Save the Mangrove Forest in Pitas (Sabah), Eastern Malaysia
The mangrove forests in Pitas, Malaysia are under threat. In less than two years, more than 2,000 acres of mangrove forests have been destroyed to create shrimp ponds, violating the local communities’ rights and environmental regulations. The last 1,000 acres of community mangrove forests are now also targeted for expansion. Please help the indigenous communities in Pitas to protect and conserve their remaining forests.
You can help push for real change by endorsing the letter calling on Musa Aman, Chief Minister of Sabah, Malaysia, to stop the destruction of community mangrove forests in Pitas.
Below you can find a summary of the situation in Pitas and the call for support – it would be much appreciated if you could share this widely with your networks. If you have questions or would like to receive additional information on this case, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
BACKGROUND ON PITAS
In 2010, the Malaysian government launched a new economic initiative aimed at turning Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020. One of the projects under this plan sought to tackle extreme poverty in the district of Pitas, one of the poorest in Sabah, by establishing the country’s largest shrimp farm and promising job opportunities for local communities. Instead, the project has led to the destruction of the mangrove forests which are their main source of food and income.
So far, all of the communities’ complaints and calls for action have been unanswered. The communities’ hope is that strong international support will lend increased weight to the letter, which they will resubmit to the Sabah Chief Minister, Musa Aman, along with the list of all endorsements. Please consider giving them your support by signing the letter before 15th February 2017.
For those of you who would like to know more, pls. see the following:
Cancun’s millenarian mangrove swamp destroyed in just one day to give way to building complex
Crocodiles were buried alive along with numerous others animal species who inhabited Cancun’s mangrove swamp after excavators destroyed it last Saturday. Grass-root organisation Save The Mangrove, which had set up camp inside in other to protect the flora and fauna of the area, explained that around 200 police dressed up in riot gear guarded this operation.
Machinery working round the clock non-stop destroyed 90% of Cancun’s last wild nature enclave injust one day. The Federal government authorised this action carried out together with the go ahead of the Mexican National Fund for Fomenting Tourism (Fonatur). The 57 hectares of mangrove swamp, which are now just rubble, will be destined to building a residential area, a commercial centre and a catholic church, amongst other plans, in the area known as Malecon Tajamar.
Neighbors, activists, grassroots organisations and NGOs such as Greenpeace Mexico have all signed a petition in the platform Change.or asking the local government of Quintana Roo to stop this ecocide and paralise activity. You can sign the petition here
Photo of dead crocodiles: Cuartoscuro/Elizabeth Ruizdestruction foto of ground by Patricia Festa
Grass-root organisation Save Tajamar Mangrove managed to suspend works on Wednesday after a court hearing dictated the provisional suspension of activities until a home is found for all the animals that are left to die. Activists explained that during the week mysterious looking men had been coming to the area and taking live crocodiles away in black plastic bags.
It seems that the petition has come too late but there are still many stranded animals left and hope that something can be done. Neighbors of Cancun have been protesting in the streets of the city in a desperate attempt to inform the population. There is a demonstration planned for tomorrow to continue raising awareness. In the meantime activists guard the area hoping that the court order is respected.
Corporate watch published a news story last month about the movements of resistance to protect Cancun’s mangrove swamp and the importance of such ecosystems. You can read the story here. written by Almudena Serpis
Mangrove Action Project proposes a call for action by sending a letters to those in government who can help stop this destruction.
Address of governor of Quitana Roo (Cancun’s province)
Roberto Borge Angulo
Palacio de Gobierno, Av. 22 de Enero s/n, 2o. piso, Col. Centro, Chetumal, Q. Roo., C.P. 77000
Telephone (983) 835.0500, Ext. 1177
email address [email protected]
We urge the government of Cancun to permanently stop the devastation of the mangrove swamp at Malecón Tajamar, that all animals left stranded are found a new home and that justice is made after the destruction of this precious natural enclave.
Urgimos al gobierno de Cancun el cese definitivo de la devastación del manglar de Malecón Takamar, que todos los animales sean realojados debidamente y que se haga justicia tras la destrucción de este preciado enclave natural.
