类别: GGF中国
子类别: 资料发布
MAP News, 186th Ed
作者: Alfredo Quarto [GGF中国资料] 时间: 2007-07-05
www.greengrants.org.cn
MAP News, 186th Ed., 1 of 2 7-4-07

Dear Friends,

This is the 186th Edition of the Mangrove Action Project News sent to you on this July Fourth. Pehaps Americans should declare their independence from farmed shrimp today! Wouldn‘t that save a lot of mangroves!

For the Mangroves,

Alfredo Quarto,
Mangrove Action Project

MAP‘s Mission: Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.

Back Issues available!

Note: Can‘t wait to get your next issue of the MAP News in your inbox? It‘s now possible to read the news on MAP‘s new website, as it breaks. All news items and notices published in the MAP News can be accessed directly from our home page www.mangroveactionproject.org, with links to the full story and the original source. New items are posted daily!

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FEATURE STORY
A View on Wal-Mart‘;s Bid To Sell GAA Certified Farmed Shrimp

MAP WORKS
New website will give greater visibility to MAP
New Ecological Mangrove Restoration Workshop In Florida Scheduled


AFRICA

Nigeria
SHRIMP FARMING IN THE SOUTH EAST AND SOUTH WEST

Republic of the Congo
Congo to cancel logging deals to protect forests

ASIA

S.E. ASIA

Thailand
Prawn raisers in desperate need of help from the state
In Thai shrimp industry, child labor and rights abuses persist
US-Thailand Spar over Child Labor in Shrimp Industry
Thailand is shrinking as coastal erosion takes a toll
Residents ask for T-Groin breakwaters
Ecotour boats are told to cut down their engine noise
Thailand denies children packing shrimp

Indonesia
How much mangrove coverage does Indonesia really have?
Around 70 percent of mangrove forests damaged
Young trees breathe new life along Aceh‘s coasts

S. ASIA

India
***ACTION ALERT!!!***
Tata Port Development Threatens Olive Ridley Sea Turtles
Crocodiles let loose to save mangrove forest

E. ASIA

China
China Producing and Consuming Large Quantities of Shrimp

OCEANIA

Fiji
Fiji‘s Threatened Mangroves
LATIN AMERICA


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FEATURE STORY

A View on Wal-Mart‘;s Bid To Sell GAA Certified Farmed Shrimp

By Andrianna Natsoulas

Seafood: What‘s the Problem?
Over 80% of seafood consumed in the United States is imported, primarily from countries in the Global South. Of that, approximately 40% is farm raised. The top seafood choice in the United States is imported shrimp, of which approximately 80% is industrially produced. Industrial aquaculture brings a myriad of problems, such as environmental destruction, water pollution, coastal privatization, unemployment and human rights abuses.

There have been numerous industry attempts to blue-wash seafood production through third party certification schemes. These schemes are developed and monitored by the industry itself, jeopardizing their credibility and confusing consumers. One private label that has attracted great attention is the Marine Stewardship Council. The MSC-accredited New Zealand Hoki fishery was challenged by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds due to seabird and seal by-catch, yet in 2006 the MSC re-accredited it. In another case, while its management plan was being challenged for violation of the Endangered Species Act, for which a judge ruled against the fishery three times, the MSC certified the Alaskan Pollock fishery. Both Hoki and Pollock are used in frozen fish fingers, which are easily found in the frozen food section of any supermarket.

Country of Origin Labeling came into effect for seafood on April 1st, 2005, which requires both the country of origin and whether the fish was farmed or wild-caught. COOL rules developed by the USDA fall far short of a comprehensive labeling system. Essentially, 50% of seafood sold in the US is omitted from COOL requirements because it is "processed", meaning breaded, cooked or tossed in a seafood medley.

How Does WM play a role in continuing & accelerating the problem?
In 2006, Wal-Mart announced that is was dedicated to providing only sustainable seafood within three to five years to North American outlets. As part of this commitment, they will supply consumers with only MSC certified seafood - the same promise Unilever made in 1996. In 2003, Unilever realized it would not be able to sell only MSC certified seafood - and sold nearly all its seafood interests. Today, the depleted state of the world‘s fisheries and destructive industrial aquaculture makes Wal-Mart‘s goal an even more impossible feat.

Wal-Mart is willing to pay to meet its goal. Wal-Mart‘s foundation, The Walton Family Foundation, is funding Conservation International, which is developing "sustainability" standards for seafood in collaboration with industry associations. Wal-Mart, Conservation International and the MSC are collaborating to develop standards for sustainably sourced seafood. The reality is that it is impossible within the big-box model that Wal-Mart operates. As fish populations plummet and aquaculture becomes more industrial to meet demand, sourcing seafood sustainably on this scale is impossible. The MSC will continue to certify fish that are not sustainable and Wal-Mart will continue to sell seafood with the blue seal of approval. The environment, healthy ecosystems, coastal communities and potentially consumer health will pay the real price for blue-washing.

How can WM positively impact change related to the problem?
Wal-Mart should not engage in third party certifying schemes for seafood, as those schemes only serve to blue-wash destructive practices and confuse consumers. Wal-Mart should only label seafood as "sustainable" or "organic" when the government develops standards through an open, transparent process that allows for public participation and a full enforcement system. In that case, consumers will have more certainty in their seafood choices and coastal communities and the environment will not be jeopardized. In addition, Wal-Mart should take the initiative and ensure that all their seafood is labeled with country of origin so consumers can make their own seafood choice.

From: Andrianna Natsoulas

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MAP WORKS!

New website will give greater visibility to MAP‘s international activities and programs

MAP‘s new website has been launched! The site includes the content of the former site, but has gone through a complete overhaul of look and functionality. In addition to a reorganized site, you will find an updated layout and new tools.

With the new site it will be possible to:
? Search by keyword(s)
? Keep informed about all of MAP‘s programs, as well as regional offices
? Learn about mangroves and the communities that depend on them, as well as the threats to their survival
? Download MAP documents
? Keep abreast of breaking news through our new ‘Current Headlines‘ feature
? Sign-up to receive the biweekly ‘MAP News‘ electronic newsletter, as well as RSS feeds
? Submit inquiries directly to MAP
? Become a member of MAP, donate to MAP, or purchase from the MAP Store

www.mangroveactionproject.org

We welcome suggestions for improving the site. Please send us your comments!

Fundraising Drive

Since October 1998, MAP has sent out its biweekly electronic newsletter, the MAP News, for free to our subscribers, friends, and associates with no substantial support from neither foundations nor individuals along the way. We at MAP would really appreciate your help with some financial support so that we can improve upon our newsletter, which is now in its 8th year and 185th Edition. We would like to bring on board a Communications specialist to help us improve upon the MAP News, increasing its scope and making it a truly effective and useful educational and awareness raising tool.

