently two cyclones Bulbul and Phani had also affected the trees. Cyclone Amphan which had hit the 48 islands where Mangrove trees grow exclusively caused extensive damage to the island. Not only, the mangrove trees, thousands of trees that have been uprooted in 54 islands function as a shield that protect Kolkata from the ill effects of cyclone or super cyclone. A mangrove tree takes 5 to 7 years to grow.Experts said due to the felling of thousands of trees, Kolkata has become vulnerable to cyclones and super cyclones. It may be recalled that in 1737, the cyclone which had hit the city claimed 30,000 lives and most of the mud houses were razed to the ground. The experts maintained that the frequency of cyclones in Bay of Bengal has gone up due to loss of biodiversity and global warming. If the tree barriers become weak, the wind will hit Kolkata directly. They maintained had the mangrove trees not been there in Sunderbans, the cyclone Amphan would have hit the city with windspeed anything between 180km per hour and 190 km per hour instead of 135 km per hour and 140 km per hour with which it had hit Kolkata. READ MORE
Black Day For Sundarbans: How Cyclone Amphan Has Left India's Heritage Mangrove Forest In Ruins
INDIA - The Sundarbans is a cluster of low-lying islands in the Bay of Bengal, spread across India and Bangladesh, famous for its unique mangrove forests. But sadly, nothing is left anymore, ever since cyclone Amphan made its way to Bengal. Trees have fallen, lands have become barren and crops have also been destroyed. Apparently, the storm bought so much salt water spray from the sea that it even killed the trees it that survived its speed. That's not all though. Even wildlife has been affected with the devastating affects of the cyclone as Sundarbans is known as a UNESCO world heritage site for rare and endangered species. For those who don't know, the Sundarban forest reserve is home to 96 protected tigers and all their lives have been put in danger. READ MORE
Watch | Sundarbans mangrove forests face existential threat
INDIA - A video on the world's largest mangrove forest and the importance of conserving it The Sundarbans is a cluster of low-lying islands in the Bay of Bengal, spread across the coast of India and Bangladesh.It holds the world's largest mangrove forest with an area of about 10,000 sq km of which 60% is in Bangladesh and the rest in India. The mangroves of Sundarbans provide sustainable livelihoods to millions of people and functions as a protective barrier for its inhabitants from natural calamities. WATCH VIDEO
Dear Mr. Alfred Quarto,
International Development Director,
Mangrove Action Project.
I am very much thankful to you for your kind concern to take up the issue of protection of Mangroves in Kakinada city of Andhra Pradesh state in India as part of your global mission of Mangrove Action Project.
World over the human greed is taken over their consciousness towards the protection of environment, India is not an exception to it. In a way Covid-19 tried has tried to put us in the right perspective.
It's time for all environment consciousness people join together to protect natural resources on our planet. I request the global Mangrove Protection fraternity to help us in protecting the Mangroves in India as part of your MAP.
READ THE LETTER
INTERVIEW – Yale Climate Connection interview with MAP's Alfredo Quarto LISTEN
Mangrove Action Project
Saturday, June 6, 2020
MAP News Issue #496 - June 6, 2020
Posted by BlogAdmin at 9:00 AM