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Mangrove Curriculum

Mangrove Curriculum – an integrated curriculum connecting young people to the natural world

Educating children about the values of mangroves is the solution to future mangrove conservation. The Marvellous Mangroves training is an in-depth, hands-on, science-based conservation education program, which has not only been given to primary and secondary school children but also teachers themselves. The award-winning curriculum is already used in 13 countries by over 250,000 students and 2,500 teachers.

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The Beginning of Marvellous Mangroves:

Back in 2002, Tanny Onsalo was just nine years old when she first learned about mangroves and how important they really are to the world’s shoreline ecosystems.

Back then, Tanny was part of a dedicated crew who were making a series of funky 30-minute movies on ocean related habitats understandable to kids of all ages. Mangrove Mania was one of the episodes “I first got to know all about Marvellous Mangroves twelve years ago when I was, as a nine year-old, one of the actors featured in the well-known movie for kids called Mangrove Mania.

Made in the Cayman Islands, it was one of a series of movies about the ocean, it’s related ecosystems and the amazing creatures that live in the salt-water world. It was specifically aimed at young people.

Thanks to Martin Keeley, who played the “Professor” in the 30-minute movie, I learned what an amazing tree the mangrove is.

I am also delighted that the movie has continued to be used as part of the Marvellous Mangroves curriculum program that introduces teachers around the world to mangroves and mangrove ecology.

The next year my primary school teacher did a unit all about mangroves using the Marvellous Mangroves curriculum produced by the “Professor” of my movie. I was so proud to have been a movie “star” and it made my classmates really envious.

In class we did many of the activities – like microscopic analyses – that are outlined in Marvellous Mangroves and found them a great way to learn! It changed the way I think about mangroves as an incredibly important ecosystem.

It’s a fabulous program and I’m so happy to still be a part of the world of Marvellous Mangroves, and I tell people about them all the time.”

We are asking you to help Marvellous Mangroves continue its spread to teachers and children around the world. We are so far in 11 countries world-wide and we have three more lined up for for next year – Kenya, Suriname and India.

Your donation will go directly to helping the world’s children from these tropical lands not only learn all about Marvellous Mangroves, but will also give them a basic understanding of scientific methodology and ecology.

In addition, they get to learn research methods as a precursor to a science-based university education.

You can view the movie, Mangrove Mania “Under the Waves” here

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“Yes, that’s me and the crew back in 2002 making Mangrove Mania in the field and in the lab. ” Tanny Onsalo


Tanny in Mangrove Mania in a Khulna, Bangladesh Workshop for the adaptation of Marvellous Mangroves in that country.


“And me now trekking through a tropical forest.” ” Tanny Onsalo


Tanny, her colleagues and The Professor, explore the mangroves with her teddy bear for safety!

Marvellous Mangroves

Our award-winning Marvellous Mangroves curriculum educates children on the importance of mangroves and their ecological functions, teaching them about modern challenges and mechanisms for sustainability. Integrated with local and national curricula it encourages and facilitates students to spend time in mangrove forests, including participation in field studies, research and conservation. The empowering process for both students and teachers helps to create greener and healthier learning environments inside and outside of school.

The first curriculum was launched in the Cayman Islands for the Caribbean region back in 2000. It has since been adapted for the English-speaking Colombian Caribbean islands of San Andres and Providence; translated into Spanish and adapted for use in Colombia, Honduras and Guatemala; translated and adapted for use into Sinhala and integrated into the Sri Lanka national science curriculum. It has also been translated and adapted for schools in Brazil, China and Bangladesh, as well as English versions for Australia and Belize where it is part of the schools’ national curriculum.

Demand for the mangrove curriculum continues to grow throughout the world, including countries such as Kenya, Suriname, India and the Philippines, helping to engage tomorrows leaders in real world issues.

