3rd Mekong Mangrove Forum

2020thu01oct13:45thu15:153rd Mekong Mangrove ForumBlue Carbon Ecosystem Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Utilization in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region and beyond

Event Details

International Day for the Conservation of Mangroves was adopted by the UNESCO General Conference in 2015 and celebrated annually since. In 2018, UNESCO Bangkok co-organized a field excursion and seminar on mangrove management in Thailand and Myanmar, in partnership with national authorities, the foundation Manfred-Hermsen-Stiftung for Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection, the Mangrove Action Project and Fauna & Flora International. The event was based on our mutual concern about illegal charcoal production and its adverse impacts on mangrove ecosystems in Myanmar.

The Mekong Mangrove Forum was subsequently organized, with a sub-regional and international approach, to urgently conserve existing blue carbon ecosystems and restore those that have been degraded, as well as to promote scientific research in support of science-based environmental management. Blue Carbon Ecosystems include those coastal vegetation types that store large amounts of atmospheric and oceanic carbon in their soils, such as, for example, mangroves, seagrass beds, and salt marshes. The 1st and 2nd Mekong Mangrove Forums took place in Vietnam (March 2019) and in Myanmar (November 2019), to encourage more participation in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The 3rd Mekong Mangrove Forum was planned to take place in Thailand (September 2020), but the event is no longer possible because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A series of annual online events will be organized instead, with an inter-regional scope because of the global importance of the issue.

Mangroves and other blue carbon ecosystems have been lost at alarming rates, mainly because of adverse anthropogenic coastal environmental impacts. Yet, they provide essential services for coastal communities, support rich coastal biodiversity, protect coastlines against storm surges, sequester vast amounts of carbon. Moreover, these systems are seawater tolerant, and since more than 96% of the planet’s water is saline. This fact offers a huge potentiality for the science-based management development of cash crop halophytes.

Mangroves are disappearing fast, with serious ecological and socio-economic impacts. Current estimates indicate that more than 50% of mangroves have already been lost. This requires urgent action.

UNESCO is uniquely placed to develop initiatives for relevant and concerted action, building on strong networks of sites such as the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, World Heritage sites and the Global UNESCO Geoparks Network, which are already demonstrating that harmonious interactions between people and nature are possible. UNESCO is engaged in supporting the conservation of mangroves, while advancing the sustainable development of local communities. Within UNESCO sites, we will test ideas, develop best practices and behavioural improvements, and implement the most effective ecosystem management strategies in local communities. These strategies will be promoted throughout UNESCO’s networks to achieve a strong multiplier effect.

UNESCO has developed platforms to turn ideas into action. One of these platforms is the Mekong Mangrove Forum. This celebration is the beginning of a number of events and activities to conserve, restore and better utilize blue carbon ecosystems.

This will be the fourth meeting of participants to continue the Mekong Mangrove Forum. During and after the event, foundations and the private sector will be able to participate and demonstrate their social and environmental community support on a credible and transparent platform, and to participate as long-term partners rather than only as donors. Partners will discuss how best to strengthen each other’s individual activities, as well as develop joint activities, step-by-step conservation improvements, restoration, and scientific research and monitoring of mangroves and other blue carbon ecosystems, involving Governments, the private sector, school students, teachers, and communities.


Virtual Event Details

Event has already taken place!


(Thursday) 13:45 - 15:15


UNESCO Office Bangkok

Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education
Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Building 920 Sukhumvit Road, Prakanong, Klongtoei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

Learn More

Speakers for this event

  • Ben Vickers

    Ben Vickers

    Regional Programme Officer (REDD+) at FAO for Asia and the Pacific

    Ben Vickers has lived and worked in Asia for 25 years, based in Nepal, India, Viet Nam and Thailand. He has provided technical services throughout Asia and the Pacific in the field of forestry and natural resource development, with a focus on community forest management, certification and, since 2007, on climate change and REDD+. He holds a Masters degree in Forestry and Land Use from the University of Oxford, and since 2012 has coordinated FAO’s support to governments and other stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific on forests and climate change, and national forest monitoring.

    Regional Programme Officer (REDD+) at FAO for Asia and the Pacific

  • Benno Böer

    Benno Böer

    Programme Specialist, Natural Sciences, UNESCO Bangkok

    Dr. Böer is a professional project manager with 30 years of experience in the global environmental sciences. He spearheaded activities in Africa, America, the Arab Region, Asia/Pacific and Europe, and lived in Ethiopia, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

    He edited many books, publications, films, technical reports and prime proposals. He functions routinely as reviewer of sciene journals and major international assessments. He joined UNESCO 20 years ago, and he was assigned as Ecological Science Advisor in the Arab Region, in Africa, and in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.

