The Greenbelt Reports (GBR) is a multi-media, Asian regional educational project to document the conservation challenges involving mangroves, coral reefs and sand reefs - collectively called 'greenbelts' in recognition of their natural protective role against wave action and anticipated climate change impact. Our aim is to investigate and report on efforts to balance conservation needs with socio-economic needs of coastal communities. Stories will come from coastal areas in South and Southeast Asia.
India: Greenbelts and Lifebelts (Tamil Nadu)
Advised by scientists, coastal communities are restoring or replanting mangrove forests as a 'bio-shield' against natural disasters and sea level rise.
Surround Sand (Tamil Nadu & Orissa)
Sand dunes can protect coastal villages from cyclones and wave action. In two Indian states, efforts are underway to strengthen sand dunes as a means of natural protection for vulnerable communities.
Live and Let Live (Tamil Nadu)
Protecting mangroves need not always mean banning local people from deriving benefits. Different approaches to community-mangrove co-existence have been adopted in two locations in India.
Indonesia: After the Tiger (Pemalang, Java)
The people restored their mangroves damaged by excessive shrimp farming. Now they harvest multiple benefits: improved fish and crab catches, plant products, and natural protection from storms and waves.
Nurturing Nature (Jaring Halus, Sumatra)
For decades, the people of Jaring Halus managed their own mangrove forest using traditional methods. Now the government has asked them to co-manage mangroves in a nearby wildlife sanctuary -- a first for Indonesia.
Thailand: People Power (Tuntaset village, Trang)
The mangroves and wetlands of Tuntaset were ruined by charcoal industry and shrimp farming. Invoking an old law that allowed communities to manage their mangroves, the local people restored the mangroves.
Claudio's Century (Pra Thong island)
An Italian scientist was studying a pristine mangrove forest, but the Asian Tsunami damaged it heavily. He is now working on restoring the ecosystem - a process that could take a century.
Love Thy Mangrove (Pra Thong island)
The indigenous Moken people -- or sea gypsies - have always looked after mangroves on the Pra Thong island in southern Thailand. We find out how they are working to restore and protect the island's mangroves after the tsunami.
Sri Lanka: Reef Relief (Rumassala, Galle)
Human and natural factors exert many pressures on coral reefs. A group of young divers is regenerating one damaged reef, giving nature a helping hand.
Trees of Life (Kalmunai)
Returning 18 months later to the first point on Sri Lanka the Asian Tsunami hit, we find local people busy building a coastal greenbelt. The area is also being re-greened through home gardens and organic farming.
Mangroves Are Forever (Kalpitiya, Puttlam)
Shrimp farming damaged and degraded mangroves around the Kalpitiya lagoon. After the industry collapsed, the community joined hands with a conservation group to restore the mangroves, some of which is harvested.
Saved by Sand (Paanama, Arugam Bay)
While surrounding villages were devastated by the Tsunami, Paanama suffered only minor damage thanks to sand dunes on one side and thick mangroves on the other. This inspired villagers to undertake restoration and conservation activity.
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