January 27th, 2021

As Covid-19 has continued to prohibit all face-to-face teaching activities into 2021, Mangrove Action Project (MAP) has begun its second online ‘Community-Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration’ (CBEMR) workshop, this time in conjunction with the US Forest Service (USFS) International Programs. As field-training continues to be on pause, online training has allowed for more people to attend from various countries. This training has 47 participants from Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Marshall Islands, Fiji and Samoa. Starting in January and running over six weeks, this workshop is designed to help the implementation of the USFS’s ‘Pacific Islands Forest Restoration Initiative’ (PIFRI). 

Day 1 of the joint online workshop

Pacific Islands are beautiful, unique ecosystems with countries having islands as thin as coral atolls with mangrove forests, to large volcanic islands with high altitudes and inland forests. The USFS’s PIFRI project focuses on awarding small grants to local NGOs and offers technical assistance in the form of trainings and workshops, like CBEMR, to improve the quality and extend the coverage of island forests. The project is focused not just on mangroves, but also island terrestrial forests, to ensure these ecosystems continue to provide their valuable goods and services to the local communities and wider population. The training team for this CBEMR consists of Dr Dominic Wodehouse, Executive Director and Jim Enright, CBEMR trainer from MAP, and Dr Richard MacKenzie, Nico Stoehr and Allison Saracina from USFS, supported by Wolf Forstreuter, USFS’s in-country consultant.

To quote USFS:

‘Pacific Island Countries (PIC) are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change as the remote nature of these islands has resulted in human populations that rely heavily on goods and services harvested from mangroves and upland forests. PICs and their forests are already experiencing impacts from sea level rise, increased wildfires, shifts in rainfall patterns, and increased extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones or droughts. Natural hazards continue to pose a threat to the countries’ sustainable growth and economic development. These impacts are further compounded by growing rates of deforestation and forest degradation from agricultural and aquaculture conversion, infrastructure development, unsustainable logging, natural hazards and increased spread of invasive species. The independent and interactive effects of these impacts have decreased the provision of ecosystems goods and services from forested ecosystems and increased forest carbon emissions. The restoration of mangrove and upland forests is a proven management action that can help PICs adapt to the impacts of climate change, reduce forest carbon emissions, and increase the overall resilience of human communities.’ 

The project is funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Oceans International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. 

For enquiries, please contact either [email protected] or [email protected]