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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.
The Body Shop Foundation (TBSF), a charitable trust of the British cosmetics and skin care company of the same name which supports several volunteering and community-based projects around the worldwide. A new CBEMR project in an abandoned shrimp pond on Klang Island, Krabi is now underway with TBSF funding. MAP already has 3 restoration sites on Klang Island, so this is the 4th site and is being referred to as TBSF site. It officially started in Jan. 2017
Synchronicity Earth (SE), a UK registered charity, is funding MAP's largest to-date mangrove restoration site in Thung Yor Village, Klong Thom District, Krabi. SE's aim is to provide a framework for enlightened environmental giving, globally. SE's is engaging people from all backgrounds in co-creating the solutions to our ecological crisis. This project to restore a 3 abandonned shrimp pond site using CBEMR is taking place under SE's regeneration portfolio which supports local organisations to restore severely degraded forest, wetland, riverine and coastal ecosystems. The Thung Yor (TY) site started in Jan. 2017.
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.
On January 16th, 2015, 8 volunteers and 2 staff members from Projects Abroad together with 14 villagers from the Klong Prasong district were back in Koh Klang village to work at EPIC-CBEMR site # 2.
The objective of this one-day field work was to provide a short ecology training to the volunteers, survey the mangrove species and fix the sluice gate.
Jim Enright, MAP Asia Coordinator, gave an overview of the EPIC project and pointed the potential EPIC restoration sites on the map of abandon shrimp ponds.
Projects Abroad volunteers surveyed the ponds in the morning. One group counted the crab holes in a 50-cm quadrat as an indicator of fauna colonising the site. Crabs are important for aeration of the soil burrowing leaf litter.
Meanwhile, a second group surveyed seedlings, known as volunteers, naturally regenerating on site. In a 10-m square area 6 mangrove species were observed indicating healthy biodiversity.
Before lunch break some volunteers collected garbage around the pond. This time 2 bags were collected.
In the afternoon, Projects Abroad volunteers joined the villagers to fix the pond’s sluice gate… working in the mud!
The work progressed rapidly on that day thanks to the good weather and the enthusiasm of the Projects Abroad volunteers. The visit was a good mixture of helping fix some issues in the pond, such as fixing the sluice gate, and teaching the Projects Abroad volunteers about the ecology of mangroves and ecology field survey methods.
On December 15th, MAP spent the day with international volunteers from Project Abroad, an international volunteer overseas program with a marine and coastal project based in Krabi.
On Koh Klang, Krabi the volunteers helped with the restoration of an abandoned shrimp farm so it will one day become a mangrove forest.
The group of volunteers didn’t have to wait long until the locals led them into the muddy pond, showing them the best way to use the digging equipment.
There was also a lot of trash – 25 bags of waste and 4 bags of recyclables – collected from around the pond.
Thanks to the group from Projects Abroad and the good weather, work continued rapidly that day.
A study tour was organized by MAP from 9-13 December 2014. It was one of activities of the two year McKnight Foundation supported project entitled: Capacity Strengthening for Local Community Communities in Coastal and Tonle Sap Region to Adapt to the Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security. This trip was the first time for PMCR staff to learn and exchange experiences together with community representatives from project sites in Cambodia in Thailand.
Visiting a local krajood weaving group
The group consisted of 6 community and government representatives from Cambodia, one representative from Green Skills, an NGO based in Western Australia, Map Asia staff and one translator, who made overcoming the language barrier between Thai and Khmer easy.
On the wetlands boardwalk
After the introduction at MAP Asia’s office in Trang, the group had the opportunity to visit several places in various provinces of Thailand.
These included: Thalay-Noi wetlands in Phattalung province, where the participants met Non-hunting area officers, took part in a boat tour and visited a local reed weaving group;
MAPs CBEMR sites in Ban Kan Khao, Trang province and rehabilitated CBEMR sites and bamboo fence at Koh Klang village in Krabi province.
Visiting the bamboo fence which successfully stops costal erosion
The group also had the chance to tour the mangrove forest in Klong Prasong sub-district by long tail boat. They learnt plenty of information about the mangrove forest and its history.
On the last day, the wrap up session was held in the Mangrove Management Unit in Krabi town. The participants reflected on the past days and shared what they had learnt and how they will apply their experience to their communities in Cambodia.
