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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 province, Ban 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.
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.
After an unusual long period of dry season which stressed seedlings at our CBEMR sites as well as the nurseries, it rains again in Trang Province. Although this is a good news for mangrove, a storm also caused some damages to the nursery in Laem Makham (LMK) Village, one of our CBEMR sites. Therefore, the nursery needs to be fixed, and materials have already been purchased. Also, more seeds will be planted for LMK nursery to replace those did not survive the drought in the last few months.