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The MAP News, 437th Ed., 03 March 2018

MAP’s Education Director, Martin Keeley, has donated copies of his book Marvellous Mangroves Myths & Legends to every Year 5 teacher in the Cayman Islands. Presenting the books to Catherine Childs, National Trust Education Officer, Mr. Keeley explained that the Marvellous Mangroves education program has been part of the school curriculum since it was first introduced to Cayman in 2001. “As we enter the eighteenth year of mangrove education in Cayman I felt that it would be great to add yet another dimension to this popular hands-on science education program,” he said. Ms. Childs is responsible for delivering the program in Cayman’s schools every year to all Year 5 students. The National Trust of the Cayman Islands considers it one of its most valuable learning tools, she says, and is able to continue delivering the program annually thanks to the support of the Caribbean Utilities Corporation (CUC), which has sponsored the program since its initiation.

The MAP News, 436th Ed., 17 February 2018

During the past two decades there has been a steady growth in mangrove ecotourism as more and more people people discover the hidden beauties of the world’s mangrove forests. As selected parts of the Marvellous Mangroves curriculum have been used to supplement the knowledge of the guides, the concerted focus of the October mangrove tourism workshops held this year in Suriname have added a new dimension to the tour guide training process. MAP Education Director Martin Keeley joined forces with the United Tour Guides Association of Suriname (UTGS) and the Foundation for Development of Radio and TV in Suriname (SORTS) to hold two workshops. The first 3-day workshop was held in Coronie, home of the amazing Mangrove Education Centre, and the second in New Amsterdam, Commewijne, on the opposite side of the Suriname River to Paramaribo. In 2016 UTGS directors led by Errol Gezius and Yves Tjon, together with Sherida Mormon of the NGO Advice For Innovation & Business Creation (ABIC) took part in a teacher/student MM workshop in Coronie as well as a one-day introductory tour guide mangrove workshop led by Martin Keeley. This began the drive towards a second series of workshops in July, 2017, which are part of the training of young eco-tour guides in the Coronie region of Suriname.

The MAP News, 435th Ed., 03 February 2018

Sometimes, progress means helping nature do what it does best. This seems to be the case for a once-barren 200-acre piece of land surrounded by lush mangrove forests in El Salvador. The most extensive remaining mangrove forest in Central America is located in the Bay of Jiquilisco in the Lower Lempa region of El Salvador. At 632 square kilometers, the Bay of Jiquilisco is El Salvador’s largest wetlands complex and protected area, designated as both a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and a UNESCO Biosphere, a nesting habitat for birds, and a breeding ground for sea turtles. Unfortunately, El Salvador has lost 60% of its mangrove coverage since 1950 and continues to lose mangroves at a rate of 681 hectares (just under 7 square kilometers) each year (MARN 2014). Climate change, deforestation, pollution, large-scale agricultural development, and over-exploitation of natural resources continue to threaten this critical resource. This loss threatens the livelihoods and safety of the communities and wildlife that depend on the health of this ecosystem for their survival.

The MAP News, 434th Ed., 20 January 2018

Thung Yor is a small village located in Krabi Province, southern of Thailand. Some of the village area is mangrove forest which is connected to the Andaman Sea by tidal streams. Most of the villager’s main occupation is in agriculture with a supplementary livelihood from coastal small-scale fisheries. So, due to their dependence on the fishing the villagers have placed a priority on the conservation and restoration of mangroves. The community joined MAP to undertake a CBEMR project with the objective to restore 2 hectares of abandoned shrimp ponds back to mangroves. The site consists of 3 ponds as seen in the Google Earth image above with little or no tidal exchange, especially pond #2 and #3 which was were waterlogged with few mangrove seeds entering the ponds and the condition was not suitable for mangrove growth. Pond #1 remained very wet as the pond drained through the sluice gate and by the time the pond was drained the tidal starting to come back up due the semidurnal tides. ( 2 high & 2 low tides in 24 hr) Under CBEMR the priority is to restore normal tidal flushing. The community wanted to rehabilitate the mangroves but the traditional planting method would not work in this situation due to the disturbed hydrology. MAP introduced the concept of Community-based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR) which was a completely new approach for the community but they trusted MAP and are determined to learn.