Pictures by jourlanist Pedro Canche
video of the destruction by PlayGround :
El manglar de Tajamar, en Cancún, acaba de sufrir los demoledores efectos de la fiebre inmobiliaria.
Posted by PlayGround on Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Tell the governments of Cambodia and Singapore to stop the destructive dredging of rivers and coastal areas and put an end to international trafficking of this valuable resource.
Dear friends of the rainforests,
Sand is a valuable resource that is becoming increasingly scarce. The construction industry, which consumes the lion’s share, prefers rough sand from riverbeds and coastal areas. Dredging, however, is responsible for the wholesale destruction of aquatic and coastal ecosystems.
Singapore is the world’s largest importer of sand. The city-state consumes 30 million tons a year for construction projects and land reclamation – and obtains it by dredging away its neighbors’ beaches, coastlines, riverbeds and entire islands.
In Cambodia, fishermen and their families are actively resisting the destruction of their rivers and mangrove forests by illegal dredgers. Activists of our Cambodian partner Mother Nature are supporting their protests and the organization’s co-founder Sun Mala and two of his colleagues were arrested on August 17.
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen prohibited the export of sand from riverbeds and coastal areas in 2009, but Singapore and the Cambodian authorities are simply ignoring the ban.
Please join the fishermen and activists in telling the governments of both countries to put an end to the destruction now!
Thanks for being involved,
Rainforest Rescue (Rettet den Regenwald e.V.)
CLICK HERE to read more about the petition and sign
Mangroves Illegally Removed in Miami, FL for International Boat Show
Local officials in Key Biscayne continue to fight over boat show location
30th July 2015 – news release for immediate publication
Mangrove deforestation happens worldwide, and unfortunately just last month it happened in our own country. Contractors in the city of Key Biscayne, Florida illegally tore down 300 feet of Mangroves without proper permits in order to prepare for the International Boat Show in Miami.
The Mangrove Action Project is reaching out to city and state officials to provide support in addressing this incident, as well as demand adequate reparations for the illegal removal of 300 feet of mature mangrove forest.
Alfredo Quarto, the Executive Director and Co-Founder at Mangrove Action Project responded to the news with:
“We at Mangrove Action Project are quite concerned that even in the US, we can still find evidence of such flagrant violations. In our country, formidable laws exist to protect our own nation’s threatened mangroves. It reminds me of an old song by Peter, Paul and Mary, Where Have All the Flowers Gone:
“Where have all the mangroves gone, long time ago,
Gone to boat shows and tourist hotels…”
MAP urges the government of Florida to seek the help of an expert versed in Ecological Mangrove Restoration to better ensure that the recently cleared mangrove wetland can be restored to some semblance of it former health and productivity. We recommend that a full investigation into the reason this mangrove loss occurred in the first place be initiated and those decision makers who took this illicit course of action be reprimanded as a deterrent to others in the US contemplating similar such illegal actions.”
Florida is a state that knows about the dangers of mangrove deforestation. This peninsula state is surrounded by aquatic life that requires preservation and protection. MAP will continue to monitor the situation until it has been resolved satisfactorily.
Sara Lavenhar, sara (at) mangroveactionproject.org
Presidency Republic of Ecuador and Ministry Urban Development and Housing: Building the water system for the canton Muisne Esmeraldas
Muisne, July 10, 2015
Mr. Economist Rafael Correa CONSTITUTIONAL PRESIDENT OF ECUADOR In his office
Madam Architect Maria de los Angeles Duarte Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (Housing Ministry) In his office
Of our considerations:
OUR RIGHT TO WATER IS OUR RIGHT TO LIFE!
It is said that humanity has reached a high level of development that allows the rights of peoples are guaranteed.
In the canton Muisne, Esmeraldas province, Ecuador, thousands of people lack access to safe drinking water. Although more than twice have given the resources, local authorities on duty have festinado and the national authorities have not sanctioned.
However indignation and claims the muisneño people to access a solution to this fundamental right is not given.
DRINKING WATER AND MUISNEÑAS¡ MUISNEÑOS
“This world has a serious social debt to the poor who have no access to clean water, because that is to deny the right to life established in their inalienable dignity. That debt is repaid in part by more financial contributions to provide clean water and sanitation to the poorest people “and” access to safe drinking water is a basic, fundamental and universal human right, because it determines the survival of the people, and therefore is a condition for the exercise of other human rights, “says the Pope in his encyclical Francisco Laudato Yes.
