The MAP News
JULY 26 International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem
GLOBAL - Mangroves are rare, spectacular and prolific ecosystems on the boundary between land and sea. They ensure food security for local communities. They provide biomass, forest products and sustain fisheries. They contribute to the protection of coastlines. They help mitigate the effects of climate change and extreme weather events. This is why the protection of mangrove ecosystems is essential today. Their survival faces serious challenges —from the alarming rise of the sea level and biodiversity that is increasingly endangered. The earth and humanity simply cannot afford to lose these vital ecosystems. UNESCO has always been on the frontline of promoting new and harmonious relations between humanity and nature, where the preservation of mangrove ecosystems carries special importance. To this end, UNESCO is working across the board and with all partners on an open initiative on mangroves and sustainable development. UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves has 86 sites out of 669 that include areas of mangroves. READ MORE
‘Safeguarding Wetlands’: YES Launches Sustainable Environmental Actions
LIBERIA - The Youth Exploring Solutions (YES), an accredited non-for-profit, passionate and voluntary grassroots youth-led development organization has launched a landmark project titled “Promoting Sustainable Environmental Actions”. This project is being supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unprecedented small grant initiative for youth-led development organization working on environmental issues. The youth leader stressed that the project will involve a crowd-sourcing and voluntary grassroots-based solutions to solving some of the most critical and pressing issues facing the wetlands and mangroves alongside the SKD Boulevard through the ‘Liberian Environmental Awareness Forum’. “Mangroves are among the most productive and biologically complex ecosystems. They allow many species to thrive from starfish to monkey and are important for local communities living along the coastlines.” READ MORE
Tanzania dam threatens Eastern Africa’s largest mangrove forest
TANZANIA - Tanzania's government still wants a hydroelectric dam built in a key wildlife reserve despite mounting appeals from UNESCO. The WWF conservation group says the project also threatens the livelihoods of 200,000 residents. In its report Tuesday cited by Associated Press, the WWF said the project would have much wider impacts such as cutting off wildlife migration routes, endangering existing wetlands and harming the present livelihoods of more than 200,000 residents reliant on fishing downstream of the intended dam. WWF called on Tanzania's government to consider alternative ways to generate electricity, which currently reaches few rural residents. he project would more than double Tanzania's power generation from 1,450 megawatts to at least 4,000 megawatts, the paper said. Currently, the river's coastline delta contains the largest mangrove forest in eastern Africa, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) south of Dar es Salaam. READ MORE
Lessons on conservation from 'the land of eternal mangroves'
SRI LANKA - People are still missing in Sri Lanka after devastating floods and landslides last month killed hundreds and displaced thousands on the island nation. But in communities all along the coastline of this island nation in the Indian Ocean, there are efforts to protect ecosystems that could in turn protect the country from rains and storms capable of wiping away entire towns. Sri Lanka is working on mangrove forest protection measures that have been praised as the first of their kind in the world. And while recent heavy rains may have destroyed seedlings, they have only strengthened the determination of the government and its partners to continue their work on mangrove conservation and restoration. “Weather events in Sri Lanka, as elsewhere on the planet, have become more and more extreme and unpredictable. Again and again, communities with intact mangrove forests fare better during and in the aftermath of these events than those where mangroves have been destroyed,” said Karen Peterson. READ MORE
Massive loss in mangrove saplings in last 4 years
INDIA - In a massive setback for the environment, more than 94,000 saplings planted by the state mangrove cell at Charkop and Malwani have died in the past four years. Maharashtra government has plans to plant 50 lakh mangrove saplings by 2019 to revive degraded wetlands. The cases of mangrove destruction has been rampant, with at least two per week being recorded in the state. The destruction is continuing despite orders from the Bombay High Court and laws such as the Environment Protection Act, 1986 and Indian Forest Act, 1927, which are supposed to protect the mangrove ecosystem. The state government planted mangrove saplings between 2013 and 2016 across 300 hectares in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. While 84,000 saplings were planted near Charkop village on 19 hectares — all of which died. Around 20,000 saplings were planted near Manori village of which 10,000 saplings died over the past four years. READ MORE
Encroached mangrove forest seized in Surat Thani
THAILAND -Authorities seized more than 500 rai of encroached mangrove forest in Tha Chang district. The raid, jointly conducted by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), the military and local administrative officers, was part of a national operation to restore mangrove forests. DMCR deputy director-general Sopon Thongdee said a total of 544 rai and 3 blocks of mangrove forest reserve land were confiscated in coastal tambons of Khao Than and Tha Khoei in Tha Chang district. Located on the land were deserted shrimp farms and palm oil plantations. There were no people there. In Surat Thani, over 1,700 rai of encroached mangrove land had also been reclaimed so far. READ MORE
Why the World’s Rivers Are Losing Sediment and Why It Matters
EDITORS NOTE: The damming of the Mekong is having big effect on the Delta and its mangroves in Vietnam, just as the dams on the Mississippi have had ruinous effects on the delta there and resulted in the loss of about a 50 mile wetland buffer between New Orleans and the sea, resulting in the recent disaster created by Hurricane Katrina. Closer to MAP’s home in Washington State, scientist are seeing an unexpected benefit of sediment on coastal ecologies that may apply to mangrove forests worldwide.
