This is the 261th Edition of the Mangrove Action Project News, April 16, 2011.
For the Mangroves,
Mangrove Action Project
Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.
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SHRIMP LESS, THINK MORE campaign has changed it’s name to QUESTION YOUR SHRIMP:
A fun and exciting Art Contest for children 6 to 14 years old
We invite all primary school children from tropical and sub-tropical nations, and whose schools are located near mangroves, to create art telling us “why mangroves are important to me and my community”. Selected winners will be published in a 2012 calendar to be distributed internationally to raise awareness of mangrove forest ecology. READ MORE
SUPPORT BANGLADESH – STOP THE MINE! Stand with the people of Bangladesh in opposing a mega-mine that would force them from their homes and destroy their lives and environment. Please join our global call by Signing The Petition
Support MAP through purchase of Kennedy Warne’s new book “Let Them Eat Shrimp.”
Order through MAP and you will get a 20% discount on your purchase of the new book by author Kennedy Warne, “Let Them Eat Shrimp.” Part of your purchase price will go to MAP, where we will use a portion of your purchase to help with MAP’s general support. In this way Kennedy’s new book on mangroves and shrimp farming will make great reading while also helping support the ongoing work of MAP to conserve and restore mangroves, while addressing those main issues affecting mangroves. Please let us know if you would like to order one or more copies of this book. EMAIL MAP
Volunteer Needed For MAP
1. MAP/Asia Coordinator requires office assistance to support a wide range of projects activities.
VIEW JOB DESCRIPTION
2. HELP WANTED – Interns and/ or Volunteers veeded to Help MAP with Marketing and Advertising. Learn More
3. Translators needed
Spanish and French translators urgently needed to help translate short articles into English for our MAP News! Please write to [email protected], or call 360-452-5866 to volunteer your services.
World Atlas of Mangroves donates 10% of purchase price to Mangrove Action Project LEARN MORE
ISME’s Newsletter recently released CLICK HERE
Marvellous Mangroves – A Curriculum-Based Teachers Guide
By Martin A. Keeley, Education Director, Mangrove Action Project
Read this 10 page history of the development of MAP’s educational curriculum VIEW DOCUMENT
Education In The Mangroves
Six minute video features discussion of Mangrove Action Project’s Mangrove Curriculum VIEW THE VIDEO
Energy at What Cost? Protests Against Forced Eviction from US-Backed Coal Mine Continue in Bangladesh
BANGLADESH – As the sun rose on March 28, 2011, roughly 2,000 people gathered to demonstrate against a mining project that would displace tens of thousands of people in northwest Bangladeshand establish one of the largest open pit coal mines in the world. Located in an agricultural region that is home to thousands of farming and indigenous families, the Phulbari Coal Project has been fiercely opposed by Bangladeshi citizens for over six years. Regardless, the UK-based company pursuing the project, Global Coal Management Resources, or GCM (formerly the Asia Energy Corporation), is expressing confidence that the mine will go forward. READ MORE
Ballabu Conservation Project in Focus
GAMBIA- Ballabu Conservation Project is a community-based Organization in Partnership with Eden Project in the United Kingdom. The project has strived to established a 100% community owned and operated conservation project which enables over 100,000 rural people, opportunity to health cCare, education, water resources, employment, and development to rural Africa. Ballabu Conservation Project started in 2004 through the efforts of James English and his business partner Lawrence Williams, the founders of MakasutuCultureForestto create an atmosphere that would generate something valuable to the people living in the rural area. English revealed that rural tours will be established to take tourist to the 14 participating villages, highlighting the plight of traditional African village life and the impact of a swelling population on the environment. The tour will enlighten the tourist by explaining the benefits of sustainable/eco tourism from a scientific point of view, and also the reasons why this particular region of The Gambia can benefit from this intended project not just in financial sense, but also in the protection of the mangroves, forest and wild life of the area. READ MORE
Using Soybean In Aquaculture Feeds
CHINA – A market for over six million metric tons of soybean meal has been successfully created over the past 15 years through the development, field testing, and demonstration of all-plant protein, soymeal-based feeds to fish farmers in China, says Dr Michael Cremer, from the American Soybean Association. Opening this market to alternative feeds has helped boost China’s freshwater aquaculture production from less than five million metric tons to more than 20 million metric tons (5.5 to 22.0 million US tons) by alleviating the necessity for traditional animal protein sources, such as fish meal, in most freshwater fish diets. In the process, it has helped the Chinese aquaculture industry advance from traditional manure-fertilized to modern, feed-based production of the majority of carp, tilapia, catfish and other freshwater fish species farmed in China. This new approach to feed has provided domestic and international consumers with ready access to higher quality farmed seafood from Chinaat reasonable prices, while providing a growing market for US grown soybean products. READ MORE
Editor’s note: see our LAST WORDat the end of this email for more on this story from one of our readers.
