The MAP News
427th Edition October 14, 2017
Alarm as study reveals world’s tropical forests are huge carbon emission source
GLOBAL - The world’s tropical forests are so degraded they have become a source rather than a sink of carbon emissions, according to a new study that highlights the urgent need to protect and restore the Amazon and similar regions. Researchers found that forest areas in South America, Africa and Asia – which have until recently played a key role in absorbing greenhouse gases – are now releasing 425 teragrams of carbon annually, which is more than all the traffic in the United States. This is a far greater loss than previously thought and carries extra force because the data emerges from the most detailed examination of the topic ever undertaken. The authors say their findings – published in the journal Science recently – should galvanise policymakers to take remedial action. “This shows that we can’t just sit back. The forest is not doing what we thought it was doing,” said Alessandro Baccini, who is one of the leader authors of the research team from Woods Hole Research Center and Boston University. “As always, trees are removing carbon from the atmosphere, but the volume of the forest is no longer enough to compensate for the losses. The region is not a sink any more.” READ MORE
Cameroon palm oil campaigner arrested in crackdown on activists
CAMEROON - A prominent campaigner against palm oil plantations has been arrested amid a growing crackdown on environmental and human rights activists in Cameroon, according to local lawyers and NGOs. Nasako Besingi, who has led opposition to a US-funded 73,000 hectare farm in a biodiverse rainforest, is among more than 100 individuals who have been detained during an escalation of tension between the predominantly French-speaking authorities and the country’s large English-speaking minority. Supporters of Besingi claim the authorities are using the “anglophone crisis” to put pressure on the campaigner, who has been jailed, threatened, and sued on several previous occasions. READ MORE
Governing mangroves: From Tanzania to Indonesia
TANZANIA - scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), coordinated by Principal Scientist Esther Mwangi, set out to explore tenure and governance arrangements of mangroves through a global review. They have so far conducted case studies in the Rufiji delta of Tanzania, which has one of the two most extensive mangrove areas in East Africa, and in Lampung province in Indonesia, the country with the largest mangrove forest cover in the world, accounting for up to 22 percent of the world’s mangroves. At these sites, scientists analyzed national-level legal and policy frameworks, coordination across government agencies, and institutional arrangements at the local level — looking at “how decisions are made and the ability to implement them, both in terms of resources and capacity,” says the Coordinator of the Tanzania study, Baruani Mshale. READ MORE
MAP-Asia staff attended the Daimler Review Meeting in India
INDIA - Three MAP-Asia staff (Jim Enright, Jaruwan Enright (Ning) and Udomsak Pariwatpan (Em)) participated in Daimler Review Meeting "Involving communities in the restoration and rehabilitation of tropical mangrove ecosystem in Asia" held at Chennai Park Hyatt Hotel and the YWCA International Guest House, Chennai, India on 19-20 September 2017. The meeting was co-organized by Global Nature Fund (GNF) of Germany and the Center for Research on New International Economic Order (CReNIEO) based in Chennai. There were 24 participants from 7 organizations in 5 countries (The Center for Research on New Economic Order (CReNIEO) and Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS) from India, EMACE Foundation and Nagenahiru Foundation from Sri Lanka, The Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT) from Cambodia, The Mangrove Action Project (MAP) from Thailand, The Global Nature Fund (GNF) and Daimler AG from India & Germany. READ MORE
Conserve mangroves to save Mumbai
INDIA - Mumbai historical records indicate that there were several islands around the city during 1670. However, the Britishers, who were ruling the country, identified the importance of these islands for commercial purpose. They deforested the fringing mangroves and reclaimed these islands into one continuous landmass, which later came to be known as “Greater Bombay”. Since then the developmental and eventually population pressure rapidly increased and being the coastal area, it took the toll of mangrove land. During the process of deforestation and reclamation, a few mangrove patches were still left in the heart of the city, which proves that today’s megacity had a luxuriant past of mangrove forests. Rapid developments like housing, industrialisation, pollution and increasing population of Mumbai has resulted into degradation of mangroves. There are two important creeks, Vasai Creek towards north and Thane Creek towards south where luxuriant mangrove patches are still remaining. Otherwise the state govt agencies have failed to protect this important, productive mangrove ecosystem from building mafias. The worst disturbed area in Mumbai is the entire western front except Carter Road where the mangroves have grown and have also registered an increase in height in the last 10 years. This has been possible due to the participation of citizen’s forums fighting individually. READ MORE
