Category Archives: Uncategorized

Late Friday News, 107th Ed., 4 Dec 2002

Dear Friends,

This is the 107th Edition of the Late Friday News. We urge our readers to please support MAP in these more difficult economic times when such support is essential. To make your job of support easier, MAP provides an excellent opportunity to help us keep active and effective, while offering you the Bargain of the Year!

Bargain of the Year! MAP’s 2003 Children’s Art & Poetry Calendar

A Beautiful MAP 2003 Calendar Is Now Ready For Sale & Distribution

MAP’s 2003 children’s Art and Poetry Calendar is now ready for sale and distribution. The calendars are $10, plus $2 shipping in the USA and Canada, and $5 for shipping outside of N. America. Visa or master cards are accepted! We are urging our readership to please place advance orders for calendars by sending your calendar orders to [email protected]

To view the calendar and order, VISIT OUR WEBSITE.

If you want to order a 2003 Calendar, please send your donation in this way:

–The easiest way, if you reside in the US, is to just send us a check or money order directly to our MAP office at P.O. Box 1854, Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279 USA

— Or, another way is to use a visa or master credit card, providing the following information:

Your Name___________ ________________
Address ________________________________
________________________________
_____________________________
Credit Card Number ______________________
Expiration Date _______________
You Have a Visa Card___, or a Master Card___

(Note: We can only use Visa or Master credit cards for such transactions)
Note: Please send this credit card information directly to our MAP office at P.O. Box 1854, Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279 USA

–Another option is to send a bank money order, which is less expensive than wiring the money direct. Please indicate that your donation is earmarked for the Mangrove Action Project./ 2003 Calendar.

Salud,

Alfredo Quarto,
Mangrove Action Project

Late Friday News Archive

Contents for LATE FRIDAY NEWS, 107th Edition, 4 December 2002

FEATURE STORY
The NGO Statement to COP8 Final Plenary – 26 November 2002

MAP WORKS
Tiwoho CCRC Moving Forward In Good Stride!
A Waste Water Garden Will Bloom At Tiwoho CCRC
MAP’s Study Tour Prepares For Sri Lanka Replanting
Mangrove Curriculum Workshops Concludes In Honduras
MAP Gets Volunteer Help To Translate LFN into Indonesian Language

AFRICA
Tanzania
Improving forest management through joint management with communities

ASIA

S.E. ASIA

Thailand
Scientist’s input could help save Koh Chang
THAI-MALAYSIAN GAS PIPELINE–Petition fails to get PM to change mind

Indonesia
The destruction of Indon mangrove, swamps and peatlands rife: NGO
Reclamation of northern coast only produces new problems

Malaysia
New life for mangroves

Vietnam
Vietnam baits world market with mass African fish exports

Cambodia
Cambodia uses security forces to violently disperse forest community

S. ASIA

India
***ACTION ALERT!!!***
Fishermen Drown as Forest Officials Chase them out into Stormy Sea

Bangladesh

Crab Fattening Ponds Sprout in Bangladesh
A Concept of Coastal Development Partnership-CDP)
LOSING BATTLE FOR ROYAL CATS
MIDDLE EAST
Iran

LATIN AMERICA
Honduras
INTERNATIONAL SHAME, COP8 Conference Of Biased Parties
THE FIGHT TO SAVE WETLANDS OF THE “RAMSAR SITE 1000” CONTINUES
Shrimp farm expansion comes under fire (Honduras)

STORIES/ISSUES
Tables and Writings on Economic Value of Indonesian Mangroves
The Ecosystem Approach
Topical Prawns versus Mangroves
ANNOUNCEMENTS
International Conference on Ecorestoration Rescheduled
Farming the Seas Now In Production Phase

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Protest calls for boycott
Asking hard questions about aquaculture
Here is the transcript from a Nov. 26th CBC radio news item
Christmas Campaign: “Santa Says No, No, No, to Farmed Salmon”
CHILE IS NOW WORLD’s MAIN PRODUCER OF CULTIVATED SALMON
AROUND THE CORNER
Ramsar GBF17 and COP8 Reflections
Note from Maurizio Farhan Ferrari of Forest Peoples Programme

FEATURE STORY

THE NGO STATEMENT TO COP8 FINAL PLENARY–26 November 2002

Distinguished delegates,

We, representatives of local communities, indigenous peoples and NGOs have followed with great interest COP8. We believe that the new matters taken on by the Convention, especially those related to the cultural values of wetlands are extremely important and critical for the sound implementation of the Convention. We also believe that cultural values should go hand in hand with ecological values of wetlands in order to develop a balanced approach to wetlands wise use. We therefore support the incorporation of cultural values in the work of the Convention and encourage its further development. We have, however, some major concerns regarding the way the Convention is evolving in general and regarding the content of some of the COP8 resolutions and the processes adopted to discuss them.

Lack of political will to deal with major causes of wetland loss

We regret to notice that Contracting Parties are very resistant to openly and constructively deal with sectors and activities that negatively impact wetlands and the local communities depending on them, such as large dams, water diversion schemes, oil exploration and exploitation, coastal reclamation projects (such as the Saemangeum Reclamation Project in South Korea), and infrastructure, and unsustainable aquaculture. For example, we are concerned that a number of Contracting Parties do not accept and recognize the conclusions of the World Commission on Dams and that DR2 has been substantially changed. We do not agree with the new DR2 version, which argue that large dams have made significant contributions to development and remain an option in meeting energy and water resources requirements. We believe that alternatives needs be developed in order to avoid the recurrence of the profound ecological and social impacts associated to large dams.

Lack of effective implementation and monitoring of past COP resolutions
We denounce the lack of commitment by Contracting Parties to implement past COP resolutions. We are also concerned that no mechanisms exist to make the Contracting Parties fulfil their obligations under the Ramsar Convention while, on the other hand, a trade agreement like the WTO possesses such mechanisms. It has come to our attention that a number of resolutions adopted in previous COPs are simply ignored. For example:
COP7 adopted Resolution VII.21 urging the contracting parties to suspend the expansion of unsustainable aquaculture in coastal wetlands until adequate studies have been carried out and sustainable practices have been developed. Given that unsustainable shrimp farming is considered one of the main activities having severe ecological and social consequences on coastal wetlands (such as mangroves) and, more recently, on inland wetlands in many countries, representatives of local communities dependent for their livelihoods on these resources are dismayed thaWED AT ly disregarded.
Lack of fulfilment of the Strategic Plan 1997-2002 concerning the wise use of water and Resolution VII.18 concerning the management of hydrological basins. The Strategic Plan and Resolution VII.18 have not been implemented by many countries. Spain, for example, approved the National Hydrological Plan, which includes the construction of 110 large dams and several water diversion projects, without proper consideration of the precautionary approach and without establishing the minimum river flow necessary for wetlands conservation.

Concerning this issue of failure to implement past COP resolutions, we, we fully support the paragraph in Resolution 45 directing the Standing Committee to undertake a review of the effectiveness regarding Resolutions and Recommendations adopted by the previous three COPs.

Participation
Bearing in mind that the participation of indigenous peoples, local communities and NGOs is a cornerstone in the development and implementation of environmental treaties, we are very much concerned that very little action has been taken to ensure their effective participation in Ramsar, despite the fact that many references to the them is made in the text of the past two COPs and COP8. We regret the fact that most Contracting Parties have not instituted National Wetland Committees and we are not aware of any country where a National Wetlands Committee that includes representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities has been set up. The situation is even worst when it comes to reporting. As the Secretary General pointed out in the first day of the conference, it appears that no Contracting Party has undertaken a consultative process in the preparation of the national reports, despite that fact that they are urged to do so. It is also ironic that the Ramsar documents on cultural values that were presented in COP8 had been prepared out without adequate participation of indigenous peoples and local communities, who are the holders of living culture related to wetlands.

In terms of processes within COP8, we are deeply concerned by the fact that in some of the contact groups and regional meetings sessions, the representatives of local communities, indigenous peoples and NGOs were interrupted or were not given the opportunity to adequately express themselves. This situation needs to change otherwise indigenous peoples and local communities will remain marginalized decorative objects of the Convention.

We are grateful to witness that the convention is slowly recognizing the importance of traditional ecological knowledge and the need to involve local communities and indigenous peoples in wetlands management, but we are very concerned that the avenues for their effective involvement and participation are still very limited.

Infiltration of inappropriate vested interests in government delegations
With sadness we have to express our utmost disappointment in relation to the fact that some delegates are not here with the intention to promote the wise use and conservation of wetlands, but to ensure that destructive practices continue. Regrettably, the following two cases have come to our attention:
the only official delegate representing Honduras is an employee of a shrimp farm that local fishermen communities claim is negatively affecting their livelihoods and the ecology of the Gulf of Fonseca, which is the 1000th Ramsar site.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Korean Agricultural and Rural Infrastructure Corporation have actively promoted the Saemangeum reclamation project, which is the largest reclamation project in the world, and are here representing the South Korean government.
Distinguished delegates, we think that this is disgraceful as it goes against the spirit of the convention and puts in peril the Ramsar�s name and reputation.

In light of the above, we call upon the Contracting Parties to:

Adopt a genuine political will to address and regulate sectors and activities that negatively impact wetlands and local communities.
Constructively contribute to the Standing Committee�s review of the effectiveness regarding Resolutions and Recommendations adopted in previous COPs.
Consider the development of appropriate mechanisms to ensure that Resolutions and Recommendations are effectively implemented.
Set up National Wetland Committees that include representatives of indigenous peoples, local communities and NGOs.
Ensure that the next report of the Contracting Parties to Ramsar is prepared with the effective participation of indigenous peoples, local communities and NGOs.
Consider, as a task for COP9 to discuss, the participation of local communities� and indigenous peoples� representatives in the decision-making process of the Ramsar Bureau and in the Scientific and Technical Review Panel.
Ensure that the delegations representing the Contracting Parties are drawn from the most appropriate and relevant national agencies related to wetlands conservation and management.

Distinguished delegates,

Unfortunately, our spirit during the COP8 has also been dampened by the tragic news of the oil spill caused by the sinking of the Prestige ship on the coast of Galicia. While we were discussing and debating wetlands wise use, this major oil disaster has ruined the ecology and beauty of one of the best coastal areas of Spain. A few years ago, the world community was astonished by the Exxon Valdez catastrophe; the Prestige spilled a double amount of oil on the coast of Galicia, highlighting that we are still not learning from past mistakes and no appropriate regulations are implemented to avoid similar disasters. The dependence on fossil fuels is a threat to the whole planet but we become aware of this only when the thick black tide comes to shore. This should make us remember that the dependency on fossil fuels is a major cause of climate change, which in turn is a principal threat to wetlands. We would like to express our solidarity to the people of Galicia, who are directly suffering the consequences of the Prestige disaster.

We will carry these concerns with us to our respective countries while cultivating the hope that steps will be taken to convert the spirit of the Convention from words to action.

Representatives of Local Communiies, Indigenous Peoples and NGOs
participating at COP8

MAP WORKS

“MAP never sleeps …. nice to know that one of our MAPsters is always working, in some part of the world, day or night, holidays here or there..”
Jim Enright, MAP SE ASia Coordinator
==========

Tiwoho CCRC Moving Forward In Good Stride!

The laying of the first stone has taken place and was attended by the Bupati himself. (A Bupati is the government official between Mayor and Govenor, sort of a regency head) Work has progressed very quickly after the first stone was laid. The foundation is now finished and footings and the first story frame are being built. The construction team consists of all local Tiwoho workers. The women of Tiwoho have been volunteering their muscles by carrying loads of river stones, and sand to the work site. There has been a plea from a women’s group in Tiwoho to also put women to work on the building, and we are trying to figure out how to best incorporate them with our limited budget for construction labour.