In honor of the launch of our new website and this exciting occasion in MAP‘s history, we are holding a special fund-raising drive through 30 June 2007. If each of our MAP News subscribers would donate merely $10 (or more), MAP could then look for that right person to take on this important service for our global network.

Thank you in advance for your support.

For the mangroves,

Alfredo Quarto,
Executive Director

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New Ecological Mangrove Restoration Workshop In Florida Scheduled

The full announcement about the 6th "Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration Training Course", March 3-6, 2008, Hollywood, Florida, is now available at www.mangroverestoration.com.

ANNOUNCEMENT: "Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration" training workshop, March 3-6, 2008, Hollywood, Florida.

The sixth "Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration" training workshop will be held at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, March 3-6, 2008. The training site is within a 500 ha mangrove restoration project at West Lake Park operated by Broward County. The award-winning project was designed by Roy R. "Robin" Lewis III, who will be teaching the course.

The workshop includes an introduction to mangrove forest ecology, management options and problems, and restoration design issues. The class programs are all given in a PowerPoint format, and each student is provided with a print out of the presentation and additional handouts including monitoring reports for typical restoration projects. Case studies of 5 successful mangrove restoration projects, and several unsuccessful projects, are discussed. Field trips are taken within the 500 ha West Lake Park mangrove restoration project (now 18 years old) and a new project just five years old, for a comparison.

The emphasis is on cost-effective successful mangrove management and restoration, and cost figures for typical projects are discussed and explained. The hydrologic restoration of mangroves is emphasized as the best approach to successful restoration at minimal cost (see Erftemeijer and Lewis 2000; Lewis 1999, 2000a, 2000b, 2005; Lewis and Marshall 1998; Lewis and Streever 2000; Lewis et al. 2005, Stevenson et al. 1999; and Turner and Lewis 1997, for further discussion about hydrologic restoration of mangroves). Planting of mangroves is discussed in light of the many failures of this alone to successfully restore mangroves.

Cost for the course not including travel to Ft. Lauderdale, lodging or food is $800, due by January 1, 2008 to Coastal Resources Group, Inc., P.O. Box 5430, Salt Springs, Florida, USA 32134-5430. Two qualified students will be allowed to attend for free, and can apply at any time for the two fee-waived positions. This course is organized by the Coastal Resources Group, Inc., and will be taught in conjunction with the Mangrove Action Project . Lodging close to the training site is available at the SleepInn in Dania Beach, Florida. Reservations need to be made early. Each participant is responsible for making their own reservations.

More information can be provided by Robin Lewis at
and www.mangroverestoration.com.

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AFRICA

Nigeria

SHRIMP FARMING IN THE SOUTH EAST AND SOUTH WEST OF NIGERIA..
June 3, 2007
Sri-lankan industrial shrimp farmer, Sulalanka has moved into Nigeria. Following the setback suffered by the attempts of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria and United States Agency for International Development to start industrial shrimp farming in Niger Delta, due to the campaign of Mangrove Forest Conservation Society of Nigeria and other NGOS with support form Mr Martin Hoogland of Both Ends of Netherlands and Mr Alfredo Quarto of Mangrove Action Project of USA, another attempt is now on to start industrial shrimp farming in the SE and SW region of Nigeria due to their lack of information on the harmful effects of shrimp farming on the people and the coastal environment.

The problems of pollution and disease seriously affecting Asian shrimp farms had led to renewed interest in Nigeria for potential re-location of Asian shrimp farmers to Nigeria Sulalanka Nigeria limited has been incorporated by a Sri Lankan shrimp industrialist to invest in shrimp farm production in Nigeria. Sulalanka Nigeria limited has incorporated a consortium of US, Australian, Belgium, French and Hong Kong business entities to setup an in-land shrimp farming programme in Nigeria .The program as of date has been able to acquire over 5500 acres of land from NW to SE of Nigeria with 15 farmers which would purportedly generate over 6000 employment opportunities in rural areas to set up shrimp farms estimated to produce a minimum of 50,000 metric tones of black tiger prawns for the international market, generating over US $400 million per year .

The promoters of the program falsely claim to adhere to the international best management practices of shrimp farming, and will conform to any standards concerning quality and environment issues. But with no legislation on it, no monitoring / regulation by Govt and the absence of civil societies organizations with the knowledge of the negative impacts of the shrimp industry on the environment, Nigeria is headed towards another Asia crisis. The chief Executive of Sulalanka Nigeria limited is Mr Upali Karunartana .

Sulalanka Nigeria is venturing into the shrimp farming programs in Nigeria with an unverified claim of having a consortium which consists of consultants with proven track records from Sri Lanka, the USA, Australia, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia . It further claimed that there will be a research, development and training farm at Lekki- Lagos that would produce necessary manpower to the market place in the shrimp farming sector which is their program to successfully manage their operation. In addition to this, Sulalanka is claiming to introduce proprietary management software which can be executed on line through a web based system that would help with remote surveillance of daily operation of technical and financial management of each and every farm. They claimed that the system will alarm the lenders/ investors / owners / managers of any estimated targets of the farms enabling the management to control or bring losses to the minimal if not to the zero level.

Investment : Sulalanka claims not to be an investor but a Management firm that is highly competent, and that it offers a unique management and market system that would make all projects viable in Nigeria like many other African countries that lack proper management teams. Together with this unique feature Sulalanka has claimed to have formulated a finance scheme through foreign participants to the program representing the Consortium‘s partners to fund the project on various locations covering 50 percent of investment by supplying equipment and materials. Insurance policies will cover unforeseen factors in the industry providing a comfort zone to the foreign participants of the program. Sulalanka claims to have realized that investment in the aquaculture field in Nigeria is being neglected by many Banking Institutions. The main findings propose the following reasons:

Lack of knowledge of the Industry by the lenders and borrowers.

Insufficient collateral by way of tangible security or bankable proposals backed by market commitment and risk coverage .

Lack of Management personnel or skilled manpower to the industry.
Improper or lack of system of lending policies by the lending institutions to borrowers which make inconsistency of processing loan applications that makes borrowers feel discouraged in proceeding in obtaining financial assistances.
Lenders are more concerned of high interest of long-term lending for trading, than low sustainable industrial investment programs which would also contribute to the export sector while developing the industrial sector in the country.

As such, Sualanka is falsely claiming to provide answers to the above issues, thus creating a false sense of security for the Banking sector to participate in the remaining 50 percent requirement of the program in order to make this a more realistic program for Nigeria to assume the leadership of West Africa in the Blue Revolution within this millennium-- so it claimed.

