Category Archives: Support

Support

Question Your Shrimp Campaign

Question Your Shrimp Campaign

OVERVIEW

image_mini (2)The leading cause of mangrove destruction is the meteoric growth of the shrimp farming industry in the developing world. In an effort to produce cheap shrimp, mangroves and their accompanying ecosystem services are stripped from coastlines and replaced by open system shrimp farms that pollute the surrounding environment. Mangroves provide unique ecosystem services like:

• Nursery habitat for 75% of the worldʼs tropical and sub-tropical commercial fish
• Filtration of pollutants, preserving purity of coastal waters
• Prolific renewable resources for coastal communities including food, firewood, medicines, shelter, and tourism
• Protection of coastal communities from the ravages of tsunamis and hurricanes
• Efficient carbon sequestration, capable of sequestering far more CO2 per hectare than tropical rain forests
• Last remaining endemic habitat for Wild Bengal tigers (Sundurbans mangroves)

THE CHALLENGE

Shrimp aquaculture represents a powerful global industry that has an annual retail value of over $50-$60 billion dollars. But the shrimp produced have never become a food source for those who are truly hungry. Meanwhile, the coastal poor are losing their once sustainable food sources as their traditional agriculture and fisheries are being steadily despoiled by the shrimp industry’s operations, whose profits concentrate in the hands of wealthy investors.

OUR SOLUTION

MAP has launched a consumer awareness campaign called “Question Your Shrimp” (QYS) to counter these market forces that are devastating mangrove forests and the tens of millions of indigenous people who rely on them. We believe that we can significantly slow down shrimp farming expansion through public education and activism. In tandem, public concern will stimulate the development and dissemination of sustainable, ecological, and just alternatives.

IMPACT

The QYS campaign will tap also into the potential of socially responsible capitalism to enlist the business community in a shift to the marketing and sales of only more sustainably-produced shrimp. Thus, we will attack the problem from both the “demand” and “supply” sides of the shrimp consumption equation: reducing the consumer demand for imported farmed shrimp, while working with retailers and restaurants to serve and sell sustainable shrimp alternatives.

MILESTONES

Change will be attained by achieving the following objectives:
#1: Increase US consumer awareness of the health dangers, environmental degradation, and social damage caused by the rearing and processing of imported farmed shrimp.
#2: Increase the number of U.S. restaurants and retail outlets who serve only locally produced wild or farmed North American shrimp.

Koh Phra Thong Coastal Community Center

Koh Phra Thong Coastal Community Center

image_previewLion village in Phra Thong Island is a biodiversity hotspot that gives home to a small-scale post-tsunami newly-established fishing community isolated from public facilities such as electricity and regular transportation. After conducting several conservation capacity building and supplementary livelihood activities a CoastalCommunity Resource Center (CCRC) was inaugurated in 2010. This CCRC, located in two converted donated houses, is now the community focal point for conservation related activities. It also has the potential to be the umbrella for Environmental Education, scientific research, natural resource conservation, management and restoration, Eco-tourism, the Women’s Tie Dye Cooperative and the Community Visitor’s Center. After the inaugural phase the Centre needs funding to help support environmental awareness and livelihood development improvements. Keep reading.

THE CHALLENGE

The tsunami events of 2004 had a negative impact on the island´s natural resources but the new, more dangerous threat comes from outside investors wanting to develop this unique island for commercial tourism. This island, which is one of the least developed in the country, has a very fragile, high-biodiversity ecology that comprises 6 ecosystems and 317 species of which 11 are mammals, 45 reptiles, 137 birds, eight amphibians and 24 freshwater fish species. Some of these such as sea-turtles, dugong, and Lesser Adjutant are threatened and endangered species. The Thai government would like to turn this island into a National Park, but local communities concerned about restrictions on their traditional livelihoods have resisted. In addition, the lack of cohesion after the tsunami resettlement makes this still recently formed community more vulnerable to face the pressure from large-scale commercial projects, which would threaten their livelihoods and the island´s unique biodiversity. The local people need to be empowered to conserve the island’s natural treasures while making a living which is harmony with the island eco-systems.

OUR SOLUTION

The CCRC will act as a strategic focal point for capacity building, both in terms of biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihood development. The center will demonstrate green technologies, suitable to local conditions such as solar power, rainwater harvesting, and recycling.