The bamboo treatment facility is up and running. Fisherfolk leaders are running the treatment facility with guidance from Yayasan Kelola staff member Lucky Manoi who studied the process in Bali. The fisherfolk are excited that bamboo treatment will surely be able to supplement their fishing incomes, and also help with regards to sustainable development in the village. These are their own words, not just the hopeful reportings of a community development worker. An order for treated bamboo from the facility has already been placed from Bali. Also in January, Linda Garland the Director of the Environmental Bamboo Foundation and her staff will be visiting Tiwoho to teach a workshop on bamboo use, inventorying bamboo, bamboo harvesting, watersehd restoration using bamboo, integrated bamboo charcoal use and bamboo management.

The bamboo treatment facility was built with funds from IUCN, TRP Netherlands which were given for creating small, sustainable livelihood demonstrations.

We had to put in a well as water is short in the dry season and that is already in. The village never needed wells in the past, as a natural spring provided enough fresh water even in the dry season, however this year for the first time the spring ran dry. VIllagers blame clear cuts in the uplands which had been going on illegaly during the 90’s. Hopefully the bamboo restoration project will achieve its goal of regreening the watershed. Bamboo has the remarkable ability to create a full forest canopy and well developed root system only three years after planting.

There is also an article coming out in the Earth Island Institute
Journal which we will send shortly, and finally we got another $6750
from the CORAL Reef Alliance to make sure we have enough money for the second floor, which came out a little more expensive than we thought after calculations by the civil engineer.

Preparations are now underway to construct the Center’s Wastewater Gardens to ecologically handle the human and kitchen wastes. A site visit by Planetary Coral Reef Foundation is planned for January as well.

From: “Ben Brown”
[email protected]

==========
A Waste Water Garden Will Bloom At Tiwoho CCRC

The terrorist bombings in Bali, Indonesia on October 12, 2002 had slowed the progress of construction of the new Coastal Community Center in North Sulawesi, however, as of this writing, the situation there seems to have stabilized, and work is resuming on the construction. This will push the completion date (barring any further delays) out to early or mid May 2003.

Our project leader and MAP Indonesia Director, Ben Brown, reports that the center is turning out to be quite a good example of the sustainable development issues MAP promotes. When construction began, the concern over water treatment was raised by MAP�s executive director, Alfredo Quarto, since original plans did not specifically address the handling of waste water. After reviewing various methods, including pressurized septic tank, composting facilities and water treatment processes, we selected a method called Wastewater Gardens developed by the Biosphere Foundation for use in Biosphere2. These wastewater gardens are small-scale mock-ups of wetlands, using microbes and plants to filter and clean the water. Wastewater Gardens are a 100% ecological, low cost, low maintenance solution to the problem of human waste which is particularly important in coastal regions.� Using no mechanical or moving parts and no chemicals, all wastewater is recycled via a gravity system into elegant, biodiverse gardens which produce lovely flowers as well as fruit and vegetables that can be eaten by humans and fodder crops for animal consumption. The systems are carefully sealed so no wastewater contaminates the soil, ground water or coastal waters.

Wastewater Gardens have been successfully installed in Mexico, Bali, the Bahamas, Belize, France, Poland, the Philippines, the US and Australia. To date, the largest Wastewater Garden installed is located in the Xpu-Ha EcoPark near Akumal Mexico which recycles all the human waste produced by up to1500 visitors a day.

From: Sam
[email protected]

==========

MAP’s Study Tour Prepares For Sri Lanka Replanting

This year’s Mangrove Action Project Volunteer Study Tour Group is making final arrangements to travel to Sri Lanka for a volunteer replanting program in January, 2003. Currently there are 12 members from the U.S. and Australia who will be participating. We will be traveling to Sri Lanka to work with our partner NGO in the area, Small Fisher’s Federation of Sri Lanka, (SFFL) to learn about and help with their conservation efforts in Southern and Western Sri Lanka.

The first replanting area is Pambala/Chilaw Lagoon in the Puttalam district of Sri Lanka. Puttalam is the major shrimp producing district of Sri Lanka. This unsustainable industry has already destroyed more than 28 percent of the mangroves found there. More than 34 shrimp farms are operating in and around the lagoon. As these ponds become overburdened by over-stocking and diseases associated with farmed prawns, nearby mangroves are clear-cut to make new ponds. The old ponds are often left abandoned, and without human intervention, may take decades to recover.

Pambala/Chilaw Lagoon is especially ecologically and biologically important as it is the only lagoon in which 19 of the 29 native species of mangroves can be found in a single lagoon. SFFL began replanting this lagoon in 1994 and to date has replanted more than 300 hectares. During this tour, we will be planting more than 5000 mangrove seedlings in Pambala/Chilaw Lagoon. Nearby schools will assist us, sending some forty school children to help with the process.

Mangrove replanting will not be the only aspect of our visit to Sri Lanka. SFFL is involved with concerns of the coastal fisheries and their culture, and we will study not only mangroves, but the entire area of coastal resource conservation and management. After our stay at Pambala, we will travel south along the coast to observe the coral reefs and sea grasses to discover just how the mangroves have protected these beautiful and fragile systems, and the threats posed to corals by the removal of mangrove trees nearby.

Afterwards we will spend a few days in Kiralakele, where MAP & SFFL share a Mangrove Resource Center & Botanical Garden. We’ll have a chance to see the nurseries from which seedlings are harvested for replanting efforts. Volunteers will take part in the second half of the replanting tour by preparing seedlings for the next replanting effort. While staying in the center, volunteers are encouraged to participate in home stays with the villagers. Home visits with fisher folk will give volunteers a chance to personally become acquainted with the issues of day to day life in coastal fishing villages of Sri Lanka, and perhaps even make some life long friendships.

Following our visit to Sri Lanka, those volunteers who are interested, may continue their tour as we return to Bangkok and journey by overnight train to Trang, where we will visit MAP’s S.E. Asian Office, headed by Mr. Jim Enright. Speakers from local universities and other Non-Governmental Organizations will speak on the issues surrounding coastal tidal conservation, and what is being done to conserve and protect these complex and little understood wetland forests.

A complete report of our tour will be published in February’s LFN

From: Sam Nugent, Tour Director
[email protected]

==============

Mangrove Curriculum Workshops Concludes In Honduras

Martin Keeley recently returned from conducting a very successful 3-day mangrove workshop with 29 teachers in Honduras. This
workshop was a combined presentation, with the Honduran NGO, CODDEFFAGOLF, providing on-ground logistics support at their west coast HQ in San Lorenzo, CORALINA providing the translation and adaptation of the curriculum materials, as well as a translator in the person of Fanny Howard, who was the co-presenter at the workshop, and Martin Keeley representing MAP, of course.

MAP wishes to thank both Biolabs and Ramsar for their past generous support for this project, and now look forward to initiating phase 2 of the Curriculum development effort that will enable MAP to work with the teachers in both Hnoduras and San Andres to present peer workshops and spread the materials throughout both countries.

From Martin A.Keeley, Education Director, Mangrove Action Project
E-mail:
[email protected]

==========

MAP Gets Volunteer Help To Translate LFN into Indonesian Language

MAP is quite grateful for the help of Mia in translating our bi-weekly Late Friday News into Indonesian language for our associates in Indonesia. This service is importat in getting the word out in a clearer, more digestable form. We would like to thank Ben Brown and especially MIa for their good help in making this happen now!

AFRICA

Tanzania

Tanzania: Improving forest management through joint management with communities

Many independent states have shown little interest in revitalizing local level systems of authority, which were purposely destroyed by past colonial regimes. The new independent governments, just like past colonial regimes do not like very much the idea of local political forces challenging its legitimacy. Thus, many forests became the property of the state, as in the case of Tanzania. This responsibility was assumed by the Tanzanian state despite other pressing problems like: governance, economic development, self reliance and political stability. As such meager resources were mostly directed towards these causes and managing forests was not accorded priority and they were left to deteriorate.

Much attention to reform management of natural resources like forests has focused on either increasing powers and responsibilities on the government or privatization. Rarely has attention focused on management of resources by communities or managing them as common property, been considered. Communities can achieve this aim with the help -rather than control- from the government. This is the idea being proposed in the new forest policy: making communities responsible for managing forest resources as common
property, in Tanzania whenever possible.

Widespread people’s participation in forest management, owning the forests as common property, is the current thinking towards forest management. Common property refer to a particular property rights arrangement in which a group of resources users share rights and duties toward a resource. This term therefore refers to social institutions, and not to any inherent natural or physical quality of the resource.

In this arrangement, a particular group of individuals share rights to a resource, e.g a forest. User rights are common to a specified group of individuals, not to all. Thus, common property is not access open to all but access limited to a specified group of users who hold their rights in common. When the group of individuals and property rights they share are well defined, common property should be classified as a form of shared private property. The property rights in a common-property regime can be very clearly specified, they are by definition exclusive to the co-owners (members of the user group), they are secure if they receive appropriate legal support from the government.

It can be noted that while the Tanzanian government and international agencies have overestimated their own capabilities for forest management, they have underestimated the value of local governance over those resources. Local communities who depend on forests for many commodities and services not just timber, are more sensitive to their protective functions and the wide variety of goods available from them in sustainable harvest. But when the governments overrule traditional use rights to forests, local communities and individual households are unable, and less
willing to prevent destructive encroachment or overexploitation. In
effect, these de jure state forests are turned into de facto open access. Environmental degradation can occur where there is an increasing lack of synchrony between the community and its natural environment, and the implied solution is to restore harmony to environment-society relations.

Restoring or awarding such rights to local groups would induce them to attend to the possibilities of sustainable long term production from the forests. Sustainability of forests depends on local rules, use patterns, and incentives created by international, regional, national and local institutions. Indeed, if ecological conditions are the same, major structural and biological differences between local patches of forests may be almost completely the consequence of human rules and use patterns.

Statements of intent on global environmental problems issued in the 1992 Earth Summit, including Agenda 21 and the Desertification Convention, strongly advocate as solutions a combination of government decentralization, devolution to local communities of responsibility of natural resources held as commons, and community participation.

According to the new forest policy, to abolish open access in public
lands, covering more than 19 million hectares in Tanzania, clear ownership for all forests and trees on those lands need be defined. The allocation of forests and their management responsibility to villages, private individuals or to government will be promoted. Central, local and village governments may demarcate and establish new forest reserves.

Communities are best suited to manage and regulate resource use because of four main reasons, which are:

1. Empowering a community to manage and regulate the use of a resource will reduce the pressure on the resource because by the mere fact that it is owned by a certain community it will not be an open access. Potentially, there are many users of a resource e.g. a forest and if one group retain exclusive use of a resource there is high possibility that more sustainable practices are likely to be implemented.

2. A community living near a resource and depending on it for livelihood, and knowing that it will enjoy the benefits of the resource for a long time, is more likely to refrain from misusing it. People rooted in one locality which they call home, will use a resource more careful because if they deplete it they have nowhere else to go. They are different from a commercial corporation which is always on the move, and depletion of a resource in one place means moving to another place and continue with the same trend.

3. The limited resources of governments in terms of personnel and finance to police resources means that this task is better placed in the hands of local people which will do it for their own benefit with no burden of payment on the part of the government.

4. Traditional users of a biotic resource like a forest are more likely
to have developed techniques which will enable them to use the resource sustainably. Other groups or companies with less knowledge of the resource are more likely to exploit the resource to extinction with the aim of short term gains.

Extracted from: “Forest policy changes in Tanzania: towards community participation in forest management”, Vincent B.M.S. Kihiyo, Sokoine University of Agriculture, e-mail: [email protected] ,
WEBSITE

From: WRM Bulletin #64
Teresa Perez
[email protected]

ASIA

S.E. ASIA

Thailand

Scientist’s input could help save Koh Chang

Expert knowledge could ensure tourism remains sustainable
Knowledge about biodiversity is crucial to the development of tourism, the country’s major source of foreign income.

