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Global Ideas

New life in old shrimp ponds

Mangroves were cleared in many places in Thailand to make way for shrimp ponds. But these days, many of these ponds lie idle. An initiative is trying to bring back the mangroves - which would benefit locals as well.

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Project goal: Community-based ecological mangrove restoration
Project partners: International Climate Initiative (IKI), IUCN Thailand Programme, Mangrove Action Project

(MAP), Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), Raks Thai Foundation

Project volume: 4 million euros in six different countries
Project duration: September 2012 to August 2017
Thick mangrove forests once grew on Thailand's Kho Klang island - but they were cleared, among other things to make way for shrimp farming ponds. The move had devastating consequences for biodiversity, but as shrimp farming is no longer profitable on the island, many ponds now lie idle. In her efforts to bring back the mangroves, environmental activist Jaruwan Enright has found a new ally: the island's imam and owner of some of the ponds. He has agreed to open one of them up to the tides, so mangroves can grow there again. An unexpected benefit of the scheme is the arrival of mangrove crabs - a delicacy.
A film by Bastian Hartig

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