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Written by Zoë Shribman, MAP Office Development & Field Project Assistant (Intern)
MAP recently hosted a Facilitation Skills Workshop that was funded by a newly established Lush: Fresh Handmade Cosmetics grant, for MAP’s CBEMR Community Network Capacity Building program.
This workshop, which took place directly adjacent to a beautiful mangrove estuary in the town of Krabi, spanned four days at the beginning of May, 2018. There were 13 participants from five villages within MAP’s Community-Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR) Network throughout four provinces in Southern Thailand: Trang, Krabi, Phang-Nga, and Ranong.
MAP is developing this CBEMR Network, to emphasize building capacity for communities involved in CBEMR. MAP uses this network as a way to connect the many mangrove restoration sites, and for villagers to interact with people from other areas so they can learn from each other. This network provides an incredible framework to promote CBEMR awareness and offers an outlet to discuss what works and what doesn’t.
Each assigned to different stakeholder positions, participants roleplay a lively community meeting. Sometimes there were intense debates between stakeholders, and in other moments the entire room would burst into infectious laughter.
MAP conducted this workshop to encourage participants to become effective CBEMR ambassadors. This workshop aimed to provide resources and tools to help local leaders and local conservation advocates strengthen community organization. Through this training, participants learned how to be able to demonstrate the importance of CBEMR as representatives of their own communities and of MAP. Some of the basic facilitation skills MAP focused on included becoming an effective public speaker or presenter, leading community discussions, strategizing decision-making, and organizing successful participatory group meetings within local communities and with the public.
The workshop was structured with activities, group discussions, and roleplays, as well as individual and group presentations.
The villagers plan and give final presentations on their own experience with CBEMR to the group, using their newfound facilitation skills and public speaking confidence.
Participants reflected as the workshop came to a close, that they were happy to return home to their villages with newly acquired organizational skills and confidence in public speaking. They were eager to exchange contact information with everyone to stay in touch, so they could continue learning from each other in pursuit of CBEMR.
At the end of the workshop, participants enthusiastically award each other with certificates and share ideas of how they will apply the skills they have learned in the future.
And we’d like to give a big thank you to Lush: Fresh Handmade Cosmetics for their support with this successful and engaging workshop!
MAP Asia: Cleaning coastal communities and encouraging Krabi kids to care for their country
By MAP Intern: Amber Blowes Photography: Michael Wright
The 2016 World Environment Day weekend was a busy one for the staff at MAP Asia in Thailand with celebrations in Krabi, filming taking place at the EPIC ponds on Koh Klang and a clean-up at Ta-Sanook village, Phang Nga province.
Friday the 3rd of June dawned rainy, yet this did not stop thousands of school children descending upon the Krabi Provincial Administrative Organization for World Environment Day celebrations. Teaming up with the Nai Nang village beekeepers, the Global Nature Fund (GNF) of Germany and with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) support from Daimler AG, the Asia Office staff readied the display and activities in the inclement weather. The Nai Nang beekeepers brought along a selection of honey and soap, which garnered interest from children and adults alike. The children proved keen to learn about the importance of mangrove ecosystems, recycling, and the dangers of plastic pollution. Their enthusiasm and interest in our stall was evident, and everyone had a wonderful time. We can definitely say that we surprised many of them with our games, particularly when they learned just how long it takes for rubbish to break down (up to 600 years for nylon fishing line and up to 1000 years for polystyrene, just in case you were wondering)!
[Left] The MAP crew (staff, intern and Nai Nang Villagers) ready themselves for the incoming hordes of children. [Right] Listening attentively whilst Pick explains the breakdown of rubbish.
After some recuperation time we headed across the river to Koh Klang to meet up with Ning and Bastian Hartig. Bastian was filming EPIC’s mangrove restoration sites for an upcoming piece on the television program ‘Global Ideas’ for German network Deutsche Welle (DW). Keep an eye out for the release of this news piece in June on the Global Ideas website! For those of us who are new to MAP, we spent much of the time trudging through the deep, sticky mud, familiarising ourselves with the array of mangroves, crabs, molluscs and mudskippers which can be found on the site.
Bastian (in white) filming the preparation and planting of a few nipa palm seedlings on the EPIC project site.
Saturday the 4th started early with a drive to Ta-Sanook village for a clean-up at the just constructed short nature trail walk through the mangroves. There was plenty to do, with high tides sweeping in rubbish and debris, and left over construction materials to collect. For those of us who were spending our first high-tide in a Thai mangrove forest, it came as something of a surprise just how quickly the water rose through the forest. Soon enough, we were cleaning in water reaching our knees. Teaming together, we managed to shift left over construction materials from the nature trail and dismantle an abandoned shed, repurposing as many of the materials as possible.
Left over wood from the nature trail construction was collected for reuse.
After a truly delicious lunch provided by the locals, the village and staff regrouped and headed back out into the mangroves. Men, women and children all pitched in to comb through the mangroves, collecting garbage and recyclable items. We can report that the construction of the nature trail is progressing well, the mangroves are looking clean and we can’t wait to return to see it when it is complete!
Even the smallest residents of Ta-Sanook involved themselves in the clean-up.
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.
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.
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 actually producing them. Here, they were busy helping in the cooking phase which involved a lot of stirring.
One of the workshop stations was on packaging the products from the previous day…
… proudly displaying the products produced which were distributed to the participants for their personal use.
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.
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.
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.