The MAP News
483rd Edition Dec 07, 2019
IMPACT: Afa Husayn protects a tropical paradise
MALDIVES – We would be very happy to have a conversation to see how young environmental defenders in the Maldives can be helped to develop and establish themselves in this area, considering the climate vulnerability of the Maldives, our current climate crisis and the very much felt need among young people to engage effectively on this issue with stakeholders at all levels. Allow me to share this short video (above) by the German TV channel DW-TV, which produced a short video article on Afa Husayn from BeLeaf very recently.
A short video on the broader issue is available at the link below, which features some of our other advocates.VIEW HERE
'Our communities are risking their lives to defend our world.' A global call to action to stop violence and killings in supply chains
GLOBAL - Alongside the 8th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva today, representatives from indigenous peoples, afro-descendent and peasant communities from 16 countries issued an urgent call for action – the Geneva Declaration. They are demanding governments and companies end the violence, killing and deliberate criminalisation of people defending their rights, their lands and their communities. ‘We wish to live free of violence and demand the respect for our lives and our rights! The government should not impose their visions of development on us.’ Indianara Ramires Machado, from Brazil’s Guarani-Kaiowà indigenous peoples, said today. Written by those who have seen first-hand what happens when destructive business activities are conducted with impunity at the expanding frontier of agricultural and extractive industries, the Declaration articulates the extreme challenges that they and their communities, families and peoples face. It offers practical recommendations for states, businesses, investors and others to ensure their rights are respected and protected. READ MORE
Realizing the $1 trillion net benefit of protecting mangroves
GLOBAL - A new report from the Global Commission on Adaptation outlines what the world stands to gain if it invests in mangroves, and other adaptation efforts, to mitigate climate change According to Act Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience, “investing $1.8 trillion globally in five areas from 2020 to 2030 could generate $7.1 trillion in total net benefits. The five areas we consider are early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture, mangrove protection, and investments in making water resources more resilient. This represents only a portion of the total investments needed and total benefits available.” As the world aims for ambitious climate targets, the Global Commission on Adaptation makes clear that mangroves are part of the solution. READ MORE
Group associations could save Mangrove forests
KENYA - A study done by the Kenya Forest service reveals that increased demand for mangrove wood products is due to increased population, weak governance, inadequate awareness of the actual value of mangrove ecosystems, plus unmonitored illegal activities. These have led to loss and transformations of mangrove forests. The Mida Creek-based group, alongside others in the neighbourhood, is working to reverse this trend by cultivating and planting mangrove seedlings. They also sell seedlings to other conservation-oriented organisations for replantation elsewhere. Collecting the seeds and planting them in seedbeds by the sea, guarantees that there will be regeneration. The youth reportedly produce approximately 20,000 seedlings annually. Mida creek, states Kenya Forestry Services (KFS) officer Elvis Katana Fondo, is the oldest reserve of its kind in the East Africa region. READ MORE
More than twenty years of evolution of Madagascar's mangroves
MADAGASCAR - This study was conducted by Save our mangroves now! It is an international initiative that mobilizes policy makers and supports environmental actors to stop and reverse the loss of mangroves. Save our mangroves now! has a particular focus in the Western Indian Ocean, which includes Madagascar. The WWF, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and Development and IUCN are the leaders of this initiative and the authors of this cartography, available for download here. Based on cartographic analyzes and aerial photographs, the results of this study are about the evolution of Madagascar’s mangroves from 1995 to 2018. What we learn from these scientific analyzes? For the most part, mangroves are declining everywhere in Madagascar! The total surface of mangroves decreased from 294,387 ha in 2000 to just over 236,400 ha in 2018. Nevertheless, mangroves near marine or terrestrial protected areas are less impacted than others. Another important finding is that although the loss rates decreased over the years, the degradation increased. So, the degradation is the hidden loss. Also, and this is a milestone to this study, most of the areas where mangrove forests are managed by local communities are better in the whole country.READ MORE
Mangrove forests in Colombia helping climate mitigation
COLUMBIA - angrove forests, once linked to disease and insect pests, has now emerged as key ally in mitigating the effects of climate change like natural disasters. Colombian scientist Paula Sierra explains, "It provides a first line of defense along the coast. As you can see all of these roots, it can dissipate a wave. So when you have a mangrove along the coast and you have a strong current, the current hits the roots and the energy of the wave dissolves." Recent studies are showing mangroves role in climate mitigation goes even further. According to U.S.- based Conservation International, mangroves can store up to 10 times more carbon than land-based forests. They key is keeping them healthy. In a healthy mangrove, the carbon is trapped and locked away in the soil down below. However, in a mangrove that is destroyed, that carbon dioxide is released and that is what contributes to global climate change. For almost a decade, Colombia's Investigative Institute for Marine and Coastal systems – Invemar- has been studying these healthy Colombian mangroves. READ MORE
Retired Texas shrimper wins record-breaking $50 million settlement
