This edition of the MFF newsletter invites you to take look at some of the MFF projects that demonstrate 'local solutions to global challenges' facing coastal and marine ecosystems.
Many coastal regions in Asia continue to face the challenge of mangrove ecosystem degradation and destruction brought about by the conversion of mangrove forests to shrimp farms, adopting monoculture practices, and excessive use of artificial feed. A MFF project in India responded to this issue by introducing mangrove based farming system based on poly culture practices, which helped increase land productivity and local economy. MFF believes that scalable and replicable approaches like these that hinge on ecosystem based adaptation (EBA) measures can be locally tailored in responding to similar problems throughout the region and potentially in other parts of the world also.
Likewise in the Seychelles MFF supported the development of a National Action Plan and Shark Identification Key that reduces pressure on 'non target species' and supports the monitoring of efforts for better fisheries management. In addition to addressing the problem of local over exploitation of shark populations, this project is also relevant to the current international attention on trade regulations raised at the recent CITES conference at which decisive action was taken to halt decline of shark species.
Being a partnership-based initiative, MFF puts a strong focus on building effective networks to address and solve coastal issues. A unique partnership has emerged in Pakistan whereby MFF engages the Pakistan Navy and provides inputs to their conservation practices in naval operations. The project under this partnership has reached out to nearly 12000 participants from various Pakistan Navy operated institutions through environmental sensitization activities. Following this engagement, a set of directives were issued by the Naval Chief for compliance of environmentally friendly practices and guidelines to address pollution related problems in coastal and marine areas of Pakistan.
There is a pressing need for qualified coastal managers and practitioners in the region. During the 3rd MFF Postgraduate Certificate Course on Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) held from 21 January to 1 March 2013, twenty-seven participants from ten countries across Asia were trained in the theory and practice of ICM. Upon return to their respective countries, participants apply their newly-acquired ICM knowledge in their respective host institutions -and in the process new know-how is shared among their coastal management peers.
MFF launched two regional projects this quarter under the Regional Grants Facility. One of these projects is focusing on mapping the governance structures in small islands and will be implemented in the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Thailand. The other project introduces the "Green Fins" approach in the Maldives and Vietnam to curb the negative impacts of recreational diving on marine ecosystems.
MFF is also organizing a regional training course on mangrove restoration and management (Thailand) from 22-30 June and a marine spatial mapping training (Viet Nam) from 30-31 May. For more details on these events please log on to our website.
As always, we hope you find the contents of this edition of our newsletter insightful and informative. Do check our news links below for more stories on MFF's activities.
Mangroves For The Future