GNF: The Global Nature Fund (GNF) is the project holder of a 4-year initiative (ending in Dec 2015) implemented in 4 Asian countries, including Thailand called Mangrove Restoration and Reforestation in Asia, a Project for Knowledge Exchange and Action to Reduce Climate Change, and Protect Forest and Biodiversity. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Foundation Ursula Merz, and Synchronicity Earth. More information
EPIC: The Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) project is a 5-year initiative launched in 2012 and coordinated by IUCN. The EPIC project investigates the role that healthy ecosystems play in reducing disaster risk and supporting community-based adaptation to climate change implementing field demonstration field projects in East Asia, Europe, South America and West Africa. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety’s International Climate Initiative (BMU-ICI). More information
Daimler : Daimler AG, is the German automobile manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz. The project entitled "Mangrove Conservation in Asia" is funded through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program and runs Jan. 2014 - Dec. 2016, supporting the five Global Nature Fund (GNF) partners. The GNF administers the project and in Thailand and funding is supporting environmental education and alternative livelihoods in Tha Sanook Village, Tabput District, Phang Nga province. The construction of a mangrove educational nature trail and teaching of environmental education in the local school are being carried out. Honey bee raising and the production of shampoo, conditioner and bar hand soap using honey are being developed as supplementary livelihoods.
This blog's goal is to share field implementation experience on two projects which MAP Asia is undertaking in Thailand using Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR) which we feel is the most effective way to restore the full biodiversity to degraded or destroyed mangrove. The CBEMR method put emphasis on full community participation, fixing the problem(s) which caused mangrove loss in the first place, and ensuring the tidal hydrology is restored to support optimal natural regeneration. MAP has been teaching and promoting CBEMR since 2005, so the blog is another tool which we hope supports the theory through illustrating practical work on the ground. Most of the demonstration sites underway in Thailand are in abandoned shrimp ponds, which were formerly mangrove habitat. There are now large areas on disused shrimp ponds in Asia which could be restored back to healthy mangroves using CBEMR. We hope mangrove practitioners, partners, donors, NGOs and government agencies find this blog useful and please send comments and suggestions here.
Four years ago the community of Nai Nang in Krabi province, Thailand, started producing honey partly made from the mangroves flowers surrounding the village, but the most challenging part was how to market it. Most of the income and jobs around Nai Nang village are based on palm oil, rubber and fishing. The people asked themselves, “How can we make an income besides farming and fishing?” That’s when the idea of honey bees came along as serveral community members had already set-out bee boxes which had been colonized by the wild bee, Apis cerana. This is not only good for theenvironment, but also a great source of income and excellent for
Mangroves are vital to this project, and MAP has provided technical support helping out with mangrove planting, drainage of the area allowing natural mangrove reproduction.But most importantly, teaching and educating the community so they can take care of the mangrove and continue with the restoration and conservation of this ecosystem. The mangrove is as vital to community as the community to the mangrove.
Part of MAP’s help has been providing packaging and marketing support, and thingsare looking good for Nai Nang! The effort of the people and MAP is showing good results, as a couple of weeks ago Nai Nang received a visit from Mr. Sean Panton, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Marriott Hotels Thailand. He is responsible for the development of internal and external community and environmental programs and initiatives. Sean brought two chefs from Marriott Hotels in Phuket to taste test the honey. They liked it very much for the original salty-sweet taste of it, and their business interest with the community looks promising as they hope to make an agreement to purchase all natural raw Nai Nang honey to supply their hotels here in Thailand, the honey will be in the welcome drinks in Marriott Phuket and during the breakfast buffet in all the other Marriott branches.
This is great news for MAP and the Nai Nang community! A friendly relationship between the hotel business and conservation is possible, and what better example than this!
By MAP Intern: Maria Savage & Photography: Jon Baines
The MAP Asia staff packed their bags on July 11th, 2016 and took a visit to Nai Nang Village, Krabi province, Thailand with high hopes for a promising partnership. In 2015 the Marriott Hotel in Thailand teamed up with MAP to undertake a mangrove restoration site assessment in Phang Nga province to ensure successful mangrove planting by Phuket Marriott staff as part of their mangrove Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program through IUCN Thailand. IUCN had invited MAP to visit the Hin Laad mangrove restoration site to ensure the site was effective in regeneration. Since then, the Marriott has raised interest in MAP’s work with the Nai Nang Apiculture group selling honey as an alternative livelihood while protecting and restoring mangroves in their village.