Lecture Mode

Australian teachers and specialists working with Martin Keeley on how to utilize the Marvellous Mangroves curriculum for that country. Workshop held in Bundaberg, Queensland, August 2014

Mangroove Project

Teachers in Dangriga, Belize, using MAP’s magnifying lenses to examine mangroves during a three-day workshop held in August 2013. MAP provides 30 magnifying lenses for every teacher attending the MM workshops


Check out our presentation for more details on Marvellous Mangroves
Marvellous Mangroves in the News

MAP Toolkit

MAP Toolkit

Ideas on low impact methods of enhancing community economies in tropical tidal regions


MAP’s “toolkit” is not so much a shopping list of packaged solutions, as it is a cross fertilization process of ideas, projects, and activities which communities can draw upon and adapt to local conditions.

The most important aspect of applying or adapting a “Toolkit” concept, or sustainable livelihood alternative, in a coastal community is to make the community aware of the income generationopportunities surrounding them and the advantages and disadvantages of viable technologies.

Awareness does not focus solely on identifying previously untapped resources, product preparation, or marketing strategies, but includes preparing and training the community for managing an environmentally sustainable economic venture.

MAP Toolkit Summary (pdf 35 KB)

MAP Toolkit Options

Children’s Art Calendar

2020 MAP Children’s Art Calendar

We are now taking entries for the 19th annual Mangrove Art Contest 

We invite all school children aged 6 -16 years from tropical and sub-tropical nations, to create art telling us “why mangroves are important to my community and me?”

Selected winners will be published in the 2020 calendar to be distributed internationally to raise awareness of mangrove forest ecology. This colorful calendar has increased in popularity since its first publication in 2002. The 2020 calendar is our 19th edition. We would like to invite children from your country to join in this fantastic creative and educational competition. It is an opportunity for the younger generation to learn about the vital role Mangroves play in the lives of coastal communities and marine life around the world whilst letting them explore their imagination and have fun when creating their pieces of art.

This contest aims to promote appreciation and awareness of mangrove forests and communities, while encouraging and listening to creative voices of children living in mangrove regions.

View 2014 calendar art
View 2015 calendar art
View 2016 Calendar
View 2017 Calendar
View 2018 Calendar


This year we reached nearly 2500 students, aged between 6 and 16, in 30 schools across 12 countries. The artworks entered were incredibly stunning and expressive and have resulted in one of our most beautiful calendars to date. This year we’ve gone that little bit further with the calendar. Using soy-based inks, the calendars were printed on FSC-certified 100% recycled paper to produce an earth-friendly product.

Many thanks to all those who took part in this year’s activities! Join us in our mission to educate, enlighten and empower the youth of today across the globe so that mangroves, and our planet, have a sustainable future!



Download the rules in other languages:
English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Thai, BurmeseVietnamese, Malagasy, Indonesian

Join the Contest!

image_previewJoin us for the 2020 MAP Children’s Art Calendar Competition!
Help us make this next calendar contest more successful than ever! Non-profit organizations, NGOs, schools, teachers, and other groups are invited to help organize local calendar contests and help MAP to get students involved. For any questions, contact Monica Gutierrez-Quarto, the international art competition organizer.

View contest information and rules.

Participe au Concours!

image_preview (2)
Venez nous joindre pour le concours d’art 2020 de MAP!!!
Aidez nous à faire de ce concours un succès plus que jamais! Les ONG, les écoles, les enseignants, et d’autres groupes sont tous invités à aider MAP et à organiser des concours locaux et faire participer les élèves. Veuillez contacter Monica Gutierrez-Quarto, coordinatrice de ce concours, pour toutes les questions.
Télécharger les détails du concours et les règlements.
Vous pouvez aussi acheter le calendrier 2019, ou sponsoriser le calendrier 2020.

Participa en el Concurso!

Participa en el Concurso

¡Participa en la competición de arte 2020 del calendario de manglares de MAP!
¡Ayúdanos a hacer del concurso de 2020 un gran éxito! Organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro, ONGs, escuelas, profesores y otros colectivos están invitados a ayudar MAP en la organización de concursos locales, y animar a los alumnos a participar. Para cualquier duda ponte en contacto con Mónica Guitierrez-Quarto, coordinadora del concurso.
Descargar las bases del concurso
Aun estás a tiempo de pedir el calendario de 2019.
Seguimos buscando un sponsor para el calendario de 2020.


