Saturday, March 13, 2021

MAP News Issue #516 - Mar 13, 2021

Mangrove Action Project
The MAP News
516th Edition                                                  Mar 13, 2021

Editor's note – This program is operating on a shoe-string budget by dedicated voluteers who give much and ask little. If you'ld like to support important work like this, please contact MAP with your donation request.
Marvellous Mangroves comes to Mexico
MEXICO - The Mangrove Action Project’s science-based environmental education program, Marvellous Mangroves, has just been introduced to Mexico for the first time with partner Restauracion Conservacion Ambiental (RECAMB) providing mangove education for small and vulnerable communities on the country’s west coast. This makes Mexico the sixteenth country to adopt the program since it was started in 2001 in the Cayman Islands. “We are working to open eyes, hearts and minds of children and teens to a second look at mangroves near the local community and witness the Topolobampo port industrialisation,” explains RECAMB’s excutive director Maraiana Lazcano-Ferrat. Working in conjunction with MAP’s education director, Martin Keeley, RECAMB adapted the Spanish version of Marvellous Mangroves for use in the program, which was funded by Bonanatti, a specialty port construction company. Taking part in the week long the environmental education workhop were a total of 108 teens and children aged from 6 to 19 years old who live in Topolobampo Port. The port is located within the Ramsar site Sistema Lagunar Bahia Santa Maria-Topolobampo-Ohuira, reports Ms. Lazcano-Ferrat. “This beautiful area is the ninth of 28 of Mexico’s most productive wetlands,” says Ms. Lazcano-Ferrat. The area includes 22,500 hectares of the mangrove ecosystem and, together with its coastal surroundings, is a target area for heaavy industrialisartion to provide the Mexican state of Sinaloa with fossil fuel produced energy, primary agricultural fertilisation products and shipping cargo services, she reports. READ MORE


Are We Failing to See the Forest for the Trees?
GLOBAL - A tree is probably the most iconic image of environmentalism. Or better yet, a person planting a tree. We are called tree-huggers by some people, after all. It has long been known that trees are key organisms in our ecosystems – they sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) and release oxygen, they provide food and habitat for many species, and they reduce erosion and flooding, to name just a few of their many important functions. Trees are amazing and we definitely want them around. However, in face of climate change, trees are believed to take up CO2 and produce a cooling effect on the earth, but that is not always true. It may sound crazy, but in some circumstances, planting trees can actually do more harm than good. The reason may be something simple such as planting trees that are not the right tree species being planted in the right ecosystems. Or if they’re being planted in areas like grasslands and disrupting those naturally treeless ecosystems. It’s all about location, location, location! Tree planting initiatives are becoming more and more popular, especially as carbon offsets or “carbon credits”. Several tree planting initiatives are on the go in North America, like the Nature Conservancy’s Plant A Billion Trees campaign and Forests Ontario’s 50 Million Tree Program, and there are similar programs all over the globe. READ MORE


Angola supports mangrove conservation in Africa
ANGOLA - The conservation of mangroves in Africa requires further political commitment from the States, Angola said prior to a regional debate on the issue on Thursday. Convened by the African Union (AU), the virtual forum brings together ministers and other officials from the spheres of the Environment, Fisheries and Blue Economy, the press office of the Vice Presidency of the Republic confirmed in Luanda. Representatives from Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Congo, Cameroon, Madagascar, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Nigeria, Djibouti, Ivory Coast and Ghana will address the meeting, the source added. According to the announcement, Angolan Vice President Bornito de Sousa will participate as a guest of honor of African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, from Chad. On February 2, the executive promoted a National Wetland Workshop in Luanda, which was attended by representatives of government institutions, legislators, academics and members of environmental groups linked to the protection of mangroves. De Sousa announced in early February the deposit of the legal instruments for Angola to joins the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. READ MORE