Marvellous Mangroves - 10 years in Brazil
BRAZIL - It has been over ten years since work started to translate and adapt Marvellous Mangroves for use in Brazilian schools by MAP’s partners, Instituto BiomaBrasil (IBB). In April, 2006, the process began when IBB’s Clemente Coelho Jnr. and Renato Almeida observed and participated in a MM workshop held in Tilapa on the Northwest coast of Guatemala. It was only six months later that MAP Education Director Martin Keeley and Elaine Corets (then South American co-ordinator for MAP) rejoined Clemente and Renato together with several teachers and scientists in Cariacica, southeast Brazil, and started work on adapting and translating MM into Portuguese for use in Brazilian schools. Marvellous Mangroves has enabled IBB to become recognised by the Ministry of Environment as an institution dedicated to the conservation of mangroves and the implementation of extensive educational initiatives involving marine protected areas. Many university students actively support IBB initiatives as a practical part of their studies. MM has made a long-lasting impact on regional and municipal authorties, says Clemente. READ MORE
Organizations worldwide condemn UN aviation agency’s biofuel plans
MEXICO - Environmental and development organisations from five continents have written to the UN’s aviation agency (ICAO) condemning a proposal for large-scale use of biofuels in planes. The letter signed by 96 NGOs states that using biofuels on a vast scale will inevitably lead to further palm oil expansion, which will cause more deforestation, increasing climate-changing emissions, and more landgrabbing and land and human rights abuses. The proposals will be discussed (October 11-13) by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) at its Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels in Mexico City. According to ICAO’s “Vision” proposal, the aviation industry would use 5 million tonnes of biofuels a year from 2025, which will be scaled up to 286 million tonnes by 2050 - more than three times the amount of all biofuels produced today . It is part of an attempt by the aviation industry and ICAO to maintain high levels of aviation growth while presenting them as “carbon neutral” from 2020. Mary Louise Malig from the Global Forest Coalition, one of the signatories of the Open Letter said: “Biofuels are already responsible for large-scale deforestation, and for more land-grabbing, human rights abuses, loss of food sovereignty and food security. Fuelling planes in addition to cars with them would magnify those serious impacts, while doing nothing to address climate change.” READ MORE
Flamingos return to mangrove area in Progreso
MEXICO - The mangrove area of the old narrow road that was used during the time of the railroad and that connected this port with the towns of Chicxulub Pueblo and Conkal has become a nesting site for flamingos. A little more than a kilometer south of the Progreso-Chicxulub trail is the nesting area of flamingos, wading birds that usually inhabit the mangrove area of Uaymitún, but which have begun to congregate in the mangrove swamps near Progreso where they have found food, explained the farmer Remigio Cuytún. To get to the area where the flamingos are located, we travel along the road that leads to the old municipal dump. The dense mangrove growing in that area is a result of the institutional program for the protection, conservation, restoration and reforestation of the mangrove that has been carryied out since October 2014 by the Ninth Naval Zone through its Port Oceanographic Research Station. Flamingos flock to less than 20 meters from the narrow old road, from where they are easily seen, and they occupy an area of about 500 meters. According to the farmer Remigio Cuytún ,for several years, these birds were not seen in this area. READ MORE
There was an article in the Guardian on Friday about Nasako Besingi. I didn't know you knew him.
Front Line Defenders:
"Nasako Besingi has been leading his community in the protests against the development of palm oil plantations by the American agribusiness company Herakles Farm."