Left to right: Intern, Photographer, Coordinator, Project Manager
The meeting was held in close proximity to the bee boxes that the Nai Nang Villagers have built with the support of wood working tools provided by the Mangrove Action Project. The project was funded under Global Nature Fund of Germany and was called “Mangrove Restoration and Reforestation in Asia, a Project for Knowledge Exchange and Action to Protect Climate change, Forest and Biodiversity” as an effort to expand on the few families experimenting with bee keeping in the community. MAP saw the expansion as a gateway to alternative livelihoods for the Nai Nang Village community members. Here is the catch, when villages agree to produce honey, they are no longer allowed to use pesticides on their crops. This is a win-win for all members. The bees can flourish without toxins and chemicals present while the villagers expel the added cost of poisonous products. Some members note a decrease in the number of pests found on their crops and they credit the busy bees!
Apiculture workshops and value-add honey product training seminars were held for the people to produce hand soap, shampoo and conditioner to build capacity and market village produced products. The hives were incredibly successful, and the community sold 276 bottles of honey in 2015! A village Conservation Fund was established with 10% of all honey and honey product sales.
This golden honey is produced as part of the mangrove conservation efforts, it was sure to spark the interest of responsible fair-trade businesses. That’s where Mr. Sean Panton, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Representative for the Marriott Hotel chain Thailand and Ms. Kanokwan Homchaaim (Nok), Marriot Thailand’s Field Coordinator for IUCN come into the picture.
The meeting was planned to establish a partnership between the Nai Nang Village Apiculture Group and the Marriott Hotel CSR program. Sean and Nok recognized the many benefits of conservation group’s honey, and they are sure the customers of the Marriott would agree. The idea is to showcase the honey on the hotel’s breakfast buffets with background information about where it is produced and with details about the Nai Nang Apiculture Group. This marketing strategy will appeal to conscience of people who are looking to support local communities and local conservation efforts.
Exposing the hive
We were lucky enough to visit the beehives and see first-hand the honeycomb extraction. The workers looked more like soldiers; dressed head to toe in a camouflage suit and toped with a veil hat. They were well prepared for the vast number of protective bees working on the hive. We were even given a taste of the fresh honey combs direct from the hive. I admit, I have an inexhaustible sweet tooth and am no stranger to toast and honey, but this honey was a real treat. I haven’t tasted anything quite like it! It was fruity and flowerily all at once. Needless to say, I showed my support and bought a bottle.
Sean (in black) and Nok (in white) sampling the honey
I am fortunate to have witnessed a partnership that secures the future for this hard working community. Nai Nang Honey should be shared with more people, and they have already begun to do so. In March 2016 the experienced members of Ban Nai Nang offered guidance in an apiculture workshop for Ban Ta-Sanook in Phang Nga province. This opens doors of opportunity for many families and continued mangrove conservation. Marriott Hotel has made a conscientious decision in supporting conservation related supplementary livelihoods while sharing the benefits of this golden treat.
By MAP Intern: Amber Blowes Photography: Michael Wright
The 2016 World Environment Day weekend was a busy one for the staff at MAP Asia in Thailand with celebrations in Krabi, filming taking place at the EPIC ponds on Koh Klang and a clean-up at Ta-Sanook village, Phang Nga province.
Friday the 3rd of June dawned rainy, yet this did not stop thousands of school children descending upon the Krabi Provincial Administrative Organization for World Environment Day celebrations. Teaming up with the Nai Nang village beekeepers, the Global Nature Fund (GNF) of Germany and with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) support from Daimler AG, the Asia Office staff readied the display and activities in the inclement weather. The Nai Nang beekeepers brought along a selection of honey and soap, which garnered interest from children and adults alike. The children proved keen to learn about the importance of mangrove ecosystems, recycling, and the dangers of plastic pollution. Their enthusiasm and interest in our stall was evident, and everyone had a wonderful time. We can definitely say that we surprised many of them with our games, particularly when they learned just how long it takes for rubbish to break down (up to 600 years for nylon fishing line and up to 1000 years for polystyrene, just in case you were wondering)!
