Environmental researchers will be funded to investigate climate change in the Northern Territory’s Gulf region over the past century, following the death of thousands of hectares of mangroves last year. Experts called it a “globally unique” phenomenon when they found a 200-kilometre stretch of dead mangroves along the Gulf of Carpentaria in the NT, stretching to Karumba in North Queensland. “We’ve seen almost 1,000 kilometres of dieback, it’s very patchy; there are some areas which have survived, others have got very high levels of mortality,” said Lindsay Hutley, Professor of environmental science at the Charles Darwin University (CDU). The NT Government has announced a $200,000 research grant to CDU to urgently study the mangrove dieback, a condition in which the tree dies from the tip of its leaves or roots backwards, generally as a cause of environmental conditions or disease. “We need to understand the causality that’s driven this quite remarkable event in northern Australia,” Professor Hutley said.
“Reducing the Risk of Disaster through Nature-Based Solutions: Mangroves” has received the Nominee’s Award by the China Science Film and Video Association. This makes a total of 10 countries where it has or will be shown. The Honorary credential awarded jointly by the China Scientific Film and Video Association and the Shenzhen Association for Science and Technology named Mangrove Action Project’s entry as “Nominees Prize” in the 2016 China Dragon Awards. Besides being displayed at the IUCN HQ in Switzerland, it has been or will be shown at film festivals or conference in Australia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hawaii, Malaysia, and Thailand. The EPIC video has had over 1,600 views on the MAP YouTube site and the recent Thai version about 250 views.
This edition of the MAP News features the latest updates from the proposed Rampal project in the largest mangrove ecosystem in the world, the Sundarbans. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has recommended that Bangladesh shelve the Rampal coal-fired power plant, which is being constructed in close proximity to the Sundarbans. It said the project would cause irreparable damage to the forest and should be relocated. The three-member Unesco expert team which visited Bangladesh in March, made this appeal in their report submitted to the government. They said at the moment the Sundarbans would not be moved from the world heritage list to the endangered world heritage list, but requested for the Rampal project to be shelved and for Unesco’s recommendations to be followed.
Mangrove news from around the globe.
Our feature story comes from Thailand and features MAP Asia coordinator Jim Enright – “We often refer to mangroves as the supermarket for the local people because, there, they have some building supplies, food supplies, shelter and medicines. So people have been traditionally relying on the mangroves for all those things in the local fishing communities,”
Our feature story this edition is from Bangladesh where a farmer’s son in the Sundarbans has been single-handedly trying to change the fate of one of the biggest mangroves in the world. Born in the island known for the Royal Bengal Tiger, Pranabesh Maiti woke up to climate change sooner than most and decided to do something about the vast biodiversity they were losing out on.
Feature Story – BANGLADESH – The recognition of Mangrove Action Day by the UN is an achievement of the consistent struggle of a number of transnational environmentalist organisations including the Mangrove Action Project, Red Manglar, ASIA, African Mangrove Network, and many international activist-grids that have been celebrating July 26 as International Mangrove Day for over a decade.
Feature Story – USA – The 4th Mangrove and Macrobenthos Meeting (MMM4) in St. Augustine, Florida, is an international discussion on the causes and consequences of mangrove ecosystem expansion in an ever-changing climate. MAP’s Education Director, Martin Keeley (shown above) was one of the speakers invited to discuss mangroves and their relation to global climate change.
Featuring World Mangrove Day – Over half of the world’s mangrove forests have been lost in the last century, but conservationists and governments are increasingly recognizing them as important carbon sinks, habitat for commercial seafood species, and storm buffers.
FEATURE STORY – In another vote of confidence for the scientific and proven results of its restoration projects, the Trustees of The Body Shop Foundation recently agreed to support Mangrove Action Project (MAP) with a substantial donation.