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Phuket Gazette ‘Green Report’: Regional mangrove restoration project receives green light

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PHUKET: Efforts to restore the lost mangrove forests of Thailand and other parts of Asia will receive a boost this week when international partners gather in Krabi province, across Phang Nga Bay from Phuket, to discuss the use of project funding received via Germany’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The meeting, which is being coordinated by the Trang-based Southeast Asia branch of the Mangrove Action Project (MAP), includes project partners from India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.

Thailand has lost more than half of its mangrove forests in recent decades, under pressures associated with economic development and, particularly, for shrimp farming.

“Mangroves are a key part of coastal ecosystems and important breeding grounds for fish and other animals and plants. People also depend on them because they provide protection against storm surges and coastal erosion,” said Jaruwan Kaewmahanin, MAP’s Thailand Field Coordinator, who with MAP Asia Coordinator Jim Enright is organizing the meeting in Krabi.

The international consortium will receive 800,000 euros (32.6 million baht) of funding over four years from the Global Nature Fund (GNF) for a project entitled “Mangrove Restoration in Asia – a cross-national project to exchange know-how and start local action for the protection of climate, forest and biodiversity.”

MAP recently celebrated 20 years of work to protect the mangroves. Its mission is to reverse the degradation and loss of mangrove forest ecosystems worldwide. The organization works with traditional and indigenous coastal peoples, including fishermen and farmers, to sustainably manage their coastal environs.

— Neil Wallis

 

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