To achieve these goals MAP and the community have identified the need for the following activities: an environmental education demonstration room, conducting capacity building workshops (conservation, livelihoods and waste management), promoting community-based tourism and the women’s tie-dye cooperative as means of alternative sustainable livelihood, and also providing the centre with small-scale solar panels as there is no electrical supply grid on the island.

IMPACT

By financing this project you will help 170 households (around 510 men, women and children) to become the actors of their own development through community-based management activities by improving their capacity to rely on alternative sustainable livelihoods, therefore reducing the pressure on a natural environment. You will as well help them to protect and manage 6 different ecosystems. Last, but far from least, you will be helping to facilitate improved conservation through linking and promoting team-work in a heterogeneous community of Moken, Thai, Chinese, and Burmese which was the result of the 2004 tsunami resettlement.

MILESTONES

Short-term

  • Reduce pressure on extraction of natural resources
  • Encourage wider discussion on conservation among adults and children
  • Supplementary income development specially for women
  • Develop community-based ecotourism to provide incentive for conservation
    Long-term:
  • Community runs its own programs
  • Collective actions against external threats
  • Community becomes an Eco-model

Ecological Mangrove Restoration Training and Demonstration

Ecological Mangrove Restoration Training and Demonstration

OVERVIEW

image_mini (1)
MAP’s Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) program re-establishes a healthy mangrove ecosystem with community participation. In search of a compromise between economic value and biodiversity, Mangrove Action Project (MAP) promotes the concept and practice of Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR). Following each Ecological Mangrove Restoration workshop, MAP plans to carry out actual field training doing EMR itself, inviting the previous participants in the training workshop to put into practice the lessons taught in the training itself.

THE CHALLENGE

Mangrove forests are vital for healthy coastal ecosystems in many regions of the world. They support an immense variety of sea life in intricate food webs associated directly with the mangrove trees themselves, and many populations depend directly on them. In spite of those important functions, more than 50% of the global mangrove forests have been destroyed over the last 100 years, mainly caused by human development.

Many government organizations approach this deforestation through mangrove plantations which generally involve monoculture plantations that are not monitored over time. Therefore, failing to address the biodiversity loss, and many times failing to survive in the long term, because the roots causes of mangrove loss are not dealt with.

Though restoration is essential right now, very few organizations so far have dealt effectively with mangrove restoration and relatively few experiences exist on successful, long-term mangrove rehabilitation.

OUR SOLUTION

To effectively counter mangrove loss, MAP promotes & implements Ecological Mangrove Restoration worldwide. EMR is a holistic approach which is based on the idea that mangrove ecosystems can self-repair after 15-30 year if 1) the natural water flows are restored, 2) former coastal terrain is emulated and 3) natural waterborne seeds flow are not blocked. EMR approach can be a first step to re-establish an ecosystem that benefits nature and livelihoods at the same time. With the reforestation, the natural functions of the mangrove ecosystem will be revived. Water quality, health and fish fauna will be improved and income opportunities will be improved, positively affecting the livelihood of the rural communities.

MAP’s EMR projects include direct involvement of local communities in the restoration of mangrove ecosystems, as well as involved in forming sustainable solutions that will benefit them directly, as a way to ensure the success and the longevity of the project. Critical to the process is development of a community mangrove management plan by the local conservation group which will be the primary force preventing the repeated degradation of the restoration site.

IMPACT

By funding this project you will help in developing a 2 hectares of ecologically restored mangroves using EMR for demonstration and teaching EMR, and training 25 persons. The rehabilitated areas will help as a demonstration site for other communities and organizations to follow, as well as providing important ecological services already onsite: marine life nests and habitats, carbon sequestration to mitigate climate change, water filtration and reduced soil erosion, improved and increased livelihoods for coastal communities. Participants will acquire essential mangrove resource management skills, while their traditional wisdom is utilized.

OUR SOLUTION

To effectively counter mangrove loss, MAP promotes & implements Ecological Mangrove Restoration worldwide. EMR is a holistic approach which is based on the idea that mangrove ecosystems can self-repair after 15-30 year if 1) the natural water flows are restored, 2) former coastal terrain is emulated and 3) natural waterborne seeds flow are not blocked. EMR approach can be a first step to re-establish an ecosystem that benefits nature and livelihoods at the same time. With the reforestation, the natural functions of the mangrove ecosystem will be revived. Water quality, health and fish fauna will be improved and income opportunities will be improved, positively affecting the livelihood of the rural communities.