It seems pressure has to be put on the US company, Herakles Farm, the one implementing 73,000 ha of oil palm plantation.
thanks for sending this. I had met Nasako many years ago at the In the Hands of the Fishers workshop in Cameroon. He was one of the few English speakers there, and was very involved with trying to protect the rights of local communities at the time. He was then, as he obviously is now, a very dedicated, uncompromising activist. This Herakles Farms company in the US needs to be spotlighted as the blight on the environment and the bane on human rights it is!
PETITION: Cameroon: Release forest defender Nasako Besingi SIGN NOW!
EPIC REPORT Download the paper ‘Mangrove Restoration: to plant or not to plant’, available in 7 languages.
Mangrove Action Project
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Students from the Escola Varzea Do Una from San Jose Da Coroa Grande, Pernambuco Provice, Brasil, and their marvellous mangroves poster. Mural and photo by Prof. Flaviane Paes.
It has been over ten years since work started to translate and adapt Marvellous Mangroves for use in Brazilian schools by MAP’s partners, Instituto BiomaBrasil (IBB). In April, 2006, the process began when IBB’s Clemente Coelho Jnr. and Renato Almeida observed and participated in a MM workshop held in Tilapa on the Northwest coast of Guatemala. Organised in conjunction with the local NGO Amigos Del Bosque and CORALINA - based in San Andres, Colombia, - Tilapa was the launch for teachers of the Guatemala (Spanish) version of MM.
It was only six months later that MAP Education Director Martin Keeley and Elaine Corets (then South American co-ordinator for MAP) rejoined Clemente and Renato together with several teachers and scientists in Cariacica, southeast Brazil, and started work on adapting and translating MM into Portuguese for use in Brazilian schools.
Two years later in summer 2008 the first training in the use of the MM took place and involved 55 teachers from the city of Cariacica, in the Espirito Santo State school system. The workshop was a part of a planned activity between the Projeto Povos e Mangues (Peoples and Mangroves Project) of the Municipal Secretary of Education (SEME) and the Secretary of Environment (SEMMAM). It was run by staff from the Instituto BiomaBrasil – Management and Conservation of Coastal Tropical Wetlands (IBB).
This workshop was shortly followed by a multi-state national workshop in Brasilia. Since that time the numbers of schools, teachers and students who have been exposed to MM in Brazil is impressive. Clemente reports that well over 100 schools, 400 plus teachers and more than 12,000 students in five states have learned the wonders of mangroves through the MM program.
Clemente stresses that MM provides the resources needed to take an in-depth look at mangrove ecosystems. “Both students and teachers are amazed by the ecosystem's beauty and the importance,” he says. “The increasing respect and passion that they develop towards mangroves is noticeable.”
MM, he adds, has proven to be an invaluable tool for supporting teaching methods as a whole, especially in the context of deficient teacher training (25% of all Brazilian teachers have no access to further education). Clemente adds that both the experiments and field activities found in MM are extremely powerful and open the minds of both students and teachers. “The program does, without doubt, change students' atitudes towards mangrove ecosystems,” he says.
(Left photo) The first MM Brazil workshop held in Cariacica in 2006. MAP’s education director Martin Keeley top far right. (Right photo) Students at Atividade a Rede da Vida with the Birds and Beaks activity.
The MM training has led to individuals and communities making concentrated efforts to protect and preserve mangroves where they live and Clemente cites some specific examples:
* Cariacica: Following the teachers’ initial 2-year program, the municipality supported the production of an animated movie involving the schools which had the Marvellous Mangroves experience.
*Maragojipe (BA): Dozens of schools have held demonstrations to draw public attention to the conservation of mangrove ecosystems.
*Cananéia (SP): The experience with MM has led schools to produce and edit a poetry book on the theme of mangroves.
*Tamandaré (PE): Following classroom activities, the Costa dos Corais protected area has been used as an outdoor laboratory with data collected provided to São Paulo University.