However, not everybody realises that. So recently a number of leading scientists _ namely, Prof Visut Baimai of the Biodiversity Research and Training Programme (BRT), Prof Kanchanaparch Lewmanomon of Kasetsart University, Dr Thaweesakdi Boonkerd of Chulalongkorn University, Dr Sompoad Srikosamatara of Mahidol University and Dr Chaweewan Hutacharoen of the Forest Department _ held an academic discussion to explain how such knowledge could help the government’s tourism development plan for Koh Chang to become genuinely sustainable.

Other than the beaches for which Koh Chang and the nearby islets are already famous, this archipelago off Trat province is also rich in flora and fauna which, through proper promotion and conservation, could serve as travel highlights for visitors. The scientists cited fireflies as an example.

The light-emitting insects are still thriving at some of the island’s remaining mangrove forests. Watching their romantic light displays on a small boat would be a memorable experience for tourists and the trips would create extra income for local fishermen at the same time.

Some might think building wooden walkways into the mangrove forests for the purpose would also be a nice idea, but according to Dr Chaweewan, that wouldn’t be good for the ecosystem as the construction would require cutting trees.

Besides, firefly larvae feed on snails. If these snails and their mushy habitats are stomped flat under the feet of construction workers, the fireflies aren’t going to survive.

She also added that planting more trees in degraded mangrove forests doesn’t necessarily mean the number of fireflies in the area will increase too _ unless you plant the right species of trees.

Trees with large leaves, she explained, hinder the fireflies’ light signals. Their special means of communication is more effective in airy foliage.

From: “John Rubin”
bangkokpost.com

==========

THAI-MALAYSIAN GAS PIPELINE

Petition fails to get PM to change mind– Songkhla protesters to prevent project’s implementation

Yuwadee Tunyasiri bangkokpost.com

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday rejected academics’ call for a review of the Thai-Malaysian gas pipeline. Mr Thaksin said he had repeatedly explained why his government decided to go ahead with the project. Without new information warranting a review, he preferred not to delay the scheme.

On Sunday, 1,384 academics signed a petition calling for a review of the project, saying its contract gave co-partner Malaysia an advantage over Thailand. The project also failed an environmental impact assessment, they said. They also argued the country already had a surplus of energy supply and did not really need the gas pipeline. They cited survey findings that showed 80% of residents of Songkhla province, the project site, believed the project would adversely affect their livelihood, and that 59% of respondents wanted it scrapped.

Mr Thaksin said yesterday the government remained open to constructive suggestions but “for now there will be no change in the project”. There were reports that some protesters in Songkhla had armed themselves to fight efforts to implement the project.
Alisa Manla, a protest leader, said the project operators had not yet come to the project site, now strongly guarded by local villagers.
Mrs Alisa denied rumours that the protest was losing support.

Prasart Meetaem, a scientist at Prince of Songkhla University, said the government’s decision to relocate the project five kilometres north of Lan Hoi Siab, the original site, would not do much good for the environment. Somboon Pornpinatepong, of the university’s engineering faculty, said what the South really needed was a master plan to ensure optimum use of the region’s rich resources.
The South should be developed in ways that would promote its tourism and small industries using the region’s resources such as seafood, palm oil, natural rubber and other crops.

Senator Kaewsan Atipho demanded the government say clearly what industries it planned to develop that could use up about a trillion cubic metres of natural gas to be produced under the pipeline project.

“We want the government to tell the people how it plans to develop the lower South, and whether gas supply is really needed for such development projects,” he said.

There was much concern the South could end up like the eastern seaboard, now plagued with the problem of how to effectively dispose of hazardous industrial waste, the senator said. The government had to clear up these doubts or anti-pipeline protests would escalate, he warned.

Senate environment committee chairman Panat Tasneeyanond said his panel had yet to receive government clarifications on reports that Thailand would gain little benefit from the pipeline project, compared to Malaysia. The panel also found it hard to believe that the project would not give rise to related industries that would be powered by natural gas, he said.

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”
[email protected]

==========

Indonesia

The destruction of Indon mangrove, swamps and peatlands rife: NGO

The Jakarta Post, November 14, 2002

The country’s wetlands, such as mangrove forests, swamps, and peatlands, have significantly declined in total area from 42.5 million hectares in 1987 to 33.8 million hectares this year, the Wetlands International-Indonesia Program said on Tuesday. The destruction of wetlands has caused a number of disasters in the country including annual flooding, drought, and loss of biodiversity, they said.

“Wetlands have been altered in many places; for example, mangrove forests have been changed into fishponds, swamps into residential areas, and lakes into roads.

“The conversion is a result of poor understanding among people and poor policy from the government,” Wetlands program director Dibyo Sartono said at a workshop on wetland policy strategy. The non-governmental organization estimated the decline in mangrove forest area to be from 3.2 million hectares in 1986 to 2.4 million in 1996, due to their conversion into fishponds.

Peatlands in the country have also dropped to less than 16 million hectares this year, from 20.7 million hectares in 1990, due to the expansion of agricultural areas and plantations, Dibyo said. In Jakarta, 50 percent of its wetlands had been cleared for houses and
buildings, roads and other facilities, he said.

“To date, the destruction of wetlands has become even more rampant as local governments, which enjoy more power under the regional autonomy law, issue policies that damage wetlands,” Dibyo said. According to the 1971 Ramsar Convention, a wetland is defined as swampy areas, peatlands, water catchment areas, and seawater areas with a depth of less than 6 meters at low tide.

Indonesia, which ratified the convention in 1991, has two locations which are classified as International Ramsar sites: Berbak National Park in Jambi and Danau Sentarum Protected Park for Animals in West Kalimantan. In order to manage its own wetlands under the Ramsar Convention, Indonesia established a national commission to handle their wetlands in 1994, but the commission did not work well due to poor coordination among the relevant ministries.

Dibyo said the government must re-integrate a wetland management policy to reduce the current destruction rate of wetlands.

“We can’t leave it to the local governments, as wetlands are usually located across several regencies. If we leave the policy to regional
administrations, they will only issue policies that create losses for other regions,” he said. He added that the current national commission must be given more power and authority to manage wetlands and it must also set up branches at the
regional level to monitor and to supervise the implementation of the policy.

Hajrul Junaid of the Indonesian NGO Network for Forest Conservation (SKEPHI) agreed that the country’s wetlands were severely damaged, and that it needed an integrated policy from the central government.

“The government must move quickly, however, because there are obvious threats to the wetlands,” he said.

Widodo S. Ramono, director of conservation areas at the Ministry of
Forestry, and Liana Bratasida, Deputy State Minister of the Environment for environmental protection, welcomed the idea to revise the national commission’s role in managing wetlands.

“I think the new function of the commission must be formulated by both government officials and the public to create a solid policy,” Liana said.

From: “Ben Brown”
[email protected]

==========

From: Russ Cullinane
mailto:[email protected]
September 15, 2002 6:41 AM

Reclamation of northern coast only produces new problems

Source: Kompas, September 09, 2002, Jakarta

The provincial administration of Jakarta’s plans to proceed with reclamation of the 32 kilometer long northern coastline will only bring along a series of new problems for citizens in the capital and the surroundings. Some of these are killer floods which will inundate a large part of Jakarta, which will leave thousands of fishermen without an income, a damaged eco system, and destruction of the water system in that area. These matters were
revealed by environment and conservation experts of the Forestry Department, Transtoto Handhardi and Hydrology Expert and General Director of the Indonesia Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), Wiwik Awiati, when they were both contacted on separate occasions Sunday, in Bogor and Jakarta.

Reclamation does not exist in district Rules covering the General Layout of 1960-1985 and of the period 1985-2005 as well. However. something strange happened later, which was presented in the form of Presidential Instruction No. 52 in 1995 for the Reclamation of the Jakarta Northern Coast. “The public has rejected the plan, they may demand annulment of the Instruction. ICEL is also coordinating with other environmental organizations to charge the reclamation. One of the strong methods to charge the French company is through environmental organizations for the sake of protecting the
environment of the surroundings,” said Wiwik Awiati.

Camouflage
Transtoto reminded the province of Jakarta that reclamation development will transform the Jakarta northern coastline into the likes of Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) IInd which is threatening the ecosystem in the surroundings. “Floods will engulf the lower classes unhindered, those who live below the waterline,” he said adding: “Damage will also occur in the coastal ecosystem which will lead to a change of ecology structure.” He drew attention on businesses operating under the pretext of reclamation business. Reclamation
is done with the purpose of restructuring destroyed coasts and to restore the coast into its proper functioning capacity. Ideally, this should not become the main objective of the Northern Coastal Reclamation Project.

The Jakarta Province, said Transtoto, is indeed profiting in a big way from the reclaimed shore in question. New fields in Jakarta’s northern coast measure 2.700 hectare or 27.000.000 square meters which are to be transformed into commercial areas and elite housing estates, will of course bring in large profits when sold to businessmen. With minimal land prices of Rp.2 million per square meter, Transtoto said, a capital of Rp.50 trillion will be made at least. That is not including sales value, commercial service
and buildings.

“It is not surprising if the respective developers
relentlessly go after government to get a piece of the project that has been given an all round covert, Transtoto said. On the other hand, development of this elite ground will be the cause of forever growing social differences. Criminal activities will almost certainly be on the rise. “We have to watch the reclamated shoreline which is offering an undercover business trend that is very new. If let alone, the situation will deteriorate and spread to areas outside Jakarta like, Surabaya and Semarang,” Transtoto said.

Scraping sand from the shore, will also create a problem in other places. Said Transtoto, where do you think did they get land fill in millions of cubic meters. “If only a part has been taken from river areas of Central Ciliwung as originally planned, decrease of ground water in that environment would not have come to present conditions,” Transtoto said. Other areas from which the land surface has been scraped off, also suffer from the same problem besides a decrease of fertile agricultural land and other damage of
the environment. Bandung Technology Institute lecturer and Hydrologist expert, Arwin Sabar estimates that reclamation will only damage the water system of 10.000 hectare of coastal area. Reclamated fields of 1,5 kilometer width towards the sea and 2,6 meters above the lowest sea level. This would imply that 13 rivers which come out in the Jakarta Bay will be lengthened with 1,5 kilometers while river bottoms will be sloping steeply.

Arwin said that as a result of reclamation, river water slowwly flows to sea causing sedimentation in no time and frequent dredging. Rivers coming out in the Jakarta Bay contain poisonous waste (B3). Chairman of the Coastal Public Forum of Jakarta, Didit Eko mentions that social differences will occur among fishermen who have been evicted from their domains and reclaimed land dwellers. Fishermen will never be able to buy up reclaimed land which is to costly for them. To make a switch in profession, said Didit Eko, will not be
so easy. “These people have been fishermen for generations, they are very close to the sea,” said Didit.

From: “Ben Brown”
[email protected]

==========

Malaysia

The Star: 12 November 2002
Hillary Chiew

New life for mangroves
PROMPTED by the realisation that once the mangrove forest is gone, so too will their livelihood and heritage of living off the sea, a group of traditional fishermen in Penang have gotten together to revitalise the state’s coastal zone.

“We started the first mangrove replanting project in Kuala Sungai Pinang in 1997 with a few hundred saplings,” says P. Balan, advisor and coordinator of the Penang Inshore Fishermen Welfare Association (Pifwa). “The fishing community of Balik Pulau took the initiative to plant the mangrove trees after our protest against the destruction and de-gazetting of mangrove areas for aquaculture development was ignored.

“The project has opened the eyes of the public to the existence of mangrove forests in Penang and highlighted their fragile state in the face of development.

“Our efforts have prompted the state government to consider gazetting the remaining 450ha of mangrove areas in the state. Currently, only 450ha have been gazetted as forest reserve.”
To date, the association has replanted 27,000 mangrove saplings on cleared but abandoned mangrove forests, both on the island and in Seberang Prai on the mainland.

