Conserving mangroves as a local food source

Teaching children how to process local food from mangrove

Teaching children how to process local food from mangrove, Thailand © SSereewpaowong , 2010


The central goal of this project was to rehabilitate and conserve mangroves and coastal resources, consistent with Thailand’s national strategy for managing and reversing coastal erosion. This would lead, it was hoped, to local action to ensure rehabilitation, a revival of local knowledge, and the creation of local sources of food for women’s groups and the younger generation.


The Phang Nga Bay Coastal Fishing Community Food Security Project was launched in 2000 by local developers and youth groups. The original aim of the project, which this small grant sought to build on, was to promote the participation of community-based organizations in managing coastal resources and building economic self-reliance.

Target beneficiaries

A total of 434 households from the villages of Ban Laemhin, Ban Ao Makham, Ban Khlong Khian and Ban Thonglarng in the vicinity of Phang Nga Bay National Park. The villagers here typically depend on small-scale fishing, aquaculture, rubber cultivation and providing services to tourists.


  • An increase in capacity and awareness among members of youth and women’s groups.
  • Training for 30 people in the importance of intact mangroves as a food source.
  • Compilation of data on 33 plant and 70 animal species found locally.
  • Compilation of local knowledge about mangroves in the form of 70 mangrove-based food recipes.
  •  A revival of local learning about mangrove foods among women’s and youth groups, with 40 members of the youth group taught to produce food from at least 30 species of tree found in mangroves.
  • Protection of a 320-hectare area of mangroves through a community forest management scheme, with an additional 3,000 mangrove trees planted.
  • Establishment of a conservation zone for crabs.
  • Publication of 100 copies of a Thai language case study of local foods.

Accomplishments and challenges

The Phang Nga Provincial Mangrove Learning Promotion Unit chose Ban Thonglarng as a pilot village for learning about and compiling data on local foods. The Mangrove Management Unit 22 in Phang Nga provided a patrol boat for mangrove surveillance.
The project used food security as an entry point for coastal ecosystem management in the communities living around Phang Nga Bay. Local knowledge about food became the driving force for cooperation among different sectors at all administrative levels, including provincial and local government bodies.

Contributions to cross-cutting themes


Photos depicting activities by the project’s youth group were shortlisted in the “Changing the World by Volunteering Hearts” photography contest and published in a local magazine, Documentary.

Gender equality

Women have always maintained and passed on their knowledge about the use of local plants as food and medicine. The project gave them an opportunity to transfer this knowledge to the younger generation. Members of the youth group were keen to learn through hands-on experience.

Lessons Learned

Support from local administrative organizations and responsible government agencies is important. Once communities joined forces to protect the mangroves, local authorities recognised the strength of local feeling and began lending their support.
Learning by doing is generally necessary to produce the best results, especially when building capacity and raising awareness.

Project Facts



Takauthung, Phang Nga, Thailand



1st May 2009 to 30th Nov 2010

MFF Grant Amount


Co-financing Partner

The participating communities made cash and in-kind contributions of US$4,200 and US$27,000 respectively. Mangrove Management Unit 22 at Takuathung, Phang Nga, contributed US$667 in cash and a patrol boat for mangrove surveillance work.

Implementing Partner

Mr Pichet Parndam
Project Coordinator
Phang Nga Bay Coastal Fishing Community
39 Moo 3, Pa Klork, Thalarng,
Phuket 83110, Thailand
Tel:     +66 89 8731051

Related Publications

Conservation of Mangrove for Local Food

Author: MFF Thailand

Posted on: 4th Dec 2013


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