$11,818 raised. Let’s get to $18K.

Fund mangrove conservation efforts in southern Thailand and help alleviate poverty by supporting the development of alternative livelihoods

Project by
Mangrove Action Project

How we can help

Donating to this project is one way in which you can help the people of coastal villages in southern Thailand restore and protect mangroves along the Andaman coast. By donating to this project, you will help alleviate poverty, address coastal degradation, and support the development of alternative livelihoods for local people, such as beekeeping. Your donation will help:

  • Provide technical support for mangrove restoration to local communities

  • Conduct beekeeping training for new villages (Ban Pak Klong, Ban Na Thung Klang, Ban Ao Thong Lang, and Ban Ta Klong Tambon) and support the implementation of mangrove conservation activities

  • Encourage local people to conserve and restore their mangroves through naturally regenerative processes, and to manage and use them sustainably

  • Conduct beekeeper training for the local communities and provide beehive making equipment to beekeeping families

  • Support beekeeping as an alternative livelihood, helping local communities produce up to 300 kilograms of honey per year 

  • Foster entrepreneurship, helping local people produce value-added products such as hand soaps, shampoos, and balms made from local honey

  • Support villages across the Andaman Coast and replicate the successful conservation model of Nai Nang

Leo Thom
The more bees we have, the more honey we gain, and the better the mangroves will grow. It’s a wonderful mutually-beneficial relationship!
Bang Sutee Pankwan
Head, Nai Nang Apiculture Group

The Challenges

Mangrove forests are vital to coastal communities in many regions of the world. They offer protection from extreme weather, provide timber and firewood, and act as a water filtration system. They also provide shelter and food for an astonishing number of species and have been described as the nurseries for the world’s seafood supply. Mangroves have an extraordinary capacity to absorb excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. In fact, research has shown that mangroves absorb four times more carbon than rainforests. This is why the restoration and protection of mangrove forests is one of the most effective nature-based strategies to help us counteract climate change.

But despite their importance, half of the world’s mangrove forests were destroyed in the past 50 years. Mangrove forests are naturally resilient, having withstood severe storms and changing tides for many millennia. But until recently, mangrove forests had been classified by many governments and industries as wastelands or worthless swamps. This mistaken view made it easier to exploit and clear mangrove forests.

Ellen Hines

If current trends continue, the remaining mangroves could disappear this century. The need for increased protection is urgent, with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warning that more than one in six mangrove species worldwide are in danger of extinction due to coastal development, shrimp aquaculture, agricultural expansion, and unsustainable tourism.

People from the coastal villages on the Andaman coast in southern Thailand are feeling the impacts of the climate crisis, mangrove deforestation, and overfishing. At least half of all mangrove forests in Thailand have been destroyed, leading to poverty, land degradation, loss of resource-based livelihoods, increased vulnerability to natural disasters, and deterioration of artisanal fisheries.

My village used to be full of mangrove trees, but over the years, the mangroves became heavily degraded and it became harder to catch crabs, seabass and shrimp. We are now trying to recover our lost mangrove forests.
Bang Non Meelam
Resident, Koh Klang village

About Mangrove Action Project

Since 2009, Mangrove Action Project (MAP) has been working with coastal communities in Thailand to restore mangroves along the Andaman coast. MAP provides technical support for mangrove restoration in the form of its Community-Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration (CBEMR) method, encouraging local communities to conserve and restore their mangroves via a naturally regenerative process, and to use and manage them sustainably. In this model, the mangroves are as vital to the community as the community is to the mangroves.

MAP is currently working to expand this project along the Andaman coast, and with it its mutual benefits for mangroves, bees, and local communities. Furthering the beekeeping network will go hand in hand with mangrove restoration, and most importantly, will enable local communities to generate their own sustainable livelihoods while protecting the mangroves that are so essential to their way of life. This conservation model is now being passed on by the Nai Nang groups to other villages through knowledge-and-skills exchange workshops. The workshops have provided a great opportunity for villages such as Ban Ta-Sanook, Bang Klong Kum, and Ban Khang Khao to learn about the successes of the apiculture (beekeeping) enterprise and, with the necessary training, replicate it in their own villages.

Jim Enright

About this project

In 2014 MAP began a CBEMR restoration project with the village of Nai Nang, helping them to revive their lost mangrove forests and bring back the many benefits mangroves provide. Following the training, and after observing bees pollinating the mangrove trees, a few families in the community began experimenting with beekeeping. By building bee boxes and placing them close to the mangrove forest they helped improve the restoration efforts, which suggested to MAP that honey production might be a suitable alternative livelihood for Nai Nang.

As a result, MAP began beekeeper training for the community and provided beehive-making equipment, which led to the creation of a local enterprise, the Nai Nang Apiculture Group. MAP helped to implement sustainable beekeeping practices, including a reduction in pesticide use, which facilitates healthy native bee populations, develops raw honey, and promotes mangrove conservation.

While developing alternative livelihoods can be challenging for rural communities, the apiculture program offers an income to local people without them relying on destructive and unsustainable extraction of wood from the mangroves, thereby taking pressure off the existing forest.

All the honey from the Nai Nang apiculture group is sourced locally from their 1,200 beehives, containing 800 colonies of wild bees (Apis cerana) and 60 hives of stingless bees. Honey is harvested only once per year. The bees gather nectar from the seasonal flower blossoms of fruit orchards and a variety of mangrove species such as Avicennia alba, Excoecaria agallocha, Flagellaria indica, Phoenix paludosa, Xylocarpus moluccensis, and Sonneratia caseolaris. This unique combination of nectar gives the honey a distinctive taste with a hint of sea salt. 

Today nearly 40 beekeeping families, who would normally depend on mangrove exploitation and small-scale fishing are supported by this local initiative, and produce up to 300 kg of honey per year. Due to the success of the honey production group, the village has formed several other enterprises including a Women’s Group to produce value-added products such as hand soaps, shampoos, and balms from the honey.

The project is also looking to expand and improve mangrove conservation and restoration efforts in the local Nai Nang area. This includes working within a 400-hectare community forest area to set up harvesting zones for the horn snail, an important part of the local diet and an ecologically and commercially important species. The project will also connect other associated coastal habitats with mangroves to further improve the environment and future of local communities, with an ultimate goal of turning the site into a marine protected area (MPA).

Participating in the apiculture training has not only given me knowledge of beekeeping, but also of the links to mangrove conservation. If there is no forest, there will be no flowers, and ultimately no bees.
Ketsarin Tipthong
Resident, Ban Khang Khao village
$11,818 raised. Let’s get to $18K.

Fund mangrove conservation efforts in southern Thailand and help alleviate poverty by supporting the development of alternative livelihoods

Project by
Mangrove Action Project
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