Balan points out that, in some places, aquaculture operators cleared more than they needed to construct their ponds, resulting in abandoned plots. At this point, the association steps in to rejuvenate the barren mudflat. With a handful of Rhizofora (bakau kurap) saplings, Pifwa stalwart Saidin Hussain, 72, leads a group of 10 fishermen from Sungai Chenaam, Seberang Prai, into the mudflats as they attempt to cover every single plot of deforested mangrove swamp with saplings. In fact, the replanting is to replace saplings which were planted in January but died from crab attacks, says Saidin who is also the association’s chairman. Prior to this, Pifwa had planted 12,000 saplings in the Sungai Chenaam vicinity which sustains a few fishing communities along the river.

“The sea is just beyond this little patch of api-api mangrove forest,” says Saidin, pointing to the row of Avicennia trees which act as a buffer between land and sea, underscoring the importance of mangroves in checking coastal erosion. “We are told that if the saplings are allowed to grow, the forest will be back in 15 years. Judging from how well the earlier batch of saplings is doing, I think our efforts will bear fruit,” enthuses Saidin.

Balan explains that the group receives moral and basic technical support from the US-based Mangrove Action Project, a non-profit organisation dedicated to empowering coastal communities in restoring degraded mangrove swamps.
“So far, we have not had any professional assistance but a mangrove expert from the University of Washington visited the replanted area of Sg Chenaam in January and confirmed that the saplings were doing well. We’re relieved that we got it right,” he adds.

The group has since intensified its efforts south of Seberang Prai, following assurance from the local district council that the replanted zone would not be turned over to developers.
Having learnt their lesson from an incident in Kuala Sungai Pinang in which an expanding prawn farm destroyed their replanted mangroves, Pifwa members would now check with aquaculture farmers in the vicinity before carrying out any replanting

Grassroots awareness
The replanting exercise has raised awareness among many fishermen of the importance of this unique and often misunderstood wetland.
“I used to think that mangrove swamps were just mud and some unimportant trees but my involvement in replanting and interacting with other fishermen has changed my outlook. I began to see the connection between the mangrove and the sea which I rely on for my livelihood. I understand that it is the birthplace of the fish and prawns which I catch at sea,” says Pifwa secretary Rousli Ibrahim, echoing the sentiments of his peers.

Balan, who began the mangrove awareness campaign with the fisherfolk in 1995, concedes that the fishermen have indeed come a long way. These days, the fishermen will themselves extol the benefits of protecting the mangrove and they are keen to share their knowledge with the public. As part of its outreach programme, the association has accepted requests from school nature clubs to join in its replanting projects.

“If we do not highlight the need for restoration, sustainable use and protection of biodiversity, the inshore fishermen will be gravely affected and the state will lose its natural heritage,” asserts Balan.

Community-based organisation
As a community-based organisation, Pifwa reacts to issues affecting inshore fishermen. Activities and projects are planned and implemented by the fishermen in a strategy that involves stakeholders, to protect the very environment that they are dependent on.

Since its inception in 1994, Pifwa has been tireless in its efforts to raise awareness of the plight of inshore fishermen hard hit by encroaching trawlers, pollution, coastal erosion, depleting fish stock, fluctuating fish price, mangrove destruction, sea reclamation and conflict with the aquaculture industry.

“While other fishermen organisations provide petrol and housing subsidies, Pifwa concentrates on preserving the fertility of the sea with the understanding that if the fish is there, the fishermen can continue to fish,” reasons Saidin.
However, the upfront attitude of the fishermen does not go down well with the authorities and they are looked upon as a threat by other fishermen organisations. Balan clarifies that the association strives to engage in a participatory and non-confrontational approach with the fishing community, relevant government agencies and the private sector.

To protect traditional fishing methods used by inshore fishermen, the association has even carried out research on traditional fishing equipment.
The findings were documented and published in a book titled Nelayan Pantai Pulau Pinang: Keunikan Alat-alat Tangkapan Tradisional (Penang Inshore Fishermen: The Uniqueness of Traditional Fishing Gear).

Pifwa has gained international support and recognition for its pioneering work in mangrove replanting. Association members have been invited to conferences overseas to share their experiences in empowering stakeholders of the coastal environment. Recently the association won Ford Motor Company’s environmental monetary award to boost efforts in mangrove replanting. The award carried a monetary value of RM18,000. – By Hilary Chiew

=====
NOTE: The above article comes from the PIFWA website website which is regularly updated. There is the latest press statement on the disappearance of fish species in Penang waters, a pictorial report on the January Eco-Study Tour, an article on ‘tongkah’, a unique traditional fishing equipment and an article on PIFWA’s struggle as appeared in the local English daily.

From: P. BALAN, Advisor / Coordinator
Penang Inshore Fishermen Welfare Association “PIFWA”
[email protected]

==========

Vietnam

News article 19 Nove 2002

Viet Nam baits world market with mass African fish exports

HA NOI – Viet Nam aims to be rearing 200,000 tonnes African tilapia fish by 2010. Half of these will be exported, hopefully earning US$160 million each year.

The Government hopes to produce 30,000 tonnes of African tilapia next year. Half of these will be exported, earning $24 million. To help this fantastic dream come true, technology will have to be completely updated to attract more international support and investment. Viet Nam has signed an agreement with the Norwegian Government to improve fish breeding and research across the nation. The Norwegian Government will pay $2 million to help achieve this.

Since 1993 the relevant ministry has been importing high quality African tilapia that can easily adapt to the local environment. This kind of fish breeding has many advantages. The fish are cheap, grow quickly, can cope with cold temperatures and are fairly resistant to disease.

Artificially unisexed fish

In 1996, the institute started creating unisexed fish. This intriguing step forward will allow every baby-fish to be born male and to weigh more. Between 1996 amd 2000, the fisheries sector transported 20 million fish from the south to the north. The fish are not too much trouble to raise and they can be either intensively or semi-intensively farmed in cages or rice fields. Experiments in different provinces suggest that the African fish grow 30 per cent faster than local fish. This means that the southern provinces can have two fish harvests a year, whilst farmers in the north can raise them along with shrimp, crabs and other fish.

Many provinces are breeding genetically modified tilapias. Earlier this year, 25 provinces signed contracts to receive 625,000 fish produced by the institute. The institute has worked in co-operation with HCM City’s Agriculture and Forestry University to open training courses for improving fish quality in 20 provinces and cities including Ha Noi, Ha Tay, Nghe An, Da Nang, HCM City and Ben Tre. – VNS

From: “John Rubin”
[email protected]

==========

Cambodia

Cambodia uses security forces to violently disperse forest community

Representatives of communities living in and around forest concessions went to the Department of Forestry and Wildlife (DFW) this morning to submit a letter asking for DFW to organize a workshop on strategic management plans and environmental and social impact assessments submitted by concessionaires in Cambodia.

In the morning the community representatives were met by the deputy director of DFW Chea Sam Ang who refused to accept the request and threatened three of the representatives (“Be careful, something might happen to you and no one will be responsible for
it”) Community representatives returned to DFW in the afternoon and were told that their letter was illegal as it was only a photocopy and was not countersigned by commune council members.

Community representatives stayed all afternoon outside the building of DFW waiting for a response on the workshop. At about 6:40 pm this evening, four trucks of armed military police, police and the elite force flying tigers arrived in front of DFW. As they approached the community representatives, they blew into their whistles and shouted that whomever did not run away immediately would be arrested and proceeded to beat them with batons and electrical. As anticipated, the crowd did disperse.

At the time of writing 8 people, including one disabled woman are still missing. Approximately a dozen people were injured. At this stage it is not known whether anyone requires hospitalization,
aside from the person with a broken foot.

Ironically tomorrow DFW is organizing a workshop presenting an assessment of donor funded initiatives on… community forestry.

Eva Galabru, Global Witness
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
PO Box 501
855 (0) 23 219 478
www.globalwitness

From: “ECOTERRA Intl.”
[email protected]

==========

S. ASIA

India

***ACTION ALERT!!!***
November 14, 2002

Fishermen Drown as Forest Officials Chase them out into the Stormy Seas

Forest officials of Jambudwip in West Bengal, India, on the afternoon of 12th November, 2002, in violation of all humane norms, stopped the fishermen entering the island’s channels to save their lives and boats from the devastating storm, resulting in several of them being drowned along with their boats. The Forest officials also destroyed fishing equipment worth one crore (10 million). So far 40 fishermen are confirmed dead and many more missing.

World Forum of Fisher Peoples (WFFP), National Fish Workers’ Forum (NFF) and the National Alliance of Peoples’ Movement (NAPM) condemn this BARBAROUS behavior of the forest officials and demand that these officials should be prosecuted for MURDER. Instead of protecting the lives of their citizens these Government Forest officials are killing and murdering them. All those who believe in INDIAN CONSTITUTION must come together to condemn
this barbaric behavior of the government officials. We must come together to stop this kind of actions and see that these officials are put behind bars.

All over the World people must rise up to protest against this.
We also sympathize with all those who lost their lives and boats.
All over India and in the World let us work together to stop these kinds of human rights violations and atrocities on the working people. We demand immediate punishment of the forest officials and compensation for the families who lost their breadwinners.
We must take over JAMBUDWIP AND CHASE OUT THE FOREST OFFICIALS IMMEDIATELY.
Thomas Kocherry
For WFFP /NFF /NAPM

==========
AMBUDWIP DAY ON NOVEMBER 21, 2002

World Forum of Fisher Peoples(WFFP)

A contingent of 30 fishing vessels led by Sri Harekrishna Debnath, President, National Fishworkers’ Forum with hundreds of fishermen has approached Jambudwip today to establish their traditional rights to fishing activities on the island. It is learnt that the forest guards have refused their entry and the fishermen have started an indefinite squatting till they are not allowed passage by the authorities.

PLEASE SEND fax messages immediately to the following :

Please note the Fax numbers and send your concern on Jambudwip immediately to:

1. Buddhadev Bhattacharya,
Chief Minister of West Bengal,
Writers Building,
Kolkata.
Fax: 033-2145480.
2. Prime Minister of India, New Delhi,
Fax: 011-3016857 / 011-3018906.

3. Kiranmay Nanda, Minister of Fisheries, West Bengal,
Fax: 033- 2143929.

4. T. R. Balu,
Minister of Environment and Forest,
New Delhi, 0.
Fax: 011-4362222.

5. Sri. M.K. Jiwrajka,
( IG-Forest, MoEF New delhi ,
Secretary. CEC
Fax Number : 011 4363976

Sister Cecily Plathottam

From: “wffp”
[email protected]

==========

Bangladesh

Crab Fattening Ponds Sprout in Bangladesh

Crab is an edible aquatic resource that plays a vital role in earning foreign currency of Bangladesh. In 1977, for the first time Bangladesh exported living crab and earned US$ 2000 (approx). In 1992-93 this earning jumped up to US$ 3780000 and later in 1999-2000 it raises more from this sector.

Crab is available in Australia, Asia, and Africa. In the World, 133 crab species are found. In Bangladesh 15 crab species have been identified of which 11sp. are marine and fresh water crab sp. number are four. Among marine species, seven sp. are found in the Sundarban mangrove coastal water of Bangladesh of which Mud Crab (hybo or shila kakra); Fiddler Crab (lal kakra); Horse Shoe Crab (shagor kakra); and Swimming Crab (sataru kakra) are notable. Among various species, Mud Crab is found in abundance and its weight ranges 25 gm.- 2 kg. About 50000 people of Khulna, Bagerhat and Satkhira coastal region depends on this resource by consuming, selling and exporting crabs that are harvested from the rivers and canals of coastal belt. October – February is the high time for crab harvesting. According to a statistics of Sundarban Division of Forest Department 610 metric ton crab was harvested from Sundarban between 1995-2000

People from different nations eat crab and has got demand since crab contains 71-74% water; 19-24% protein; 6%fat; 1-2%minerals but high demand poses on egg bearing female crabs due to its taste so is costly.