In the mangrove
Thanks to everyone for making the study tour a success!
Study trip on Community based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR)
Study trip on Community based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR)
From the 16-18th of November, Ms. Jaruwan Kaewmahanin, Mr. Donnapat Tamornsuwan and Mr. Sompoch Nimsanticharoen coordinated a workshop on the Community based Ecological Mangrove Restoration method. The 35 participants attending this workshop were mainly a group of community members under the support of Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) and Global Nature Fund (GNF) spported projects.
The group had the opportunity to visit Baan Thalay Nok, the Andaman Coastal Research Center and Baan Tub Nua.
To have a clear understanding of the goals and prospective outcomes of the CBEMR method, the training workshop has proven itself to be very useful; not only to discuss about mangrove restoration, but also to share previous experiences between facilitators and participants on mangrove restoration.
Last week, Ning Enright and the new MAP volunteer, Lena Donald, met the members of the village #1 working on the EPIC site #2 on Koh Klang.
While at the pond, Ning led a discussion with the women’s group about community based projects. She gave them a review about about the overall EPIC (Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities) project objective, such as promoting healthy ecosystems and disaster reduction.
The women respond that they understand their work is essential for food security.
At the same time, their activity creates jobs and the income is being gained by local communities.
Knowing that this work is being done in several countries worldwide, the community feels that their effort is deeply beneficial.
On October 7th, MAP staff member, Jaruwan Enright (Ning), visited the CBEMR site #1 at Village No. 3, Klong Gam in Krabi.
The eight villagers from Klong Prasong’s village number 1 and another six helpers from village number 2 on Koh Klang were working together with Mr. Somphot Nimsuntijaroen, a fishery adviser for MAP.
Working in the mud
The group was grading the slope along the bank of the pond so the mangrove seedlings would have more space to settle and grow. Additionally, they worked on fixing the sluice gate to make sure that the hydrology inside the pond would flow naturally.
Grading the slope
Work Continues on the CBEMR site at Klong Kum village on Klang Island, Krabi
With the help from Project Abroad, an international volunteer overseas program with a marine and coastal project based in Krabi, and more than a few local community members, work continued on the hydrology restoration of an abandoned pond on Klang Island in the Krabi River estuary. The combined efforts of the multi-national team using shovels and broad hoes effectively continued the work of digging canals through the center of the pond for tidal water access without the use of heavy machinery.
Jim Enright, MAP Asia Coordinator, spent some time with our friends at Projects Abroad showing them around the site, introducing them to mangroves and wetland ecology. He explained the mangrove restoration demonstration site is part of an international project called Ecosystems Projecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) supported by the German Government’s International Climate Initiative (ICI) which is promoting Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) or Eco Disaster Risk Reduction (Eco-DRR). This was actually MAP’s first time to work in partnership with Project Abroad in the field and the newcomers took no time at all jumping right into the work, plenty willing to get their hands dirty. In addition to the hydrology restoration, the volunteers combed the site, making sure to collect trash to be taken off island.
With the sheer number of workers combined with their enthusiasm, the work progressed more swiftly than anticipated and clear skies, atypical for this time of year, made sure there were no interruptions. An entire canal running from one edge of the site, through the center, to the other edge was just about completed and careful attention was made that it would meet the goals of the hydrology plan. This canal was specifically designed to maximize mangrove growth. This means that specific consideration was paid to the elevation and width to make sure tidal waters would efficiently flow through and recede as to ensure the mangroves would enjoy the proper ecological environment.
The next steps to be taken on Klang Island will be to build another canal for the site. This one will be wider and deeper to support tidal flushing, good drainage and support silvofisheries for local harvesting and sustainable economic development. Another task will be grading the slopes of the pond banks to increase the area of mangrove habitat.
Physical Work on CBEMR site on Klang Island, Krabi is Finally Underway
After almost six months waiting for a backhoe to undertake the hydrological restoration work in an abandoned pond in Klong Kum village on Klang Island in Krabi it all finally began on July, 17. There were many reasons for the delays, enough to fill a chapter of a book, so we will not go into them here other than to say it has been much more complicated then MAP had ever foreseen. The inner pond was too wet and soft, as we’re in the midst of the monsoon season, so the heavy equipment could not enter the pond itself for fear of getting bogged down in the muck. As a result only about 70% of the work could be completed after 3 days of the backhoe operating from the pond bun. Lessons have been learnt, but most issues were beyond our control so obtaining heavy equipment to do excavation work when and where we need it for Community-based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR) remains a huge challenge.
