Community Mangrove Forest Conservation of Baan Bang La is one of the Equator Prize Winners 2017. Here's why.
In 2004, Bang La was protected from the worst effects of a catastrophic tsunami by their 192-hectare mangrove forest. Recognizing the importance of this natural habitat for disaster risk reduction, Bang La community residents formed an association to advance the protection of mangroves through co-management, community dialogues, and education programs, enabling them to resist the expansion of urban middle-class housing developments into the publically-owned land. The community has secured a Memorandum of Understanding from the provincial government, which provides them with the rights to establish a community-managed mangrove forest conservation area. The community's sustainable management of this area has triggered the return of the protected Phuket Sea Otter, and places this endangered species at the center of awareness campaigns that engage women and youth in natural resource management. In order to enhance local well-being and livelihood options, the group has established a savings and microcredit scheme to support small-business opportunities and retain the traditional character of the community.
LEARN MORE: www.equatorinitiative.org