Muisne is one of Ecuador’s poorest cantons and cantonal head since its founding in 1956, lack of potable water, which violates the right to a decent life of 12,000 inhabitants who consume piped water, which causes serious problems in the quality of life children, women, youth who use this water of poor quality.
The Constitution requires the State to the provision of drinking water continuously and quality.
13th May 2015 – news release for immediate publication
INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHARITY BACKS GUIANA ISLAND PROTEST
Over 800 signatures in first 24 hours of petition against environmental law-breaking in Antigua
An international environmental organisation has given its backing to a growing protest in Antigua against a massive development on its environmentally protected North shore.
The announcement came on the same day as the Antigua Conversation Society launched a petition which gained more than 800 signatures in the first 24 hours.
The Mangrove Action Project, which is a global network focusing on viable, long term solutions to halt and prevent mangrove destruction, says that it is deeply concerned by the plans published by Chinese development corporation YIDA.
YIDA has purchased the 1600 acres of land, including mangrove-rich Guiana Island, with the intention of developing the US$1billion Singulari resort. The resort will feature hundreds of villas, several marinas, luxury hotels, a casino, school and two golf courses.
The area is in the 3,100 hectare North East Marine Management Area (NEMMA). In order to be carried out legally the project needs an Environmental Impact Assessment being submitted under the Physical Planning Act 2003. There is also a requirement for permission to be sought from the Fisheries Division under the Fisheries Act 2006 for any pruning or removal of mangroves, which must improve the environment.
Mangrove Action Project Chairman of the Board Roger de Freitas said: “The next generation of Antiguans will be very grateful that these laws were enforced. Mangroves are the fish nurseries for the Caribbean. It is difficult, although not impossible, to restore them. In Mexico the Chinese have just been ordered to restore a huge area of mangroves they destroyed in order to build an industrial centre near Cancun. It would be a great shame if Antigua became yet another case in a sequence of Caribbean mangrove destruction.”
Species which make their homes in the NEMMA include many of the 182 species of Antiguan and Barbudan birds such as the endangered West Indian Whistling Duck, the Lesser Antillean Flycatcher and Bullfinch, egrets, and Carib doves. There are also Hawksbill turtles which nest on the beaches, snapper and many other fish, lobsters, coral, sponges, conch, and seagrass as well as the ecologically vital mangroves. In 2005, the NEMMA was declared a marine protected area under the Fisheries (Marine Reserve Area) Notice No 36.
Alarm about the development is spreading in Antigua, with the Antigua Conservation Society launching an online petition yesterday (12th May) asking Prime Minister Gaston Browne not to let Chinese developers break the laws which conserve Antigua’s marine protected areas. The petition gathered a massive total of more than 800 signatures in the first 24 hours. The group says it believes while the majority of Antiguans support economic growth, jobs and development in the country, they don’t want it at the expense of the island’s precious environment.
Director of Adventure Antigua Eco Tours and founder of the Antigua Conservation Society, Eli Fuller, said: “The Siboney were the first humans settling here in Antigua and Barbuda. They lived in the shadows of our coastal vegetation some 4000 years ago and were sustained by the ecosystems that were rooted there among the mangroves. Tourism has been in these islands only since the 1950s, and already we have removed much of the same vegetation that sustained life here until its arrival. Only time will tell how long tourism will continue to be an integral part of our lives here in Antigua and Barbuda. It’s a very fickle industry to rely upon with so many threats from so many angles that could make tourism a distant memory of the past…… just like the Siboney. What will happen when tourism is no longer able to provide food for our nation? It is then that we will need to rely more heavily than ever before on the natural resources and of course this will be impossible if they continue to destroy them. It’s time for the words sustainable development to become more than words.”
Amongst those protesting the development is Antiguan-born Ziffy Tyrrell who said: “People are really alarmed at these plans and the bullying tone of some of the speeches made in regard to them, calling those of us concerned about the environment a ‘minority’. There has been no consultation with local people and fishermen in Parham, and no wider information about the nature of the plans given to Antiguans. Long term, we are worried about the impact on our fragile island, particularly the fishing culture which is already struggling due to the effects of climate change and the decline of our reefs.”