This CBEMR project involves developing a silvofisheries system within the abandoned pond to provide livelihood support while allowing mangroves to naturally recolonize much of the pond area. This involved digging a deeper channel about 3 meters wide and a meter deep, which circles the outer edge of the pond, where fish can take refuge at low tide. The present concept involves no stocking and will operate naturally without feeding. Fish harvested within the pond will be recorded to evaluate the productivity and economic return from silvofisheries. The site will receive regular tidal exchange twice a day and which will bring mangrove seeds into the system.
Backhoe excavating silvofishers channel in pond where fish can take refuge at low tide.
After the system flushes for about a month and stabilizes the soil and pH adjusts, Sesuvium portulacastrum will be planted to help to stabilize the dykes and reduce erosion. Also some experimental planting of mangrove seeds will be carried out to test the soil conditions. If conditions are good broadcasting mangrove seeds on an incoming Spring tide may be used to kick-start the natural regeneration.
MAP and Bang Non discuss the new CBEMR site with Imam, the pond owner.
This CBEMR project is taking place under the Ecosystems Protecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) project which emphasizes Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) to reduce nature disasters, particularly tropical storms in this case. EPIC is funded by the Germany Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety’s International Climate Initiative (BMU-ICI). If the mangrove bio-shield can be restored in sheltered abandoned shrimp ponds along the coast of Thailand and other countries in Asia this will be a win-win-win situation for Disaster Risk Reduction, improved fisheries, local food security, plus climate change protection by making sure carbon in the soils is re-locked up and sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere by the recovering mangrove forest.
MAP staff members, Jim Enright and Niyom Thongmean (Nick), on June 30 started to undertake a baseline data survey of a second CBEMR demonstration site on Klong Island in the Krabi River Estuary. The abandoned shrimp pond site is located in Klong Prasong Village and will be restored under MAP’s Ecosystem Protecting Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) project http://www.epicproject.net/?page_id=15 which has a focus on using Ecosystem based Adaptation (EbA) for Disaster Risk Reduce (DRR). Restoring mangroves in abandoned ponds in coastal areas will help rebuild the natural bio-shield which healthly mangroves can provide. The survey work included recording the present mangrove trees species and mangrove saplings growing in the pond, mainly along the dyke walls and measuring the pond bottom strata elevation using an auto-level. The next step will be to develop the mangrove restoration plan with a focus on encouraging mud crabs within the pond in order to support local livelihoods based on restored mangroves.
Field visit to discuss restoration plan
Meeting with the mosque Iman, the site owner at Klong Prasong village
Using the auto-level to measure the pond level strata elevation
CMEMR work on new site begins: Nai Nang, Krabi Province, Thailand
During the week of (June, 9th to 14th) CBEMR field work began at a new site in in Nai Nang Village, Krabi province, Thailand, in order to restore the hydrology of two disused shrimp ponds. The objective of restoring the hydrology is to imitate nature which will allow mangrove seeds to enter with the tide and for the water to fully drain, down just like the mangrove forest, at low tide. On arrival MAP’s two Global Nature Fund project staff, Khun Por and Khun Nick, met the conservation group members of the new site in order to introduce MAP and explain the needed CBEMR work to be undertaken in the abandoned shrimp ponds. They also talked to community members about improving livelihoods, like bee raising and honey production. The supplementary livelihood discussion linked to mangrove conservation is still on-going, but the bee keepers are very interested in learning about honey marketing, as well as improved bee raising techniques.. MAP staff also met the MMU (Mangrove Management Unit) chief and the DMCR (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources) chief to get their approval for the backhoe to dig at the site. The next step will be to clean the site of all the rubbish and wait for the tide to adjust the bottom of the ponds. More digging will likely be necessary but this will probably only involve digging using hand tools.
Backhoe deepening the pond connect to the river to allow good drainage.
Backhoe installing culverts to restore normal hydrology.
Bee hives constructed in rubber plantation for honey production.
Local school activity: a student is preparing the soil to plant a seed
MAP staff, Khun Nick, meeting with the MMU and the DMCR Regional Office #2 chief