U.S.A. - Elwha and Glines dams on the Elwha River in northwestern Washington state. At the time, it was the largest dam removal project in U.S. history, and it took nearly three years for both barriers to be dismantled and for the river to once again flow freely. Over the course of their nearly century-long lives, the two dams collected more than 24 million cubic yards of sediment behind them, enough to fill the Seattle Seahawks football stadium eight times. And since their removal, the Elwha has taken back the trapped sediment and distributed it downstream, causing the riverine ecosystem to be rebuilt and transformed. Massive quantities of silt, sand, and gravel have been carried to the coast, resurrecting a wetlands ecosystem long deprived of sediment. Scientists are now beginning to fully appreciate the life-giving effects of sediment, which some researchers, as well as people who live along waterways, once viewed as a malevolent force that choked the life out of rivers, streams, and wetlands. READ MORE
Open Source GIS Tools Helping Save Mangrove Forests
MEXICO - At the end of the Baja Peninsula between the states of Sinaloa and Nayarit lies the Marismas Nacionales,or National Marshes, the largest intact mangrove forest on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. The ecosystem services provided by these hundreds of square miles of mangrove forests are important to the local economy, especially the families who rely on fishing and shrimping. The mangrove ecosystems in the Marismas Nacionales also provide other benefits sustaining and fulfilling human life, such as local coastal erosion protection and carbon sequestration. Mangrove forests can remove greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and they store enormous amounts of carbon in their sediments, leaves, and other biomass. Yet over the last 45 years, mangrove forests in the Marismas Nacionales have been in decline. The construction of dams is a likely cause. Dams create imbalances in salinity and sediment that can affect large areas of mangrove forest. READ MORE
Walking Trees Terrorize Marshes
Editor’s Note: This recent study predicts salt marshes will be able to keep up with sea level rise & migrate inland, IF there is no hard infrastructure preventing expansion. The other big factor is there no change to the sediment load. Both factors are also critical to mangroves re: sea level rise.
U.S.A. - The good news: mangroves in Florida are on the rise. The bad news: mangroves in Florida are on the rise. In the shadow of the Kennedy Space Center, in Florida’s Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, a quiet invasion is taking place. Amid the brackish water and rustling grass that dominate this salt marsh ecosystem, thickets of mangroves—known locally as “walking trees” for their spindly wooden “legs”—are putting down roots. Mangrove forests are critical tropical habitat and are disappearing worldwide. But in Florida, mangroves are booming. Helped along by rising temperatures, mangrove coverage in the Sunshine State’s northern reaches has doubled over the past 30 years. This should be great news for the flagging ecosystem, but the mangrove takeover in Florida is a hostile one. Given time, the colonizing mangroves are likely to entirely consume some of the state’s iconic salt marshes. Coastal ecologist Samantha Chapman from Pennsylvania’s Villanova University and doctoral candidate Cheryl Doughty visited Merritt Island in 2013 to get a sense of how the area could change if the mangroves have their way. Such a shift could be dramatic, they found, but the mangroves’ takeover will have considerable upsides. READ MORE
Sundarbans Solidarity Action Networking and An Alternative Energy Solutions for Bangladesh Aug 19-20
GERMANY - The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) have signed a joint venture to commission a 1320 MW coal fired power plant, Rampal Power plant in the vicinity of the Sundarbans. From the beginning of the project, we – the concerned citizens, activist groups and organisations, the environment and the ecological experts at national and international levels – have expressed our deep concerns to the destructive project. Despite, unprecedented concerns expressed by numerous environmentalist groups and activists from Bangladesh and all over the world the BIFPCL has recklessly started the construction work of the 1,320 MW coal fired power plant in the vicinity of the Sundarbans in April 2017. Therefore, we are organising an European convention in Berlin to bring together Bangladeshi and international energy experts, activists and advocates to meet in a forum of what we call a diverse yet united platform - where we can express our solidarity to the movement to Save the Sundarbans through productive discussion on the feasibility of renewable energy in Bangladesh. Join us 19-20 August, 2017 READ MORE
We are delighted to present the result of a scientific research project that is fruit of a collaboration between the Federal University of Ceará (UFC) and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). This is the article that has just been published in the journal Ecosystem Services entitled "Neglected ecosystem services: Highlighting the socio-cultural perception of mangroves in decision-making processes." The results were concerned with the proposal of tools for the management and formulation of policies for the conservation of coastal ecosystems, investigating the socio-cultural evaluation of ecosystem services of the mangroves through a case study carried out in the Cumbe community in the State of Ceará, Northeast of Brazil. It is a Quilombola community territory of fishermen and shellfish sharply impacted by shrimp aquaculture. A combination of methodologies was used to complement ecosystem services identified in the academic literature with those perceived by the local community in order to analyze the locally perceived mangroves services in relation to livelihoods. We demonstrated that the local community identified four additional cultural services which were the maintenance of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), creation and maintenance of social relationships, personal satisfaction and mental and physical relaxation. This demonstrates a symbolic linkage with mangroves beyond the material analysis usually used to evaluate ecosystem services and shows that the sociocultural dimension of mangrove services is an indispensable criterion to be considered in the different decision-making processes. We hope this article will contribute to addressing the challenges for the conservation of coastal ecosystems.
Follow the links to download the article:
Socio-Cultural Percepions of Mangroves in Decision Making
Luciana de Souza Queiroz
Antônio Jeovah de Andrade Meireles
Mangrove.is Photography Contest!
Mangrove Action Project