*Porto de Pedras (AL): Following classroom activities, additional field trips were also taken to take part in sea-cow releases in conjunction with the Centro de Mamíferos Aquáticos, Instituto Chico Mendes (CMA/ICMBio) - the federal agency for the protection of biodiversity.
*São Miguel (AL): Classroom activities focussed on mangrove ecosystems plus littering. The teachers used social media to promote their work, calling the community’s attention to this issue. The same teachers organized beach clean-ups in the municipality’s mangroves, as well as taking part in sea-cow releases, accompanied by an IBB monitor.
*São José da Coroa Grande (PE): The MM was introduced by the municipal education authority to all schools where it continues to be taught.
All teachers who have participated in MM are part of a closed group on Facebook - Os Maravilhosos Manguezais do Brasil - where they exchange experiences in different municipalities.
Marvellous Mangroves has enabled IBB to become recognised by the Ministry of Environment as an institution dedicated to the conservation of mangroves and the implementation of extensive educational initiatives involving marine protected areas. Many university students actively support IBB initiatives as a practical part of their studies.
MM has made a long-lasting impact on regional and municipal authorties, says Clemente. For example, the Mayor of Victoria, in his re-election campaign, paid for MM workshops in every school. The the municipalities of Cariacica and Fundão consistently provide ongoing private and public support with teacher participation in the managment of marine protected areas. In another municipality, teachers participate on the management board of the Costa dos Corais protected área in Pernambuco province, as well as organising protection and awareness activities, community-based recycling projects, and continually promoting debates in the social media.
All-in-all MM is here to stay in Brazil’s schools.
(Left) Teachers field trip: Interview with the fishermen of the Várzea do Una community gathering information about which type of fish is most hunted by local fishermen. (Right) teachers from conducting the oil spill activity from MM during a workshop in Vitoria, Espirito Santo Province.
Year 5 from Edna Moyle Elementary school, Grand Cayman, pilot the new Marvellous Mangroves interactive website. Bird spotting in the Central Mangroves (left); Teacher Janice Brown monitors computer access to the new site, while another student inputs to the site on the smart board her field trip experiences.
Launch of Marvellous Mangroves International Educational Website
Teachers and students all over the mangrove world are connecting thanks to a new interactive website launched by the Mangrove Action Project (MAP). Marvellousmangroves.org has been several years in the making, says MAP Education Director Martin Keeley, “And we have just spent the last couple of weeks working with Year 5 students at Edna Moyle Primary School, Northside, Grand Cayman, to iron out the bugs and make sure the site is up and running.”
The site is an extension of the Marvellous Mangroves education program which was first introduced into Cayman’s schools in 2001 and has, since then, been taught to every Year 5 at every school class where it is part of the science/social studies curriculum. It is currently being taught by Catherine Childs, Education Director of the Cayman Islands National Trust, and is sponsored by Caribbean Utilities. Since its introduction it has been translated and adapted for use in 13 countries worldwide.
“The primary purpose behind marvellousmangroves.org is to allow teachers and students around the world to explore the wonderful world of mangroves in their own country in their own language,” Keeley, who is also UCCI Cayman Brac Campus Director and founder of the Mangroves & Reefs Education Project, explains. “The site was designed under the supervision of MAP’s IT whiz, Leo Thom, and follows the same five section structure as the Marvellous Mangroves teachers guide.”
“Teachers and students will not only be able to explore mangrove ecology in their own countries - where the site allows teachers to pose questions and students to answer them and record their own findings - it will enable them to find out what their counterparts in other countries are doing and seeing.”
“This Marvellous Mangroves Program is so worth while!” exclaims Ms. Janice Brown, Year 5 teacher at Edna Moyle Primary, whose class enabled the pilot to be undertaken. “It not only teaches students about the values and vital need to protect the mangroves but involves the students learning in an interactive way through the website and through fascinating, outdoor field trips. Education at its best!”
