Work for mangroves gets new look

30 September 2011 | News story

A new logo was unveiled yesterday by IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, marking the beginning of its awareness raising activities for its mangrove projects in five Pacific Island countries. 

The logo, showcasing a young mangrove seedling and an ocean wave, will be used by IUCN’s project, Mangrove Ecosystems for Climate Change Adaptation and Livelihoods (MESCAL), which is currently being implemented in Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and Solomon Islands.

The logo is very appropriate for the project as a seedling holds promise of growth,” said Dr. Milika Sobey, Coordinator of the Water and Wetlands Programme at IUCN Oceania Regional Office. “And MESCAL is all about growth in a community’s ability to adapt to climate change.

The project aims to assist the five countries to effectively manage their mangrove and related coastal ecosystems to build resilience to the effects of climate change. It seeks to achieve a more coordinated and holistic approach to managing mangroves in the region, which is a new approach to be implemented in the Pacific region.

The project is multi-disiplined and involves multiple stakeholders, together delivering on national mangrove conservation priorities. It is also the first step of the broader Pacific Mangroves Initiative, jointly led by IUCN and the Secretariat for the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

MESCAL is country-driven with each of the countries deciding what their management issues are and how they will address them through research and policy and legilative reviews,” explained Dr. Sobey. “So this new logo gives them a sense of ownership of this project”.

In addition to the logo, the MESCAL project also launched a new publication entitled “Life on Fiji’s Mangrove Trees” which details the variety of living organisms that make their home in mangrove swamps.

The book is written by Dr. Alison Haynes, a retired Biology lecturer at the University of the South Pacific,who has also taught in schools in New Zealand.

"For many years I have noticed that mangrove trees are often cut down for fire wood and mangrove stands are often used as rubbish dumps,” stated Dr. Haynes. “I wrote this book for school children and hope that it will raise their awareness and appreciation of the different animals that live on mangrove trees and that they will realize the importance of preserving stands of mangrove trees that protect our coastal areas.

The book will be distributed to schools within Fiji as well as in Vanuatu, Tonga, Samoa and Solomon Islands. All five countries have similar mangrove species distribution.

For more information please contact martina.lee@iucn.org