MAP approaches mangrove conservation and rehabilitation from many different angles, from education to art. From its founding in 1992, MAP has always pursued networking and advocacy projects and acts as a clearinghouse of information as part of a global network of people and organizations. In order to instill a love and respect for mangroves in the next generation, MAP has developed an integrated educational curriculum for primary school children called Marvelous Mangroves. This 300 page illustrated curriculum is full of engaging educational text and field trip exercises. It is now being taught in twelve regions, and is being fully incorporated into the national education systems in Brazil, Belize and Australia. Another tool to engage children is our Children’s Mangrove Art Calendar; each year primary school children from tropical and subtropical nations (including the US) are invited to submit mangrove art. The contest winners get published in MAP’s calendar, which is then distributed worldwide.
Education doesn’t stop at childhood, however, and MAP continues to work on educating stakeholders in mangrove conservation worldwide through our In the Hands of Fishers (IHOF) workshops. These workshops target both communities and NGOs to enable inter-regional information sharing across cultures and capacity building, while enhancing problem solving at a local and regional level. A complement to the IHOF workshops is MAP’s program of Community-Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration. This six-step program is not only economical and efficient but also enormously successful and directly engages local communities to reclaim stewardship of their mangroves.
One of MAP’s most important ongoing projects are the Community Coastal Resources Centers (CCRCs), which act as hubs of support, information, and education in key locations around the globe. The CCRCs are often bases of workshops, demonstration sites, and advocacy actions, serving locals, NGOs, tourists, and others. One of the resources developed and used at the CCRCs is MAP’s ‘Toolkit,’ which teaches effective and sustainable methods of mangrove utilization and restoration with a focus on income generation by enabling sustainable alternative livelihoods.
MAP’s US-based Question Your Shrimp campaign aims at reducing consumer demand for imported, tropical farmed shrimp. The shrimp aquaculture industry has been the leading cause of mangrove loss worldwide, and the rapid growth of this industry is fueled by the parallel demand in the more wealthy, Developed nations for cheap imported shrimp. As part of MAP’s QYS campaign, we are signing up chefs and retailers to take our Pledge to not serve or sell imported shrimp, and for citizens to take our Consumer Pledge to not purchase or consume these same shrimp. MAP believes that by reducing demand, we can slow down and even halt the further uncontrolled expansion of the shrimp aquaculture industry into the coastal wetland areas where so much harm is being done against the wetlands and the local and indigenous communities affected by this rapacious industry.
These projects are ongoing, and many continue to need support. Please explore each of our projects and consider making a donation to help keep our programs running and bring others to completion. A list of specific projects needing support can be found here [insert hyperlink]; any and all support is greatly appreciated.