Fish Farming Is Feeding the Globe. What’s the Cost for Locals?
Gambia fish farming
GAMBIA - Gunjur, a town of some fifteen thousand people, sits on the Atlantic coastline of southern Gambia, the smallest country in mainland Africa. In the spring of 2017, the town’s white-sand beaches were full of activity. Fishermen steered long, vibrantly painted wooden canoes, known as pirogues, toward the shore, where they transferred their still-fluttering catch to women waiting at the water’s edge. The fish were hauled off to nearby open-air markets in rusty metal wheelbarrows or in baskets balanced on heads. Small boys played soccer as tourists watched from lounge chairs. At nightfall, the beach was dotted with bonfires. There were drumming and kora lessons; men with oiled chests grappled in traditional wrestling matches. But just five minutes inland was a more tranquil setting—the wildlife reserve known as Bolong Fenyo. Established in 2008, the reserve was meant to protect seven hundred and ninety acres of beach, mangrove swamp, wetland, and savanna, as well as an oblong lagoon. READ MORE


Are we killing those tropical trees we’re counting on to absorb carbon dioxide?
BRAZIL - “If a tree lives 500 years, it carries the carbon assimilated and stocked for the last 500 years,” says Giuliano Locosselli, a researcher at the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil. “If instead, the tree lives 300 years, it means the carbon will be stocked by 200 years less. So we are accelerating the carbon cycle, and the result is that we have more carbon in the atmosphere.” Trees have always been our main allies in the fight against global warming, thanks to their capacity to take the carbon dioxide out of the air and store it for dozens or even hundreds of years in their trunks, branches, leaves and roots. Our recklessness, however, has sabotaged this capacity. That’s the conclusion of two studies published at the end of last year, which show that rising temperatures, resulting from our runaway greenhouse gas emissions, are reducing the longevity of the trees in many forests worldwide, including in the Amazon, the largest tropical forest on the planet. READ MORE

Commissioners Give Up Key Oversight for Aqua by the Bay
USA - At a recent land use meeting, Manatee County Commissioners voted 6-1 to give up a stipulation they had previously touted as a compromise for the benefit of the public during the 2017 approval of a controversial development on Sarasota Bay. Aqua by the Bay is a massive proposed coastal development by politically-connected developer Carlos Beruff on the last major undeveloped portion of Sarasota Bay in Manatee County. Over the next two to three decades, it is ultimately to include 2,894 residential units and 76,000 square feet of commercial space. It has a convoluted history that includes a 2013 effort to secure a text amendment to the county's land-use plan that would have allowed him to dredge the bay in order to include a marina. In 2017, after marathon meetings and much public opposition, commissioners unanimously approved the development, though with a number of unique stipulations made as a compromise in order to ensure public trust and the opportunity for input as the massive project moved forward. READ MORE

Many want State Wildlife chair to resign or stop plans to fill his land off Singer Island
lake worth lagoon
USA - Legal moves by Florida's top wildlife official for the right to develop submerged land he owns in the Lake Worth Lagoon drew blistering criticism from two dozen people at a meeting Friday of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Several urged FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto, an influential lobbyist appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, to abandon his for-profit plans or resign. The Palm Beach Post reported last week that a company led Coral Gables-based Barreto, Government Lot 1, LLC, has revived a 1990 lawsuit to expand its final order and allow it to dredge and fill its submerged land without requiring that it receive approvals from any Florida regulatory agency. Barreto filed a plan in 2018 with the South Florida Water Management District to build mansions, a marina, private docks and hundreds of condos on a wildlife-filled habitat he owns on the northwestern corner of Singer Island. READ MORE