Crab ranks immediately after shrimp in earning foreign currency but neither the government nor non-government agencies have properly addressed for its development although Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI) and The World Conservation Union (IUCN)- Bangladesh’s research initiates are praiseworthy.

No proper attention unlike economical importance is given by now on sustainable development of this precious resource. No records are been kept on the number of crab species that we harvest, consume and export. No investigation on the Sundarban crab species whether there are endangered sp. or not and what are the causes behind endangered ness.

So there is an urgent need to protect the remaining nature and environment by creating and raising awareness among the concerned communities on the sustainable use of resources and know the extraction limits thereby ensure the occupational ethics for crab harvesters themselves and future generation.

Realizing the threat to crab resource and Sundarban mangrove forest the Centre for Coastal Environmental Conservation (CCEC), a Khulna based environmental NGO therefore come forward to speak on behalf of deaf Nature, Sundarban, an interrelation between the life and death of the coastal communities specially for the stakeholders of Sundarban and undertakes a yearlong ( April 2002 – March 2003 ) project title “Sundarban conservation through crab fattening by Batiaghata harvesters participation” in cooperation with KEIDANREN Nature Conservation Fund (KNCF), Japan.

The aims and objectives of the programme are;
Protect Yellow Monitor Lizard, a rare species, killed for being used as bait for crab harvesting
Conserve endangered crab species of Sundarban
Raise the production of Sundarban crab through fattening by Batiaghata harvesters
Initiative for emancipation of crab community from middleman exploitation

In order to achieve the goals, the CCEC has undertaken various activities such as;

Making a list of Batiaghata crab harvesters for the formation of Crab Association
Establishment of a crab depot at Andharia project site and
Leasing ponds for fattening activities of molting crab
From: “Mowdudur Rahman”
[email protected]

==========

A Concept of Coastal Development Partnership-(CDP)

There are many Tidal Wetlands in the Southwest Region of Bangladesh, which possess the following characteristics. :

Some of the Wetlands are brackish, while some others show Mangrove characteristics. Fresh water is found for a part of the year in most of the wetlands in the upstream areas to the north. But the wetlands in the downstream or southern areas remain brackish throughout the year, and the vegetation in and around them belongs to the mangrove species.

In the eastern part of the brackish zone, salinity is less, compared to the western portion. The Sundarbans located in the Southernmost part of the Southwest region and the Tidal wetland region within and immediately surrounding it possess a rich diversity of life forms, and the soil is highly fertile.

The Mangroves thrive in a delicate balance of fresh and saline water, and are very sensitive to changes in environment. The wetlands are also highly productive. But an appropriate outlook/project for the conservation and management of these Tidal Wetlands had never been developed or implemented in the past. The importance of the Tidal Wetlands has never been realised. During the decade of the 1960’s, the Coastal Embankment Project (CEP) was implemented. The principal concept was to transform this region into an extension of the mainland. As a result, large portions of the brackish tidal wetlands were converted into fresh water rice fields.

While constructing roads and highways in this region, tidal wetlands were never given any importance at all. As a result, a large portion of the tidal wetlands became separated from the downstream tidal flows, became stagnant water bodies, and their mangrove productivity decreased and was gradually lost.

On the basis of increasing international demand, industrial shrimp cultivation has expanded in a big way in these tidal wetland areas. This continuing expansion of industrial shrimp cultivation is changing the tidal wetland characteristics and degrading the ecosystem of the region.

The government policies in respect of conservation of tidal wetlands are not clear. The government authorities do not perceive any difference between wetlands and tidal wetlands. As a result, the government leases out these tidal wetlands to private entrepreneurs for fish cultivation. Generally monoculture of fish is practiced in these leased wetlands. All these have resulted in massive damage to the tidal wetlands of this region.

Most villages in this region are situated around these tidal wetlands, which have a close traditional relationship with the lifestyle of the rural people. These highly productive tidal wetlands fulfill many of the daily needs of the rural population.

* The tidal wetlands used to be considered as common property. But at present the common people generally do not have any rights to them. The importance of conserving the tidal wetlands is a comparatively new concept among the development partners of the region. There is also a debate going on as to what the appropriate conservation outlook should be.

In the light of these realities, CDP and its partner organizations are trying to develop an appropriate outlook and methodology for the conservation of the tidal wetlands. Accordingly, CDP wants to move ahead on the basis of the traditional knowledge of the people, who have been adapting themselves to the environment through generations, and have accumulated a huge fund of traditional wisdom.

Edited by : Anwar Firoze.
On behalf of Coastal Development Partnership (CDP)
[email protected]

==========

LOSING BATTLE FOR ROYAL CATS

by Anwar Firoze
The Royal Bengal Tiger is losing its battle for survival as poaching of tigers and their natural prey, the spotted deer in the so called “protected” Sundarban continues unabated. Making a mockery of UNESCO’s declaration of the Sundarbans as a World Hedritage Site, a section of poachers in league with a group of smugglers including certain foreigners with diplomatic immunity are engaged in the trade of tiger and body parts of these protected animals, experts said. An investigation carried out by wildlife experts and The Daily Star shows that a gang including some forest and police officials has been active in the trade of this precious merchandise, which has a lucrative market in the capital as well as in Khulna and other parts of southwestern Bangladesh.

Tiger skin prices vary depending on the size. An 8′ long skin brings from US $ 1000 to US $ 1600 in Dhaka, while that of a typical spotted deer brings upto US $ 300 in Dhaka.. A home-bound East European diplomat scheduled to leave Dhaka sometime this month is reportedly about to smuggle out several tiger skins, hiding them inside his luggage, sources are claimed to have said.

Reports said that anyone willing to take the risk could even buy tiger cubs in Khulna where deals are struck in a few posh hotels. According to experts, poachers operate at different levels deep inside the Sundarbans, which has been declared a protected area where the hunting of tigers and deer is prohibited under the Wildlife Conservation Act of 1974. One group of poachers only hunt the animals, another group provides them with logistic support while a third group maintains liaison with the concerned officials for security cover,

According to Mr. Khasru Chowdhury, an expert on the Sundarbans, tigers are usually hunted down with a deadly pesticide. He is reported to have seen dead dogs laced with endrine, a deadly pesticide, wrapped in polythene to be used later as bait. After digging a pit and filling it up with water, the dead dogs are put on a heap of earth beside the pit. When the tiger eats the poisoned dog, the ingested pesticide makes the animal thirsty, and the tiger gulps down water from the pit. The water coming into contact with the poison inside the tiger’s stomach activates the toxin and the tiger begins to choke and finally dies. This method is preferred to shooting, which leaves marks on the skin, reducing its value.

Another device is a trap made of nylon cord. A noose is formed and when a tiger is trapped in the noose, every effort made by the tiger tightens the noose, until finally it dies. Mr. Anisuzzaman Khan, a wildlife biologist working on the Sundarban Bio-diversity Conservation Project on behalf of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is reported to have recently brought a sample of such a trap which he had seen strewn all along the trails used by tigers in the Sundarbans.

Mr. Khasru Chowdhury, who reportedly spends a considerable portion of the year in the Sundarbans, is reported to have stated that venison is openly sold at rural markets throughout the districts of Bagerhat, Khulna and Satkhira @ Taka 70.00 (about US $ 1.15) per kilogram. Some people even place advance orders with the deer hunters for weddings and other festivities, where it is perceived as a status symbol ! The fallout of this massacre has been devastating for the forest’s ecological equilibrium, as the deer population is being steadily depleted. On the other hand, being deprived of this natural prey, tigers are forced to stray into the villages on the fringes of the Sundarbans and attack people and livestock. According to forest department records, at least 22 people have been killed by tigers during the last three years.

Apart from the shortage of prey, the tiger’s habitat is also being depleted at an alarming rate, as a group of illegal traders in collusion with some corrupt forest and police officials take out large quantities of Sundari (the predominant mangrove species in the Sundarban) and other timber. Recently a group of officials from the Asian Development Bank accompanied by Dr. Ainun Nishat, Bangladesh Country Representative of IUCN, flew over the Sundarbans to gather first-hand information about the latest situation.

Dr. Ainun Nishat’s aerial observations, coupled with the realities on the ground as reported by Messrs Khasru Chowdhury and Anisuzzaman Khan depict the grim picture of a sylvan paradise in process of devastation. The scene is said to be particularly devastating in the western portion (in Satkhira district) of the Sundarbans, which for the most part had remained untouched even in the recent past. But certain forest officials waged a campaign to collect election funds for a former minister, leaving the forest wide open to collectors of timber and fuel wood. One particular official who had earned notoriety for sauch operations in the Chitrtagong Hill Tracts by decimating the forests there is now said to be very active in the Sundarbans, using the name of the former minister.

A proper census of tigers in the Bangladesh portion of the Sundarbans has not been carried out for the past 20 years. In 1969, a British tiger specialist Guy Mountford estimated the number of tigers as about 300. Another study conducted by a specialist named Heinrich had put the number as nearly 400, which was later updated to 450. But now Khan and Chowdhury believe that unabated poaching has cut down the number to 300. They have also reportedly called for drastic action by the government to save the majestic animal.

These mighty hunters have now become the hunted, not only for their skins, but for other body parts such as teeth, claws and bones etc. which are in great demand, as they are used as aphrodisiacs and for other uses in Chinese medicine. One kilogram of tiger bone meal is said fetch 2500 pound sterling. With the rate of habitat loss and the rising demand for tiger skin and body parts for medicinal purposes, the prognosis for tigers looks bleaker than ever before. Am ecological crisis appears to be in the making, and begs for immediate government intervention.

From Anwar Firoze,
[email protected]

MIDDLE EAST

Iran

Tuesday, November 19, 2002, 03:00 (GMT + 9)
www.fis.com

During the summer, all 39 shrimp farms in Abadan had to close when they were hit by a viral epidemic of white spot disease. Three thousand workers lost their jobs when the Abadan shrimp industry collapsed overnight and a further 2,000 indirect jobs have been lost since then.

Mohammad Moallem, director of the Khouzestan Seafood Cooperative, described the job losses in Iran’s southwest region as “devastating” and added that the recovery of the shrimp industry in Abadan would at best take a number of years. The disease prevents any farm from restarting activity for at least two years, according to a press release from the Board of Directors, Khouzestan Seafood Cooperative.

The director of the Seafood Cooperative explained that during the past three years the industry has suffered from various natural disasters such as cold spells, deviations in water salt content and disease. He estimated that the shrimp farmers have claimed around IRR 60 billion (USD 7.5 million) in damages but have received only a very small portion of this amount.

Mohammad Moallem warned that the disease was still persistent and unless efforts were made to eradicate it from the region, the industry might never recover. In recent years, most of the shrimp from the Abadan region have gone for export, particularly to Spain.
Shrimp infected by white spot go red and white spots or patches of about 0.5-2.0 mm in diameter appear on the inside surface of the carapaces. These white spots are abnormal deposits of calcium salts. White spot disease causes mass mortality of shrimp that can reach 100 per cent within three to 10 days following onset of these signs, especially in juvenile shrimp.

By Odin Hjellestad,
FIS.com

From: [email protected]

LATIN AMERICA

Honduras

Note: The following comes from Jorge Varela of CODDEFFAGOLF

INTERNATIONAL SHAME, COP8 Conference Of Biased Parties

Valencia, Spain, November 23, 2002. RAMSAR Convention COP 8

CODDEFFAGOLF

The Government of the Manager Ricardo Maduro, President of Honduras, important shareholder of the shrimp breeder company known as Granjas Marinas San Bernardo (GMSB), didn’t make time to think about the international discredit he was exposing his country to via the audacity to send an employee of the so questioned firm, GMSB, to the Ramsar Convention for Wetlands Conservation. His only attribute had been one of calumniating, to defame and to discredit the ONG CODDEFFAGOLF, which has been, in several occasions, internationally rewarded because of its defense, for more than a decade, of the wetlands of the planet and particularly the Gulf of Fonseca in Honduras, that was designed in 1999 as “RAMSAR SITE 1000”

It has been confirmed that the only “Official Delegate” sent to represent Honduras lacks experience and knowledge on wetlands conservation and doesn’t work with Government, which represents an offense for the state bureaucracy of this country, since it is logical to suppose that in it there are officials that have the needed attributes to give a worthy presentation, and they are being ignored and excluded of an extremely important process for the conservation of the mangrove ecosystems, lagoons, reefs, marine grasses, etc

Even more, the “Official Delegate” of Honduras, H�ctor Moti�o, has presented before a Work Group, a “Project of Resolution of the Country” which, in essence, looks for the benefit of the discredited shrimp farming industry of Honduras, with policies and funds that are directed, by international community, to wetlands conservation and the search of their rational use.

