I have been involved with the Mangrove Action Project (MAP) since it was founded over two decades ago. Although MAP is a small organization with limited funding, MAP has certainly had a considerable impact on the issues that it has engaged with. If it had more funding, it would have been able to do much more. It never wastes money, and its director has proven to be very ethical. He pays himself very little, and he never puts himself first. MAP has had much more influence than its funding would indicate. Money donated to MAP is certainly money well spent. Nothing is wasted. In addition, MAP has concentrated on pushing the right causes. It has not only been on the side of environmental protection. It has also been on the side of local people living in mangrove areas, and this is crucial. It is on the side of the disadvantaged small-scale fishers. It is a friend of small organizations on the ground around the world. It has always fought for equality and fairness. The only problem has been its limited financial resources. It hasn't sold out, and MAP definitely deserves out support.
My mangrove journey started with volunteering with MAP, and taking their training. It's gone through working for the Thai team as a paid consultant, friend of Jim and Ning's, and now an advisory board member. Their enthusiasm and professionalism has been a constant inspiration, helping me to stay in the Thailand when my own job was not working out. Encouraging me to take a PhD in mangrove conservation despite the challenges. MAP is a lean, passionate, dedicated NGO, which sticks to its knitting. Bravo, chaps.
Looking for a direction after too much time in advertising, Jim, MAP and the training session he ran in India in 2005 helped all the pieces drop into place. It literally changed my life. In less than a year I closed my business in the UK and moved to Thailand to work with Wetlands International, but in the same mangrove area as MAP. MAP is how small NGOs should be: passionate, very well informed, very well connected,sticks to its knitting, whippet-lean and efficient. It's the only NGO that tries to take the tens of thousands of scientific papers on mangroves and mangrove restoration and give this information, in an appropriate form, to local people and NGOs who need it.
I have been volunteering with MAP in Thailand at their Asia office for a little over a month now, and words can't describe the level of dedication and hard work I see every day. From mangrove restoration projects with large NGOs and local communities to community building along the west coast, the staff at MAP are committed to working at their highest capacity to do what works to conserve mangrove ecosystems. Their approach to restoration, working with nature, termed ecological mangrove restoration just makes sense. This approach takes into account the conditions of the site and provides a kick-start for the ecosystem to regenerate itself. When undertaking conservation work it is important to consider the local conditions and doing what works. The MAP staff know what works, and spend the time themselves undertaking these initiatives. I hope this review helps to bring attention to the great work being done in this organization.
Mangrove Action Project (MAP) has been working with coastal communities for a number of years. Through my association with them I have had the opportunity to work closely with an island community on local conservation issues in southern Thailand. The people at the MAP Asia office have been working very hard and are very productive. However, it remains a recurring question how that high level of performance can be maintained with limited resources, especially the limited support for salaries.
In 1996, I made all the field organizing and transportation arrangements and then co-led a two week mangrove replanting project to the coastal island of Muisne in Ecuador, sponsored by the Mangrove Action Project. Our group numbered 12 or 14 participants from the United States. We collaborated with a local NGO to replant mangrove 'propagules' in areas that had been ecologically destroyed by improperly maintained shrimp farms. We succeeded in replanting several hectares during our time there. In 1997 I participated in another mangrove replanting project in southern Thailand. Ever since then, I have been a constant supporter and donor to the Mangrove Project. I recommend this organization highly.
My experience with the Mangrove Action Project in Thailand far exceeded my expectations. MAP gave me a fantastic opportunity to develop my professional skills, gain experience of working in conservation and discover Thailand. Being part of a small, dedicated team enabled me to get involved in a variety of activities and gain a full understanding of the importance of the organisation’s work. My
work was split between the office and the field where I assisted with identifying funding opportunities, applying for grants and producing information materials on sustainable mangrove products. I also got the opportunity to work on Koh Phra Thong with mangrove communities assisting partner organisations with conservation projects and understanding how MAP could assist further in the future.
MAP provides a network for local and international organisations working in mangrove forest and wetland conservation. On several occasions we met and worked with other groups which gave me an insight into the importance of knowledge sharing and collaboration.
My time with MAP was made unforgettable by the warm welcome and support I was given by the team. I not only had an amazing working experience but MAP opened up my eyes to Thailand - the food was incredible and there was not shortage of interesting people to meet. An unforgettable experience that I would not hesitate to recommend and only wish I could repeat!
I work for Mangrove Action Project (MAP), www.mangroveactionproject.org, specifically on our Question Your Shrimp campaign. I have found that most people are not aware of the ecological harm industrial shrimp farming in the global south is doing to the whole planet. Once they become knowledgable of the issues they are more than willing to sign our pledge to reduce their consumpsion of shrimp and only eat shrimp that is sustainably harvested in North America. They also say they will spread the word.
Review from Guidestar
Coming from an enormous international NGO to MAP a few months ago was a big change. MAP is incredibly pro-active compared to their size and resources, yet volunteering with them is adding a healthy smoother rhythm to my life. They work in harmony with nature: non-stop, persistently, but coherently with life. They respect and conserve not only the natural resources, but also people, both the local community and all of us that contribute to MAP's work. I feel many conservationist have still a lot to learn from MAP when it comes to considering how important it is to take into account humans and their needs at all levels.
Mangrove Action Project works tirelessly to preserve imperative mangrove wetland forests and support the sustainable livelihoods of traditional coastal residents. They're consistently working with local villages as well as local, national, and international nonprofits, nongovernmental, and relavant governmental organizations. The connections made with fisherfolk and their families, University students, and nonprofit members were educational and enlightening in the intricacies of managing this precious resource. The Thailand office welcomed me as family and were prepared to answer any and all questions about mangrove science and Asia-specific management issues. Their impact in Thailand is vast and their commitment impressive. With globally dispersed offices, MAP's overall commitment to betterment of the life of coastal people and the preservation of mangroves and the diversity of life that they support is unparalelled.
As a volunteer with MAP in Thailand, I learned an incredible amount about mangrove conservation and the valuable work that is occurring on the ground everyday to strengthen coastal communities' ability to protect their environment and, ultimately, their future. Over the years, MAP has shown a clear dedication to supporting local communities in their efforts to protect their environment by playing a key role in networking government agencies and large international NGO's around the world. A simple search online regarding the terms 'mangrove conservation' reveals MAP at the top of the list. Overall my experience at MAP played a key role in informing my later independent research at Yale and other institutes.