The MAP News
SPECIAL PODCAST Costing the EarthWhere do the prawns in your takeaway curry or pad thai come from? Peter Hadfield travels to South-East Asia to investigate the environmental impact of prawn farming. Listen Here
Women mobilize for their rights as artisanal fishers
BRAZIL - Brazilian fisherwomen and shellfish gatherers are mobilizing to demand adequate representation in their sector, following decades of neglect. In January 2023, fisherwomen from four coastal regions in Brazil gathered with fishermen in the capital, Brasilia, to discuss critical changes needed in the fishing sector. The workshop, supported by Oceana, resulted in the “Letter of Brasilia” – a public call for decision-makers to update the country’s fisheries law – which was filed in Congress shortly after the meeting. The group also drafted a proposal that includes 20 new requirements to address the needs of artisanal fisherwomen throughout the country, , including: respecting the identity of fisherwomen and ensuring participation and rights of fisherwomen in decision-making spaces. Viviane Machado Alves, from Rio Grande do Sul, believes the inequality of past decades is nearing an end. She considers the craft of being an artisanal fisher more than just fishing itself. “We fish, cultivate, process, sell, and, above all, we are also guardians of the environment. We are not just fishing support. We want that visibility. The moment is now with this new federal government that announces that it will govern with the people and for the people. So, there’s no way we can’t be present in this new fishing legislation.” “We are forgotten by the government at all levels, municipal, state, and federal. Today, I see doors opening for us fisherwomen, because we are building, at the base, a bill for fishing with the chance to say what hurts and what hurts me as a fisherwoman,” says Jadeir Regina Nascimento, a fisherwoman from Maxaranguape in the northeast state of Rio Grande do Norte.
GLOBALChanges in mangrove blue carbon under elevated atmospheric CO2
GLOBAL - As one of the major blue carbon ecosystems, mangroves provide critical ecosystem services in mitigating global climate change. However, future complex and variable climate conditions may lead to the uncertainty in trajectories of blue carbon capacity. Elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations (eCO2) is projected to become a prominent driver of mangrove blue carbon in the future. A group of scientists have reviewed studies on "changes in mangrove blue carbon under elevated atmospheric CO2" to identify the pathways for how eCO2 might influence mangrove ecosystem carbon cycling. The research is published as a review article in Ecosystem Health and Sustainability. This review shows that mangrove has a negative feedback to climate change, whereby eCO2 added to mangrove's ability to sequester additional carbon, which in turn reduces the rate by which CO2 builds. Furthermore, eCO2 affects warming and sea-level rise through alternate pathways, which might co-influence the mangrove response in both antagonistic and synergistic ways. The scientists suggest more experiments are needed to understand the influence of eCO2 on biological processes that might lead to greenhouse gas emissions, and they support investing in mesocosm-scale simulation experiments that could provide datasets for predicting future scenarios. Given the complexity of the interactions of biological and environmental factors with eCO2, long-term field observations and in situ simulation experiments can help to better understand the mechanisms for proper model initialization to predict future changes in mangrove carbon sequestration.
AFRICAEgypt establishes online database of wild plant species
EGYPT - The Ministry of Environment established a database of wild plant species in Egypt, on its official website. Egypt occupies the northeastern corner of the African continent, where four regions of biological geography meet, which are: the Iranian and the Turanian, the Mediterranean region, the desert Sindani, and the African tropical. What increases the uniqueness of this site is that it is divided into two parts by the longest river in the world, the Nile River. However, as a result of the extreme variation in its ecological ranges, it is home to a diversity of wild habitats, plant and animal life, which is characterized by an extreme diversity in its composition, despite the small number of species of living organisms and the lack of endemic species. It is indisputable that coral reefs and mangroves are two of the mechanisms of biodiversity in the world, in addition to that the fauna and flora of the Red Sea are, to a large extent, a modified version of the fauna and flora of the Indian and Pacific oceans, although they include a relatively small number of endemic species.