The above-mentioned has been denounced openly in Valencia by Jorge Varela, (Goldman Prize 1999), Executive Director of the CODDEFFAGOLF and of the REDMANGLAR who has also left stated that such “Project of Resolution of Country” has not been prepared openly neither for the Government, for the civil society or for the ONG�s of Honduras, but rather it has surely been carried out in secret by consultants hired for it, who in their “Project” only refer to the mangrove ecosystems and the “industries” settled down in
them, ignoring that Honduras has different and important wetland ecosystems.

With fair indignation, Varela has denounced that the “RAMSAR SITE 1000” is being destroyed by shrimp aquaculture with Government of Honduras and the Secretary of the Ramsar Convention knowing it; furthermore it is violated the Resolution of the COP7 of 1999 in which governments are instructed in order to stop shrimp farming on coastal wetlands until the studies that recommend mitigations measurements that nullify negative impacts on local communities and environment are carried out.

This shameful situation has been known for all the Official Delegations and Spanish and International press media, and with this it has been filled of ignominy a country worthy of better luck. And while the “Official Delegate of Honduras” employee of the shrimp farm GMSB, still has nerve of charging travel expenses for the Ramsar Convention, the World sees perplexed how such Convention is contaminated and discredited for “Official Delegates” of Governments as the one of the Manager Ricardo Maduro and the shrimp aquaculture industry of that country.

From: “CODDEFFAGOLF”
[email protected]

==========

THE FIGHT TO SAVE WETLANDS OF THE “RAMSAR SITE 1000” CONTINUES

At the dawn of November 7 of 2002, under the leadership of CODDEFFAGOLF and REDMANGLAR, more than 2000 fishermen and peasants, abandoned their humble houses in the coastal wetlands of the Gulf of Fonseca, internationally known as “RAMSAR SITE 1000”, to start a protest mobilization because of the destruction of mangrove forests, lagoons, estuaries and other wetlands that when sheltering an abundant biodiversity, constitute their food and income resources; they also mobilized in order to protest for the loss of access to their traditional fishing places, the continual harassment from watchmen of shrimp farms, the impunity with which 12 fishermen have been murdered, the lack of interest of Government in order to control the situation and among other reasons, for the attempt of accommodating the aquaculture law to the interests of large shrimp farms companies.

When arriving to the capital, Tegucigalpa, other social groups joined in support to CODDEFFAGOLF / REDMANGLAR, and in protest for Privatization policies, ALCA, the Puebla Panama Plan and women’s participation. The solidarity march was extended by a half kilometer and this got the attention of all the press, radio, and television media, which is a success.

Contrary to previous manifestations that CODDEFFAGOLF has made, the objective of this march was to get the attention of countries and people that are big consumers of shrimp such as the United States, Spain and Japan, as well as the World Bank, Interamerican Development Bank and other international organizations that finance shrimp aquaculture, ignoring the negative impacts that are caused in world environment and societies of the South.

The resolution was taken when considering that the President of the
Republic, who is also a shrimp farmer, as well as his co-religionist the President of the National Congress are aware of the situation and they don’t procure the problem solution, therefore it was decided to ignore them and go directly to the core of it.

The Shrimp Farmers Association (ANDAH), as they are used to, before the manifestation, and now, has dedicated to discredit CODDEFFAGOLF and mainly its Executive Director, Jorge Varela, with major intensity at local press media in the coast.

The mobilization on this occasion was carried out in a peaceful way since CODDEFFAGOLF / REDMANGLAR convinced the civil and police authorities that the mobilization was a peaceful one and they should not provoke protests, as they did in a former manifestation where there were several people injured.

From: Philip Cohen
[email protected]

==========

Shrimp farm expansion comes under fire (Honduras)

www.FIS.com
November 13, 2002

Fishermen are stepping up their protests against the expansion of shrimp farming in the Fonseca Gulf, in the north Pacific, which they say is putting their livelihoods at risk.

Some 1,700 fishermen from Honduras gathered outside the national Congress, during a demonstration organised by the Fonseca Gulf Flora and Fauna Protection and Development Committee (Coddeffagolf), reports Mis peces. The protestors claimed the country’s 14,000 artisanal fishermen are facing an increasing risk of poverty as the expansion in shrimp farming is exhausting fishery resources and biodiversity in coastal waters (see World News, 18 October).

During the demonstration, they appealed to international finance organisations and embassies of countries that import farmed shrimp from Honduras to back their calls for “an immediate halt to the expansion of shrimp farming” in the gulf and for shrimp farms to be subject to management plans.

Coddeffagolf president Justo Garc�a said shrimp farms destroy mangrove forests, which host a great part of the gulf’s biodiversity, and that they also pollute the water with chemicals. He was referring to the 30 shrimp farms that have operated in Fonseca gulf for 12 years and are believed to have caused a depletion in wild stocks.

Meanwhile, executive director Jorge Varela complained about the national government’s attitude. “It has never listened to our demands,” he said, which prompted the committee to ask international organisations and developed countries to “stop supporting” the shrimp farming industry in Honduras.

Varela said the government had violated national legislation and international agreements on environmental protection by allowing the destruction of natural resources in the gulf.

But Honduras’ National Association of Aquaculture Farmers (ANDAH) responded by saying that Coddeffagolf’s accusations are “out of context”. The Association says it now wants an investigation into the activities of its member companies to find out if they are expanding illegally or affecting resources as claimed.

By FIS Latin

From: SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse
[email protected]

STORIES/ISSUES

Tables and Writings on Economic Value of Indonesian Mangroves

Note: These tables do not intend to comprise a list of suggested utilization of mangroves, (some of the mentioned utilization is probably not sustainable) But tables like these can help us to better understand mangrove use in Indonesia, in order to make accurate recommendations for community based mangrove management practices in Indonesia and elsewhere.

Table 1. Direct products and amenities provided by Indonesian mangrove forest

Mangrove Use
Mangrove Products

Fuel
Firewood: cooking, heating, smoking fish, sheet-rubber, burning bricks
Charcoal
Alcohol

Construction
Timber for scaffolds and heavy construction; railroad ties; mining pit-props; deck pilings; beams and poles for buildings; flooring and paneling; boat building material; fence posts; water pipes; chipboards; glues

Fishing
Poles for fish traps; fishing floats; fish poisons; tannins for net preservation; material for Fish Attracting Devices

Agriculture
Fodder; green manure

Mariculture
Poles for seaweed farming

Paper Production
Paper products

Food and drugs
Sugar, desert topping; vegetables from propagules; cigarette wrappers; traditional medicines

Beverages
Alcohol; cooking oil; vinegar; tea; fermented drinks

Household uses
Furniture; glue; hairdressing oil; tool handles; facial powder; rice mortar; match-sticks; incense

Textile and leather
Synthetic fiber; dye for cloth; tannins for leather

Other
Packing boxes

From Ecology of Indonesian Seas, 1997

Table 2 Indirect products and amenities obtained from Indonesian mangroves
Source
Products

Offshore
Finfish: Food, fertilizer, bait, many species

Fisheries
Crustaceans: Food, prawns, shrimps, crabs, mud lobster
Molluscs: Food, oysters, mussels, cockles

Bees
Honey and industrial wax

Birds
Food, feathers, recreation (bird watching and hunting)

Mammals
Food, fur, recreation (watching and hunting)

Reptiles
Skins, food, recreation

Other fauna
Amphibians: Food, recreation etc.
Insects?

From Ecology of Indonesian Seas, 1997

Economic Valuation of Mangroves. Dixon (1989) has pointed out that conventional economic analysis techniques are not appropriate in the economic evaluation of mangrove ecosystems for two reasons: 1) Most mangrove resources (goods and services) are difficult to monetize; and 2) Many of these resources occur off-site, that is they sometimes occur or are harvested external to the mangrove ecosystem and this become economic externalities. The objective of economic valuation of mangrove ecosystems is to include explicitly all of the benefits, as well as the costs of changes or loss of benefits from these changes, and thereby better evaluate alternatives. This has been attempted, to some degree of success, in a Bintuni Bay [West Papua] case study (Ruitenbeek 1991). It is essential that included in the valuation, or economic analysis, of mangrove ecosystems should be the full range of resources (goods and services) produced by the system, and that the area should not be treated in isolation. All proposed projects need to have critical evaluation in terms of what will be gained versus what may be lost by altering the natural processes and properties of the ecosystem. This type of evaluation needs to be based on accurate physico-chemical ecological and socioeconomic database.

Dixon (1989) points out that traditional or conventional valuation analysis relies heavily on observed market prices to place value on various goods and services. This approach is not appropriate for mangrove ecosystems, primarily because only a few of the goods and services produced by the ecosystem are usually included in the analysis. For example, a decision on whether to convert a mangrove for aquaculture development that will be based only on the value of lost firewood productions may be very different than if the value of fish caught in the adjacent coastal area are included. Ruitenbeek (1991) has demonstrated that traditional uses (fishing, hunting gathering, etc.) of the vast mangrove resources in Bintuni Bay by the local fisherfolk account for US$10 million per year. In Bintuni Bay mangrove forests are clearly not wastelands, but rather they are highly productive ecosystems that not only contain an amazing diversity of flora and fauna, but also serve as a life-support system for thousands of coastal people.

Dixon. J.A. (1989). Valuation of Mangroves Tropical Coastal Area Management
4(3): 1-6.

Ruitenbeek, H.J. (1991). Mangrove Management: An Economic Analysis of Management Options with a focus on Bintuni Bay, Irian Jaya [West Papua]. EMDI/KLH, Jakarta, 90pp.

From: “Ben Brown”
[email protected]

==========

The Ecosystem Approach

~ The ecosystem approach is a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way (the three objectives of the Convention of Biological Diversity).
~ The ecosystem approach seeks appropriate balance between conservation and use of biological diversity and stresses that cultural and biological diversity are central components of the ecosystem approach.
~ The ecosystem approach is a participatory planning process guided by adaptative management. Management should involve all stakeholders and balance local interests with the wider public interest.
~ The ecosystem approach promotes the establishment of synergies with all sectors of society and that management should be decentralized to the lowest appropriate level. This promotes greater efficiency, effectiveness and equity.
~ The ecosystem approach considers all forms of relevant information, including scientific and indigenous, and local knowledge, innovations and practices. Information from all sources is critical to arriving at effective ecosystem management strategies.
~ In essence, the ecosystem approach is not a recipe or a straight-jacket, but a series of principles to promote the integrated management of land, water and living resources.

Lobbying paper, IUCN, WSSD, September 2002

From: “Joanna Phillips”
[email protected]

==========

Tropical Prawns versus Mangroves

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was signed in the city of Ramsar, Iran, in 1971 and entered into force in 1975. Ramsar is the only environmental convention that addresses a specific ecosystem, that of the wetlands. Wetlands, as recognised by the Ramsar Convention, fulfil essential ecological functions, as regulators of hydrological regimes and as habitats for a very rich biodiversity and are a resource of great economic, cultural, scientific and recreational importance that must be preserved.