CONCLUSION
There is an urgency to halt their operations now, not trusting in their purported best practices, which most likely cannot be met. We should not wait for them to go far in their dangerous enterprise if we hope to avoid the same Asian problems of shrimp farming occurring in Nigeria. The main danger lies within the lack of knowledge on shrimp aquaculture by South East and South West C. S. O. S unlike their South South counterparts who has been exposed to the dangers of shrimp aquaculture by MAP of USA in international workshops/ and the regular exchange of ideas/information on the latest trend on the shrimp industry.

There is a need for the Mangrove Forest Conservation Society of Nigeria (MFCSN) to move in to sensitize the people and we have already started that. More programmes are being drawn up to tackle the Government and CSO ignorance on industrial shrimp farming and the formation of a working group with mangrove forest providing the secretariat.


Evang I.H.Pepple
Secretary, Working Group on
Industrial Shrimp Aquaculture in Nigeria

Akie Hart
Coordinator Working Group on
Industrial Shrimp Aquaculture in Nigeria

Parker Lawson
Deputy Coordinator Working Group on
Industrial Shrimp Aquaculture in Nigeria

Mrs Pricilla Eli
Asst Secretary, Working Group on
Industrial Shrimp Aquaculture in Nigeria

Barr (Mrs) Boma Tom-manuel
Legal Advicer, Working Group on
Industrial Shrimp Aquaculture in Nigeria

From: AKIE HART

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Republic of the Congo

Congo to cancel logging deals to protect forests

Source: Copyright 2007, Reuters
Date: June 22, 2007
Byline: Joe Bavier

Congo is ready to cancel more than half its timber contracts to
protect the world抯 second biggest tropical forest but it wants
more aid from foreign governments to help do so, the environment
minister said.

Democratic Republic of Congo is carrying out a World Bank-
sponsored review of 156 logging deals, most of them issued
during the vast country抯 1998-2003 civil war and a subsequent
three-year transitional government.

Congo issued a five-year moratorium on new logging contracts in
2002 in an effort to stem rampant deforestation aggravated by
the conflict. That measure went largely unheeded and companies
continued to sign new deals.

Around three million hectares (7.4 million acres) of illegal
concessions have already been cancelled by Congo抯 new
government, which took office this year after historic post-war
elections in 2006.

慦e have between 24 and 25 million hectares still held by
individuals and companies. I would say that I am capable of
cancelling another 12 to 15 million hectares of contracts.
That抯 the minimum,? Environment Minister Didace Pembe told
Reuters.

慉nyone who doesn抰 conform to the criteria, those that signed
logging contracts during the moratorium and are unable to
justify how, we are going to cancel their contracts,? he said.

慉ll those who have forestry concessions but don抰 pay their
taxes, we are going to cancel them,? he said in an interview
late on Thursday, without citing any companies or individuals.

Amongst the biggest timber firms operating in Congo are a
subsidiary of Germany抯 Danzer Group, Siforco, and Portuguese-
owned Sodefor, a unit of holding company NST. Together with a
third company, Safbois, they account for over two-thirds of the
country抯 capacity, researchers say.

G8 initiative
Congo hopes to receive up to $6 billion a year under an
international conservation scheme which would provide financial
incentives to preserve the forests in the future, the minister
said.

At the G8 summit in Germany this month, leaders from the world抯
eight richest countries proposed a Forest Carbon Initiative to
give developing countries financial incentives to combat global
warming.

Cutting and burning tropical forests contributes 20 percent of
the overall carbon emissions that are accelerating climate
change.

Logging and land clearing for agriculture are eating away at the
ecosystems of the Congo Basin forest, which are being degraded
at the rate of more than 800,000 hectares every year.

The initiative would create a fund to compensate developing
nations like Congo, with the world抯 second largest tropical
forest after the Amazon, for not granting logging concessions.

慦hen we see the benefits this forest brings ... to the entire
planet, it is about time the major world powers think about
compensation for everything this forest does,? Pembe said.

Fair compensation, he believes, could inject around $6 billion
dollars a year into Congo抯 coffers -- a massive windfall for a
country with a total proposed 2007 budget of just over $2
billion.

慣hat will be an enormous way for us to pull ourselves up,?
Pembe said. 慪ou risk pushing us to destroy our forests because
we need money. They say we are the second lung, but that second
lung has to be taken care of.?

From: "GlenBarry@EcologicalInternet.org

===================================================

ASIA

S.E. ASIA

Thailand

http://www.bangkokpost.com/270607_News/27Jun2007_news16.php

Bangkok Post June 27, 2007

Prawn raisers in desperate need of help from the state

ASSAWIN PAKKAWAN
Southern prawn farmers may come to Bangkok to directly seek help from the government for their loss-ridden operations. Sakda Mannantakul, a prawn farmer leader in Phattalung, said yesterday that the farmers were in trouble due to the stronger baht this year which had made Thai prawns less competitive than those from Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia and China.

‘‘We are in a desperate situation now as all previous requests for help have fallen on deaf ears,‘‘ said Sakda.

Thai products were also suspected of being contaminated, even though they had all been tested before being exported, he said. Their prices have dropped from 150-180 baht a kilogramme to 110-130 baht/kg, while the cost of prawn feeds and diesel keep rising.

Farmers lost about 100,000 baht per pond in the past three or four months. Most of them were customers of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives and had already defaulted on their repayments, Mr Sakda said.

‘‘Prawn farmers are finding the business hard to sustain. In the South only about 30% of prawn farms are left. I used to have 20 ponds but now I have only two,‘‘ he said.

He and his colleagues from Phattalung, Songkhla, Satun, Pattani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang provinces had previously asked the government to guarantee prawn prices and lower the cost of feeds, diesel, and prawn post-larva for restocking.

But there had been no response.

‘‘When the situation improves, the government can change the policies. Prawn farmers in the lower South met in Nakhon Si Thammarat province recently and agreed to repeat their call to the government,‘‘ Mr Sakda said.

He said the government did not seem to heed the previous request from the farmers. They will wait until this month‘s end. ‘‘If the government sits still again, prawn farmers will go to Bangkok to file our complaint,‘‘ he said.