    His work addresses environmental issues, catalyzing adaptation and mitigation options and problem solving for sustainable human living. His current work focuses on Plastic Pollution, the UNESCO Green Academies, as well as the conservation and restoration of Blue Carbon Ecosystems.

    URL https://bangkok.unesco.org

    Programme Specialist, Natural Sciences, UNESCO Bangkok

  • Bilquees Gul

    Bilquees Gul

    Professor and Director at ISHU

    Dr. Bilquees Gul, Professor and Director, Dr. Muhammad Ajmal Khan Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization (ISHU), University of Karachi, have about 26 years of research and teaching experience. She has successfully completed a number projects on utilization of saline lands by using non-conventional crops to combat food scarcity in arid-regions. She was awarded the degree of Ph. D. (1998) in Botany and Range Science by the Brigham Young University, USA. She is serving as Director of the Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization (ISHU) at University of Karachi. She is the recipient of several Teaching and Research Scholarships. Dr. Gul was awarded Pakistan Academy of Science Gold Medal (2005) in the field of Botany. She is a life member of Pakistan Botanical Society. She is the member of Organization for Women in Science for Developing Country (OWSD) and COST Action. She is also served as Chair holder of the UNESCO chair in Sustainable Halophyte Utilization at the Institute of Sustainable Halophyte Utilization, University of Karachi from 2012 to 2015. She is the Global Goodwill Ambassadors Humanitarian of Pakistan. She is a recipient of several cash awards of research productivity allowance. Pakistan Academy of Sciences elected Dr. Gul its member in 2006. She also served as a focal person as well as Director Pakistan Qualification Register (PQR) of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. Dr. Gul was awarded “Atraaf-e-Khidmat Award for leading Women of the Country 2020” for the recognition and contribution of her services to the nation.

    Dr. Gul also served at Brigham Young University, USA, as a teaching assistant during 1995-1998, as post-doctoral fellow during 2007 and visiting professor in 2011-2012. She is the author of 06 books and 123 research articles in well-reputed national and international journals. Quality of her research can easily be judged by 3898 citations of her articles. Her research impact factor is about 144.086, RG-index is 32.6, h-index is 36, i10 index is 96. In addition, she has completed 10 national and international research projects and supervised a number of young Ph.D. students. Prof. Gul’s major research accomplishment is the identification of a non-conventional fodder crop for arid-saline lands to combat food security issues in the country.

    URL http://www.halophyte.org/

    Professor and Director at ISHU

  • Charlotte Hicks

    Charlotte Hicks

    Senior Technical Officer, UNEP-WCMC

    Charlotte Hicks is a Senior Technical Officer with the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), working in the area of climate change and biodiversity. She works with countries and partners on activities that support decision-making on biodiversity and climate change policy and action, including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) and ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA).

    Within the UN-REDD Programme, Charlotte’s work is focused on social and environmental safeguards, REDD+ co-benefits and integrated land use planning, and she has provided support to a number of UN-REDD country partners, including Myanmar, Viet Nam, Mongolia and Nigeria. Recent work on EbA includes supporting a joint project of IIED, IUCN and UNEP-WCMC researching when and why EbA is effective– the conditions under which it works, and the benefits, costs and limitations of natural systems compared to other options – and promoting the better integration of EbA principles into policy and planning.

    URL https://www.unep-wcmc.org/employees/charlotte-hicks

    Senior Technical Officer, UNEP-WCMC

  • Daniel Murdiyarso

    Daniel Murdiyarso

    Principal Scientist at CIFOR

    Daniel Murdiyarso, Principal Scientist, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). He received his first degree in Forestry from IPB University, Indonesia. His PhD was obtained from the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, UK. He is a Professor at the Department of Geophysics and Meteorology, IPB University, Bogor, Indonesia.
    His research works are related to land-use change and biogeochemical cycles, climate change mitigation and adaptation. He has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
    Dr Murdiyarso has served in a number of Nobel Prize winning IPCC as Convening Lead Author of Reports, including the IPCC Third Assessment Report; the IPCC Special Report on Land-use, Land-use Change and Forestry; and the IPCC 2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines on GHG Inventory: Wetlands. Also, as Review Editor of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
    Since 2002 Professor Murdiyarso is a member of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences and chairs its Basic Science Commission. In 2000 he served the Government of Indonesia as Deputy Minister of Environment for two years, during which he was also the National Focal Point of the UNFCCC and CBD.

    URL https://www.cifor.org

    Principal Scientist at CIFOR

  • David Ganz

    David Ganz

    Executive Director, RECOFTC

    David is Executive Director of RECOFTC, and joined the institution at a key moment in its history when there is growing recognition that forest land rights of local communities are central to peace, economic development, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. David is a strong advocate for community forestry in the region and for path-breaking private sector models that respect local rights and deliver lasting and tangible benefits from millions of hectares of community forests in the Asia-Pacific region. He was Chief of Party for Winrock International’s Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (USAID LEAF) Program, where he worked to strengthen the capacity of developing countries in Asia to achieve sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture forestry-land use sector. David has a Ph.D. in environmental science, policy and management.