Mangroves, coastal forests located in tropical and equatorial areas of the world, are part of these wetlands. They are presently seriously
threatened. According to FAO, over 50% of the mangroves have already disappeared. Today the main cause of mangrove loss is the expansion of the shrimp industry, breeding shrimps or tropical prawns in coastal areas of poor countries to export them to rich countries such as Spain, the United States or Japan. In fact, most of the prawns found today on the market are a product of the destruction of coastal ecosystems in the countries of the South and of the displacement of local populations.

Resolution VII.2, taken at the Seventh Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Costa Rica, 1999), recognises the economic, social and environmental value of the wetlands such as mangroves for fishing, biodiversity, coastal protection, leisure activities, education and water quality. It recognised that the subsistence of a considerable number of populations depends on the productivity and value of wetlands located in inter-tidal zones and also showed concern over the advanced process of degradation that is to be found in many coastal wetlands, mainly as a result of unsustainable aquaculture and contamination.

In view of the above, the Convention urged the Contracting Parties — that is to say, the States — to suspend the promotion and creation of new facilities for unsustainable aquaculture activities, damaging to coastal wetlands, including the expansion of already existing facilities, until measures aimed at establishing a sustainable aquaculture system, in harmony with the environment and local communities can be identified, by means of environmental and social impact assessments on such activities and through appropriate studies.

Unfortunately, this resolution is not being implemented. For this reason, Greenpeace and the Mangrove Network (Redmanglar) (a network gathering NGOs from Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia working in defence of mangroves) will submit a very concrete demand regarding mangroves: a moratorium on the expansion of the shrimp industry, to the Eighth Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention, to be held in November, in Valencia (Spain).

Without this stoppage, we will be unable to save these ecosystems and we will prevent the local populations that depend on them from having a different opportunity — other than poverty or migration. Perhaps the Eighth Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention is one of the last opportunities to curb the destruction of the only forests that can live with their roots in the sea.

From Eva Hernïndez, article sent by CODDEFFAGOLF,
e-mail: [email protected]

ANNOUNCEMENTS

International Conference on Ecorestoration Rescheduled

The international Conference on Ecorestoration that we planned for 2001 but had to be postponed due to Sept 11 events, shall now be held during 23-30 September 2003. The dates are final. The preliminary announcement with details is already on our new webpage.

Please do consider contributing to and participating in the Conference. We plan for global participation.

From D Brij Gopal, Professor School of Environmental Sciences
Jawaharlal Nehru university, India
email: [email protected]

==========

December 4th, 2002

Farming the Seas Now In Production Phase–Dispatch from the Habitat Media

Our distributor, Charles Schuerhoff and Associates, informs us that Empty Oceans Empty Nets will soon begin to air in countries operating the world’s largest fishing fleets and having the highest per-capita seafood consumption. Spain, Japan, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Taiwan, and Australia have thus far licensed the program for television broadcast. Agreements are pending with television buyers in several other countries and we will keep you posted on this. In addition to broadcast television, Habitat Media is also licensing educational (classroom) versions of the program to distributors in Germany, Taiwan, Mexico and Hong Kong. Empty Oceans, with it’s strong message to industry, policymakers and consumers, is going worldwide!

We are currently producing the sequel, Farming the Seas, which examines controversies surrounding the farming of seafood and the need to develop sustainable fish farming practices. Like EOEN, this PBS Special has a strong consumer segment and will be distributed worldwide. We aim to have the broadcast version of Farming the Seas completed by September 2003.

From Rivkah Beth Medow, Associate Producer, Habitat Media
[email protected]

AQUACULTURE CORNER

The Press and Journal, 21st November 2002

Protest calls for boycott

The Salmon Farm Protest Group yesterday launched a nationwide campaign to encourage shoppers to boycott farmed fish. The group will be holding events in Edinburgh, London and Dublin throughout December – handing out presents of wild Alaskan salmon and urging consumers against buying factory-reared fish. They claim that wild salmon and sea trout are being threatened with extinction by salmon farming and that the farmed fish are less healthy than wild produce.

SOURCE

From: Don Staniford < [email protected] ========== Asking hard questions about aquaculture

Ray Grigg, Courier-Islander (Campbell River), Sat 23 Nov 2002

Asking hard questions is the mark of good science. And these questions seem more pertinent than ever since the provincial government has lifted its moratorium on fish farm expansion – a gesture that was supposed to confirm the environmental responsibility of the industry.

This responsibility continues to be in doubt – from one end of the industry to the other. The sickening stench of composting “morts” from salmon farms had barely subsided in Campbell River when Greig Seafoods was forced to dump 919 tonnes of dead farmed salmon at sea, creating a fetid mess of 250,000 rotting fish off the coast of Nootka Sound. This was followed by news that wild pink salmon runs in seven of the Broughton Archipelago’s rivers have been nearly decimated by a sea lice outbreak directly linked to adjacent fish farms.

This bad news casts serious doubt on the government’s wisdom of allowing expansion of an industry that stumbles from one environmental outrage to another. And it is sad confirmation that BC’s salmon farming is likely to replicate the environmental problems generated by Europe’s fish farms. It’s what Dr. Volpe expects will happen.

John Volpe first gained prominence several years ago as a bright and critical doctoral student who asked hard questions about fish farming – questions that the government and the aquaculture industry refused to consider. How did they know, he asked, that the Atlantics that were escaping from net pens did not spawn in coastal rivers and streams? So he built a spawning channel, populated it with 30 female and 20 male Atlantics, and discovered that they do spawn. Now, with a doctorate and a position as Assistant Professor of Fisheries Ecology at the University of Alberta, his subsequent research has located numerous progeny of spawned Atlantics, while further studies have discovered other important information about these feral fish.

Atlantics are poor colonizers, he has confirmed, but they are efficient predators that have found a niche for themselves in at least 79 Pacific coast streams and rivers. As fast-water foragers, they are particularly skilled at anchoring themselves to the top of rocks with their large pectoral fins, then darting off to grab prey. This strategy allows them to survive using about the half the energy of their steelhead relatives. With the advantage of three days of prior “residency” in a stream to establish territory, they will equal or better the survival rate of steelhead.

But, as Dr. Volpe willingly concedes, colonization by Atlantics is not the major threat that fish farms bring to the West Coast: it is the diseases and parasites they spread to wild stocks, and the strain on declining global fish resources caused by the aquaculture industry trying to feed their farmed salmon.

Just as fish farms become the epicentre of disease outbreaks that can easily spread to passing wild salmon, they can also generate extremely high concentrations of parasites such as sea lice. Studies in Europe, with a long history of marine salmon farming, have established a 99.5 percent correlation between sea lice outbreaks in fish farms and abnormally high infestations in wild salmonids. The eggs of this parasite must find a host within three days of being dispersed into the ocean or they die. If sea lice outbreaks occur in fish farms that lie along the migration routes of wild salmon, and if the outbreaks coincide with the passing of migrating fish, then these fish must pass through a virtual gauntlet of infection. As happened in the Broughton Archipelago this year, the effect on wild runs has been catastrophic. Seven rivers in the Broughtons were expected to produce 3,500,000 pinks; the numbers have collapsed to 57,220, a 99 percent mortality. Some rivers had no return of pinks. This is one of the obvious local environmental consequences of salmon farming.

In the larger picture, argues Dr. Volpe, from a strictly resource management perspective, using 2.8 kilograms of feed fish from the world’s stressed oceans to produce one kilogram of farmed salmon makes little sense. His statistics dramatically illustrate the point. Each fish farm requires an ocean area 40,000 to 50,000 times its own size to provide the wild fish it needs to grow its crop of salmon. BC’s salmon farming industry requires 7.8 million hectares of ocean to provide its feed fish. Europe’s fish farms consume the equivalent of 90 percent of the North Sea’s wild fish production. The “food energy return” for growing carnivorous marine Atlantics is 3.3 percent compared to the 94 percent that can be reached for growing herbivorous freshwater tilapia. Because of the average low return of food energy from fish farms, the United Nations considers them to be the last resort for food production.

Salmon aquaculture is not going to feed the world’s starving people. Instead, it produces a luxury food for the expensive tastes of wealthy countries by inefficiently consuming valuable marine protein, And in the process, it generates diseases and parasites that further damage both local and global fisheries.
No one questions the need for jobs and sustainable industries to aid the beleaguered coastal communities of BC. But the scientific evidence clearly suggests that salmon aquaculture is a bad choice for our rich and diverse marine ecology.

From: Lynn Hunter
[email protected]

==========

Here is the transcript from a Nov. 26th CBC radio news item

VANCOUVER – An independent conservation group headed by former federal fisheries minister John Fraser, is calling for the temporary closure of fish farms off the north coast of Vancouver Island.
The Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council released its report, following a dramatic drop in the number of pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago.

The council’s science advisor, Dr. Brian Riddell, blames the decline on a sea-lice infestation linked to fish farms north of Alert Bay.
Riddell says Canada’s and B.C.’s fisheries ministers should order fish farms in the area to be emptied to give researchers time to study the pink salmon numbers. The council is also recommending the development of a sea-lice control plan for the region.

Suzuki Foundation feels vindicate David Suzuki Foundation spokesperson Lynn Hunter says the report gives new validity to the argument that salmon farms should not co-exist with wild fish.

“It recommends that the final results of monitoring and research be really scrutinized to determine if salmon farms and wild fish can successfully co-exist in the Broughton Archipelago. But I think that any intelligent person would read into that…there is doubt that salmon farms should be anywhere near those wild salmon migratory routes,” she says.

The Foundation has campaigned extensively against open net fish farming along the B.C. coast.

From: Lynn Hunter
[email protected]

==========

Immediate Release by The Salmon Farm Protest Group

Christmas Campaign: “Santa Says No, No, No, to Farmed Salmon” launched today (Wednesday 20th November)

The Salmon Farm Monitor now includes:


“10 Reasons to Boycott Scottish ‘Quality’ Salmon This Christmas”


“5 Ways to Make a Difference – What You Can Do”

From: Don Staniford
[email protected]

==========

CHILE IS NOW WORLD’s MAIN PRODUCER OF CULTIVATED SALMON

Chilean producers have been internationally rejected because they have generated an overproduction of cheap salmon that reduce the international prices by almost 30%, while keeping environmental and labour standards at a low level.

www.ecoceanos.cl

Santiago, CHILE, 15th November 2002. (Ecoceanos News) – The active expansion of the salmon farming industry supported by the governmental policies, have placed Chile as the main producer of cultivated salmon. This was expected to happen by the year 2010, when Chile will celebrate its independence bicentenary, but production figures in 2001 crown Chile as the “top one” among the salmon Republics.

The Servicio Nacional de Pesca or Sernapesca (Fishing National Service), a body dependent of the Ministery of Economy, reported that Chile had become main producer of cultivated salmon when reached 504,000 tons in 2001, which is bigger than the Norwegian production (Norway has been for decades the main salmon producer). The announcement given by the government was unexpected by the Chilean salmon entrepeneurs, which are trying to reduce the production of coho salmon and trout, while minimizing their overproduction generated in previous seasons.

Several Chilean producers have said that next year they will increase by 20 % their export prices due to better international prices and the improvement in the Asiatic economies….

….Norwegian production during 2001 was 477,000 WFE tons…

….This information was uncovered while international criticism against salmon entrepeneurs in Chile continues. This week, some Alaskan governmental authorities accused Chile for “unfair commercial practice which endangered the welfare of Alaskan fishermen and fishing communities”.

As fis.com published, the governor of Alaska, Tony Knowles, asked the Central Government to include in the possible trade agreement between United States and Chile “provisions that help to stop dumping in the American market, reduce the overproduction of Chilean salmon and, develop and reinforce effective labor and environmental regulations in fish farming industry”.

Salmon dumping, as it was determined by the U.S government, is also a topic for dscussion….The exports of Chilean Salmon to United States increased dramatically in the last years. Alaska relates the increase of imports with low prices and profitability of the salmon industry in this State….