MAP’s EMR projects include direct involvement of local communities in the restoration of mangrove ecosystems, as well as involved in forming sustainable solutions that will benefit them directly, as a way to ensure the success and the longevity of the project. Critical to the process is development of a community mangrove management plan by the local conservation group which will be the primary force preventing the repeated degradation of the restoration site.

MILESTONES

  • Establish links with suitable community-based local NGO, farmers and local governments.
  • Train participants on EMR method.
  • Find suitable EMR sites.
  • Start EMR in 2 ha.
  • Participatory monitoring of EMR sites over 3-5 years to measure and ensure success.
  • Follow up workshops and extension trainings on the demonstration sites.

Ecological Mangrove Restoration Information Service

Ecological Mangrove Restoration Information Service

OVERVIEW

image_mini (2)An Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) e-group was originally established to share information amongst mangrove restoration practitioners in the Bay of Bengal region, India, in 2005. It has now overwhelmingly grown worldwide, and it’s providing information to over 35 countries.

To support the increasing EMR interest, MAP is also producing brochures in several languages and an EMR manual that has been translated to 7 Asian languages.

THE CHALLENGE

Mangrove forests are vital for healthy coastal ecosystems in many regions of the world. They support an immense variety of sea life in intricate food webs associated directly with the mangrove trees themselves, and many populations depend directly on them. In spite of those important functions, more than 50% of the global mangrove forests have been destroyed over the last 100 years, mainly caused by human development.

Many organizations approach this deforestation through mangrove plantations which generally involve monoculture plantations that are not monitored over time. Therefore, failing to address the biodiversity loss, and many times failing to survive in the long term, because the root causes of mangrove loss are not dealt with. Though restoration is essential right now, very few organizations so far have dealt effectively with mangroves as there is a lack of training and sufficient information.

OUR SOLUTION

To cost-effectively expand and share information on Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) MAP has set up an e-group where junior to expert members can discuss, share information and request help. This group has been regularly maintained by MAP members on a voluntary basis. However the group has been growing to an extent that requires a part time staff to follow-up on a regular basis.

In addition MAP intends to produce and translate outreach materials in English, Spanish, French and other 8 Asian languages, including brochures and manuals.

IMPACT

By funding this project you will support a network of 125 members, belonging to organizations from about 35 countries worldwide. As well as promote important outreach materials developed for grassroots communities and local NGOs in up to 7 Asian languages, including: Indonesian, Thai, Burmese, Sinhalese, Tamil, Khmer, Telugu, in addition to English, and Spanish.

MILESTONES

  • Expand the EMR e-group and ensure its regular activity
  • Produce EMR brochures in Spanish, English, French and Thai
  • Re-edit and translate the EMR manual

Community Resource Mapping in Phra Thong Island

Community Resource Mapping in Phra Thong Island

OVERVIEW

image_miniPhra Thong Island is rich in resources but poor in management. The following project attempts to start a dialogue with the community and improve their knowledge about the island resources, to facilitate the creation of a resource management plan and a committee that will manage the Coastal Community Resource Centre (CCRC).

THE CHALLENGE
The tsunami events of 2004 had a negative impact on the island´s natural resources but the new, more dangerous threat comes from outside investors wanting to develop this unique island for commercial tourism. This island, which is one of the least developed in the country, has a very fragile, high-biodiversity ecology that comprises 6 ecosystems and 317 species of which 11 are mammals, 45 reptiles, 137 birds, eight amphibians and 24 freshwater fish species. Some of these such as sea-turtles, dugong, and Lesser Adjutant are threatened and endangered species. The Thai government would like to turn this island into a National Park, but local communities concerned about restrictions on their traditional livelihoods have resisted. In addition, the lack of cohesion after the tsunami resettlement makes this still recently formed community more vulnerable to face the pressure from large-scale commercial projects, which would threaten their livelihoods and the island´s unique biodiversity. The local people need to be empowered to conserve the island’s natural treasures while making a living which is harmony with the island ecosystems.

