Tag Archives: BAN NAI NANG

CBEMR A Successful Method of
Mangrove Restoration

Nai Nang’s honey will “BEE” in the best hotels of Thailand!

By Isabel Robinson, MAP Volunteer Intern

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 boxeimg_2603s 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
mangrove pollination.

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.

img_2677Part 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.

img_26712This 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!

MAP-Asia helps to spread gold

Proud Apis cerana

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

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

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.

Sampling the honey

Sean (in black) and Nok (in white) sampling the honey

Key Points:
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.

Click for MAP’s Apiculture Information Sheet

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

GNF Project helps communities learn to make products from honey

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On April 8th and 9th, 2015, 3 MAP-Asia staff co-organised a workshop under the Global Nature Fund (GNF) project support with 5 trainers from the “Office of Extension and Training on Economic Based on Insect-derived Products of Chumphon Province” (ศูนย์ส่งเสริมเทคโนโลยีการเกษตรด้านแมลงเศรษฐกิจ จังหวัดชุมพร), a branch of the Department of Agricultural Extension of Thailand. The workshop focused on products made with honey and bee wax and trained about 35 participants of the bee-raising livelihood group of Ban Nai Nang, Krabi province. The training workshop was held through the courtesy of one of the members of the Bee Keeping Livelihood group who kindly provided her home as a venue for the meeting.

The objectives of the 1.5-day workshop were to show participants how to make shampoo, conditioner, soap bar, body liquid soap, and medicinal balms that used natural plants mixed with honey or bee wax. Participants made the products themselves during the training session. Ultimately, the aim of the workshop was to help the community economically by allowing them to save on household expenditure and/or have an additional source of income by making their own products.

Community members were shown how to make the products by "getting their hand dirty"! Here, they were busy helping in the cooking phase which involved a lot of steering.

Community members were shown how to make the products by actually producing them. Here, they were busy helping in the cooking phase which involved a lot of stirring.

There was a workshop station for packaging the production of the day before...

One of the workshop stations was on packaging the products from the previous day…

... proudly displaying the production of the day. All the products were distributed to the participants for their private use.

… proudly displaying the products produced which were distributed to the participants for their personal use.

The governor of the Province of Krabi payed a visit and commented

And surprise! Surprise! The governor of the Province of Krabi payed a visit!  He commented that in the future all the communities of Krabi that have a bee group should come together to exchange their experience and knowledge on bee raising and how to make a livelihood from honey and wax products.

Key messages

Bung Tee, chief of the bee raising group and member of the conservation group, said that they started the bee raising group in their community because they realised the benefit of bees as pollinators for mangroves. They wanted to restore the mangrove in Ban Nai Nang and to generate additional income from selling honey. The bee raising group originated with a few members from the conservation group but now it has grown to 39 members with 187 beehives in Ban Nai Nang.

In addition, Bung Harim, another member of the bee raising group and conservation group, noticed that the more bees in his rice paddy, the less pests he had. He said that he thinks that it’s the bees that help keep the pests away and pollinate the rice. The quality of his rice has improved and he does not need to spend money on pesticides.

GNF project holds a workshop and study tour in Trang

On February 4th-5th, 2015, MAP and the Raks Thai Foundation (Care Thailand) gathered 20 community members from four villages that take part in the GNF project, namely Ban Bang Kang Kao and Ban Laem Makham in Trang provinceBan Nai Nang in Krabi province, and Ban Ta Sa Nook in Phang Nga province.

The objective of the workshop and study tour was to discuss livelihoods and exchange experiences on the practice of CBEMR.

This was the first time for all communities under the “Mangrove Restoration and Reforestation in Asia, a Project for Knowledge Exchange and Action to Reduce Climate Change, and Protect Forest Biodiversity” that is supported by Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Germany, Foundation Ursula Merz, Global Nature Fund and Synchronicity Earth to come together and share experience. This idea came from the project participants themselves and MAP staff facilitated by organising this two-day workshop and field study trip.

exchanged about their respective experiences on setting up livelihood groups (examples: fish raising group, apiculture group, soap making group) and about the types of benefits and drawbacks these groups provided. They highlighted how livelihood groups were a source of additional income and created a sense of unity among the group members. Often, however, group members lacked the skills to market their products. A solution mentioned to alleviate this situation was to get guidance from a relevant NGO.

In the afternoon, everyone went out in the field to visit the CBEMR restoration sites in Bang Kang Kao village and in Laem Makham village. On this photo, the small nursery in on of the sites of Bang Kang Kao village is visible in the background.

Community members in charge of the sites were particularly eager on discussing the rehabilitation process and exchanging ideas on how to improve the hydrology of certain areas. A contact person from Laem Ma Kham highlighted how despite the particularly slow tree regeneration in his site (a former rice paddle field), the hydrological restoration had already brought back crabs and fish that the community had started harvesting again.

MAP facilitators taught the CBEMR practitionners from the communities how to perform time lapse photos to monitor restoration progress on the sites.

In the morning, everyone departed for a half-day visit of the mangrove and sea grass restoration site organised by BorHin farm stay further illustrated how connections could be made between sustainable livelihoods, the wise use and management of natural resources and biodiversity conservation. MAP facilitators of this event were Mr. Chanaphat Suntonkitjaporn and Mr. Rueangborom Petcharat.

The manager of BorHin farm stay explains how seagrass is restored with the help of voluntary tourists planting seedlings at low tide.

Key message…

It was interesting to note how the experience from setting up the apiculture group by the community members in Nai Nang village was particularly successfull at making obvious the connection between the sustainable management of the mangrove and the benefits people could derive from it for their livelihoods. Nai Nang community members highlighted how restoring the mangrove would benefit them by improving their harvest of honey, but also, reciprocally, how their activity of raising bees was beneficial for the restoration of the mangrove since it supported plant pollination. This experience was appealing to the other communities who expressed their interest in also setting apiculture groups in their villages.

CMEMR work on new site begins: Nai Nang, Krabi Province, Thailand

NN 09-14June14 (2)

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.

The digging let the water going out

Backhoe deepening the pond connect to the river to allow good drainage.

The backhoe allow the seeds to come in the shrimp pond

Backhoe installing culverts to restore normal hydrology.

Test for the honey

Bee hives constructed in rubber plantation for honey production.

Livelihoods

Local school activity: a student is preparing the soil to plant a seed

Meeting with the MMU and the DMCR chiefs

MAP staff, Khun Nick, meeting with the MMU and the DMCR Regional Office #2 chief