TEXAS - U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt approved the settlement agreement between a scrappy environmental coalition and plastics giant Formosa. The settlement is the largest in U.S. history resulting from a citizen environmental suit. A federal judge approved a historic settlement agreement Tuesday between Taiwan-based plastics manufacturer Formosa and a scrappy environmental activist represented by indigent legal services nonprofit Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. TRLA said the $50 million settlement is the largest in U.S. history involving a private citizen's lawsuit against an industrial polluter under federal clean air and water laws. The money will be poured into a trust over the next five years and used to pay for programs supporting pollution mitigation, habitat restoration, public education and other environmental efforts on the middle Texas Gulf Coast. Diane Wilson, a retired shrimper and an environmental activist, sued Formosa in July 2017, alleging that its Port Comfort plant had illegally discharged thousands of plastic pellets and other pollutants into Lavaca Bay and other nearby waterways. READ MORE
Mangroves, vital to many coastlines, are under threat
USA - Some mangroves are invasive, but many are vital coastline protectors. Their dense, firmly anchored root systems keep erosion from occurring during storms, and they filter water and provide shelter for marine life and other animals. The greenbelts also sequester carbon — the world’s mangroves sequester 75 billion pounds of carbon a year. But mangroves present plenty of worries. The plants are disappearing quickly because of human development, and over a quarter of Earth’s original mangrove forests have now been lost. Rising sea levels kill off mangroves — and as the climate changes and sea levels rise even more, losses could increase. Mangroves are considered a harbinger of climate change: As waters warm around the world, their habitat is shifting northward. That might bring more carbon sequestration and increasing shoreline protection. But rising waters have decreased the plants’ genetic diversity — and that could kill off mangroves as the planet warms. READ MORE
Mass tree-planting projects go awry around the world
PHILIPPINES - From the Amazon to the Australian outback, the world’s forests are on fire. But just as all these trees disappear, politicians are sprouting promises to plant more of them like the dawning of a global spring. In the run-up to the UK election on December 12, Labour says it will plant two billion new trees on British soil by 2040 – that’s 100m a year. The Conservatives are pledged to 30m a year, while the Liberal Democrats say 60m. Perhaps the strangest efflorescence is Nigel Farage’s promise to persuade Donald Trump to lead a global afforestation campaign. These tree-planting pledges are certainly a step in the right direction, but there’s a problem. Everything being said is big on rhetoric but light on practicalities. As I know from many years of being involved with mangrove afforestation in the tropics, it’s a lot easier to plant seeds than it is to grow trees. So what lessons does the UK’s next government need to learn before it sends planters all over the countryside? READ MORE
Rising Sea Levels And Disappearing Mangrove Forests Spell Trouble For Vietnam
VIETNAM - In Vietnam, the mangroves guard against dangerous salt water intrusions into farm land in the southernmost part of the Mekong Delta and also provide protection for a variety of wildlife. As Delta ecologist Nguyen Huu Thien explains, the Delta is the main food basket of Vietnam. It produces more than 50 percent of the country’s food, 90 percent of its rice exports, 65 percent of its fruit, and 75 percent of its fish, which are a major source of protein. The Delta still suffers from the impact of an ill-advised attempt by the Communist authorities after they took power in South Vietnam in the spring of 1975 to increase rice production there. In order to expand the space for rice production, the new rulers encouraged the destruction of the mangrove forests which had acted as a buffer to protect farm land from sea-driven salt intrusions. Add to this loss of mangrove forests the impacts of climate change and the upstream hydropower dams in China and Laos which have blocked much of the sediment that once reached the Delta and replenished it with nutrients, and you have a disaster in the making. READ MORE
Mangroves Help Fight The Effects Of Climate Change. So Why Is Mumbai Destroying Them?
INDIA - Bare trees with slender branches line a half-built highway overpass in eastern Mumbai. These are mangroves, trees or shrubs found in tropical swampy marshland with roots that grow above the ground. But construction has blocked their lifeblood — salt water. Their aerial roots poke through dry, caked mud instead of brackish water. Environmentalist B.N. Kumar points to a small channel under the highway where seawater once entered the mangrove patch. It's now littered with rocks and construction debris. "All the mangroves, about 5,000 of them, have dried up. They can only be used as firewood now," Kumar says. "It's very sad to see these mangroves dying like this. At a time when we require more and more mangroves, we are destroying, unfortunately, more and more mangroves," Kumar says. Studies show that Mumbai lost nearly 40 percent of its mangroves between 1991 and 2001 — about 9,000 acres. And rapid urbanization continues to threaten them. READ MORE
Healthy mangroves help coral reef fisheries under climate stress
AUSTRALIA - Healthy mangroves can help fight the consequences of climate change on coral reef fisheries, according to a University of Queensland-led study. UQ's Professor Peter Mumby said corals have been bleached and reefs have lost their structural complexity as a major consequence of warming seas. "Many people are worried that—due to climate change—reef fishery yields could halve if coral reefs flatten, losing the hiding places that support thousands of fish," he said. "When a young fish arrives at a degraded reef it has nowhere to hide and is easily targeted by predators. "Of course, predators experience the same problem when they're young, so the entire food web becomes unproductive and few fish survive." Despite the alarming trend, the team found mangroves provided a partial solution. "We know that many reef fish can use mangroves as an alternative nursery habitat to the reef," Professor Mumby said. "Mangroves provide a calm, safe environment with plenty of food and allow fish to grow larger before heading out to the reef as adults. READ MORE
Great Gift For The Holidays
MAP's 2020 Children's Art Calendars are now available. These make great gifts to show your support of global climate efforts and are a helpful reminder for what we can do to assist in saving our world’s mangroves.
Use the donation form below to select your calendar order, and receive a tax-deductible receipt for doing so – thank you!
(Note: All costs include the cost of shipping – please select whether you will be shipping to a US or International address for according pricing.
CHILDREN'S ART CALENDAR - A great way to show your support for MAP. NOW TAKING ORDERS for our 2020 calendar
Mangrove Action Project