Update:Sea turtle and their habitat conservation in Orissa
INDIA – Over the years, APOWA (Action for Protection of Wild Animals) has been working for the conservation of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles and their habitat in Orissa coast. With our sustained campaign, commitment and combined strongly with field protection, networking with fishermen communities, comprehensive innovative awareness campaigns, the result has been advantageous. They are umbrella species (protecting the important umbrella species and preserving their habitat helps to protect a number of other species that depend on the same habitat). In March first week this year, the spectacular mass-nesting of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles have commenced at Gahirmatha and Rushikullya sea turtle rookery in Orissa; the sporadic nesting, which had begun one month earlier in unprotected adjacent beaches, went almost unnoticed. The endangered species which comes en-masse to these places, rarely turn up in such large numbers anywhere in the planet. In recent years regular ‘arribada’ beaches have fortunately received a lot of attention and protection, however the sporadic nesting sites are overlooked leaving the eggs and hatchlings susceptible to many dangers. We are focusing on non-protected areas and protect nesting turtles , as the majority of the nests get predated by feral animals and people . The sporadic nests contribute equally to that of arribada (mass nesting) of turtles hence it is highly required that sporadic nests are protected. READ MORE
Editor’s Note: In the mid-1990s, MAP had been involved in work to save the sea turtle nesting beaches of the Bhitarakanika region. We had at that time joined forces with the late, great environmental leader BankaBahery Das who directed the NGO Orissa Krushak Mahasangh. It is so encouraging to see that the NGO APOWA has taken this cause on to protect the sea turtles and coastal regions of this important area, involving in the process the local communities in a responsible and effective manner. We congratulate APOWA for its timely and important work there!
Substandard dam assessment opens way to fisheries destruction on Mekong
THAILAND – Disruptions to fish migration and food supplies for millions in the Mekongbasin are likely if the first mainstream dam on the lower Mekongis allowed to go ahead, WWF predicted as it released expert analysis showing the dam feasibility study and environmental impact assessment failed to address key environmental risks. The WWF commissioned review – coordinated by the WorldFish Centre with participation from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) found that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed Xayaburi dam in Laosand assessment were woefully inadequate and fell well below international standards for such studies. Xayaburi is the first of 11 dams proposed for the lower Mekongmainstem. Lower Mekongcountries are scheduled to decide on whether the dam project can move ahead on April 22. READ MORE
Editor’s Note: It must be acknowledged by those proposing to go ahead with this Xayaburi dam project that they are consciously willing to sacrifice the very life of the Mekong River and its Delta in the process. There is no way to keep the bountiful and important migratory fish species alive and well, if this project proceeds. It is also the death knell of the mangroves in the MekongDelta, as they require the river’s fresh waters and nutrients that this series of dams will greatly diminish. Those living both upstream and downstream will lose their fish, which are an essential part of their protein diets, and our planet will lose the once bountiful Mekong. This is just plain bad planning, and we sincerely hope the governments involved in making a decision will listen to reason and not to short-lived profit earnings.