    URL http://www.recoftc.org

    Executive Director, RECOFTC

  • Dominic Wodehouse

    Dominic Wodehouse

    Executive Director, Mangrove Action Project

    After 10 years in advertising, working in London, Kiev, Jakarta and Bangkok for various multinational agencies, Dominic changed direction to follow a passion for trees, working as a professional arborist in the UK while taking an MSc in Sustainable Development at Imperial College London/SOAS, in order to move into mangrove conservation. From 2006, he worked as a mangrove technical officer with Wetlands International and at the same time volunteered with MAP, assisting field projects in Thailand. From 2011 he has been teaching Community-Based Ecological Mangrove Restoration for MAP in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar (2011, 2017, 2019), Colombia, Suriname, Tanzania (2019, 2020), Senegal and Honduras (2014, 2015) while at the same time writing a part-time PhD at Bangor University (UK), studying community mangrove management and restoration. On completion of his doctorate in 2019, he moved into the Executive Directorship role within MAP.  Dominic is a member of the IUCN Mangrove Specialist Group.

    Executive Director, Mangrove Action Project

  • Janalezza Thuaud

    Janalezza Thuaud

    Program Officer RECOFTC

    Jana is partnerships and resource mobilization officer at RECOFTC. As a connector, catalyst and trailblazer, Jana’s quest is to promote life solutions that will bring out the best in people and societies. She has rich experience in creating relationships and coordinating extraordinary initiatives. Jana’s passion for mangrove ecosystems enables her to see synergies in traditional paradigms and growth mindset solutions. She brings over 18 years of professional experience from various posts in international development, government and NGO. She is mother to Maia and spouse to Philippe.

    Program Officer RECOFTC

  • Miguel Clüsener-Godt

    Miguel Clüsener-Godt

    Director of the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences at UNESCO

    Dr Clüsener-Godt is German and has a Ph.D. in Biology/Ecology from the University of Osnabrück in Germany. Moreover, he has a PhD. Honoris causa of the University of Para, Belem, Brazil. He is the Director of the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, and the Secretary of the Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB), which manages the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Currently, there are 701 Biosphere Reserves in 124 countries, 21 of them are transboundary. He is also supervising the UNESCO Global Geoparks Programme (150 Geoparks in 41 countries) and the Unit for Disaster Risk Reduction.

    He is also responsible for the World Network of Island and Coastal Biosphere Reserves, Coastal Zones and Small Islands, the REDBIOS Network in the East-Atlantic, the Amazonian Biosphere Reserve Network and the Asia Pacific Co-operation for the Sustainable Use of Renewable Natural Resources in Biosphere Reserves and Similarly Managed Areas.

    He is the Division’s focal point for the UNESCO Category II “International Centre on Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves, Two Coastlines United by their Culture and Nature”, located within the premises of the Abertis Foundation in Castellet I la Gornal, Spain, which was established in November 2013 and officially inaugurated in April 2014.

    Within UNESCO/MAB, he published the World Atlas of Mangroves, in cooperation with FAO, ISME, ITTO, UNESP/WCMC, UNU/INWEH and TNC.

    Director of the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences at UNESCO

  • Montakarn Suvanatap

    Montakarn Suvanatap

    Assistant Programme Officer for Culture, UNESCO Bangkok

    Montakarn is an Assistant Programme Officer for Culture at UNESCO Bangkok. She has been working on heritage conservation projects and community development programme for the past 10 years.

    Assistant Programme Officer for Culture, UNESCO Bangkok

  • Nyi Nyi Kyaw

    Nyi Nyi Kyaw

    Director General, Forest Department MONREC

    Dr. Nyi Nyi Kyaw has served the Director General of Forest Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, Myanmar since 2012. He has commenced the professional career by joining Forest Department as junior officer in 1987 immediately after graduating from the Institute of Agriculture, Yezin, majoring in forestry. Since then, he has been involved in several professional tasks and positions in the fields of plantation forestry, forest research, forest management planning, social forestry, biodiversity conservation and part time lecturer as well at the University of Forestry, Yezin. He worked as National Project Manager of the ITTO project entitled “In-situ and Ex-situ Conservation of Teak (Tectona grandis) to support Sustainable Forest Management” during 2006-2008. He holds M.Sc. in Tropical Forestry and Ph.D in Forestry Science from University of Gottingen, Germany in 1995 and 2003, respectively.