MADAGASCAR - Coastal communities recognize the value of mangroves but have struggled with overexploitation of the woody ecosystem. Rolland Randria, a fisherman and father of eight from a small village outside of Morondava and 80 others from his village, mostly women, have an association dedicated to restoring mangroves, but it hasn’t been easy. In exploited areas, now devoid of vegetation, sand dunes remain mobile and unstable, and mangrove restoration efforts are difficult. Planting mangrove seedlings directly in degraded areas has yielded an average survival rate of less than 10%. This dismal survival rate changed in 2021, when Randria’s association started working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and partners. With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Forest Service assessed the tidal, soil and environmental conditions of proposed restoration sites and then adjusted mangrove propagation and outplanting methods to match ecosystem needs. They then worked with eight Menabe-based community associations like Randria’s to produce and plant 58,681 robust mangrove seedlings in degraded areas in 2022. Monitoring in 2023 show a 90% survival rate, nine times the success of previous efforts. "The success on the ground deserves to be copied in a large government project,” said Tsiry Niaina Randrenjarivelo, Regional Directorate of Fisheries and the Blue Economy in Menabe. Randrenjarivelo has participated in Forest Service mangrove workshops and is keen to replicate the methods and the success. A new government project, called SWIOFISH 2, plans to use the Forest Service approach to restore 1,000 hectares -- about 2,500 acres -- of mangroves in the Menabe region.
Reforesting Mangrove Trees Could Prove Key to Storm Defense in Puerto Rico
PUERTO RICO - The sun shone brightly on a recent Saturday morning in Puerto Rico as a group of three dozen people grabbed mangrove roots from a bucket provided by organizers. Some of the planters were clad in waders while others wore flip-flops and board shorts, but all came to the beach town of Isabela for the same purpose: to restore the mangrove forests to their former glory in hopes of preventing the beach from moving inland. “The quicker we seed, the faster the forest will grow,” Andreina Alexatos, green infrastructure coordinator for the San Juan Bay Estuary Program, told Latino Rebels, adding about 95 percent of the mangrove forest has been destroyed. Over the course of two hours, Alexatos’ group, mostly made of university students, members of the grassroots environmental organization SurfriderPR, and volunteers, planted over 400 saplings. Only about 10 percent will survive by Alexatos’ estimate, but that could be a game-changer for the heavily destroyed mangrove forest. Without such help, the forest would likely take between 30 and 50 years to start looking like it once did. Thanks to the saplings being planted, that timeframe could be shortened to as much as 10 years, Alexatos says. Part of the reason for the reforesting campaign in Isabela and other places along Puerto Rico’s northwest coast is the alarming rate at which the island’s mangrove forests are disappearing, the effects of which are already being felt. During the last few decades, concrete has begun covering more and more of Puerto Rico’s beautiful beaches, leading to the destruction of mangrove forests that once protected the coastline from rising sea levels.
Florida Wildlife With Ali: Mangrove Tree Crabs
USA - If you’ve explored the vast Florida coastlines and any of the mangrove habitats in the Sunshine State, then you’ve been around mangrove tree crabs. This common and fascinating species can be found in tropical and subtropical parts of the America’s and has the scientific name Aratus pisonii. These small, dark crustaceans can be seen crawling atop mangrove trees during high tide and venturing onto the ground in low tide. Often, they are observed in large numbers traveling vertically up and around the branches. Mangrove tree crabs are uniquely flatter in surface structure than other crabs and their legs are spread out to the side to better climb the trees in which they live. Unlike other crabs, their eyes are wideset on either side of their carapace. This likely aids their vision when navigating the mangroves. Mangrove tree crabs are omnivores and feed mostly on detritus, algae, small invertebrates and animal matter. The most important part of their diet comes from the leaves of the mangrove trees in which they inhabit. Mangrove tree crabs reproduce year-round. Even with their small size, the female can carry over 30,000 eggs on her back, depending on the width of her carapace. It is also believed that their hatching cycles coincide with moon phases, though the study is not conclusive. Mangrove tree crabs are commonly preyed upon by shorebirds, fish and even other crabs that live in their mangrove environment.