The students were first introduced to the world on mangroves through classroom activities by the Trust’s Catherine Childs
From the field trip to the new website. Students taste testing salt on a black mangrove leaf (left) and checking up on an upside down jellyfish (right) while MAP education director Martin Keeley supervises inputting data on the new MM website.
GO ONLINE AND REGISTER NOW!! www.marvellousmangroves.org
Left: Cayman Islands National Trust’s Education Director Catherine Childs working with Year 5 Edna Moyle Primary School in Grand Cayman with the mangrove species activity. Right: The “Explore” page on the new MM website created by MAP’s IT specialist, Leo Thom.
who also posed several skill testing questions on the new site. Classroom activities were followed by a field trip to the Central
Mangroves run by Sea Elements and a final classroom follow-up when students wrote and drew their impressions and entered them on the classroom’s smart board.
“Recording on the website took a little getting used to,” says Ms. Brown, “But once they did, the students were able to transfer their findings from their notebooks to the site. The Marvellous Mangroves programme – whether it’s the actual hands-on exploration or the new website recording - facilitates the use of different learning skills in a way that is very valuable,” she adds.
Using the marvellousmangrove.org site is simple. Students and teachers need to register on-line. Once they have done this and approved by the site moderator, they can then input their observations and findings – not to mention photographs and data of all kinds. These must also be approved by the moderator – another environmental educator, Ms. Marnie Laing, who will then post the information on the site. Ms. Laing was a previous National Trust Education Director who taught the program for several years before Ms. Childs took over, so she is very familiar with the world of mangroves.
“We live in a world where the internet and social media are dominating factors,” says Mr. Keeley. “But what we tend to forget is that many students and teachers in other mangrove countries don’t even have science labs – often not even reliable electricity. Marvellous Mangroves bridges that gap by providing hands-on science activities. We also give many schools studying mangroves light source microscopes and magnifying lenses to help them set up Mangrove Cubs. These, in turn, provide the core for science labs to be established.
“The mangrovellousmangroves.org website will also help to bridge that gap so students can explore and report data using the schools’ computer labs (if they have one) and teachers’ cell phones.”
For more details about Marvellous Mangroves contact:
Martin A. Keeley
Global Education Director
Mangrove Action Project
17, Beach Drive
Tel: (345) 948-0319 Cell: (345) 526-5072
The new Myths & Legends book from Marvellous Mangroves. Only $20
+ $5 P&P. From: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Three MAP-Asia staff (Jim Enright, Jaruwan Enright (Ning) and Udomsak Pariwatpan (Em)) participated in Daimler Review Meeting "Involving communities in the restoration and rehabilitation of tropical mangrove ecosystem in Asia" held at Chennai Park Hyatt Hotel and the YWCA International Guest House, Chennai, India on 19-20 September 2017. The meeting was co-organized by Global Nature Fund (GNF) of Germany and the Center for Research on New International Economic Order (CReNIEO) based in Chennai. There were 24 participants from 7 organizations in 5 countries (The Center for Research on New Economic Order (CReNIEO) and Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS) from India, EMACE Foundation and Nagenahiru Foundation from Sri Lanka, The Fisheries Action Coalition Team (FACT) from Cambodia, The Mangrove Action Project (MAP) from Thailand, The Global Nature Fund (GNF) and Daimler AG from India & Germany.
The meeting was a great opportunity for MAP-Asia to share experiences, learn from others and to re-connect with mangrove network friends while making some new ones.
