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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.
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.