Mangrove Action Project

Mangrove Action Project (MAP)

The Mangrove Action Project (MAP) is dedicated to reversing the degradation and loss of mangrove forest ecosystems worldwide. Its primary goal is to promote the rights of traditional and indigenous coastal peoples, including fishers and farmers, to sustainably manage their coastal environments. In 2001 MAP established its first regional office in Trang, Thailand which now overseas projects in Southeast and South Asia.

The MAP Asia office is directly involved in managing and facilitating a variety of community-based programmes within the North Andaman region of Thailand. Specifically, the projects are being carried out in fisheries dependent villages along the Andaman coast in the Phang Nga and Ranong provinces. In collaboration with partnering organizations Naucrates and Andaman Discoveries, MAP Asia is working toward empowering local communities through the following:

  1. Youth environmental education programs
  2. Natural resource management capacity building efforts
  3. Mangrove restoration programs
  4. Community-based tourism initiatives
  5. Supplementary livelihood development projects

Contact: Jim Enright, MAP Asia Coordinator

MAP North Andaman Projects

Ban Lion Community Natural Resource Conservation and Management Project

handicraft making in Ban Lion village

The Ban Lion village is a newly created post-tsunami community established with support from Lions Clubs International. It was developed in response to the displacement of tsunami victims from several villages on the island of Koh Phra Thong. In 2008, MAP and partnering organization Naucrates initiated a two year "Community Natural Resource Conservation and Management Project" with funding from The Lion Foundation, Thailand. Some of the project's goals and objectives include: introducing environmentally friendly practices to improve the living conditions of the Ban Lion village community; strengthening local community capacity to implement conservation programs; increase scientific knowledge of the biology and conservation of marine turtles while involving villagers in the protection of their habitats; increrase local environmental awareness; and develop a homestay programme for Thai and foreign visitors.

The project has been largely successful in working toward these goals. In addition to the village "greening" and homestay initiatives, great strides in community environmental education and awareness have occurred through the Community Coastal Resource Centre (CCRC). The CCRC consists of two donated houses converted into a simple community nature and education centre which is the focal point for conservation activities. Furthermore, the project has successfully involved the village in natural resource conservation and management through the creation of a local conservation coordination team, participation in mangrove study, and rehabilitation, along with research, and sea turtle activities. Ultimately, the project shows great potential for continued growth and success.

Seagrass Monitoring at Ban Lion

In June 2009, MAP initiated a programme to monitor seagrass with the participation of local people from Ban Lion village. The monitoring follows the scheme of Seagrass-Watch, which has sites in several countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The seagrass meadows near the village are an important fisheries resource, yielding molluscs, crab, shrimp, sea cucumbers, and fish (especially rabbitfish and groupers).

Youth in Action for Next Generations

The seagrass is also food for the endangered species such as dugongs and sea turtles, which are the focus of important regional conservation efforts. Early monitoring efforts found seagrass feeding trails representing the presence of dugong grazing.  This further supports the need for locals to undertake seagrass conservation measures. Addtionally, there is great concern from the local community about the protection of fisheries stocks from over-exploitation by outsiders. Thier participation in seagrass monitoring improves their stewardship abilities and responsibility for the seagrass environment.

For more information please see article "Lion Village" in Seagrass-Watch Issue 38 September 2009.

Youth in Action for Next Generations

Youth groups from the Upper Andaman Coast have operated sustainable development projects for several years. Youth in Action for Next Generations (YANG) (a project supported by the EU) is helping to build upon youth's previous efforts by expanding the community network to a global audience. YANG's primary objective is to provide young people the necessary skills to create local actions in favour of sustainable development through global collaboration.

Demonstrating Ecological Mangrove Restoration

Through a collaborative partnership with Andaman Discoveries, MAP began facilitating the YANG project in support of the youth conservation group in Ban Talae Nok village located on the North Andaman coast. This program provides support while also linking them with youth groups in seven Asian and European countries, including a visit from partners in France and Hungary. By operating their own projects and learning from peers all over the world, youth are given the skills and knowledge to create sustainable development programs. Furthermore, they have taken an active part in decision making, which has had a major impact on resource-use issues affecting their futures. Networking amongst those groups will help to continue to build their capacity in order to accomplish their activities successfully in the community. MAP also assisted in organizing the YANG seminar in Kuraburi which encourages young people to become aware of their involvement in sustainable resource management.

For More Information:  YIA October Report 2009.

Demonstrating Ecological Mangrove Restoration at Ban Talae Nok Village

Seagrass monitoring in Ban LionIn January of 2009, MAP began work on the Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) demonstration site within the homestay community of Ban Talae Nok village located on the North Andaman Coast in Ranong province. EMR is an alternative method in restoring the full diversity of mangroves habitats by modeling management efforts off of nature rather than plantation-based schemes.  Local partners, including the Ban Talae Nok Youth Group, the Community-Based Tourism (CBT) group and several members of the community are all steadily involved with MAP's staff in fulfilling the project goals. The project is primarily focused on: a) rehabilitating a local abandoned aquaculture pond back to a healthy mangrove habitat, b) increasing the area of Nypa Palm (an important economic mangrove plant for roof thatch production), c) introducing concepts of community management and sustainable resource utilization with the intent of improving the community's capacity in undertaking future conservation work, d) exploring the viability of developing value added products from Nypa Palm as a supplementary income for the BTN fishing community.

Currently, the EMR project has succeeded in initiating the empowerment process of the community while creating a sense of solidarity. This strengthening of the village as a whole has proven very useful in re-establishing a sense of place and entitlement. Upon completion, the EMR site will be a valuable educational resource for others who are interested in modelling the successes of Ban Talae Nok's community-based resource management practices.

To learn more about EMR please visit MAP's website.