OUR SOLUTION

By financing this project you will help 18 members of the three villages in Phra Thong Island (Lions village (4) , Ta Pae Yoi village (10) and Thung Dap village) to participate in the community resource mapping activities that will set the basis for a resource management plan and committee. This will help them to become the actors of their own development through community-based management activities reducing the pressure on a natural environment. You will as well help them to protect and manage 6 different ecosystems. Last, but far from least, you will be helping to facilitate improved conservation through linking and promoting team-work in a heterogeneous community of Moken, Thai, Chinese, and Burmese which was the result of the 2004 tsunami resettlement.

MILESTONES

Short-term

  • Three villages in Phra Thong Island participate in the mapping activities
  • A Map for Phra Thong Island is ready tos hare with visitors at the CCRC
    Long-term
  • Community establishes a management committee
  • Community establishes a management plan

Support our Advocacy, Networking and Clearing House for Mangroves

Support our Advocacy, Networking and Clearing House for Mangroves

OVERVIEW

image_mini (1)The MAP News is a sort of continuing catalogue of latest trends in global developments affecting mangroves, where readers over time can catch a glimpse of the multifarious forms that threaten these magnificent coastal wetlands. Old threats and new ones can be tracked, while hopeful signs of progress in conservation and restoration can be monitored. Under the editorial management of MAP’s new News Editor, Sam Nugent, the newsletter has advanced greatly in both quality of its presentation and the depth and relevance of its content.

THE CHALLENGE
MAP was really the only “whistle blower” back in 1992 that brought mangrove loss / shrimp farm expansion issues to international attention.
MAP’s Mangrove News information has been a critical regular source of information which people have come to rely upon around the world, but a good portion of readers are located in the developing world and are unable to afford an annual newsletter membership. Even if they could afford most don’t have a credit card or a means to transfer a newsletter fee. An international electronic transfer can cost more than $25- the same as the actual annual fee.

Meanwhile, the cost of putting together the MAP NEWS continues to increase. Seeking and selecting appropriate news items takes time, as does editing, layout, computer and internet, as well as software to handle the mail-out are just some the costs involved. In addition there is a great deal of communication required with people submitting news and to inquiries regarding articles which appear in the MAP NEWS.

OUR SOLUTION

The solution is to secure needed funding so the MAP NEWS continues to serve its readership with important information about mangroves, the threats and strategies for conservation. Secure funding will allow the MAP NEWS to expand reaching a yet wider base.

MAP’s global network continues to expand, with member NGOs and individuals from over 60 nations. These members receive MAP’s newsletter and many share information about their own works and progress relating to mangroves with our global network. Some are actual MAP NGO partners in projects involving advocacy and conservation, with which we at MAP are actively working in initiating and carrying out projects and campaigns, such as the newly launched Save the Sundarbans Campaign, working now to halt the Phulbari open pit coal mine that threatens both fertile farm lands and the mangroves of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh.

MAP’s small, US-based headquarters, provides administrative support and overall guidance for regional projects in the global South, while also providing four essential services to grassroots groups and proponents of mangrove conservation:

Coordination of a unique international NGO network and information clearinghouse on mangrove forests;
Promotion of public awareness of mangrove forest issues;
Development of technical and financial support for local NGO projects in the global South; and,
Publicize within the developed nations the basic needs and struggles of Southern coastal fishing and farming communities affected by the consumer demands of the wealthy nations.

IMPACT

This newsletter, which commenced in 1998, continues to go out to over 3500 individual and organizational e-mail addresses in over 60 nations, bringing mangrove related news updates, articles and action alerts from around the world. MAP’s News keeps readers abreast of latest developments affecting both mangroves and mangrove communities, offering a perspective on the latest progress in mangrove conservation and restoration, as well as the latest threats and actual losses and what exactly is contributing to those losses.

MAP’s early and ongoing work on mangrove loss, as well as proactive actions bringing attention to other unsustainable shoreline development issues, has inspired a global mangrove conservation movement. Following the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, MAP was one of the first to substantiate that mangrove loss and degradation were a major factor contributing to extensive loss of human lives and property. MAP’s call to restore the protective greenbelt buffers that healthy mangrove forests provide was heard widely and has been adopted as policy by governments and international institutions alike.