Gain visibility and show your support of mangrove conservation and education through sponsoring the 2020 calendar. Click here for more details.

ARTWORKS FEATURED IN 2018 CALENDAR – View the full Youth Gallery to see all those shortlisted

Name: Ma Su Myat Phyo
Country: Myanmar
Age: 11
School: State Middle School. Kyaukphyu Township
Sandara Marakkala Sethini Dilanya
Country: Sri Lanka
Age: 8
School: G/sri Devananda school. Ambalangoda
Yaris Troch
Country: Cameroon
Age: 9
School: American School of Douala
Yingzhe Ye
Country: China
Age: 10
School: Haikou City No. 25 Primary School
Doelahmarsidi Kelly
Country: Suriname
Age: 10
School: Mulo Tata Colin
Harshika Turlapaty
Country: USA
Age: 8
School: Willow Springs Elementary School
Surendar Mutharasan
Country: India
Age: 15
School: Chennai Higher Secondary School
Siri Neela
Country: Singapore
Age: 9
School: Global Indian International School
Maryam Mohamed Rashed Al Mansoori
Country: United Arab Emirates
Age: 10
School: Bayaat Al Radwan
Tipnatee Saimanee
Country: Thailand
Age: 11
School: Banthuadthong School
Massud Hassan
Country: Kenya
Age: 12
School: Gasi Primary School
Kashaf Imran
Country: Pakistan
Age: 16
School: HITEC School & College for Girls
Geerthikah D/O Karthigasu
Country: Malaysia
Age: 15
School: Bandar Puteri Jasya High School

IHOF Workshops

IHOF Workshops

In the Hands of the Fishers (IHOF) is a fisherfolk to fisherfolk environmental education program which promotes sustainable development through the empowerment of village leaders to manage coastal resources in a sustainable manner. IHOF promotes coastal resource conservation and wise use of resources for the improvement of fishers’ livelihoods utilizing a community-based or a co-management arrangement. The IHOF program engages community fisher leaders from one or more countries to exchange personal experiences in coastal resources management and livelihoods issues.


IHOF involves both local community fisher leaders and grassroots NGOs, and occasionally local government officials, from various nations which contain mangrove forests and face the threats of unsustainable developments, such as industrial shrimp aquaculture and over-fishing by commercial trawlers. The attending participates of a 3 to 5 day workshop exchange ideas, share experiences and skills, and help design and later implement those various options or solutions which are reached during these workshops.

The workshops provide a unique environmental education experience in that they often involve local community leaders from 3-6 countries in one region, with each participant speaking their own language through translation provided by accompanying NGO translators. Most of the local persons have never previously traveled outside their own country. This cross-cultural aspect adds another educational dimension as participants learn the similarities and differences between neighboring countries regarding ways of life and management of resources. In a small way this has had the unexpected benefit of improving understanding of cultural differences and the realization that the coastal resource problems faced in different nations are often very similar.

To date, 12 IHOF workshops have been held in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with great success and many lessons learned by both the participants and the IHOF organizers. The workshops are continually being refined and are evolving to becoming more participatory, informal, and topic focused. There has been an attempt to move the workshop setting from hotels to coastal mangrove centers near the participating communities, or even into the community itself. There is also a greater focus on learning on field trips to view successful working models, as participants learn best from other fisher leaders through activities in the field, rather than by theory in a formal meeting room setting.

There has also been a realization of the need to incorporate seed funds for follow-up projects, so participants following the IHOF workshop can test newly learned techniques or alternative livelihood models. In summary, the workshops are being sensitively adjusted to make the training experience “In the Hands of the Fishers” more suitable to the needs of the fisher participants.