Declining mangroves shield against global warming
FRANCE– Mangroves, which have declined by up to half over the last 50 years, are an important bulkhead against climate change, a study released this month has shown for the first time. Destruction of these tropical coastal woodlands accounts for about 10 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from deforestation, the second largest source of CO2 after fossil fuel combustion, the study found. Fewer trees not only mean less CO2 absorbed from the air, but also the release of carbon stocks that have been accumulating in shallow-water sediment over millennia. Mangroves — whose twisted, exposed roots grace coastlines in more than 100 countries — confer many benefits on humans living in their midst. READ MORE
World is losing battle against drug resistance, warns WHO
NETHERLANDS – A “post-antibiotic” era, in which many common infections no longer have a cure, is on the horizon, the WHO warned recently — as scientists reported the discovery of superbugs resistant to almost all known antibiotics in water supplies in New Delhi, India. “In the absence of urgent corrective and protective actions, the world is heading towards a post-antibiotic era, in which many common infections will … once again, kill unabated,” Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO, said today, in an address to mark World Health Day, which this year is devoted to combating drug resistance. “We are at a critical point where antibiotic resistance is reaching unprecedented levels and new antibiotics are not going to arrive quickly enough,” said Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO’s regional director for Europe. “Until all countries tackle this, no country alone can be safe.” READ MORE
Editors Note: The following note was submitted to the online publication in rresponse to the above story:
Since 1992, we at Mangrove Action Project have been countering the rapid spread of the shrimp aquaculture industry in the global South. Often unregulated and ill-advised usage of a wide array of antibiotics takes place in the culture of farmed shrimp. Raised in densely stocked ponds, these shrimp often acquire different viruses that can multiply rapidly decimating whole coastal areas of their shrimp production in short time. To avoid these inevitable disease outbreaks and to ensure a harvest of marketable shrimp, most producers of shrimp in these still antiquated open, throughput systems of aquaculture use large amounts of antibiotics to quell the spread of disease. These antibiotics are used in the shrimp feed itself or directly applied within the water system of the pond, and the resultant effluents from these ponds enter the nearby waterways and marine waters where these accumulate and can create antibiotic resistant strains of “super bugs.” Many of these antibiotics used are closely related or are actually the same as those used in treating human diseases, thus opening that door to antibiotic resistance that this article now warns us about. We need to close these open systems of aquaculture, and ensure no antibiotics are used to avoid this kind of dangerous contamination and the further degrading of our limited tools to fend off serious human illnesses. That little shrimp raised in Indiaor Thailandor Hondurasmay have itself contributed to the concerns of disease resistant strains now seen as a growing threat to our entire world today! Such unwise use of antibiotics must be halted immediately.
MAP’s curriculum receives recognition
MAP’s curriculum development and application program in Chinareceived a welcome boost last week when $25,000 was awarded by the Disney Friends for Change/Project Green towards the project. “We’d like to give a big thanks to all MAP’s friends and supporters for voting for the project,” says MAP’s Education Director, Martin Keeley. “The contribution will enable us to complete the translation and adaptation of our Teachers’ Guide into Mandarin, for it to be reviewed by environmental educators and specialists in Chinato ensure its accuracy, and for a workshop to be held in the fall for 50 to 60 teachers.” The workshop will be held in the southeastern City of Zhanjiangwhich is the central location of the country’s foremost and only government supported mangrove centre, the Zhanjiang National Mangrove Nature Reserve (ZNMNR). READ MORE
Declaration of Patihuitz: Divided We Become Allies of the Government
MEXICO – Members of Global Justice Ecology Project traveled in late March to Chiapas, Mexico, to investigate the emerging local impacts of the REDD+ Program (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), and specifically the REDD Agreement signed between Chiapas and California. What we found was an astonishingly complex web of economic development projects being imposed on campesino and indigenous communities without any semblance of free, prior, and informed consent. Among these projects is a government program to delimit Natural Protected Areas in order to generate carbon credits, and to pay some indigenous communities to protect these areas, to the detriment of others. As we’ve seen in other parts of the world, the REDD Program, in both intention and in operation, divides communities and breeds conflict. Our visit coincided with numerous events, including the inauguration of a “Sustainable Rural City” (apartheid housing for the displaced), a public protest by a community that had previously been evicted from the Montes Azules biosphere Reserve, and the first efforts at community education about REDD in the Lacandon region. READ MORE