MILESTONES

  • The MAP NEWS is now in it’s 300th issue!
  • To reach over 4,000 individuals and organizations in over 70 nations within the next two years
  • To increase the membership funding support to make the MAP NEWS self-supporting

Women’s Tie Dye Group

Women’s Tie Dye Group

OVERVIEW

image_miniLion village on Phra Thong Island on the Andaman Sea is home to a post-tsunami small-scale fishing community isolated from public facilities such as electricity and regular transportation. Therefore the main challenge is the development of supplementary livelihoods. In 2009 MAP together with the Thai women from the biologically-rich island of Phra Thong started a cooperative to produce natural, local plant based, tie-dye handicraft as an alternative and sustainable livelihood. After the successful start-up phase the women are now eager and ready to improve their production capacity, product design and marketing outreach.

THE CHALLENGE
Lion village on Phra Thong Island gives home to a small-scale post-tsunami newly established fishing community. Small-scale fishing became increasingly difficult to make a meager income as large numbers of trawlers sweep the seas alone the Andaman and damage the seas bed habitat. Both, the outside exploitation pressure and, the tsunami events of 2004 had a serious impact in the island´s natural resources. This worsened the situation on the island, which was already one of the least developed in the country, with fragile biodiverse ecology. The great challenge is to develop environmentally friendly livelihoods, especially for the women, so they can work at home to supplement their family’s income.

OUR SOLUTION

After a first phase of group settlement and initial training, additional training and equipment support is required to enable the group to sell their products to a wider range of people, but also meet the standards that national and international market demands. The tie-dye group hopes to continue to grow in a steady and efficient manner. They desire to continue to improve their product and increase the group size and output capabilities at a rate matching the increase in market demand by receiving training on marketing, producing marketing material and increasing their technology.

IMPACT

By financing this project you will help 4 households to become the actors of their own development through community-based management activities by improving their capacity to rely on alternative sustainable livelihoods, therefore reducing the pressure on a natural environment that contains 6 different ecosystems, 137 species of bird and several endangered species.

MILESTONES

  • Provide supplementary sources of income for women to help support the family, while staying at home
  • Raise the productive capacity of the tie-dye group through learning-by-doing
  • Use the groups as an avenue to start discussions on the wider conservation issues; i.e. maintaining healthy ecosystems are essential to eco-tourism because visitors are not interested in seeing degraded environments; local eco-guides will generate income and help raise their conservation awareness of species and ecosystems
  • Take pressure off the local natural resources so fewer resources need to be extracted

Support MAP’s Volunteer – Internship Program

Support MAP’s Volunteer – Internship Program

OVERVIEW

image_miniMAP’s office in Thailand has greatly benefited from the assistance of Volunteer Interns since 2007. 12 volunteers from 6 countries (UK, USA, India, Thailand, Spain and Canada) have joined the office so far. An amazing amount of work has been achieved which would never have been accomplished otherwise, and volunteers in return have gained hands-on experience while learning about the work which MAP undertakes, both in the office and in the field.

THE CHALLENGE
Up until now, these volunteers have covered all their own transportation costs to Thailand, as well as their own insurance, visa, food and accommodation while working full-time with MAP for 3-6 months. But not all interested persons willing to help MAP can afford these expenses while volunteering, though they may have some excellent and much needed skills to offer.

OUR SOLUTION

MAP would like to increase our chances of finding suitable volunteers or interns by at least offering them lodging and covering basic expenses such as visa, and an emergency and accident insurance in exchange for their contribution. We have found a very suitable house for rent nearby our office, where rent and utilities are about $160/month. Doctor facilities in developing countries are much less expensive than in the USA, Canada or the European Union. Basic coverage can be found for about $ 50 USD/month.

IMPACT

Your donation can help ensure MAP continues to benefit from having skilled young graduates who are willing to put their newly acquired skills to work in the real world during the next 3 years. Interns will be able to conduct a variety of assignments:

  • Assist with project proposal development
  • Search and analyze funding opportunities and carrying out needed internet research
  • Assisting MAP’s mangrove restoration project & with environmental education
  • Produce marketing/outreach materials
  • Collaborating with local populations in alternative livelihoods activities
  • Helping with activities at our Coastal Community Resources Centre
  • Translating from Thai, to English, Spanish or French and viceversa.
  • Helping prepare MAP’s annual report and other public documents for MAP’s website
  • Preparing short news articles for the bi-weekly MAP NEWS which goes out to 3,500 persons

Interns assisting MAP-Asia are also making a difference to MAP’s overall efforts to raise awareness on mangrove conservation and support partner NGOs in India, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Thailand.

MILESTONES

  • Have regular contributions from volunteers
  • Reach a wider variety of volunteers