Note: 1 USD = 32 Thai Baht

From: mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

==========================================================

Editor‘s Note: Among the many troubling issues permeating the controversy over shrimp farming Is the labor conditions found in some parts of the world where outright human rights abuses and unfair labor practices are present. The following two articles may be focusing on Thailand, but such practices may be found elsewhere as well. The first article alludes to ties or involvement of such US food market giants as Wal-Mart and Costco in this process.
In Thai shrimp industry, child labor and rights abuses persist

By Ed Cropley Reuters
Published: April 25, 2007

SAMUT SAKHON, Thailand: It is 7:30 p.m., and an excited chatter fills the room as Nampeung, 11, and her friends get their work checked before clearing their desks and heading home.
But this is no scene from the end of a school day.
Nampeung is from Myanmar and an ethnic Mon girl who has been working in a seafood factory in central Thailand for nearly three years.
The desks are the metal tables where she spends six days a week shelling shrimp, and her work is measured by the kilogram.
Of the 200 people working in a barnlike factory during an unannounced visit by Reuters, nearly half appeared to be in their early teens or younger - clear evidence of child labor in an industry worth $2 billion a year in exports.

Half of Thailand‘s exported shrimp goes to the United States, where it ends up on the shelves of retail giants like Wal-Mart Stores and Costco, according to Poj Aramwattananont, president of the Thai Frozen Foods Association. Japan and Europe each account for 20 percent.
Even though she can only dream of going to school, Nampeung is one of the lucky ones. She makes as much as 300 baht, or $9, a day - more than the province‘s minimum wage - and sees nothing wrong with children her age working.
"The old people are so slow," she said with a broad smile, sitting demurely on the floor of the concrete hut next to the factory, which she shares with her mother, father and three siblings.
Other factories in the coastal province of Samut Sakhon, 50 kilometers, or 30 miles, west of Bangkok, where 40 percent of all shrimp are processed, do not have such a contented work force.
A police raid on a factory called Ranya Paew in September revealed conditions that were little short of medieval.
Around 800 men, women and children from Myanmar were imprisoned behind walls 5 meters, or 16 feet, high and topped with razor wire in a compound patrolled by armed guards.
The rescued workers told human rights monitors that they had to work 18 hours or more a day and were paid 400 baht a month, out of which they had to buy food - mainly rancid pork - from the factory‘s owner.
Those who asked for a break had a metal rod shoved up their nostrils. Three women who asked to leave were paraded in front of the other workers, stripped naked and had their heads shaved.
The Labor Rights Promotion Network, a nongovernmental organization that estimates there are 200,000 Burmese migrant workers in Samut Sakhon - of whom only 70,000 are legally registered - says that the Ranya Paew case is the worst it has seen.
But this, the group says, is just the tip of a human trafficking iceberg of factories fed by people-smuggling rings and labor brokers that have the complicity, if not active involvement, of government officials and the provincial police.
"For many migrants, work in Samut Sakhon is the chance for a better life, but for too many it leads to abuse," said Sompong Srakaew, president of the nongovernment organization.
"Unscrupulous employers and brokers conspire to ensure migrant workers remain vulnerable to exploitation. This is only possible with the complicity of elements within the law enforcement authorities."
Wal-Mart and Costco said that none of their shrimp had ever come from Ranya Paew and that strict ethical guidelines for suppliers, as well as audits of processing units in Thailand, ensured that they complied with food standards and labor regulations.
One shipment from Ranya Paew a few years ago, however, did end up in the United States, according to a Western diplomat who has followed the case closely.
Poj, the president of the Thai Frozen Foods Association, denied that children or trafficked people worked in the industry, saying factories were monitored carefully.
"There are no more illegal workers in the Thai food industry, because the government registers all the workers properly," he said. "We never use child labor."
But even Thailand‘s biggest agro-industrial company, Charoen Pokphand Foods, which produces its own shrimp from pond to package, is not untouched by allegations of trafficked labor.
The company sells a range of shrimp products to the United States and Europe, including the "Thai Torpedo" and "Bangkok Firecracker."
According to the Labor Rights Promotion Network, when the police and immigration officials raided a Charoen Pokphand factory in Samut Sakhon on April 5 and fired shots into the air, more than 100 Burmese migrants in the compound tried to escape by swimming a canal.
Six workers who could not swim are thought to have drowned, the Labor Rights Promotion Network said, and the police rounded up and deported 90 others to Myanmar for being illegal migrants.
Narong Kruakrai, the general manager of the plant, described the raid as a "regular visit" by the immigration police and said the factory never hired illegal workers.
The labor rights group said the workers appeared to have been employed by a third-party broker.
With smaller shrimp companies, overseas buyers have an even harder time conducting their own background checks, as much of the processing is outsourced to small operators.
As a result, foreign companies rely more on the Thai Labor Ministry, which is responsible for ensuring that factories do not use illegal or child workers. But the ministry is short on staff, the Western diplomat said.
"The Thai Ministry of Labor lacks the proper resources to conduct rigorous inspections of these factories," he said.
Despite the discovery of abuses at Ranya Paew, the police in Samut Sakhon have allowed the plant to remain open. In the meantime, about 200 Burmese men were deported as illegal immigrants, and more than 60 women and children are in a Bangkok center for victims of trafficking.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/04/25/business/baht.php

========

US-Thailand Spar over Child Labor in Shrimp Industry
by Sai Silp
June 28, 2007

Allegations of child labor in the Thai shrimp industry are at the center of a war of words between US and Thai shrimpers.
Charges and counter-charges include the threat of a Thai shrimp boycott in the US and the filing of trade violations against the US with the World Trade Organization.
Sompong Srakaew of the Labour Rights Promotion Network said migrant child laborers have been employed in Samut Sakorn Province.
"Some employers have registered children of 12 to14 years old, claiming they are 15 years old which is the lowest age allowed to work," he said.
Some of the children followed their parents to Thailand and now work at the same factories, he said, which prevents them from receiving a basic education.
Thai labor officials denied o_n Monday that the fisheries industry used child labor as claimed by the US government.
Mark P. Lagon, the director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, met with Thai officials in Bangkok o_n Monday after Louisiana State shrimp farmers called o_n the US government to ban Thai shrimp, claiming Thailand used child labor and unfairly dumped shrimp o_n the US market.
Phadungsak Thephasadin Na Ayudthaya, the director-general of the Thai Labor Welfare and Protection Department, said authorities have not found child laborers in the shrimp processing industry.
"This issue may have politics behind it, because Thailand has exported a large amount of shrimp to the US," Phadungsak said. "It is possible that this issue would be raised as a trade protection measure against Thai shrimp exports."
Thailand was the largest shrimp supplier to the US last year. Shrimp exports reached 193,764 tones, three times that of China, the second biggest supplier.
Thai shrimp exporters say they will ask the Commerce Ministry to file a complaint against the US at the WTO claiming unfair tariff and bond levies.
Earlier, a study conducted in December 2006 by the Institute for Population and Social Research at Mahidol University reported that child laborers were used in the Thai fishing industry, including shrimp processing. The study was supported by the International Labour Organization.
About 200,000 migrant workers, mainly from Burma, work in the fishing sector in Thailand.