[Left] The MAP crew (staff, intern and Nai Nang Villagers) ready themselves for the incoming hordes of children. [Right] Listening attentively whilst Pick explains the breakdown of rubbish.
After some recuperation time we headed across the river to Koh Klang to meet up with Ning and Bastian Hartig. Bastian was filming EPIC’s mangrove restoration sites for an upcoming piece on the television program ‘Global Ideas’ for German network Deutsche Welle (DW). Keep an eye out for the release of this news piece in June on the Global Ideas website! For those of us who are new to MAP, we spent much of the time trudging through the deep, sticky mud, familiarising ourselves with the array of mangroves, crabs, molluscs and mudskippers which can be found on the site.
Bastian (in white) filming the preparation and planting of a few nipa palm seedlings on the EPIC project site.
Saturday the 4th started early with a drive to Ta-Sanook village for a clean-up at the just constructed short nature trail walk through the mangroves. There was plenty to do, with high tides sweeping in rubbish and debris, and left over construction materials to collect. For those of us who were spending our first high-tide in a Thai mangrove forest, it came as something of a surprise just how quickly the water rose through the forest. Soon enough, we were cleaning in water reaching our knees. Teaming together, we managed to shift left over construction materials from the nature trail and dismantle an abandoned shed, repurposing as many of the materials as possible.
Left over wood from the nature trail construction was collected for reuse.
After a truly delicious lunch provided by the locals, the village and staff regrouped and headed back out into the mangroves. Men, women and children all pitched in to comb through the mangroves, collecting garbage and recyclable items. We can report that the construction of the nature trail is progressing well, the mangroves are looking clean and we can’t wait to return to see it when it is complete!
Even the smallest residents of Ta-Sanook involved themselves in the clean-up.
MAP Asia has been developing Mangrove Nature Trails in partnership with two communities involved in mangrove restoration.
The first project is located at the Klong Lu Homestay, on Koh Klang Island, Krabi Province, Southern Thailand with the combined trail and mangrove restoration project completed in December 2015, with the support from the Global Nature Fund (GNF). The mangrove restoration site, which was an abandoned shrimp pond, is situated next to the Klong Lu Homestay and appears to be a great opportunity for the community to develop a nature trail as part of their eco-tourism activities. With the help from MAP and volunteers from Project Abroad the construction of the trail advanced rapidly and is already in use. The Mangrove Nature Trail consists of a short loop pathway around the Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration site with three interpretation signs on mangrove ecology along the trail. There are also mangrove species identification signs which describe the various species found on site. This is a great opportunity to promote mangrove ecosystems and educate visitors who include daily tourists, individuals and groups staying at Klong Lu Homestay, local school kids and other students. This year, already 2000 people have utilized this nature trail.
Klong Lu Mangrove Interpretative Nature Trail, Krabi
The second mangrove nature trail project is located at Ta Sanook Village, in Phang Nga Province. It is being funded by DAIMLER AG and is managed by GNF. The short nature trail will go through a very biodiverse mangrove stand passing over a tidal stream which provides an opportunity to see a variety of species close-up. The community plans to repair a shelter overtop a pond at the end of the walkway which can be used for group discussions. The construction of the 70 meter-path started in early March 2016 and aims to be completed by May 2016. This Mangrove Nature Trail will mainly serve to support mangrove environmental education of local schools.
Construction of the nature trail in Ta-Sanook is advancing quickly
MAP is excited to be involved in these environmental education projects as it is the first time mangrove interpretative nature trails have been developed. We hope they will be a fantastic tool for education of local communities, students as well as visitors and tourists.
A visitor from one of MAP’s funders, Synchronicity Earth, based in London UK, came to Thailand to see and learn first-hand about mangrove restoration!
