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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!
WHEN THE STUDENTS BECOME THE TEACHERS: Sweet golden honey helps communities and mangroves!
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
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
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?!
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.