Odisha Man Creates 25 Acres of Mangrove Forest in 12 Years, Saves Village From Cyclones
INDIA - One of India’s worst climate hotspots, Odisha experiences floods, cyclones, storms, droughts, among other natural disasters. With extreme weather conditions, the 492 km stretch coast spread across six coastal districts have seen heavy land erosion in the past. Kendrapara is among the six districts in the most vulnerable hotspots—namely Pentha, Gahirmatha and Satabhya—that witness high erosion. “The impact is so serious that since the 1970s, five villages have washed away in the sea. The government relocated the villagers to neighbouring locations. It is not a new concept for locals. One of the fresh instances is around 2017-18 when five villages from Satbhaya gram panchayat vanished from the map. Over 700 locals were moved to Bagapatia village by the government,” says Bijay Kumar Kabi, an environmentalist. Bijay says that the government tried to install geosynthetic tubes to prevent soil erosion along the boundaries, but it could not stop it. “No technology can withstand the severity of the climate. Only nature can protect us from such devastation,” he adds. READ MORE

Aquaculture industry given go-ahead to more fully exploit mangrove crab resource
PHILIPPINES - THE aquaculture industry has been given the go-ahead to catch more juvenile mangrove crabs and crablets to help with restocking, an order which authorities billed as an aid to the industry’s recovery. According to Administrative Circular No. 2 issued by the Department of Agriculture. “There is a clamor for stakeholders whose livelihoods are affected by the implementation of the (fisheries administrative order) to allow them to catch, transport, trade, and sell crablets less than five centimeters carapace width for aquaculture purposes, in order to augment their income during this coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and also to support the recovery of the aquaculture industry.” Circular No. 2 partially suspends the implementation of Section 3 of Fisheries Administrative Order No. 264, which prohibited catching and trading of those resources. READ MORE


Seagrasses and mangroves can suck carbon from the air
SPAIN - Off the coast of Formentera, an island in the Spanish Mediterranean, lives an organism that stretches 15km from one end to the other. Posidonia oceanica, more prosaically known as seagrass, spreads by sending shoots out beneath the sediment. Entire meadows, covering several hectares, can thus be made up of a single organism. The grasses are long-lived, too. The vast meadow in Formentera is thought to have been spreading for tens or hundreds of thousands of years. But the seagrass is more than just a biological curiosity. Along with two other kinds of coastal ecosystem—mangrove swamps and tidal marshes—seagrass meadows are particularly good at taking carbon dioxide from the air and converting it into plant matter. That makes all three ecosystems important for efforts to control climate change. READ MORE


Dear colleague

In recognition of World Seagrass Day 2021, we are thrilled to announce the official launch of the Dugong & Seagrass Hub.

The Hub is a communal platform for dugong and seagrass conservationists to collate and share information, resources, best practice and lessons learned working to conserve seagrass ecosystems in dugong range states.

The site has been developed by the Secretariat of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs and their Habitats throughout their Range of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS Dugong MoU), as part of the Seagrass Ecosystem Services Project. This project is part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and supported by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) based on a decision of the German Bundestag.

We would be delighted to feature your resources, news and stories on the Dugong & Seagrass Hub. If you are interested in having your work showcased on the Hub, please contact: Follow us on @DugongHub on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Please see our newest video: "Restoring The Natural Mangrove Forest"

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Restoring The Natural Mangrove Forest
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Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration in Rufiji Delta 

Video: Mangroves for the Future - A look bacK. As the latest phase of Mangroves for the Future (MFF) draws to a close, this video highlights some of the project’s most successful initiatives – from local women supporting national park management in Viet Nam to an island in the Maldives that has become a model for waste management, and everything in between. View Here

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Want to learn more about mangroves?Mangrove-education
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Mangroves: Guidebook to MalaysiaClick Here

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Our short documentary, Reducing the Risk of Disaster through Nature-Based Solutions : Mangroves
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Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum

The Marvellous Mangroves Curriculum begins with a simple philosophy – getting future generations to not only learn about, but understand the importance of mangrove forests. VISIT

The award-winning Marvellous Mangroves (MM) curriculum educates children on the importance of mangroves and their ecological functions, teaching them about modern challenges and mechanisms for sustainability. VIEW VIDEO

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