    Director General, Forest Department MONREC

  • Ronald Loughland

    Ronald Loughland

    Environmental Specialist of Saudi Aramco

    An Australian professional environmental manager with over 30 years of international experience in the Middle East, North Africa, West & Central Asia, Canada and Australia. Ronald has a PhD in coastal zone management, focused on management of marine and coastal (blue carbon) ecosystems.

    Ronald works at Saudi Aramco as a senior marine environmental advisor developing and implementing environmental stewardship and biodiversity protection across vast coastal and marine concession areas, both in Saudi Arabia and throughout its global operations. He is active in promoting the Company’s protection and restoration of natural climate solutions (blue carbon ecosystems) to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to climate change and to foster environmental stewardship.

    Ronald is skilled at developing local capacity, actively engaging stakeholders and applying global best practice to resolve regional and local environmental issues. He is experienced in the planning, implementation and management of high impact environmental programs for Governments, NGO’s and Corporations, with a track record of delivering sustainable outcomes against conflicting development and environmental issues.

    Ronald has published 29 books and book chapters, as well as 26 scientific articles related to environmental management. This includes the development and publication of a series of Atlas manuscripts (English and Arabic) specific to the Arabian Gulf (Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia).

    Environmental Specialist of Saudi Aramco

  • Siriporn Sriaram

    Siriporn Sriaram

    Acting Head of Office, IUCN Thailand

    Siriporn Sriaram is managing several projects such as MARPLASTICCs, Thailand Business and Bio-Diversity Network Alliance (B-DNA), Dow & Thailand Mangrove Alliance. She is working at International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Thailand Programme. She joined IUCN in 2008 as the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) Thailand National Coordinator. She has expertise in coastal resource management and partnership development. She has been working closely with governments, local communities, private sectors, academia and NGOs. In 2018, Siriporn became a member of IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) with a passion to connect, educate and inspire people about sustainable development through nature conservation. She holds a M.Sc in Environmental Biology from Mahidol University.

    URL www.iucn.org

    Acting Head of Office, IUCN Thailand

  • Wansu Xu

    Wansu Xu

    Mangrove Conservation and Restoration Program, China

    Wansu Xu, director of the Mangrove Conservation and Restoration Program of Shenzhen Mangrove Wetland Conservation Foundation (MCF). With academic background in ecology, environmental health and environmental anthropology, her work and research are focusing on wetland conservation, ecosystem-based adaptation and community-based conservation.
    Within MCF, Wansu is in charge of the China Mangrove Conservation and Restoration Strategy Research Project, which has made comprehensive evaluation of the problems in China’s mangrove conservation and rehabilitation and provided specific proposals for decision-making in protecting mangrove ecosystem in China. Her current work is focused on promoting the conversion of mangrove rehabilitation mode and blue carbon projects in China.

    Mangrove Conservation and Restoration Program, China


    • 2020-10-01
    • 13:45 Joining Zoom13:45 - 14:00All participants

    • 14:00 Welcome by Master of Ceremony14:00 - 14:05UNESCO

    • 14:05 Opening Remarks14:05 - 14:10UNESCOSpeakers: Miguel Clüsener-Godt

    • 14:10 Keynote I: Mangroves in Myanmar14:10 - 14:15Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, MyanmarSpeakers: Nyi Nyi Kyaw

    • 14:15 Film on Carbon Accounting Field Work14:15 - 14:20CIFORSpeakers: Daniel Murdiyarso

    • 14:20 Keynote II: Mangrove Conservation at MCF14:20 - 14:25Mangrove Conservation and Restoration Program, ChinaSpeakers: Wansu Xu

    • 14:25 Mangrove & People Slideshow14:25 - 14:30Multiple supporters from UNESCO, FAO and IUCN

    • 14:30 Mangrove Photo Contest Results14:30 - 14:40Announcing the results of the photo contest by the Mangrove Action Project

    • 14:40 The Mangrove Forum14:40 - 14:45An Open Science Platform’ for blue carbon ecosystem conservation, restoration, and scientific research and development.Speakers: Benno Böer

    • 14:45 Presenting a new scientific book Series 14:45 - 14:50ISHU presents the new scientific book series "Blue Carbon Ecosystems for Sustainable Development".Speakers: Bilquees Gul

    • 14:50 Aramco’s mangrove program: activities and aspirations14:50 - 14:55Saudi AramcoSpeakers: Ronald Loughland

    • 14:55 Panel discussion14:55 - 15:10Panel discussion with participants from FAO, UNEP-WCMC, IUCN and RECOFTC.

    • 15:10 Concluding Remarks and Way Foreward15:10 - 15:15Final words by UNESCO Speakers: Benno Böer

Event Reviews

Overall Rating: 1 RatingsData

Very informative event, excellent speakers, underlining the global importance of mangrove ecosystems.Henning Schwarze on 2020-10-25 11:56

Comments are closed.