Friday, September 29, 2017
The MAP News
Communities struggle to save Sabah’s shrinking mangroves
MALAYSIA - A development plan establishing shrimp farms and timber plantations begun purportedly to reduce poverty in northern Sabah, Malaysia, has attracted criticism from local communities and NGOs, which say the project is ignoring communities’ land rights. The district of Pitas in the Malaysian state of Sabah is situated on the 40-kilometer Bengkoka peninsula on the island of Borneo, stretching east into the South China sea. This forested, hilly area slopes down to the coast along the Telaga River, through ancient mangrove forest. But since the 1980s, it has been increasingly opened up by government-sanctioned development projects; more recently, in 2013, mangrove clearance has resumed for the commercial farming of shrimp (also referred to as prawns). This resurgence has brought the company Sunlight Inno Seafood Company Sdn Bhd, which is supported by the government, into conflict with local communities that depend on the mangroves for their livelihoods. In response to mangrove clearance, six indigenous Orang Asli communities in the district have come together to form the “Group of Six” (G6) collective Pitas action committee. It aims to save around 1,000 acres of the remaining mangroves and get this area legally designated under their Native Customary Rights (NCR). READ MORE
The last place on Earth': how Sumatra's rainforest is being cleared for palm oil
INDONESIA - A palm oil company is continuing to clear forest in a fast-diminishing elephant habitat in Indonesia’s Leuser ecosystem despite being the subject of two reports into illegal deforestation, according to a prominent environmental organisation. The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) published a study in July accusing plantation owner PT Agra Bumi Niaga (ABN) of growing oil palms on illegally deforested land in the Leuser ecosystem, in Aceh province, northern Sumatra. This was the second time in six months that the company had been accused by RAN of clearing rainforests in one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. The NGO stepped up its focus on ABN’s nearly 2,000 hectare (4,942 acres) concession, which sits within the Leuser ecosystem, after the Aceh government banned forest clearance for palm oil plantations in the area in June 2016. Since the Guardian reported on the investigation, the remaining forest in ABN’s nearly 2,000 hectare concession has been reduced from 420 hectares to just 54 hectares. RAN says its latest evidence from satellite imagery and field reports shows ABN cleared 18 hectares of forest in June and razed another 12 hectares in July, seemingly ignoring concerns from campaigners, government and businesses further down the supply chain. READ MORE
Mumbai techie clears 15 tonnes trash from mangroves in 90 days, shovels sense into civic body
INDIA - For the past three months, citizens walking or jogging along Bandra’s Carter Road promenade have been seeing a man with a shovel in his hand, digging and clearing mangroves of debris and garbage. He was always seen working alone. Toiling as a one-man army against garbage that is choking Mumbai’s mangrove forests, 51-year-old Rehan Merchant, a Bandra resident, has cleared more than 15 tonnes of litter in 90 days. He cleared a 100-foot-wide pool of sewage by creating a channel that allowed the high tide water to wash away muck. He unclogged a decade-old sewage pipe so that plastic would not get stuck to mangrove branches. Inspired by Merchant’s efforts, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) sent 10 clean-up marshals to assist him. In two weeks, the BMC workers have helped him remove more than five tonnes of trash. The heavy downpour on Saturday morning did not interrupt the latest cleaning session. After spending 12 years working in the Middle East, Merchant, a website designer, returned to Mumbai in 2009 and found that the area, where he grew up, was strewn with garbage, mostly plastic. “READ MORE
UN picks La Union boy as Young Earth Ambassador
PHILIPPINES - A 12-year-old boy from a far-flung barangay here has been chosen by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) as its ambassador in telling the whole world the most pressing message at this time: preserve the forest and save Mother Earth. A son of a slash-and-burn upland farmer called in the vernacular as “kainginero,” James Daryll Rey, grade six pupil of Nagyubuyuban Elementary School, now carries the title of “Young Earth Ambassador” conferred by the UNFAO through the Yakap Kalikasan, a UNFAO-sponsored non-government organization, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 1. As UNFAO ambassador, Rey will be sent to address multi-sectoral groups within the country and abroad to narrate how he successfully led the community, even at his young age, to take action for the preservation of forests. READ MORE
EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a follow up to a story from 2016 discussing the loss of mangroves and fisheries due to dredging in Cambodia. Although the dredging was reportedly banned in July of 2017, it's a little unclear if it has completely stopped and much damage has already been done
Sand numbers between Taiwan and the government appear to be off by more than 1.5M tonnes
CAMBODIA - More than $30 million in Cambodian sand exports registered by Taiwan appear to be missing from Cambodia’s customs records, according to data from both governments, marking yet another large-scale discrepancy in the Kingdom’s figures on the trade. The huge inconsistency – Cambodian customs data show only 28,900 tonnes of sand sent to Taiwan between 2010 and 2016, while Taiwan registered 1.7 million tonnes in the same period – was highlighted by NGO Mother Nature in a video released on Monday evening. Following the release, two activists for the organisation were yesterday arrested while taking photos of two suspected sand-bearing vessels anchored near Prek Khsach commune in Koh Kong province’s Kiri Sakor district. Mother Nature founder Alex Gonzalez-Davidson said Dem Kundy and Hun Vanak were seized aboard their small boat in open waters near a special economic zone owned by powerful ruling party Senator Ly Yong Phat. READ MORE
Satellite images show Navy station reclaimed 60% mangroves in Mumbai
INDIA - A city-based non-government organisation (NGO) has alleged that illegal reclamation by the Indian Navy Station (INS) Hamla led to a 60% drop in mangrove cover at an area owned by the latter near Nau Sena Bagh, Marwe, Malad (West). The state mangrove cell confirmed there was a violation at the site. NGO Watchdog Foundation filed complaints with the state mangrove cell and the Mumbai suburban collector on Tuesday. The NGO attached satellite images from 2013 and 2017 that show a significant drop in green cover at the patch. “Debris dumping over four years by the Navy has destroyed over one-and-a-half hectare mangrove patch at Marwe. This is against Bombay high court (HC) orders and the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 1991, which provides for the protection of mangroves irrespective of their density,” said Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, Watchdog Foundation. “We demand an enquiry into the matter and the booking of officials responsible for this.” The destruction of mangrove forests across the state and construction within 50m of mangrove areas was banned by the Bombay high court in 2005, after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed by the NGO Bombay Environment Action Group. READ MORE
Mangrove messiah gets a school, posthumously
INDIA - Mangrove protector and ecologist Kallen Pokkudan in his life time could not realise his dream of setting up a mangrove school for the young generation to know and study mangroves, ecology and sustainable life. Now, after two years of his demise, his sons, relatives and green activists have successfully developed a school at Muttukandy near Payangady in Kannur on the banks of Payangadi river. The students have started visiting the place from across northern Kerala to know the life of Pokkudan and the green lessons he imparted. Yet there are miles to go before a full-fledged school campus as envisaged by Pokkudan can be established. "The mangrove school doesn't mean a building alone. It comprises mangrove, river, the flora and fauna and the life sustenance of all the living beings," says Sreejith Paithalen, son of Kallen Pokkudan, who spearheads the Mangrove Tree Trust which is behind the school.READ MORE
Protection to Mangrove Areas Must Increase
PANAMA - Only 40 percent of the 1,744 square kilometers of mangrove in Panama are included in the national system of protected areas, said the report issued by International Conservation Panama. According to this non-governmental organization, the rest of the areas, if described as special management zones, are still vulnerable to agricultural changes, coastal pollution, shrimp farming and housing, or they are highly damaged by the exploitation of mangrove. Thus, the protection to the mangrove areas is relatively weak and does not envisage the proper way to protect the carbon reserve for a long-term period, said Julio Rodriguez, manager of International Conservation Panama. Nevertheless, the researches highlight the role of mangrove ecosystems in reducing the climate change from the adaptation and mitigation viewpoint, as well as reducing risks and keeping or increasing the carbon reserve. Finally, International Conservation Panama said that the location of future mangrove habitats and its inclusion in the adaptation process will be a key issue to plan the sustainability of human settlements for a long-term period. VIEW SOURCE
The Everglades have always been hit by hurricanes. Irma could be a different matter.