Irrawaddy.org
http://www.irrawaddy.org/

From: "Trina Tocco" trina.tocco@ilrf.org

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Note: With global warming & sea level rise it appears coastal erosion will be a growing issue in Thailand and other countries. The problems seem to be largely accelerated by coastal development and loss of coastal forests and wetlands

The NATION June 15

Thailand is shrinking as coastal erosion takes a toll

Published on Jun 15, 2007

Erosion is biting two square kilometres of land off Thailand every year, according to a report issued by the World Bank.

"This means about Bt6 billion economic damage," Jitendra Jha of the World Bank said yesterday. He said erosion was one of the world‘s major environmental problems.

According to Jha, the coastal environment has suffered adverse impacts from the fact that the population and activities along the coast of Thailand have been increasing over the past 30 decades. For example, with increased sea-fishery activities and shrimp farms, about 80 per cent of coral reefs in the Andaman Sea and 50 per cent in the Gulf of Thailand have been deteriorating.

He said construction of piers, dams and digging for artesian water also aggravated the erosion.

Jha pointed that Ban Khun Samut Cheen in Samut Prakan alone lost more than one square kilometre during the past 30 years.

Natural Resource and Environment Ministry director-general Nisakorn Kositrat said her ministry had joined hands with relevant authorities in tackling erosion problem in the Gulf of Thailand.

"We have launched an initiative to tackle the problem in five provinces, with Ban Khun Samut Cheen being included," Nisakorn said. She said the initiative covered surveys to identify what caused the erosion so as to tackle the problems at its root.

"If any structure is found to have caused erosion, it will be improved," she said. For structures that cannot be improved, Nisakorn vowed to remove it if its existence meant the erosion would get worse.

She said the bill on the promotion of marine and coastal resource management, when enforced, would allow coastal communities‘ participation in the management.

Currently, the Council of State is reviewing the bill that has already obtained the Cabinet‘s green light.

Jha described local community participation as one of the key factors for efficient environmental management.

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Bangkok Post June 14

BANG KHUNTHIAN EROSION

Residents ask for T-Groin breakwaters

SUPOJ WANCHAROEN

Bang Khunthian residents have urged the city administration to build detached breakwaters, known as ‘‘T-Groins‘‘, to combat severe coastal erosion in the district.

The construction of ‘‘T-Groins‘‘ _ T-shape structures made of polyethylene _ was proposed by the Consultant of Technology and Panya Consultants companies, which were assigned by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to study the long-standing problem.

They are to be placed offshore to serve as an unconnected ‘‘wall‘‘ against strong sea waves, which have severely eroded the five-kilometre coastline.

‘‘T-Groins will help slow erosion. They will weaken the powerful sea waves and, at the same time, trap sediment that will eventually form an area for mangrove forests behind the T-Groins,‘‘ said Seree Supharatid, a researcher from Rangsit University who is also on the research team which presented its study yesterday at a forum attended by local residents and senior city administrators.

He said it was the latest technology used to tackle erosion on the shoreline, which had reached crisis point. Construction of the T-Groins would cost about 300 million baht.

Mr Seree said T-Groins that last about 20 years are worth building.

However, the BMA yesterday asked for additional time to look at the proposal more thoroughly. ‘‘We need to compare the study with that of other teams, including Chulalongkorn University,‘‘ said Deputy Bangkok Governor Bannasopit Mekvichai during the seminar.

Residents said they wanted the BMA to act quickly to prevent further land shrinkage.

‘‘I can say on behalf of Bang Khunthian residents that we accept the companies‘ findings,‘‘ said community leader Panya Changjaroen, adding that the residents just want the city administration to take immediate action.

So far, more than 3,000 rai of seaside land (4.8 square kilometres) have been lost to the sea, he said. ‘‘Many villagers now have only land titles, while most of the land is gone,‘‘ he said.

The Bang Khunthian coastline has been rapidly eaten up by the sea at a rate of about 10 metres each year. Climate change will probably worsen the situation, scientists said.

The city administration earlier spent millions of baht to try to prevent coastal erosion in the area by dumping rocks into the sea. The method proved unsuccessful as all the rocks were swept away.

From Jim Enright

===========================================================

http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/08Jun2007_news02.php

Bangkok Post June 8, 2007

Ecotour boats are told to cut down their engine noise

APINYA WIPATAYOTIN

Long-tailed boats which take people to watch fireflies in Samut Songkhram‘s Amphawa district have been told to cut their engine noise, as the din disturbs residents and the firefly habitat.

The popularity of ecotourism activities, which centre on firefly watching cruises along Klong Amphawa, has led to a sharp drop in the local firefly population.

Residents have been cutting down lumpoo trees (Sonneratia caseolaris) near their canal-side houses to deliberately deplete the firefly population and discourage boats from visiting.

They say the loud noise and the spotlights from firefly cruises disrupt their sleep.

‘‘We have told the boat operators to install noise filters to reduce the racket, but only 15 out of 150 operators have complied,‘‘ said Apichart Anukularmphai, chairman of Samut Songkhram‘s natural resources and environment rehabilitation group.

‘‘Unbearable noise has prompted many villagers to cut down lumpoo trees, or even spray insecticide on the trees because they don‘t want their houses being turned into tourism sites,‘‘ said Mr Apichart.

Although most long-tailed boats have followed the regulation to limit noise to below 70 decibels, it is still too noisy for residents.

‘‘Now the number of lumpoo trees and the firefly population have dramatically decreased,‘‘ he said.

Oil vapour from the boats‘ engines also settles on the trees, which makes it hard for fireflies to cling on to their leaves.

Conflicts between residents and ecotourism operators have intensified since the Tourism Authority of Thailand started promoting eco- and cultural tourism in the province.

The agency also encourages villagers to turn their houses into homestays for tourists.

The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (Onep) now plans to increase the number of lumpoo trees and find ways to minimise the noise from firefly cruises.

Suthirak Lawiwan, Onep‘s deputy secretary-general, urged the local organisation administration to monitor lodging operators whose buildings encroach on the river banks and destroy firefly habitats.

‘‘Eco- and cultural tourism means tourists must respect nature and local people‘s way of life,‘‘ said Surachit Chirawate, chairman of Samut Songkhram‘s Chamber of Commerce.

‘‘But what is going on here is that tourism operators try to change residents‘ way of life to serve tourists.‘‘

From mapasia@loxinfo.co.th
===================================================

Thailand denies children packing shrimp

25 June 2007

Thai officials have refuted an accusation by US shrimpers that Thai companies use children to pack shrimp exports.

Labour Minister Apai Chandanachulaka rejected the claim by the Louisiana Shrimp Association, which had submitted a letter to Los Angeles officials claiming that the use of child labour should disqualify Thai shrimp from the US market.

