As Covid-19 has grounded all face-to-face teaching activity, Mangrove Action Project (MAP) has joined together this time with the US Forest Service (USFS) International Programs to run MAP’s second online ‘community-based ecological mangrove restoration’ workshop. Running over six weeks, this workshop is designed to help the implementation of the USFS’s ‘Pacific Islands Forest Restoration Initiative’ (PIFRI) for 47 participants across Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Marshall Islands, Fiji and Samoa. The project is funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Oceans International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. The training team consists of Dr Dominic Wodehouse, Executive Director and Jim Enright, CBEMR trainer from MAP, and Dr Richard MacKenzie, Nico Stoehr and Allison Saracina from USFS, supported by Wolf Forstreuter, USFS’s in-country consultant.
To quote USFS, ‘Pacific Island Countries (PIC) are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change as the remote nature of these islands has resulted in human populations that rely heavily on good and services harvested from mangroves and upland forests. PICs and their forests are already experiencing impacts from sea level rise, increased wildfires, shifts in rainfall patterns, and increased extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones or droughts. Natural hazards continue to pose a threat to the countries’ sustainable growth and economic development. These impacts are further compounded by growing rates of deforestation and forest degradation from agricultural and aquaculture conversion, infrastructure development, unsustainable logging, natural hazards and increased spread of invasive species. The independent and interactive effects of these impacts have decreased the provision of ecosystems goods and services from forested ecosystems and increased forest carbon emissions. The restoration of mangrove and upland forests is a proven management action than can help PICs adapt to the impacts of climate change, reduce forest carbon emissions, and increase the overall resilience of human communities.’
The PIFRI project focuses on awarding small grants to local NGOs and offers technical assistance in the form of trainings and workshops to to improve the quality and extend the coverage of not just the islands’ mangroves but also the terrestrial forest to ensure they continue to provide their valuable ecosystem goods and services to the local communities and wider population.
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