From March 29th to 31st MAP Asia had the great pleasure to receive Jim Pettiward, communications strategist, at Synchronicity Earth a funder and collaborator of MAP since 2014. This is the first time MAP Asia has received a visitor from Synchronicity Earth. “It’s much more interesting and valuable to see and experience projects on the ground rather than just read reports, if you want to really understand the issues” stated Jim.
MAP Asia staff had the occasion to show Jim Pettiward around six mangrove restoration sites utilizing the Community-based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR) method within the provinces of Krabi and Phang Nga, Southern Thailand. The local community representatives at different sites were available allowing us to exchange information and ask questions directly to the villagers concerned with the mangrove restoration projects.
On the first evening after welcoming Jim to Krabi Town with a taste of the delicious Thai food, a powerpoint summary presentation was given on the 4 year “Mangrove Restoration and Reforestation in Asia, a Project for Knowledge Exchange and Action to Reduce Climate Change, and Protect Forest Biodiversity” project. This regional project was administered by the Global Nature Fund (GNF) of Germany and MAP’s projects were co-funded by Synchronicity Earth.
On the second day, we visited four of MAP’s mangrove restoration sites in Krabi Province: one site at Ban Lang Da started in 2009 and three other sites on Klang Island.
The Klong Lu homestay, a GNF project partner, was used as our base on the island and a longtail boat driven by the owner, Bang Bao and his 10 year-old son transported us from the mainland and toured us through the mangroves on route to the family bungalow operation. While motoring along the Krabi River we were welcomed by a playful pod of Indo Pacific hump-backed dolphins which did a great job of putting on a show for Jim’s birthday! The Klong Lu homestay is involved in eco-tourism and with MAP’s support, has developed a short interpretative mangrove nature trail around the mangrove restoration site which was initiated just 6 month ago. The small loop walkway will be a great tool to educate visitors of the Klong Lu Homestay, daytrip visitors to the island, along with school kids from the local area.
Jim Pettiward (green shirt) and MAP staff on the longtail boat to Klang Island
The final day, was highlighted by a visit to the Nai Nang’s apiculture group, in Krabi Province. This community has been successfully producing honey partly from mangrove flowers and are, now, also creating value added products such as honey hand soap, shampoo and conditioner with the support of MAP. During our time there, community conservation leaders showed us how they harvest the honey from the hand-made bee boxes. We even got a taste of the freshly collected honey, YUMMY!
Freshly harvested honey tasting at Nai Nang village
After wild honey tasting we headed north to the restoration site in Ta-Sanook village, Phang Nga province where the village chief and some members of the conservation group showed us the ongoing construction of their new mangrove nature trail which plans to be completed by May 2016. It will allow local school kids to learn about mangrove ecosystems first-hand without getting their feet wet.
Visiting Ta-Sanook CBEMR restoration site with the village chief and community leaders
The field trip was a great way to showcase some of MAP’s mangrove restoration project with full involvement of local communities who are pursuing supplementary livelihoods supported by the project. It also allowed us all to exchange ideas and get valuable advice and impressions from Jim Pettiward of Synchronicity Earth and key community leaders.
By Manon Whittaker, MAP Asia Intern.
WHEN THE STUDENTS BECOME THE TEACHERS: Sweet golden honey helps communities and mangroves!
The successful honey project which started in Nai Nang, in Krabi province in Thailand has now expanded to Ta-Sanook, Phang-Nga province.
Read this inspiring story about mangrove restoration, livelihoods and knowledge transfer between communities!
How it started
The project started several years ago in Nai Nang when MAP implemented a mangrove restoration site with the support of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funding and through Global Nature Fund’s administered project entitled “Mangrove Restoration and Reforestation in Asia, a Project for Knowledge Exchange and Action to Protect Climate change, Forest and Biodiversity”. In order to secure the long-term protection of the restoration efforts MAP decided to help the community develop their apiculture activity as an alternative livelihood. The wonderful part is that honey is partly produced from mangrove flowers . Nai Nang villagers had already been involved in apiculture for some time but MAP helped provide material, technical training, develop labels, marketing and equipment support to take this project to the next level. Today, the village has more than 200 beehives and produced 270 kilos of honey last year.
