MFF October Newsletter: Empowering youth | Conserving coastal ecosystems | Developing sustainable livelihoods

MFF Newsletter, October 2017

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. 

Feature Stories

How mangroves got their roots back in East Java


This article, published in Thomson Reuters for World Mangroves Day, highlights the ways mangroves are offering sustainable solutions to communities in Indonesia whose livelihoods depend on the resources provided by a resilient coast.

Read more here

Sowing the seeds for a green future


Throughout Asia, young people of all ages are standing up for their futures. This photo story highlights 10 projects in seven countries, supported by MFF and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund – two of the largest grant-making mechanisms in Asia – that place kids, teens and young adults at the forefront of conservation.

Read more here


MFF holds 14th Regional Steering Committee meeting in Myanmar

From 28 to 29 September, the Regional Steering Committee for Mangroves for the Future held its 14th meeting in Yangon, Myanmar. Committee members assessed the programme’s achievements over the past year and discussed its sustainability beyond 2018.

World Mangrove Day: Global Mangrove Alliance welcomes new partners

On International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, IUCN joined the Global Mangrove Alliance as a founding member. The aim of the Alliance is to expand global mangrove habitat by 20% by 2030.

Recycling water on Manora Island

On an island like Manora, where water is scarce and must be transported by ship, waste can have dire consequences. Conventional treatment plants are costly, so the Pakistan Navy – an MFF partner – has implemented a low-tech system that mimics the way plant roots, soil and rock naturally filter and purify rainwater.

Regional integrated coastal management training course extended to Cambodia

The Royal University of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, has incorporated a course on integrated coastal management, developed in collaboration with MFF, into its academic programme.

People and Projects
(Stories of change developed following the IUCN Strategic Communications for Conservation Workshop, July 2017)

Nature Lovers return mangroves to Pulau Dua

In Pulau Dua Nature Reserve, Indonesia, small-scale fisherman Udin and his civil society group, the Nature Lovers, are pioneering innovative techniques to plant and facilitate the growth of mangroves, and to sustainably farm shrimp.

New farming methods secure livelihoods of communities in India

Pampa Dolui was the first person in Odisha to offer her shrimp pond for a demonstration on a sustainable fish farming method. With MFF support, local NGO South Asian Forum for Environment is working with people like Pampa to secure livelihood alternatives to shrimp cultivation.

Simple cook stoves ignite entrepreneurial spirit in Myanmar

In the region of Tanintharyi, MFF supported the Mangrove Service Network to provide training in the manufacture of fuel-efficient cookstoves. By selling the hand-made stoves, local farmer Nyan Lin Aung is securing his livelihood and reducing the community's fuel-wood consumption at the same time.

Health N’ Delft: Low-salt dried fish for the health-conscious

On Delft Island in Sri Lanka, fisherwomen have been drying and selling fish for generations. A new technique is now reducing the salt in the fish and lowering the risk of bacterial contamination, boosting families’ incomes while improving the health of their customers.

When voices are heard in Cu Lao Cham Marine Protected Area

Pagoda Field, in the Cu Lao Cham MPA in Viet Nam, is set to become a public park. MFF is helping to ensure that the local communities affected by this decision will have their opinions heard.

Coconut handicrafts and dressmaking

Jayaseeli Gallage, Chair of a local NGO, knew that cutting mangroves wasn't sustainable. MFF is supporting her project to train Sri Lankan fisherwomen in alternative livelihood skills, reducing their reliance on mangrove wood for income.

Photo Stories

Saving our cetaceans

In June, MFF collaborated with the Goa Forest Department and Terra Conscious – an enterprise that promotes sustainable marine and coastal tourism – to hold a workshop that built the capacity of Goa’s lifeguards to respond to whale and dolphin strandings.


Turning Tides: A look back at 2016

In its first annual magazine, MFF highlights key projects from 2016 and shines a spotlight on individuals championing coastal conservation, gender equality, and livelihood development in their communities.

Mangrove Restoration: To plant or not to plant?


On the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, conservation organisations and mangrove specialists worldwide highlighted the multifunctional benefits of the practice of ‘natural regeneration’ of mangroves. The brochure is available in Burmese, English, Indonesian, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese.

MFF in the Media

MFF holds 14th Regional Steering Committee meeting

On Thursday, 28 September 2017, MFF kicked off its 14th Regional Steering Committee Meeting in Yangon, Myanmar. This news clip was originally aired on Myanmar International Television (MITV). 

Conserving Southeast Asia’s Seas

This Op-Ed was published in the Bangkok Post, Jakarta Post and Philippine Daily Inquirer preceding the U.S.-ASEAN Conference on Marine Environmental Issues. It was authored by Steen Christensen, MFF Coordinator; Sally Yozel, Senior Associate and Director of the Stimson Center Environmental Security program; and Brian Eyler, Director of the Stimson Center's South Asia Program.  

Inaugural ceremony of Pakistan Navy Mangroves Plantation Campaign 2017

In August, MFF collaborated with the Pakistan Navy, the Ministry of Climate Change, and the provincial forest departments of Sindh and Balochistan to inaugurate the Navy’s Mangroves Plantation Campaign. The Navy aims to plant one million mangroves in 2017.

Indus Delta sinking due to rising sea level, warn experts at 17th MFF Pakistan National Coordinating Body meeting

Meeting participants highlighted key achievements in the conservation of Pakistan’s coasts, including the recent designation of Astola Island as a Marine Protected Area and the Pakistan Navy’s pledge to plant one million mangroves by the end of the year.

Upcoming Events

14-15 Nov

Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) Blue Economy Forum

Bangkok, Thailand

21-23 Nov Responsible Business ForumSingapore

Photo and Video Gallery

Video: U.S.-ASEAN Conference on Marine Environmental Issues

Topic Plenary 2: The Blue Economy (Watch Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, deliver her keynote address)

Photo credits, top to bottom, left to right: © MFF Indonesia, © Kumpin Akson/MCI, © IUCN, © Ana Grillo, © MFF Pakistan, © MFF Cambodia, © MFF Indonesia, © MFF India, © MFF Myanmar, © Sevalanka Foundation, © DNAU, © Kumudini Ekaratne/IUCN, © MFF, © Mangrove Restoration, © MITV, © Philippine Daily Inquirer, © Pakistan Press International, © Pakistan Times, © MFF, © U.S.-ASEAN Conference