This newsletter is published by Mangroves for the Future (MFF), a unique partner-led initiative, co-chaired by IUCN and UNDP, to promote investment in coastal ecosystem conservation for sustainable development.
In an op-ed for World Environment Day – published by several media outlets, including the Bangkok Post and VietNamNet – IUCN Asia Regional Director Aban Marker Kabraji suggests solutions to the region’s plastics crisis. While IUCN and MFF are already supporting grassroots initiatives and engaging with the private sector, a broader paradigm shift – from a ‘take-make-dispose’ model to a circular economy – is more likely to solve the problem in the long term.
International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem: In 2017, MFF continued to promote inclusive and collaborative approaches to sustainable management and protection of coastal resources. For the second year in a row, Turning Tides shines the spotlight on local champions, women entrepreneurs, the science of coastal conservation, and more.
In a historic move, Cambodia has declared a section of coast, two thirds the size of Bangkok, a national marine park. This newly protected area comprises critical coastal ecosystems that are home to threatened species like Irawaddy dolphins, dugongs and sea turtles.
Launched in May this year, the Pakistan Navy’s third Mangroves Plantation Campaign aims to plant two million mangroves along the Sindh and Balochistan coasts by the end of 2018 – setting the bar twice as high as last year.
As part of an ongoing partnership with Marriott Hotels and Resorts in Thailand, MFF is working with Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University to restore mangroves in Bangkeao District. Instead of starting from scratch, they are building on scattered restoration efforts already carried out in the area, and consolidating them into a single strategy.
A two-day workshop, organised by IUCN and MFF, improved the communications capacity of representatives from Cambodian NGOs, civil society, and local and national government agencies. Participants learned the value of communications, how to develop a communications strategy, and how to write compelling news stories.
Photostory: The daughter of a fisherman, Wanida Tongboonma has loved mangroves since she was a child. Now a science teacher in her home village of Mai Rood, Wanida is sharing her passion with her students – fostering an appreciation for the protective role of mangroves, and inspiring the next generation to conserve them.
Degraded fisheries and acidic soil in Myanmar’s Pyinbugyi Village Tract are driving young people to make their living elsewhere. With ‘village environmental conservation committees’, supported by Mangroves for the Future, on the rise, livelihood opportunities are returning, and young people are now seeing a future for themselves within their communities.
In a village in Odisha, India, agriculture was no longer a viable way to make a living, yet few other options existed. With support from MFF, farmers like Renubala Dhal are learning how to make the most of their natural resources, and reduce their impact on the environment.
When typhoons struck the coast of Bangladesh 10 years ago, farming communities near the Sundarbans – the largest mangrove forest in the world – were devastated. Reservoirs and canals filled with sand, and crops could no longer grow in the salty soil. With help from MFF and Caritas, farmers in the village of Sabkhali are beginning to build back their lives.
Dawn, Pakistan: Following MFF Pakistan’s 18th National Coordinating Body (NCB) meeting, NCB Chair and Secretary of the Ministry of Climate Change, Khizar Hayat Khan, suggested that environmental interests should come under the jurisdiction of the government of Pakistan.
At MFF Pakistan’s 18th NCB meeting, the management plan for Pakistan’s first Marine Protected Area was discussed. Meeting participants mapped stakeholder interests, identified potential threats to biodiversity, and shared the findings of a recent baseline study. The results were reported by Dawn News, Pakistan Point, Pakistan Today, and PakObserver.
Seychelles Nation: Shortly after International Day for Biological Diversity, students from the Independent School in the Seychelles worked with MFF and other NGOs to plant mangroves near the school campus.