Antiguan environmental campaigner Martin Dudley said: “Successive Antiguan Governments have sadly failed to stop our island heading for environmental catastrophe. Our landfill site is overflowing, there is no recycling system in place in Antigua, our water and electricity supplies are unreliable and already at full stretch, and vast swathes of mangroves have already been decimated by development.
“This latest project could result in the collapse of the north sound ecosystem which is now critical to Antigua’s reefs and fisheries due to the historical loss of other mangroves. We’ve had enough of our concerns being ignored, and want to work with the Government and YIDA to ensure any future development is within the law and protects our ecosystem. The new Zoning plan designates this area for environmental protection”, this is not new news!”
Take action to protect the future of the Mekong River and her people
The Mekong River is the mother of all Southeast Asian rivers, providing life-sustaining resources to millions of people. The future of the Mekong and her people are in jeopardy, however. The government of Laos plans to build the Don Sahong Dam – the second dam proposed for construction on the Lower Mekong mainstream – on the main pathway in the Mekong that allows for year-round fish migration. If built, the Don Sahong Dam will entirely block the Hou Sahong Channel, endangering fish migration throughout the region, with far-reaching consequences for food and livelihood security in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Lives in this area and throughout the Mekong are intricately entwined with the river that provides an identity and rich history, as well as a source of income and food security. The planned site of the Don Sahong Dam is a unique section of the Mekong River, home to one of the last remaining populations of critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins as well as the iconic Khone Phapheng waterfalls, and near an internationally protected Ramsar wetland site in downstream Cambodia.
All four governments of the Mekong region are expected to meet in January, at the end of a six-month regional consultation process, to decide the future of the Don Sahong Dam.
Now is the time for us to make our voices heard and call on Mekong leaders to stop gambling with the lives of their people and future of the vital resources the river supports.
Please call on the governments of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam to cancel the Don Sahong Dam and seek more sustainable energy options to protect the future of the Mekong River’s fish and her people.
An oil tanker carrying 358,000 liters (almost 100,000 gallons) of furnace oil sank in the Shela river on December 7, spilling oil over more than 60 kilometers (about 37 miles) of the Sundarbans. Located on in southwest Bangladesh, the Sundarbans is the largest single block of tidal mangrove forest in the world, covering approximately 10,000 square kilometers (3,900 square miles), of which 60 percent is in Bangladesh. The Sundarbans, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger, and provides sanctuary to many other species.
According to reports, the new oil spill threatens the Mrigmari-Nondabala-Andharmanik dolphin sanctuary. Mangrove trees are also highly susceptible to oil pollution—indeed, they are expected to start dying after the area’s aquatic life, which is typically first to perish. Fahim Hassan has put together an infographic on Flickr explaining the details of the devastation.
According to images Mowgliz Elisabeth Rubaiyat posted on Facebook, the disaster is already killing some animals. Local authorities appear to be outside their depth, never before having confronted so large an oil spill, and lacking the necessary infrastructure to respond properly. Al Jazeera reports several local fishermen have resorted to cleaning up the spill using sponges and sacks.
To help in the relief effort, the government dispatched a ship to the area carrying oil dispersants. If such chemicals are released incorrectly, however, it can harm the local ecology still further. Four days later, the state’s effortsseem to have had little effect, exacerbating fears of a lasting ecological disaster.
Click HERE to read more about closing shipping routes through the Sundarbarns and to VOTE
Read more of the article HERE and to see videos and images before and after the disaster
Madagascar’s mangrove forests are amongst the largest in the Indian Ocean, harbouring exceptional marine biodiversity that is critical to the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of coastal people. From wood harvested from mangrove trees to shrimps and mud crabs fished from mangrove lagoons, these unique marine forests are fundamental to the survival of some the country’s most vulnerable and marginalised coastal communities. Yet, for the very reason that mangroves provide so many valuable services to people, they are being lost at unprecedented rates, faster than any other forest type on the island.
Madagascar’s coastal populations hold the key to tackling mangrove deforestation, and Blue Ventures has been working with fishing communities throughout the country for over a decade to empower local people to protect this unique island’s threatened marine environments.