The minister said he is prepared to issue a letter to clarify the matter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Foreign Trade, so that it can be forwarded to the United States.

The official letter will clarify that Thailand complies with the law to protect the rights of its labourers.

The Labour Protection Act covers minimal welfare and basic necessities, including working hours, wages, holidays, overtime pay, compensation money for laying off workers, as well as workplace safety.

Likewise the law protects child labourers and migrant workers.

Phadungsak Thephasdin na Ayutthaya, director-general of the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, said a fact-finding visit by its officials to the mass shrimp industries in Samut Sakhon province southwest of Bangkok found no child labour exploitation.

However, he said there are migrant workers there, mainly from Burma, so he asked the Social Development and Human Security Ministry and the police to check if the migrant workers have legal work permits or not.

Source: BangkokPost.com

http://www.bangkokpost.com/breaking_news/breakingnews.php?id=119683

From Elaine Corets
============================================================

Indonesia

06/25/07

How much mangrove coverage does Indonesia really have?

Yogyakarta, DIY (MAP-Indonesia News) - It is often stated that Indonesia supports the world‘s largest area of mangroves (Groombridge 1992; Giesen 1993; Sukardjo 1994). Review of Indonesian historical and government records suggest that in the 1970‘s and 80‘s, the coastal area under mangrove cover may have exceeded 4.3 million hectares. However, overexploitation, conversion and mismanagement of mangrove forests since the blue revolution has led to significant damage and loss. The precise extent of mangrove losses (and thus mangrove coverage) remains uncertain, and thus present values for mangrove coverage in Indonesia are likely grossly overestimated. Depending on what database is used, total mangrove area in the archipelago varied from as much as 4.25 million hectares (Bina Program 1982, Soemodihardjo and Serianegara 1989l Sukidjo 1994) to as little as 2.5 million ha remaining between 1986-1990 (Giesen 1993). Burbridge and Koesoebiono (1984 estimated that the total area of Indonesian mangroves was about 3,806,119 million ha. One of the major errors in most estimates relates to a great inconsistency in the estimates for mangroves of Papua (formerly Irian Jaya). Giesen (1993) has pointed out that government computations range from 0.97 to 2.94 million ha, which clearly is insufficient accuracy for management purposes.

At the ICEMAN conference held in Kuala Lumpur, 2006, Dr. Sukristono Sukardjo of LIPI (Indonesian Institute of Sciences) in his presentation on "Safeguarding Indonesian Mangroves - Critical Challenges and Strategies" put forward a new estimate of 9.4 million hectares as total mangrove coverage for Indonesia妋ore than doubling all estimates of original mangrove coverage. And this brings up a slew of questions. One could suppose that use of more modern remote sensing analysis techniques coupled with increased access to remote sensing images could result in this doubling of original mangrove coverage. And no one can doubt that based on this latest set of data, the Indonesian government is attempting to restore vast areas of damaged mangroves in some areas (albeit largely with proven unsuccessful planting only techniques). But as the Indonesian saying goes, apakah ada udang dibalik batu ini? (lit: is there a shrimp behind this rock), meaning is there something fishy going on here?

It is no secret that the National Department of Fisheries is still intent on shrimp aquaculture development to meet short-term economic goals. A representative of the Director General of Fisheries office stated that if intensification of existing shrimp ponds (based on the most productive, intensive shrimp farms in operation in Thailand) does not work, the government is prepared to convert an additional 800,000 hectares of mangrove forest into shrimp aquaculture. Now 800,000 hectares out of a remaining 2.5million hectares is an additional one third (33%) of Indonesia‘s valuable mangrove resource?.but based on LIPI‘s estimate of 9.4 million hectares the percentage lowers to 12%, still alarming, but seemingly less so.

Of course, there are many more pressing issues than the total amount of Indonesia‘s mangroves. Local community involvement in mangrove management, development of sustainable mangrove utilization practices, more effective, improved laws and law enforcement, education and awareness, and ecological mangrove restoration practices are some areas which will require greater investment and more wide-spread implementation. A clear understanding of mangrove resilience in the era of global climate change may be more important than all of these. All the same, in order for the new mangrove numbers generated by LIPI researchers to be useful, a reliable third-party should be called in to assess the validity of their methods and results.
-
From: Ben Brown :seagrassroots@gmaik.om
======
Editor‘s Note: The figure of 9.4 million ha of mangrove supposedly "measured" in Indonesia seems inaccurate, as stated in the preceding article.

Around 70 percent of mangrove forests damaged

Pontianak, West Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - Around 6.7 million hectares or 70 percent of Indonesia`s mangrove forest areas measuring a total of 9.4 million hectares were damaged, an expert said.

"The damages of the country`s mangrove forest areas were mainly due to human encroachment such as for settlement, ponds, and plantation," Prof. Dr. Cecep Kusmana, a lecturer from The Bogor Institute of Technology, said here on Monday after visiting a mangrove development area at Batu Ampar, Pontianak District.

Data from the Indonesian forestry ministry showed that 4.5 million hectares of mangrove areas were moderately damaged, and 2.2 million hectares were seriously degraded.

Rehabilitation programs launched by the government could not catch up with the phase of the damage. Between 2004 and 2005, the government managed to rehabilitate 34,601 hectares of mangrove areas, and in 2006 around 2,790 hectares.

"Despite the vast damages, Indonesia relatively has better mangrove forest areas than other countries in the region, because Indonesia still has intact mangrove areas in on Papua and Kalimantan Islands," he said.

He said that mangrove forests have crucial functions in the ecology. Mangrove areas are habitats of various animals such as bird and fish, and could prevent coastal area abrasion and intrusion of sea water.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of the Mangrove Development and Study Institute (LPPM) Nyoto Santoso said that his institute was currently replanting mangrove trees in Kubu Raya and Batu Ampar subdistricts covering a total areas of 65,000 hectares.

As part of the mangrove rehabilitation program, LPPM also provided training programs for 15 groups of crab breeders in Nipah Panjang, Suka Maju village, Batu Ampar, Pontianak, he said.

"We also try to make them understand and urge local farmers to be selective in cutting mangrove trees. They should only cut trees above 20 years old," he said. (*)
Source: ANTARA

http://www.antara.co.id/en/arc/2007/6/25/around-70-percent-of-mangrove-forests-damaged/

From: ecorets@gmail.com

===================================================

Young trees breathe new life along Aceh‘s coasts

by Stevie Emilia June 28, 2007
Young mangroves, pines and coconut trees sprouting new leaves have breathed new life into the coastal lands of Aceh that were devastated by the 2004 tsunami.

