CBEMR A Successful Method of
Mangrove Restoration

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Ban Tha Sanook

Ban Nai Nang

Koh Klang

Ban Laem Makham

Ban Bang Kang Kao

Ban Thung Gor

WHEN THE STUDENTS BECOME THE TEACHERS: Sweet golden honey helps communities and mangroves!

MAP meeting with Ta-Sanook villagers to kick off the DAIMLER project

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

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

Knowledge transfer between Nai-Nang and Ta-Sanook villagers

What’s next?

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?!

Download the MAP Mangrove Apiculture Information Sheet.

Make sure you follow each stage of the project on the MAP Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MangroveAction/?fref=ts

By Manon Whittaker, MAP Asia Intern

An EPIC Mangrove Video

EPIC Project - Mangrove Conservation Work in Koh Klaeng, Krabi, Thailand with Mangrove Action Project

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

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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.

Please click here to see the Facebook Photo Album

By: Mery Christina Nainggolan (Tina), MAP Intern Thailand

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Project Abroad volunteers working on improving hydrology at CBEMR Klong Lu site

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Project Abroad volunteers working on improving hydrology at CBEMR Klong Lu site

 

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Project Abroad volunteer working on improving hydrology at CBEMR Klong Lu site

 

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Project Abroad volunteers, Klong Lu homestay owners and MAP staff are ready for the beach clean up

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Project Abroad volunteers clean up the Klong Lu beach area

 

 

EPIC site #2 Clean Up and Pond Wall Reinforcement With Projects Abroad

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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 debris that has accrued in the pond do to a damaged net over the water flow entrance.

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.

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.

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 flood the pond.

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.

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.

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.

World Environment Day Thailand Student Event

WED Feat Photo

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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

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.

Link to Facebook photo album: https://www.facebook.com/mapvolunteer/media_set?set=a.1097837216898623.1073741830.100000170652142&type=3&notif_t=like 

By: Robbie Carrasco, MAP Intern Thailand

Projects Abroad Beach Forest Planting

Beach forest planting

The morning of May 22nd MAP met with volunteers from Projects Abroad on Koh Klang to work on the abandoned shrimp farm EPIC site #1  in Ban Klong Kum and start a new project replanting a portion of the beach forest at the same property.  At the abandoned shrimp pond, MAP staff led a group of volunteers that continued to transplant sesuvium portulacastrum to the pond wall slope in order to provide a natural “net” to catch mangrove seedlings while at the same time preventing erosion from tidal movement and rain.

Objective: To plant 150 beach forest trees of 5 different species. Mr. Sompoch, MAP’s Technical Adviser, led the group, directing the volunteers on where and how to plant the trees.

In the distance is healthy beach forest. The planting took place left in the brush because of beach erosion that has already occurred.

In the distance is healthy beach forest. The planting took place left in the grassy area because beach erosion has already occurred.

MAP staff member, Bobby, moving debris away from the base of a planted beach forest tree.

MAP staff member, Bobby, moving debris away from the base of a planted beach forest tree.

Key Message: Beach forest species are special in their ability to thrive in very sandy, salty, and windy conditions allowing them to grow in areas where other plants including mangroves would not survive. By replanting the damaged beach forest we can help protect the ecosystems behind and the community inland from storm damage and help slow beach erosion.

Tha Sa Nook Village GNF Project site Hydrology Improvement

Feature Image Tha Sa Nook

May 19th, 20th and 21st MAP worked with Tha Sa Nook villagers under the Global Nature Fund (GNF) project in Phang Nga Province.

The objectives are to help improve the hydrology of the abandoned shrimp pond using CBEMR methods and techniques by working with the villagers to improve the land conditions for mangrove to regnerate. When the hydrology is improved adequately mangrove volunteers will start to seed and repopulate the pond. By repopulating the abandoned shrimp farm with mangroves we can create more habitat for fish, improving the catch of local village fishermen and rebuild the ecosystem.

MAP staff discussing hydrology strategy with local village workers

MAP staff Khun Chay discussing hydrology strategy with local village workers

MAP Staff member, Ning, educates the villagers who will work on the project about how improving the hydrology of the pond will lead to natural mangrove repopulation.

MAP Staff member, Ning, educates the villagers who will work on the project about how improving the hydrology of the pond will lead to mangrove regeneration.

Villagers and MAP intern work on creating a channel to help the water drain properly from the abandoned shrimp pond.

Villagers and MAP intern work on creating a channel to help the water drain properly from the abandoned shrimp pond.

Key Message: A common problem with restoring many abandoned shrimp ponds is the bottom is often low, so poorly drained, remaining wet too long which is a stress for mangrove seedlings.  Mangroves prefer to be dry (no standing water) for approximately two-thirds of the time which facilitates good oxygen exchange.   The easiest way to partly overcome this problem is to ensure the tidal connection(s) to the pond are wide enough so water can enter and exist at a similar rate to the natural mangrove outside the pond.   Smaller hand dug channels, imitating tidal creeks, can help water drain from the site as the bottoms are flat, while the natural mangrove has rolling elevations to facilitate drainage.

Involving the local community is extremely important in the longevity and sustainability of the project. When the local people have a stake in the quality of the ecosystem they will take personal initiative and responsibility for its conservation and restoration. Through awareness building we can help the local people develop conservation techniques and skills to better help them restore and protect their mangrove.