[email protected]

From CENTRO ECOCEANOS
[email protected]

AROUND THE CORNER

Ramsar GBF17 and COP8 Reflections

This editor has recently returned from the COP8 meeting in Spain. I have some very serious concerns as to the outcome of this conference based upon my time spent there. As an NGO working to raise attention to continuing losses of important wetland areas to expanding industrial aquaculture, I was alarmed to find that the Honduran delegation to COP8 contained an actual shrimp farmer on board who was employed by one of the same shrimp aquaculture ventures illicitly operating within the 1000th Ramsar site in the Gulf of Fonseca. This “delegate” was quite active and belligerent in his lobbying efforts to remove all mention of aquaculture from the proceedings.

He apparently had some allies within the other delegations, as we learned that a draft measure was tagged onto a resolution (#4, I believe) that claimed that aquaculture was itself establishing viable “wetlands” , and thus should be viewed in a more positive light as an important wetlands contributor! Needless to say, this sort of word distortion and politicizing of the important work at COP8 is troublesome.

During one of the draft sessions on the mangrove resolution, the session was carried out mainly in Spanish, making it impossible for those participating from non-Spanish speaking regions, such as Asia or Africa, to have any meaningful inputs, thus losing their important contributions to the process. The mentioned Honduran shrimp farmer, however, was there himself to actively have his say and to lobby for exclusion of aquaculture in the resolution.

I recognize that the process of holding such forum as COP8 is unwieldy and quite time and energy consuming. Also, this can be a very important process in establishing effective conservation and management initiatives for our planet’s threatened wetlands. Nevertheless, I worry that the objectives of the COP8 will be undermined if special interest groups from the very industries that today pose serious threats to wetlands are themselves allowed entry into the decision making process. I urge Ramsar to in the future somehow ensure that delegations are chosen so that their members do not include those whose activities involve wetlands destruction and mismanagement of these valuable wetlands resources. A more fair and unbiased approach must be sought so that future COPs can be truly effective in both their intent and process.

Towards Sustainable Solutions,
Alfredo Quarto, Mangrove Action Project
==========

Note from Maurizio Farhan Ferrari of Forest Peoples Programme (UK)

I also think that something needs to be done about this. One approach could be to put pressure on governments to set up the National Wetland Committees, including representatives of local communities, indigenous peoples and NGOs, which they are supposeto do but they are not doing it. Such committee would know who is going to be in the delegations (the committee could even be involved in selecting the delegates) so reps of civil society could have a check on this problem at the source of the problem. In order to ensure the effective implementation of this as well as other Ramsar resolutions, national agencies that are tasked with the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in their respective countries, should establish site-specific sub-committees composed of local communities, indigenous people, local government officials, NGOs, related experts and a Ramsar advisor. The subcommittee should be regularly updated on Ramsar resolutions, monitoring and evaluation techniques and should provide regular reports to the national agency, which should also have representatives of local communities, indigenous people and NGOs.
==========

*Recommended Process To Help Ensure Local and Indigenous Community Involvement in Conservation and Monitoring of Ramsar Wetlands Sites:

In order to ensure the effective implementation of Ramsar resolutions, national agencies that are tasked with the implementation of the Ramsar Convention in their respective countries, should establish site-specific sub-committees composed of local communities, indigenous people, local government officials, NGOs, related experts and a Ramsar advisor. The subcommittee should be regularly updated on Ramsar resolutions, monitoring and evaluation techniques and should provide regular reports to the national agency, which should also have representatives of local communities, indigenous people and NGOs.

Alfredo Quarto, Executive Director
Mangrove Action Project
PO Box 1854
Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279
USA
fax (360) 452-5866
[email protected]

Sharks swim closer to extinction

{PARA}22 May 2008

By Richard Black

More than half of the world’s ocean-going sharks are at risk of extinction, a new analysis concludes.

Specialists with IUCN (formerly the World Conservation Union) found that 11 species are on the high-risk list, with five more showing signs of decline.

Sharks are particularly affected by over-fishing as they reproduce slowly.

The scientists are calling for global catch limits, an end to the practice of removing fins, and measures to minimise incidental catches (bycatch).

“There’s this idea that because these are widely ranging species, they’re more resilient to fishing pressure,” said Sonja Fordham, deputy chair of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group (SSG) and policy director for the Shark Alliance conservation group.

“In fact they’re becoming species of serious concern because there are no international catch limits for sharks. There are intense fisheries on the oceans, and they remain pretty much unprotected.”

New threats

The SSG assessed data on the 21 species of sharks and their close cousins, the rays, that swim in upper portions of the open ocean where they are exposed to fishing fleets.

Of the 21, one – the giant devilray – is assessed as Endangered, and 10 are Vulnerable.

A further five are listed as Near Threatened, which means the signs of decline are not serious enough yet to merit a full listing.

The classifications are based on a range of criteria that look at past or forecast declines in population size. For example, a population shrinking by 50% in 10 years would usually qualify as Endangered.

Some of these species have been assessed before; but for others, including the three species of thresher sharks with their spectacularly long tails, the dangerlisting is new.

Fin cuts

The main threat to sharks is fishing, both accidental and targeted.

“They used to be taken as bycatch by boats targeting tuna and swordfish,” said Ms Fordham. “But now as those species are declining we’re seeing more fishermen targeting sharks.

“Porbeagle and shortfin mako are targeted for fins and meat; species like blue shark are likely to be finned, but particularly in Europe we’re seeing more blue shark being landed.”

Several of the bodies that regulate fisheries in international waters – the Regional Fisheries Management Organisations (RFMOs) – have set up measures to curb shark finning, but there are different standards in place, a situation that enables fishermen to work around the regulations.

As East Asian economies boom, conservation groups say the market for fins is increasing.

“Fishery managers and regional, national and international officials have a real obligation to improve this situation,” commented Nicholas Dulvy from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, the report’s lead author.

“But it doesn’t have to be like this. With sufficient public support and resulting political will, we can turn the tide.”

The report was released at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Bonn, and will be published in the journal Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems.

The new risk assessments will be included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species when it is published later this year.

Source: BBC NEWS
{/PARA}

Do Your Own Mangrove Project

Do Your Own MAP

Do your own Mangrove Action Project manual is intended for use by students currently engaged in tropical coastal studies, fisherfolk organizations, and more specifically participants of MAP’s In the Hands of the Fishers (IHOF) workshops.

From Observation to Action

The manual provides a detailed methodology to enable people to:

  • move beyond making observations and taking measurements;
  • define observed problems (environmental, social, economic, etc.); and
  • take action to resolve specific issues.

Features

  • Background and a descrip­tion of action-taking
  • Series of activities for moving through the action-taking process
  • Case studies of mangrove action projects

3 primary steps in an action-taking process

  1. To move from observations and measurements to interpretation of the data and definition of the problem;
  2. To explore solutions to the problem using a visioning process, without initially becoming concerned about potential barriers; and
  3. To take action and assess whether the desired outcome is being reached
  4. Download Do your own Mangrove Action Project (pdf 2.75 MB)

MAP and Partner CCRCs

MAP and Partner CCRCs

19 Coastal Community Resource Centers (CCRCs) or Community Resource Centers (CRCs) are located in the following countries:

Andaman Islands
Cambodia
Honduras
India (3)
Indonesia (8)
Nigeria
Senegal
Sri Lanka (4)
Thailand
Timor Leste

History

The CCRC concept originated in 2000 in South Asia with MAP’s partner, Small Fishers Federation of Sri Lanka (SFFL), and the establishment of the MAP-South Asian Resource Center, based in Pambala. A stone marker (photo) dedicates the CCRC partnership, located near Chilaw, Sri Lanka.

Since the first CCRC, MAP has established a network of affiliations with research scientists, NGOs, and community leaders to successfully implement more CCRCs.

Andaman Islands

Name: Mangrove Resource Center
Location: Point Ward No.1, Sathya Nagar, Shore Point, South Andaman
Managing organization/partner:
Coastal Poor Development Action Network (COPDANET)
No.85, Vivekananda School Street,
Sakthivel Nagar
Chennai 600 082

India

e-mail: [email protected]
Date of establishment: 2004
Supported by: Seacology

Focus/Highlights: Awareness programs on mangroves, supporting people’s management in environmental restoration, revitalizing traditional livelihoods, and using people’s knowledge to mitigate coastal disasters.
The center previously carried out post-tsunami relief work. Current focus is on cooperating on environmental awareness campaigns in schools, colleges, and tribal reserves through popular theater, leaflets, posters, picture competitions, celebrating Mangrove Action Day, and holding consultations for like-minded Andaman Islanders on important conservation issues in which people’s decisions and actions are badly needed.

Resources:

Andaman Islands CCRC Report (pdf 65 KB)

Cambodia

Name: Tonle Sap CRC
Location: Chhnok Tru Commune, Baribour District, Kg Chhnang Province
Managing organization/partner:
Development and Appropriate Technology (DATe)
Village: Kdey Thnoat (in Kampong Chhnang Town)
Commune: Srei Thmey
District: Rolea B’íer
Province: Kampong Chhnang
Cambodia
e-mail: [email protected]
Date of establishment: 2005

Supported by: McKnight Foundation and Global Greengrants Fund

Focus/Highlights:

First resource center in MAP’s network to be constructed in freshwater habitat. Unique, as it floats on bamboo and moves with the community as Tonle Sap, the Great Lake, recedes and expands.

The floating center is used to mobilize the community in natural resources management with the following objectives:

  • reduce fuelwood use, sustainable management of forest resources;
  • promote awareness of flooded forest conservation;
  • integrate into the Chhnok Tru community, providing a focus for sustainable community development.

Resources:

Improved Cookstove Dissemination and Flooded Forest Progress Report (pdf 664 KB)

Honduras

Name: Centro de Educación y Capacitación Ambiental (Environmental Training and Education Center)
Location: San Lorenzo, Valle
Managing organization/partner: CODDEFFAGOLF
Jorge Varela
e-mail: [email protected], [email protected]
Date of establishment: 2000
Focus/Highlights: Provides a meeting place and dormitories for small gatherings. Focus is on fisherfolk issues, including mangroves.

Supported by: CODDEFFAGOLF prizes and savings, HIVOS, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC), and others.

History

The CCRC concept originated in 2000 in South Asia with MAP’s partner, Small Fishers Federation of Sri Lanka (SFFL), and the establishment of the MAP-South Asian Resource Center, based in Pambala. A stone marker (photo) dedicates the CCRC partnership, located near Chilaw, Sri Lanka.

Since the first CCRC, MAP has established a network of affiliations with research scientists, NGOs, and community leaders to successfully implement more CCRCs.

In 2003, the MAP-SFFL CCRC served as the setting of the 9th In the Hands of the Fishers workshop.

Mr. Anuradha Wickramasinghe, Director of SFFL, and Alfredo Quarto, MAP Executive Director, welcome participants to IHOF 9.

Guidelines for news submissions to MAP

Guidelines for news submissions to MAP

MAP depends on our network members to supply us with regional and updated news for our newsletter, the MAP News, and for posting to our website. If you have relevant news to share with us, please send it our way, but also please follow the guidelines listed below.

Suggested format for submissions to the MAP News
Be sure to include:
  • Title of news item
  • Date published or date of submission
  • Author of news item (if available)
  • Source – Where you came across the item. If being submitted by an organization, include the organization’s name.
  • Source url (website)
  • Original Source – This is for items that have been published from other sources. Try to find out where the news item was originally published, if you can.
  • Original url – copy the url from the original source
  • Your name and e-mail

Please do not send items via the “e-mail this article to a friend” link. These tend to come across rather messy, with incomplete info. Rather, click on “printer-friendly version” and copy everything into the body of the e-mail message, or into a Word doc. But note that frequently the printer-friendly version does not include the source url, so be sure to copy that as well.

What we are requesting will take perhaps 1 or 2 extra minutes of your time, but in the end will provide readers of the MAP News and visitors to our website with more complete information, as well as saving MAP countless hours of editing. Thanks!

Still have questions? Contact MAP