The young trees are evidence of the determination of local fishermen and farmers to rebuild their lives in the wake of the tragedy -- a determination which is constantly tested by nature.

"High waves last month swept away some of the trees but we‘ve replanted them again," fisherman Syamsudin said proudly.

The 47-year-old from Krueng No village in Sampoiniet district, Aceh Jaya, is part of a 20-member group from the fishing village involved in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization forestry program, which is funded by the Finland government, to support early rehabilitation efforts in tsunami-affected countries.

Across Aceh, there are eight such groups in three regencies -- Pidie Jaya, Aceh Jaya and Aceh Besar -- selected based on several factors, including the extent of ecological damage done there, the rate of environmental decline and the level of community support.

Introduced mid 2005, the US$1,2 million project aims to restore and improve the livelihoods of the tsunami-affected population, which is dependent on forestry resources, by directly involving the coastal communities.

The project aims to replant 247 hectares of coastal strip by September this year.

The program‘s stratagem is based on five factors considered crucial to the replanting process and the improvement of people‘s livelihoods: direct investment into communities; the setting up of a partnership with coastal communities and other supporting institutions; the consideration of a variety of interests; ensuring mid- and long-term benefits and incentives for communities and proper supervision of projects to ensure they achieve their goals.

In Krueng No, home to 127 families, the replanting program was initiated in March this year, later than other groups, most of which started their programs in September last year.

"But the villagers here started replanting the coastal strip even before the project officially started. It‘s nice to have a place to take shade from the scorching sun after going to the sea," said the group‘s leader, Ismail.

Under the program, the group received funds to replant the coastal strip along Aceh‘s devastated west coast with hundreds of thousands of seedlings provided for the project.

Although the project is set to conclude in September this year, the coastal plants will require at least two years before they can survive on their own.

"We want this project to go on," Ismail said. "But it‘s not up to us to decide."

The replanting and maintenance of the crops involve not only the group‘s members but also other villagers, each receiving Rp 35,000 for a day‘s work. The project involves tsunami survivors who have been left both poor and vulnerable as a result of the disaster.

Ismail said the project has helped the poor villagers earn money and regain their coastal forests.

The group itself has received three payments totaling Rp 281 million for the program and is still awaiting a further 20 percent of its allocation.

Syamsudin said the villagers all share the same dream: to have a better livelihood. The program has taught them many things, he said.

"I wish this kind of program goes longer and gets more support," he said.

Project group members were also involved in discussions and educated not only on planting and maintaining coastal vegetation but also on business and marketing?

Syamsudin said he found the project has important goals that are also shared by fishermen in the village. Chief among them, to bring back the coastal forests to better support their livelihoods.

"The main sources of our livelihood, such as crabs and shrimp, love to live in mangrove forests. Before the tsunami, there were plenty of them, but now they have no place to rest and to nest," he said.

He recalled how prior to the tsunami children would head to the mangrove forests in search of crabs to sell for extra money.

"But now it‘s really hard to get crabs. Even if there are any, there are not much," Syamsudin said.

"By replanting the coastal strip, it‘s not only about getting the project‘s money. I want my grandchildren to remember and say that it‘s their grandfather who planted these trees."

Source: Jakarta Post

====================================================

S. ASIA

India

June 29, 2007

***ACTION ALERT!!!***

YOUR LETTERS ARE NEEDED TO HELP STOP DESTRUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT OF DHAMRA PORT FACILITY IN ORISSA

Tata Port Development Threatens Olive Ridley Sea Turtles

Background of the Dhamra Port issue

Dhamra port is now being built in proximity to the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, on the northern coast of Orissa, India. Gahirmatha is the world‘s largest remaining nesting ground for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle, a species classified as Endangered by the IUCN. Between 200,000 and 500,000 female turtles nest here every year, in spectacular arribadas (mass nesting). The planned port facility will be located just north of the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary and less than five kilometres from the boundaries of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, which itself contains an abundance of rare wildlife species and an amazingly lush and biodiverse mangrove forest ecosystem, all of which are threatened by this port development scheme .

The port is being built by Tata Steel via the Dhamra Port Company Limited, a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Steel and Larsen & Toubro. Dhamra is proposed to be a deep water port, one of the largest in South Asia, capable of handling 180,000 DWT ships and 83 million tonnes per annum in ten years. The channel depth at the port would be 18 metres which could accommodate Capesize vessels. The proposed port at Dhamra is to be developed over an area of nearly 1,000 acres (405 ha.), and another 3,000 acres (1,214 ha) are being acquired for other project-related development activities. The proposed investment is approximately US $ 500 million.

The port and its attendant infrastructure, accompanying industrial and residential development, artificial lighting and the shipping traffic it will attract are only some of the problems it poses for the turtles and their hatchlings. A serious threat will also be posed by the amount of dredging required to create and maintain the shipping channels at the necessary depth (over 60 million cu. m. of capital dredging initially and a further 2.2 million cu.m. of maintenance dredging annually). The development of the port will also lead to an industrialisation spree in the area, with the attendant hazards posed by an increased population, lighting, pollution etc. While the Dhamra port site itself is not a nesting ground, the coastal waters are turtle habitat and there are many reports of turtle sightings in the area during the turtle season (November to May) each year. Obviously, such large turtle congregations depend on the natural food chain and ecology of the area to sustain themselves.

Another issue is the probable impact on livelihoods of thousands of fishermen in the region, as the construction of the port and dredging in particular could result in the destruction and pollution of breeding and spawning grounds of fish, besides leading to a situation where the fisherfolk cannot fish in their own local areas.

The location of the port also runs contrary to a 2002 directive of the Ministry of Environment, based on the government of India‘s National Wildlife Action Plan, that a radius of 10 km. from all existing parks and sanctuaries be declared ‘eco-sensitive areas‘ and large-scale industrial development be kept away from these areas. Additionally, the central government‘s own guidelines for industries ask that they be located at least 25 km. away from ecologically sensitive areas.

There are two ongoing legal issues pertaining to Dhamra. The first, a petition filed by the Wildlife Society of Orissa in the Orissa High Court, pending since 2000. The other is a petition filed before the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court that is yet to come up for hearing. Further, in its 2004 report, the CEC had recommended that the port be shifted to an alternative site due to its proximity to the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary and the turtle nesting ground.

The project‘s main proponents are now Tata Steel, part of the Tata Group, one of India‘s largest industrial houses. Larsen and Toubro signed an agreement in October 2004 for the construction of the Dhamra port with Tata Steel. The Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI) is the main funding agency supporting the Dhamra project.