Honey partly produced from mangrove flowers by Nai-Nang village
Passing on the torch
At the beginning of this year, another MAP restoration site, funded by DAIMLER AG’s, the “Mangrove Conservation in Asia” project also managed by GNF in Ta-Sanook village in Phang-Nga showed keen interest to develop apiculture as an alternative livelihood. Ta-Sanook village is a relatively close to Nai-Nang village, hence it became evident that something exciting could begin here. The knowledge gathered by locals from Nai-Nang village from several years of producing honey products could be shared directly to Ta-Sanook villagers. And this is what is currently taking place.
Early March 2016, 16 villagers from Ta-Sanook undertook a day long training under the supervision of the experienced leaders from Nai-Nang village. They demonstrated bee-keeping technics, shared beehive construction methods and gave important recommendations for producing honey. In addition, a second training session has been planned for the women of Nai Nang to teach their sisters at Ta Sanook the craft of making value added products such as shampoo, conditioner and hand soap.
This form of knowledge transfer is extremely thrilling and promising for community empowerment in the future.
Knowledge transfer between Nai-Nang and Ta-Sanook villagers
The story doesn’t end here. Ta-Sanook is only at the beginning of the journey. The next step is building the wooden bee-boxes so that wild bees (Apis Cerena) can colonize. The wood working tools, will be provided by MAP throughout the project, however, the community has been encouraged to use recycled wood for the construction of the hives because the bees only require a dry clean home, nothing fancy. The aim is that the twinned communities are able to support each other in their apiculture enterprise.
As part of the project, the village is also constructing a 70 m Mangrove Interpretative Nature Trail which will be a great asset for the Environmental Education program which will take place in the local school.
So these projects are allowing the transfer of local knowledge between communities but also to future generations, not bad yeah?!
Leo Thom, MAP vizual communication consultant, & Tim Plowden, a professional photograther based in Singapore join MAP-Asia staff, Jim & Ning in the field early December for 6 days in Krabi capturing film and photos for the production of an EPIC “short” video. The IUCN Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure Communities (EPIC) project taking place in 6 countries are producing short videos to spread the message that healthy ecosystems are critical to reducing the impacts of future disasters, known as Ecosystem Based Disaster Risk Reduction or Eco-DRR for short. Nature based solutions are an important strategy to deal with climate change intensified disasters. Mangroves are act as critical coastal bio shields which are able to self-repair following tropical storms, unlike man-made hard infrastructure. They also slow the process of coastal erosion which is accelerated by sea-level rise.
A morning view from Klong Lu homestay our base from which we explored the Muslim island in Krabi Province
Small scale, coastal fishing is the livelihood of most of Koh Klang’s inhabitants. A typical site of sun-drying fresh fish
The team shot video of the two EPIC mangrove restoration demonstration sites on Klang Island in the Krabi River estuary, as well as the project advisory committee meeting, site monitoring, hydrological improvement work, Project Abroad volunteers engaged in restoration site maintenance and interviewed key project stakeholders. Healthy mangroves ecosystems were filmed to illustrate the many goods & services obtained from mangroves, especially fishery based livelihoods.
Tim and Leo capturing footage of a healthy mangrove ecosystem on Koh Klang
Video scheduled to be complete in early March!
GNF New Restoration Site at Klong Lu Homestay, Krabi Underway
On 9 October, 2015 11 persons including 5 International volunteers from Project Abroad-Thailand on improving the hydrology at our new Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration(CBEMR) site at Klong Lu area, village no. 3, Klong Prasong District in Krabi province. The site is actually located on an island, Koh Klang, in the Krabi River Estuary where MAP’s EPIC sites are located. The work involved digging channels into the high middle area of the pond after a backhoe had excavated several channels to re-connect the abandon shrimp pond to the natural water canal.
The pond is owned by a family who also running a Klong Lu Homestay in the village. MAP staff have been staying at the homestay since last year during field work for our EPIC CBEMR sites. The owner was interested in joining the project on Mangrove Conservation and Restoration so we are grateful to be working with them at this new site. This restoration site will be also be developed as a mangrove learning center with a short loop mangrove nature trail for the non-formal students and homestay guests who visit Klong Lu.