The MAP News, 433rd Ed., 06 January 2018

Our 17th edition, the 2018 calendar is our most beautiful to date, and celebrates MAP’s 25th Anniversary! This colorful calendar has increased in popularity since its first publication in 2002. Children from 14 nations entered our contest by answering a simple, but intriguing question: “What do the mangroves mean to my community and myself?” The contest is paired with field trips and lessons, encouraging students to explore the mangroves. You can make an investment in the future of these children – every penny counts. Your contribution will help students become stewards of their precious coastal resources, and to pass their knowledge on to others. The calendar gives voice to the children who will become environmentalists, leaders, and mangrove conservationists. You can also purchase the calendar directly from our online store for $15*

The MAP News, 432nd Ed., 23 December 2017

“I still remember that day we got to work together to improve the hydrology at the restoration site. Many people dug in the pond, working together and I could see that they felt that the land had returned to them again. It made me so happy. I felt like despite all the problems we faced we finally felt united in the village.” Ms. Ladda Ardharn (Pink), the youth group leader at Ban Talae Nok, was instrumental in the success of the project there and pursued solutions when the land tenure issue gridlocked the project from proceeding. At one point, she organized a petition to demand their land back. It was not easy for a young woman to take a strong and active role against an influential male community member. She and the other members of the youth group had the motivation it takes to make real, lasting change – and you can give them the technical support and opportunity to make it happen. “Since we started working on this restoration together, the people of my community have hope again.”

The MAP News, 431st Ed., 02 December 2017

When it comes to restoring deforested landscapes, letting them regenerate naturally through passive means is generally cheaper than human-driven, so-called “active,” restoration techniques like re-planting. But a new study finds it can actually also be more effective in tropical ecosystems. The authors say that letting tropical forests regenerate by themselves could help further large-scale restoration goals while at the same time saving money that could help scale-up forest restoration worldwide. The study, published recently in Science Advances, analyzed the findings from 133 other studies conducted across 115 landscapes to compare natural and active regeneration of tropical forests. Its results indicate natural restoration techniques were more successful than active restoration at restoring the biodiversity levels of birds, plants, and invertebrates, as well as vegetation structure. Specifically, the study found biodiversity in naturally regenerated landscapes was 34 percent to 56 percent higher and vegetation structure 19 percent to 56 percent higher than in areas that had been actively restored.

The MAP News, 430th Ed., 25 November 2017

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. MAP works to empower coastal communities around the world, providing support and building the local capacity to maintain stewardship over mangrove forests. MAP has chosen to remain small, partnering with other community-based non-profits in Asia, Latin America and Africa, while planting seeds of knowledge and support through a wide variety of projects and campaigns. As a result, most of MAP’s funding goes directly toward these efforts. We need your help to maintain and complete these projects.

The MAP News, 429th Ed., 11 November 2017

Environmental officials in El Salvador are trying to establish what caused the death of hundreds of sea turtles found floating in the sea. Many of the 400 marine turtles were decomposing when they were discovered off El Salvador’s Pacific coast, the country’s environment ministry said. They were found floating around 13km (eight miles) offshore from Jiquilisco Bay, a biosphere reserve located approximately 110km from the capital of San Salvador. “We don’t know what caused the sea turtles’ death,” the ministry said, adding that laboratory tests would be carried out. “We collected samples from the dead turtles,” they said. “They will be analysed in a laboratory to determine what killed them.” A similar incident occurred in 2013, when hundreds of dead sea turtles were found dead off El Salvador’s coast between September and October. Authorities at the time attributed the cause to Toxic algae eaten by the turtles.

President Abdulla Yameen: Stop Destruction of Kulhudhuffushi Mangrove in Maldives

President Abdulla Yameen: Stop Destruction of Kulhudhuffushi Mangrove in Maldives

Kulhudhuffushi Mangrove is the largest black mangrove forest in the Maldives. It hosts 8 species of true mangrove plants, 42 associated plant species and supports the entire ecosystem of the island.

As you may know mangroves play a key role in protection of coastal ecosystems. They protect coral reefs and reduce the damage from natural disasters such as Tsunamis and Cyclones. Mangroves are also extremely beneficial in reducing atmospheric carbon, which is crucial for protection against climate change.

We understand the extreme challenges the people of Kulhudhuffushi face in accessing Hanimaadhoo Airport (having to pay as much as MVR 1000 for the 20 minute ride). However, we believe this concern can be addressed by investing in a reliable, affordable, comfortable public ferry system. An airport is an extremely expensive investment with low returns. Given the employment data from other domestic airports, it will create maximum 40‐100 jobs. However, if money is invested in essential services in the island such as tertiary medical services and higher education, better job opportunities will be created. And the demand to fly to Malé for basic needs will also be reduced.

Maldives is extremely vulnerable to climate change. We receive millions of dollars each year for climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. Just this year we received USD 23 million from the Green Climate Fund. It is hypocritical to actively destroy our most critical ecosystems while taking this money. As the chair of Alliance Of Small Island States (AOSIS) and our obligations under international environmental conventions, we must show leadership in taking action against climate change.

The Environmental Impact Assessment done for the project itself states that “the positive impacts might not outweigh the negative impacts associated with the project”. We ask you to therefore reconsider the development of the airport by reclaiming the mangrove of Kulhudhuffushi and causing irreversible damage to island ecosystem.