Volunteers remove 82 kilos of garbage from Mahahual mangrove
MEXICO - A group of volunteers have removed 82 kilos of garbage from a Mahahual mangrove. The long weekend clean consisted of a group of volunteers who took the the regional mangrove where they found plastic, glass and general garbage. According to Ana del Pilar Antillanca Oliva, representative Less Plastic is Fantastic in Mahahual, they removed 34.8 kilos of garbage, 31.1 kilos of glass and 16.1 kilos of plastic totaling 82 kilos of waste. Thanks to the volunteers who joined in and also to Tide Ocean Material, all of whom are concerned about the environment of Mahahual. Oiliva said that more and more volunteers are joining the cleaning tasks in mangrove areas in Mahahual, which means that the awareness projects that have been carried out for several years is increasingly paying off. She recognized that the cleaning is not easy, but is worth it because it means preserving the mangrove, and in general, the environment of Mahahual. “The mangroves create ecosystems that function as water and air purifiers and we are truly very happy because more and more people are joining this incredible experience with us to take care of our home, our species and ourselves,” she said . The waste collected from the mangrove area is classified, weighed and distributed to the collection areas to give it a new use and prevent it from going to the open dump.
Indonesia’s mangrove restoration will run out of land well short of target, study warns
INDONESIA - In 2020, the Indonesian government set a goal of restoring 600,000 hectares, or nearly 1.5 million acres, of mangrove ecosystems by 2024. Progress toward that goal has been slow: Indonesia’s Peatland and Mangrove Restoration Agency (BRGM) reported it had restored 34,911 hectares (86,267 acres) in 2021, more than its stated 30,000-hectare (74,000-acre) target for the year, but still a small percentage of the larger goal. Now, the 600,000-hectare target faces another challenge. A recently published countrywide map of suitable areas for mangrove restoration shows that just 193,367 hectares (477,820 acres) of mangroves, 30% of the target area, is actually suitable for restoration. The idea behind this new study, led by Sigit Sasmito of the National University of Singapore and Mohammad Basyuni of the University of North Sumatra and published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, was simple. “We were triggered by the fact that there was a big plan to restore 600,000 hectares of mangrove in Indonesia, so we were curious about where to find the land,” said co-author Daniel Murdiyarso, principal scientist at CIFOR-ICRAF. Mangrove restoration is much more complex than simply planting seedlings; whether those seedlings will grow depends on the substrate, hydrology and history of the area they’ve been planted in, and whether they will persist in the long term is linked to the land tenure status of where they’re growing.
How MISHTI plans to conserve mangrove
INDIA - As oxygen generators, carbon sinks and home to diverse wildlife and rich biodiversity, the importance of forests and the need for their expansion cannot be emphasised enough. Under Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, India is on course to devise a unique biodiversity conservation model through a holistic approach. India is displaying its commitment to the conservation and restoration of natural ecosystems and has firm commitments towards the conservation and management of mangroves. As part of this effort, in Budget 2023-24, the Modi government, building on India’s success in afforestation, rolled out the Mangrove Initiative for Shoreline Habitats and Tangible Incomes (MISHTI). Under this scheme, mangrove plantations along the coastline and on salt pans will be taken up. The government is emphasising mangroves because this tidal forest serves as a nursery for several organisms. It also acts as a bulwark against coastal erosion, sequestering carbon and providing livelihoods to millions of people, besides harbouring an array of faunal elements in its habitat. India recently joined the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC), a joint initiative of Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates. The world has much to gain from India’s experience in mangrove conservation because we have shown expertise in the area for nearly five decades. India has restored different types of mangrove ecosystems on the east and west coasts and learnt some valuable lessons.
*Articles in this newsletter may mention practices being used and/or show exagerated results being claimed without proof. Stories are presented here in effort to show mangrove related activity around the world and do not necessarily reflect Mangrove Action Project's views or mangrove restoration best-practices.
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Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, MAP's news blog is a recap of news stories about mangroves and mangrove related issued globally. MAP promotes community based efforts to restore hydrology and health of the mangrove ecosystem and surrounding dependent species. Articles in this newsletter aid researchers and others by providing latest news about mangrove issues.
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Saturday, March 25, 2023
MAP News Issue #568 - March 25, 2023
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The community of adults and youth in Cayman Islands has come together recently to release a series of educational videos. Each is geared to...
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MAP News Issue #573 - June 3, 2023
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