Mangroves among the most carbon-rich forests in the tropics
USA- Deforestation and land-use change currently account for 8–20% of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide (co2) emissions, second only to fossil fuel combustion. Recent international climate agreements highlight reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) as a key and relatively cost-effective option for mitigating climate change; the strategy aims to maintain terrestrial carbon stores through financial incentives for forest conservation (for example, carbon credits). REDD+ and similar programs require rigorous monitoring of c pools and emissions, underscoring the importance of robust storage estimates for various forest types, particularly those with a combination of high density and widespread land-use change. Tropical wetland forests (for example, peatlands) contain organic soils up to several metres deep and are among the largest organic reserves in the terrestrial biosphere. READ REPORT
Editor’s Note: We at MAP would like to urge our readers to review the referenced article on the importance of mangroves in sequestering and especially in below ground storage of carbon. The following excerpted points are especially relevant to MAP’s stance on mangroves since our founding in 1992: READ EDITORS COMMENTS
Invasive Plants Can Create Positive Ecological Change
USA- A team of scientists has discovered that human-introduced, invasive species of plants can have positive ecological effects. Tomás Carlo, an assistant professor of biology at PennStateUniversity, and Jason Gleditsch, a graduate student in the Department of Biology, have studied how invasive fruiting plants affect ecosystems and how those effects, contrary to prevailing ideas, sometimes can be beneficial to an ecological community. The team’s research, which will be published in the journal Diversity and Distributions, is expected to affect the way environmental resource managers respond to ecosystem maintenance. “Among conservation biologists, ecologists, and managers, the default approach is to try to eliminate and root out non-native, invasive shrubs — anything that seems to change an ecosystem,” Carlo said. “The fundamental goal is to return a natural area to its original, pristine state, with the native species occupying the dominant position in the community. But the problem is that most native communities already have been changed beyond recognition by humans, and many native species are now rare.” Carlo explained that his team wanted to test whether certain well-established, invasive fruiting species have negative or positive effects on bird and fruiting-plant communities. “We wondered: Are we sometimes doing more harm than good when we eradicate plants that, despite being introduced recently, have formed positive relationships with native animals?” To be considered invasive, a species of plant must have been introduced by humans, and it must be dominant numerically in the new environment.
RAE Leads Effort to Introduce Coastal Wetlands Restoration onto Carbon Markets
Restore America’s Estuaries (RAE) announced today that it will lead a landmark initiative to help coastal wetlands restoration and protection projects issue carbon credits on the international voluntary carbon market for the first time. RAE, a national advocacy organization dedicated to coastal and estuarine habitat restoration, will lead a technical working group that will develop requirements for quantifying and crediting the greenhouse gas benefits of several new types of wetlands conservation projects under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) Program. “Coastal wetlands hold vast, untapped potential to trap atmospheric carbon, particularly carbon dioxide, one of the chief culprits behind global warming and climate change,” said Steve Emmett-Mattox, who will oversee the project as RAE’s Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Programs. READ MORE
Monsanto Modifies Soy beans To Grow ‘Fish Oil’
The biotechnology firm Monsanto stands just one FDA approval away from growing soybeans that have been genetically modified to produce those omega-3 fatty acids that doctors are always recommending. That FDA approval is expected this year, according to Science News. Monsanto is so despised by environmentalists that Google’s first suggested search term for the St. Louiscompany is “Monsanto evil.” Readers of Natural News voted Monsanto the world’s most evil corporation in a January poll, giving the corporation a whopping 51 percent of the vote. BP, by contrast, received 9 percent. But there may be reasons for even health-loving greens to love “stearidonic acid soybean oil,” as Monsanto’s new product is called. Among them: depleted fisheries, environmental toxins in fish oil, and a new threat, the scope of which has not yet been fully realized: millions of gallons of radioactive water dumped into the ocean at the Fukushima-Daichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. READ MORE
Degraded coastal wetlands contribute to climate change: report finds
