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(Imitates fishing cat)
That's my impersonation of a fishing cat,
which actually sounds more like this.
(Prerecorded fishing cat sounds)
It's a cat that loves water,
loves to fish,
and lives in some of the most unique and valuable ecosystems on earth:
the wetlands and mangrove forests of South and Southeast Asia.
Aren't they fishing awesome?
(Laughter)
Fishing cats are one of about 40 species of wildcats.
Like tigers and lions, only much smaller.
They're probably around twice the size of our average domestic cat.
In Indonesia,
people call them "kucing bakau,"
which literally translates to "the cat of the mangroves."
But I like to call them the tigers of the mangroves.
Now, we don't know fishing cats as well as we do tigers,
but what we've learned is that these cats can be a flagship species
to a globally important ecosystem,
and a visual bait attached to a strong line for conservation.
Are you hooked yet?
(Laughter)
Like many endangered species,
fishing cats are threatened by habitat loss,
mainly because of our international demand for farmed fish and shrimp,
and the deforestation of nearly half the historic mangrove cover
in South and Southeast Asia.
Mangroves, on the other hand,
are much more than just habitat to the fishing cat.
They are home to a fantastic array of species,
like jackals,
turtles,
shorebirds
and otters.
(Laughter)
Mangroves also prevent soil erosion,
and they can be the first line of defense between storm surges, tsunamis
and the millions of people who live next to these forests
for their day-to-day survival.
The fact that puts the icing on the cake --
or the earth, I should say --
is that mangroves can store
upwards of five to ten times more carbon dioxide
than tropical forests.
So protecting one acre of mangroves
may well be like protecting five or more acres of tropical forests.
Would you like to eliminate you entire life's carbon footprint?
Well, mangroves can offer you
one of the best bangs for your conservation buck.
Deforestation, extinction and climate change
are all global problems that we can solve
by giving value to our species and ecosystems
and by working together with the local people
who live next to them.
This is one of three river deltas in coastal South India
where communities came together
to change the face and potentially, the fate of this planet.
In less than a decade,
with international support,
the state forest departments and the local communities
worked together to restore
over 20,000 acres of unproductive fish and shrimp farms
back into mangroves.
About five years ago,
guess who we discovered in these restored mangroves?
When we shared images of these fishing cats with local people,
we were able to build pride among them
about a globally revered endangered species and ecosystem
in their backyards.
We were also able to build trust with some people
to help them lead alternative livelihoods.
Meet Santosh, a 19-year-old boy
who not only became a conservation professional
after working with us for just over a year
but also went on to involve many local fishermen
in helping study and protect fishing cats.
Meet Moshi, a tribal poacher,
who not only stopped hunting
and became our most prized conservationist,
but also used his traditional knowledge
to educate his entire community to stop hunting fishing cats, otters
and the many other threatened species
that live in the mangroves in his backyard.
Fish and shrimp farmers, like Venkat,
are now willing to work with us conservationists
to test the sustainable harvest of ecosystem services like crabs,
and possibly even honey, from mangroves.
Incentives that could get them to protect and plant mangroves
where they have been lost.
A win-win-win
for fishing cats, local people and the global community.
These stories show us that we can all be part of a future
where fishing cats and the lost mangrove forests
are protected and restored by fishermen themselves,
creating carbon sinks
that can help offset our ecological footprints.
So while the fishing cat may be small,
I hope that we've been able to help make it a big deal.
One that we can all invest in
to help sustain our lives on earth a little longer.
Or as our friend here would say ...
(Prerecorded fishing cat sounds)
Thank you.
(Applause)
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【TED】Ashwin Naidu: The link between fishing cats and mangrove forest conservation (The link between fishing cats and mangrove forest conservation | Ashwin Naidu)

286 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on November 16, 2019
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