 

Scientific Monitoring begins on EPIC Sites

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On Thursday the 23rd of April, scientific monitoring  began on the two EPIC sties on Koh Klang. Four members of MAP staff carried out the monitoring, learning new techniques to ensure that they could get as much information from each site as possible. There are 9 3mx3m fixed quadrats established on each site and these will be monitored over the next five years.  This first monitoring is known as ‘Time 0’ which is on completion of the physical hydrological correction and future monitoring will occur at Time 0, 3, 6 , 12, 18, 24, 36, 48 and 60 months.

Objective: The monitoring will allow MAP to understand how mangroves restore and what conditions allow the establishment of the most volunteer seedlings. It is important for us to understand how different conditions affect the speed and success of restoration.

Many different things are looked at inside of the plots, including the cover of grass species and mud…..

A number of things were are looked at inside of the plots, including the percent cover of grass species and mud…..

Species identification is also key…..

Species identification is also key…..

The height of the seedlings in each plot was recorded too. As they grow, more and more data can be collected from them.

The main observation will be of volunteer recruitment of mangroves and associates within the permanent plots.  The height of any seedlings present in each plot was recorded.

Key Message: Learning how to monitor and using a consistent method is very important to allow any information that is collected to be accurate and reliable. Over the next few years, MAP will hopefully have enough information to be able to inform future restoration techniques used by other wishing to covert abandoned ponds back to mangroves.

Test Planting Sesuvium Portulacastrum & Seedlings in EPIC Site

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On Friday the 24th of April, Projects Abroad helped MAP staff test transplanting Sesuvium portulacastrum along the pond bank of one EPIC site to help stabilise the bank slope and trap mangrove seeds.   MAP has conducted a new experiment on what conditions of ground surface that will allow the establishment of the volunteer seedlings inside the pond by creating 6mx6m fixed quadrat of 4 different applications. MAP staff led the group of Projects Abroad volunteers to loosen the soil in the 1st plot, transplanting the sesuvirum portulacastrum in the 2nd plot, doing nothing in 3rd plot (control) and planting Rhizophora aciculate propagules in the 4th test plot.

Objective: To test transplant Sesuvium portulacastrum to reduce erosion of the site’s pond slopes and carry our an experiment on test planting on the pond bottom surface to understand what conditions of soil surface will help facilitate the establishment of  volunteer mangrove seedlings. It is important for us to better understand how different conditions affect the speed and success of restoration.

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Trash clean up crew hard work helping to set a good example amongst locals.

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Test planting Rhizophora apiculata propagules along the pond channel under the instruction of conservation leader Mr. Bang Non.

Planting sesuvium to stabilise the bank

Transplanting sesuvium to stabilise the soil on pond bank slope.

Sesuvium portulacastrum

Sesuvium portulacastrum

Making surface rough to test natural recruitment

Making soil surface rough to test to see if this will assist natural recruitment.

Let's improve the hydrology

Let’s improve the hydrology

key message: We have noticed that mangrove propagules have established in grass and Sesuvium portulacastrum areas of the pond but there are no volunteer propagules / seedlings establishing in the muddy surface areas.  Some areas have not had any vegetation for nearly 30 years now.  We would like to find out why so that is why we’re conducting this test planting experiment.

World Earth Day: Environmental Education and Community Development Camp, Bang Kang Khao School

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In celebration of World Earth Day on the 22nd of April 2015, MAP Asia held a two and a half day environmental education and community development camp in Bang Kang Kao community, Trang province one of the GNF (Global Nature Fund) sites between the 20th and 22nd of April. This camp involved around 20 facilitators including staff from MAP, members of the community, and student volunteers from Surat Thani Rajabhat University and staff from the Bang Kang Kao School.

The objective of this camp was two fold; provide the Bang Kang Khao School with mangrove awareness display exhibits and expand the environmental education knowledge of of 21 students in years four and five, with a focus on mangrove ecosystems.  The main learning goal was for for students to understand the benefits that mangroves provide by learning from facilitator experts and local community people who have direct first-hand experience.

The first day started with some ‘ice-breaker’ activities as the group got to know each other. Soon, the group was split in to two and the first tasks started…..

The first day started with some ‘ice-breaker’ activities as the group got to know each other. Soon, the group was split in to two and the first tasks started…..

One group was sent to paint the shower rooms to give them an environmental conservation theme….

 

others started to build the foundations for a new environmental exhibition centre on the school grounds.

Surat Thani Rajaphat University students started to build the foundations for a new environmental exhibition centre on the school grounds.

some discussions in the evening and a nights rest, the next days started with some exercises to wake everyone up…..

The group was then split into five teams where there would learn about different topics with local experts. The topics included: Waste Management, Mangrove Species, The Ecological Mangrove Restoration technique, Mangrove Fauna, Herb Harvesting from Mangroves……

Groups were then given some time to prepare a performance which they would give to  everyone to try and teach them what they had learnt.

Groups were then given some time to prepare a performance which they would give to everyone to try and teach them what they had learnt.

The next day was the closing ceremony where everyone who took part was given a certificate, presented to them by the Chief Primary Education Officer of Trang…..

 

The chief education officer, alongside MAP staff, was then able to carry out the official opening of the exhibition centre……

The Chief Primary Education Officer, alongside MAP-Asia staff, was then able to carry out the official opening of the exhibition centre……

Finally, school children and university students took part in some practical conservation work as they planted mangrove propagules in the local EMR site.

Finally, school children and university students took part in some practical conservation work as they a planted a few mangrove propagules in the local EMR site.

Key Message: Overall, it is hoped that these important mangrove conservation and environmental messages are able to reach the younger generation as they become the major force in conservation and restoration of mangroves in their own community in the future. The three days have been a truly memorable experience with a brilliant range of activities which hopefully can be repeated in the future.