USA – Drainage and degradation of coastal wetlands emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide directly to the atmosphere and lead to decreased carbon sequestration, a new World Bank report has found. The report, written in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and wetland specialists ESA PWA, calls for coastal wetlands to be protected and incentives for avoiding their degradation and improving their restoration to be included into carbon emission reduction strategies and in climate negotiations. “For the first time we are getting a sense that greenhouse gas losses from drained and degraded coastal wetlands may be globally significant and that drained organic-rich soils continuously release carbon for decades,” says Stephen Crooks, Climate Change Services Director at ESA PWA – the consulting firm which looked at 15 coastal deltas worldwide for the report. “Emissions will increase with ongoing wetland losses.” READ MORE
Mangrove Dynamics and Management in North Brazil
BRAZIL- A newly published book on mangroves in now available from Springer. This volume highlights the results of a ten-year German/ Brazilian research project, called MADAM, in one of the largest continuous mangrove areas of the world, located in northern Brazil. Based on the analysis of the ecosystem dynamics, management strategies for the conservation and sustainable use of mangroves are presented and discussed. Beyond the scientific results, this book also provides guidelines for the development of international cooperation projects. READ MORE
Bolivia enshrines natural world’s rights with equal status for Mother Earth
BOLIVIA – Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as “blessings” and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry. The country, which has been pilloried by the USand Britainin the UN climate talks for demanding steep carbon emission cuts, will establish 11 new rights for nature. They include: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered. READ MORE
Biodiversity may clean up water
NEW ZEALAND – Conserving biodiversity could help shield waterways against nitrogen pollution, says a study that showed how streams with more species are better at removing excess nutrients from water. The findings imply that developing countries that keep rivers and lakes species-rich could save money on water treatment, Bradley Cardinale, author of the study and an aquatic ecologist from the University of Michigan, United States, told SciDev.Net. The study, published in Nature yesterday (7 April), is the first rigorous analysis of how biodiversity improves water quality, Cardinale said. Mopping up nitrogen compounds — a major cause of water pollution — released from agricultural fertilisers and waste, human sewage, and fossil fuel burning, is an important goal for environmental policy. Scientists have long known that ecosystems with more biodiversity are better at mopping up pollutants like nitrogen. But there was little experimental evidence for why this happens. A leading theory is that different species make maximum use of nutrients because they each fill a unique biological habitat — niche. READ MORE
Aquaculture, Aquafeed & Soya
With aquaculture hailed as the future major provider of food fish, the aquafeed industry is also poised for a major growth. Reduction fisheries, the current major contributor of aquafeed industry being stamped as unsustainable, the focus is on plant-based aquafeed production, with soya as the front runner for aquafeeds. This switching to plant-based aquafeeds will also have repercussions on agriculture where there will be a push to bring more land under production of cash crops like soyabean, which though resource intensive is a better money earner than food grains. The crop is also very sensitive to weather conditions and in a year when the crop fails, it will have major impacts on the food security (directly and indirectly-through reduced purchasing power) of the rural poor. Another suggestion in the book “future of aquafeeds” is to reduce the waste of fish processing plants to make into aquafeeds. Though appears to be a good suggestion, it could also take away the remaining source of protein to the most impoverished in rural communities. A good example is the Lake Victoriafisheries famous for Nile Perch and its processing industries. While the fillet are exported to the rich food plates of Europe, the fish bones and heads, usually discarded, are used by the poorest in the community as a source of protein, vitamins and minerals. I have also witnessed this when I traveled among the through the poorest regions of West Bengalwhere the poorest of the community buy fish heads and fishbones for food. This will be easily taken away by the aquafeed processing units.
You can also get a copy of the “future of aquafeeds” from http://aquaculture.noaa.gov/pdf/feeds/aquafeedsrept_nov2010.pdf
Thank you & Best regards,
~ WE WELCOME YOUR LETTERS
If you’d like to have the last word on this or any other mangrove related topic, please send us your submission for upcoming newsletters. We’ll choose one per issue to have “the last word”. While we can’t promise to publish everyone’s letter, we do encourage anyone to post comments on our Blog at www. mangroveactionproject.blogspot.com