USA As residents of the Southeast are returning home and assessing the damage left by Hurricane Irma, Florida scientists are anxiously waiting to evaluate the storm’s impact on one of the state’s most valuable — and vulnerable — ecosystems: the Everglades. Already threatened by the continuous progression of sea-level rise — which pumps damaging salt water into the habitat, jeopardizing groundwater resources, contributing to erosion and threatening wildlife and vegetation — some scientists worry that the weakened Everglades are becoming less resilient to disruptive events like hurricanes. The issue is a prime example of the way climate change can render ecosystems more vulnerable to even natural disturbances. Indeed, it’s an issue that President Barack Obama chose to highlight two years ago during his last term. On a visit to Everglades National Park in April 2015, timed to coincide with Earth Day, Obama emphasized the growing threat of climate change and pointed to the impact of the rising seas in Florida as an example. READ MORE
Civil Servants Plant Mangroves Along Foreshore In Labasa
FIJI - To make climate change awareness effective, more than 100 civil servants planted 300 mangroves at Vuo Village outside Labasa Town recenty. Northern Division Secretary based at Commissioner Northern’s office Soko Tuima said they chose to plant mangroves in this village as it was directly exposed to the sea. “There was an empty muddy space facing the sea and located in front of the village posing a threat to the villagers,” Mr Tuima said. “During the high tide especially when the sea is rough, the water flows into the nearby houses as this is a low lying area. “The advantage of planting mangroves will greatly help in the long run as it will hold water from pushing its way into the houses. “The civil servants were happy taking their time out for this programme as it acted as a mitigator for climate change effects,” he said. “Moreover, we have carried out more programmes in line with climate change awareness week such as the planting of 70 native trees at the Labasa botanical garden and conducted a clean-up campaign at the back street of Labasa town. READ MORE
Dead mangroves shut down carbon cycle
AUSTRALIA - Mangroves help fight climate change but they’re at serious risk from its effects. That’s one of the findings from a study of a massive mangrove dieback that occurred in late 2015. Local fishermen reported mangroves were dying along hundreds of kilometres along the Gulf of Carpentaria coastline, in northern Australia, an area known for its barramundi fishing and high-value commercial fisheries. This caught the attention of Damien Maher of Southern Cross University in Melbourne, who is interested in the chemistry of mangroves – how they store carbon in their soils, remove planet-warming nitrous oxides from the atmosphere, and neutralise ocean acidification by releasing alkaline chemicals into nearby waters. Maher and his colleagues studied the dead zones, as well as adjacent areas that survived. “The dead areas were emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere straight from the soils,” he says. “The carbon cycle had shut down because the trees weren’t locking up carbon anymore.” READ MORE
It is discouraging to hear that the problems (of post-tsunami replanting mangroves) are even worse than ever. The same issues are occurring in coastal wetland restoration efforts in the US, which I know you are familiar with also. It appears that we are investing in coastal restoration ex post - at great cost and waste - as a pancea for not investing in adequate protection or conservation of natural systems that are rapidly disappearing from development. Restoration has become a license for development, and not a remedy for it as intended.
I agree that you and I don't have the power or influence to stop it. But we do have a voice, and we need to keep using it in the hope that someone will listen. As Martin Luther King said, "We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope."
Keep up the good fight. Or, as David Pearce used to tell me, "Keep on laughing and smiling"....
Edward B Barbier
Professor of Economics
Senior Scholar, School of Global Environmental Sustainability
Colorado State University
EPIC REPORT Download the paper ‘Mangrove Restoration: to plant or not to plant’, available in 7 languages.
We invite all school children from tropical and sub-tropical nations, and those who love mangroves, to create art for the 2019 Children's Art Calendar CLICK HERE
Become a volunteer at Gunjur Environmental Protection and Development Group (Gambia) GEPADG, see the photos below on some volunteer activities. http://gepadg.jilankanet.com/our-volunteers/4548872938
Want to learn more about mangroves?
Mangrove Action Project