View IHOF Summary Reports

Ecological Mangrove Restoration

MAP Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) Method

Working alongside mangrove ecologists, local NGOs, and communities, we promote the MAP Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) Method, an economical and efficient 6-Step approach to mangrove restoration which follows basic natural processes.

Hydrological Restoration

The MAP EMR Method prioritizes the restoration of the natural hydrology of disturbed areas. Deemphasizing capital and labor intensive direct hand planting, MAP applies a broader, less expensive, and more effective restorative approach.

Restoring an area’s natural hydrology will, in many cases, allow Nature to restore the mangroves via tidal ebbs and flows, transporting mangrove propagules (seeds) for the natural regeneration of a bio-diverse and healthy forest wetland.

Successful, Community-based, Small-scale


EMR greatly increases the overall success rate for naturally restoring large areas of degraded mangrove forests. Our efforts are unique in that they place the local community at center stage in the restoration and management process.

MAP supports small-scale efforts, in fact tiny, when compared to the huge programs supported by World Bank loans and government agencies. MAP has supported mangrove restoration efforts in Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Malaysia, and has actively rehabilitated 580 hectares of mangrove forests in Riau and North Sumatera, Indonesia, using the MAP EMR Method as part of post-tsunami recovery.
MAP EMR dig and training video(20 mb, 10 min) – Ban Talay Nok, Ranong Province on the north Andaman coast of Thailand.
Mangrove Rehab Photo Essay – N. Sumatera (pdf 3.62 MB)
Mangrove Rehab Photo Essay – Riau (pdf 3.74 MB)
Natural Revegetation of Abandoned Shrimp Pond Complex – Tiwoho, N. Sulawesi, 1993-2006 (pdf, 4.7MB)
Confronting Rising Sea Levels
Faced with rising sea levels caused by climate change, the MAP EMR Method, combined with manual planting of mangroves (when necessary, see the 6 Steps) should be an important tool for international relief organizations to incorporate into their mangrove restoration efforts.

Carbon Sequestration

Recent studies reveal that some mangroves sequester 1.5 metric tons of carbon per hectare (1,336 pounds per acre) per year. Yet, our planet is losing 150,000 hectares (370,050 acres) of mangroves yearly. The MAP EMR Method has the potential to restore our mangrove forests’ capacity to function as large-scale carbon sinks, mediating the prolonged effects of climate change.

6 Steps to Successful EMR

EMR Workshops
EMR Discussion Group
MAP’s Illustrated Manual for Successful EMR
Recuperation of Abandoned Shrimp Farms
Research papers & References
EMR Practitioners


Coastal Community Resource Centers

Where ongoing education and environmental actions can take place, MAP helps support and advise on functioning community resource centers (CCRCs) in Honduras, Sri Lanka (3), India (2), Andaman Islands, Nigeria, Senegal, Timor Leste, Thailand (2), Cambodia (2), and Indonesia (6). MAP is currently developing or planning other CCRCs in Asia. The CCRCs act as demonstration sites for community-based coastal resource management, as well as education and research centers. They are located in key geographic, social, or ecologic crossroads, serving as, staging grounds for workshops and programs, as well as acting as regional “nodes” for the dissemination of pertinent information and global networking.

Coastal Community Resource Centers (CCRCs) might be likened to “acupressure points” established at key locations around the world to bring a restorative effect on a global scale. They are creative, multi-purpose facilities built with local communities and their particular setting in mind.Dedicated to the conservation and protection of mangrove forests, these centers are also important resources for groups concerned with associated marine ecosystems, such as sea grass beds and coral reefs.

MAP and Partner CCRCs

22 Community Resource Centers in 10 countries:

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

CCRCs are:

  • demonstration sites for community-based coastal resource management
  • training, education, and research centers
  • regional “nodes” for global networking and information and skill sharing
  • meeting centers
  • interpretive centers

Stakeholders served include:

  • local communities
  • local NGOs
  • scientific researchers
  • educators
  • local governments, and
  • tourists


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.