October 18, 2012
Mangrove Action Project has for the past ten years led international efforts to highlight the ecological importance of mangrove forests, and oppose threats to these forests. What is particularly important about MAP, compared to many US-based conservation organizations, is that they take a very strong community-oriented approach--they see the people who live with and use mangrove resources as part of the solution, not the problem. Although I don't know the details of how they interact with allied groups around the world, I sense that it is this community-oriented approach that has enabled them to take a vital leadership role in a network of global south organizations. Finally, where they might be most visible, especially for me given my work on certification in industrial agriculture, is the way they have stayed outside of these certification efforts to criticize and hold the organizations promoting these efforts to account. The work of MAP and its networks is in good part responsible for the way that the most recent certification efforts among industry and large environmental groups have included provisions in their standards for community consultation and input. In my world, MAP has been a leading and strong voice in defense of mangroves and mangrove-based communities for the past ten years, and certainly deserves this award.
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