Tag Archives: CBEMR

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 donor keen to learn from local communities

Informal exchange of information with Bang Non Mee Lam, local conservation leader of Klang Island, Krabi.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

 

MAP Asia hosts CBEMR field visits for DMCR and IUCN

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On Wednesday the 8th and Thursday the 9th of April, MAP Asia, with assistance from Raks Thai (CARE Thailand) Foundation, hosted a visit for members of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), DMCR (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources) and people from the local communities. Representative included Mr Chakri Roadfai (Director of Mangrove Resources Conservation Office, DMCR) and Dr Chamniern (Country Representative, IUCN Thailand). The representatives would be visiting five sites over two days as a key component of MAP’s Ecosystems Protection Infrastructure and Communities (EPIC) project.

Objectives: The main objectives of this visit was to show real examples of restoration projects and help to increase the understanding of their failings or successes, hoping that lessons can be learned and integrated into future restoration, management and policy. Raising awareness of the CBEMR (Community Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration) technique was also very important.

The first meeting point was at Ban Lang a where Ning and Jim explained how the site here was worked on by Wetlands International in 2009 with MAP as a partner helping to implement the CBEMR technique.

The first meeting point was at Ban Lang Da where Ning and Jim explained how the site here was worked on by Wetlands International in 2009 with MAP as a partner helping to implement the CBEMR technique.

Representatives were shown the site, there was particular interest in the number of volunteer seedlings present and how well the mangrove trees had established.

Representatives were shown the site, there was particular interest in the number of volunteer seedlings present and how well the mangrove trees had established. (Photo Credit: Donnapat Tamornsuwan, Raks Thai)

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The site was clearly doing very well! (Photo Credit: Donnapat Tamornsuwan, Raks Thai)

 

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The next visit was to Klong Yang where members of the community were able to talk to the group about the important work that had been taking place in collaboration with the Raiks Thai Foundation after the planting that took place previously by DMCR.

There was keen interest in this site as some areas were successfully regenerating but other areas around had failed. Jim was able to highlight just how important the hydrology of the site is in allowing for regeneration.

There was keen interest in this site as some areas were successfully regenerating but other areas around had failed. Jim Enright, MAP Asia Co-ordinator, was able to highlight just how important the hydrology of the site is in allowing for regeneration.

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After a nights rest, it was time to make our way to Koh Klang. EPIC Site #1 was visited first. The group as able to notice the clear difference between it and the surrounding abandoned shrimp ponds.

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Secondly, a mangrove site of 13 ha which had been illegally cut 2 years ago was visited. Everyone was shocked by what had happened and there were discussions on how to take this issue forward. The DMCR were particularly interested in getting involved further.

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The final site to be visited was EPIC Site #2. The fisheries aspect that was integrated into this site interested many of the group as they could see the clear benefit for the land leasee.

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Finally, everyone sat to discuss what they had learnt from the two day visit and what the next steps were to ensure that these findings could feed into future work with mangrove forest restoration.

 

Key Message: It is really important to ensure that we learn from the work that we and others do and we are able to show this to the important decision makes in the ‘world of mangroves’. Making a difference where policy and management is concerned across Thailand would be a big achievement for MAP. Already this meeting has brought up many questions which will hopefully encourage further involvement with these brilliant sites, along with the potential for further funding to continue CBEMR at other sites on Klang Island and elsewhere. There has already been discussions about further collaboration between the representatives that attended the meetings, as well as the potential for further funding for project sites. Keep a look out for future blog posts and Facebook updates to hear about the continued progress with this work.

Work Continues on the CBEMR site at Klong Kum village on Klang Island, Krabi

MAP Asia, Project Abroad and Local Community Digging Team

Work by Hand

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.

Boy DiggingTeam Work

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.

Girl DiggingWith 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.

Canal High TideWhat’s Next?

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.