Critique of the Dhamra Environment Impact Assessment
The only Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report prepared for the project was in 1997, and it has been exposed as fundamentally flawed, as it lacks any analysis of impacts on turtles, port site ecology, hazard analysis and emergency plan. Greenpeace‘s scientific critique of the EIA is available at http://www.greenpeace.org/india/press/reports/critique-of-the-environmental , which reinforces the need for the assessment to be repeated and reworked comprehensively.

Biodiversity Assessment Study of the port site and surrounding area
On June 8, 2007, Greenpeace released a scientific report prepared by the North Orissa University, that unequivocally establishes presence of turtles in the offshore waters off the port site area. The study makes the case that there is need for abundant caution, besides highlighting the significance of the Dhamra mud-flat area as an ecosystem and all that it sustains. TATAs have always maintained that they will reconsider the port, if the evidence of turtles in the area is established. In addition, there are other significant findings, such as that the mudflats (actual port site) are a mating and nesting ground for Horseshoe crabs. Additionally, a rare species of frog F. cancrivora (never before recorded in mainland India) and a species of snake recorded only once before on
the Indian mainland have also been discovered in this area. On the basis of these findings, a coalition of groups are calling on the company to walk the talk, and keep their commitments. Incidentally TATA Steel is a member in the Global compact, which binds them to the precautionary principle, rather than adopting a position of mitigating impacts.

TATA Steel is now one of the largest steel producers in the world, following its acquisition of the British group Corus a few months ago. The TATA group is also growing in Europe with its software consulting arm, Tata Consultancy Services, aside from Tata Motors and other smaller companies. The company has refused to re-examine its plans, while continuing to maintain that they will not harm the environment or an endangered species, without responding to either the specific concerns that are being raised or new evidence presented.

Press releases tracing recent developments in the campaign
TATA‘S Dhamra port EIA seriously flawed, project must not go ahead: Greenpeace = http://www.greenpeace.org/india/press/releases/tata-s-dhamra-port-eia-serious (critique report download from http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/india/press/reports/critique-of-the-environmental.pdf

Evidence of turtles, rare species at Dhamra: TATA must drop port says Greenpeace = http://www.greenpeace.org/india/press/releases/evidence-of-turtles-rare-spec (biodiversity report download from http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/india/press/reports/greenpeace-biodiversity.pdf

Ratan Tata, Kya Hua Tera Vaada? = http://www.greenpeace.org/india/news/ratan-tata-kya-hua-tera-vaada

Greenpeace asks TATAs to "Take a turtle-friendly look at life" =http://www.greenpeace.org/india/press/releases/greenpeace-turtles-ask-tatas-t

Turtles Invade Taj Land‘s End, seek new home
http://www.greenpeace.org/india/press/releases/turtles-invade-taj-land-s-end

====
SAMPLE LETTER:

Sample Letter to be written to the TATAs:

Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman,
Tata Sons
India
coffice@tata.com

day / month / year


Dear Mr. Ratan Tata,

I am writing to bring to your attention an issue that concerns the reputation of the TATA group internationally. The TATAs‘ plan to build a mega port at Dhamra on the Orissa coast of India in the turtle mating and feeding grounds is shocking, particularly for a company that seems to pride itself on its benign, philanthropic and environment friendly image.

The area has been proven to be inhabited by significant numbers of the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles in the offshore waters. The mass nesting beaches of Gahirmatha less than 15 km. away, are the world‘s largest mass nesting beaches for the Olive Ridley turtle and I am sure that you will appreciate the international importance of this area for marine turtle conservation. The Bhitarkanika Sanctuary is just about 5 km. away from the port site. Horseshoe crabs and rare frogs and snakes have been recorded from the port area as well. It is impossible for a large project of this sort to be constructed in an ecologically significant area and yet have no impacts on the environment and the species it holds.

As a respected household name in India, and one of India‘s fast growing groups internationally, particularly with your acquisition of Corus Steel, and as a member in the Global compact, which binds you to the precautionary principle, I urge you in the interests of the sea turtles, and to protect TATAs own public image, to immediately drop plans to build a port there and instead be proactive in working with the Orissa government to ensure the area is protected from other corporations that might not have the good conscience that you hopefully have.

In anticipation of a prompt response,

Yours Sincerely,

Your Name
Your Organization
Your Address

Letter to go to:
Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons, India
coffice@tata.com
Copy to:
Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan, Executive Director, Tata Sons, gopal.gopalakrishnan@tata.com
Mr. Arun R. Gandhi, Executive Director Tata Sons director@gandhiinstitute.org
Mr. Alan Rosling, Executive Director alan.rosling@northampton.ac.uk
Mr. Jamshed J. Irani jjirani@tata.com
Mr. B. Muthuraman, Managing Director, Tata Steel muthuraman@tatasteel.com

Postal address for all of the above Tata officials:
Bombay House
24, Homi Mody Street,
Mumbai 400 001
Tel: +91 22 6665 8282
Fax: +91 22 6665 8143 and 44

Also CC:
A.M. Naik
Chairman & Managing Director
Larsen & Toubro Limited
L&T House, Ballard Estate
Mumbai 400 001, India
Tel: +91-22-22685656
Fax: +91-22-22685858
E-mail: ccd@lth.ltindia.com

Also CC:
Dr. Hrusikesh Panda, IAS
Principle Secretary,
Department of Forest and Wildlife
The Secretariat, Govt of Orissa
Tel: +91 674 232 2947 / 253 6822
Fax: +91 674 239 5820


For More Information, Please Comtact, Ashish Fernandes of Greenpeace, India at:

======================================================

Crocodiles let loose to save mangrove forest

By Manoj Kar
Kendrapara (Orissa): In a novel experiment, forest department personnel have let loose large groups of captive bred crocodiles into water bodies of Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary to ward off human interference into the fast-depleting mangrove forest.

Crocodiles are seemingly performing the role of ‘honorary forest guards‘ admirably in the core area of the wildlife sanctuary. The fear of marauding crocs greatly regulates the human intrusion. Now the crocs‘ habitat is being expanded to areas subjected to wanton tree felling, remarked the forest officials.

To stop frequent movement of villagers into the forest area, as many as 48 crocodiles were released last week into the water bodies in Kharinasi and Jamboo areas of the sanctuary, said forest officials.

These pockets located at the southern most part of the 672 sq km stretch sanctuary are visibly marked by skeletal forest cover. A number of thickly populated human settlements dot the area within the sanctuary jurisdiction.

Wanton felling of mangrove and conversion of green field into paddy and shrimp cultivation is a pertinent feature in these parts, according to forest department sources.

"We are pressing into service these reptiles for forest conversation. Once crocodiles are firmly ensconced in the water inlets, human intrusion would be greatly curtailed. Fear of croc attack would keep the human trespassers away from the wa

来自: Alfredo Quarto
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