On Friday the 12th of June, 2015 Projects Abroad joined forces with MAP staff at EPIC site 2. Projects Abroad arrived with a group of 15 volunteers with all hailing from Europe and Canada. There was a constant drizzle all day and nice cloud cover to keep the weather from becoming too hot, making for good working conditions.
Several objectives were on the list for that day with the first being trash pickup. The constant fluctuation of the tides brings trash that gets caught in the site area including large debris and trash, which is mainly plastic. MAP team member, Bobby, worked on repairing the fishnet fencing to keep goats. The second half of the day was spent repairing and rebuilding one side of the pond wall from erosion.
Removing trash and floating wooden debris that has accrued in the pond do to a damaged net over the water flow entrance.
Removing large debris from the pond will help protect sprouting seedlings from being damaged during tidal fluctuations.
Half way through the day lightning and thunder rolled in forcing us to take a hiatus from our activities. We used this time to discuss mangrove conservation and restoration techniques as well as mangrove ecology.
Stamping down the tidal wall reinforcement mud so that the high tide does not go over the wall and erode it.
Washing and cleaning the equipment makes a great end to the day.
Later in the day once the tide had gone to its lowest point and the trash and large debris had been removed we took a series of time-lapse photos for the site. These photos are important for monitoring site restoration progress and having picture evidence of what techniques have been working and what needs improvement. We have standardized the photos for the site and created reference points by placing pieces of PVC pipe in the ground to take pictures from, so that we may have consistency in our site documentation.
Time Lapse photo showing angle “A”, these photos are an easy, cheap and time efficient method of site monitoring.
Key Messages: Cleaning and maintaining the site of debris and trash not only helps protect the seedlings from the constant tidal fluctuations, soil and water contamination but also kept our time-lapse photos looking presentable and set a good example for the local people that trash in the environment should not be a common sight. By adding another mud layer to the pond retaining wall we were able to combat erosion for the time being and continue to control the water level of the pond. Controling the water level in the pond will encourage mud crab colonize the site and help create a more natural habitat for mangrove regeneration.
On Friday the 5th of June was World Environment Day, and to celebrate MAP, with the help of our sponsors Global Nature Fund (GNF), Earth Synchronicity and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ), participated in a large half-day environmental event for grade 7-9 students in Krabi town along with other groups such as RAKS Thai and government agencies. The event was hosted by the Krabi Provincial Administrative Organization and was attended by over 2000 students. Presented in MAP’s booth were large banners depicting mangrove species, benefits of mangroves, food webs and knowledge pertaining to restoration and conservation. To raise awareness amongst the students on what MAP does for the community and environment staff conducted fun and educational, question and answer games complete with prizes.
Eager students signing up for MAPs interactive Q&A game.
Through fun and interactive educational games, khun Bobby, managed to reach a large audience of students who were excited to learn about mangrove conservation and restoration.
With the help of MAP staff member, khun Chay, students were able to find the answers to questions by using the banners, their own personal experiences and analytical skills.
A student receiving a prize for the Q&A game, prizes included items such as pencils, colored pencils, crayons, coloring books, MAP t-shirts and candy.
MAP Staff Member, Ning, shows Nai Nang Collective’s Honey Products sold by community members at MAP’s booth. The honey is sustainably collected, all natural and helps support mangrove conservation and villager livelihoods in Nai Nang Village.The bee keeping group, Nai Nang Honey Collective, gathers its honey from one of MAPS Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR) sites which is sponsored by the Global Nature Fund (GNF).
Students proudly display some of the logos of MAP donors
Educational events such as these provide an excellent opportunity for students to get out of the class room and experience environmental conservation firsthand from organizations on the front lines. Through our fun and interactive game MAP was able to inspire students to participate and learn. MAPs dedicated staff are sure to have left a lasting impression on the students participating that day. The first step to action is education, and reaching impressionable minds at a young age is paramount in constructing a relationship between future influential community members and environmental conservation.