Thailand office projects
The MAP Asia office is directly involved in managing and facilitating a variety of community-based programmes within the North Andaman region of Thailand. The projects are being carried out in fisheries dependent villages along the Andaman coast in Krabi, Phang Nga and Ranong provinces. In collaboration with partnering organizations Naucrates and Andaman Discoveries, MAP Asia is working toward empowering local communities through the following:
Youth Environmental Education Programs
- Conservation, Management and Restoration Program
- Community-based tourism (CBT) initiative
- Supplementary livelihood development projects
Contact: Jim Enright, Asia Regional Coordinator
Koh Phra Thong Project (Andaman Sea Coast)
•Ban Lions Community Natural Resource Conservation and Management Project
The Lions village is a newly created post-tsunami community established with support from Lions Clubs International. It was developed in response to the displacement of tsunami victims from several villages on the island of Koh Phra Thong. In 2008, MAP and partnering organization Naucrates initiated a two year "Community Natural Resource Conservation and Management Project" with funding from The Lion Foundation, Thailand. Some of the project's goals and objectives include: introducing environmentally friendly practices to improve the living conditions of the Ban Lion village community; strengthening local community capacity to implement conservation programs; increase scientific knowledge of the biology and conservation of marine turtles while involving villagers in the protection of their habitats; increrase local environmental awareness; and develop a homestay programme for Thai and foreign visitors.
The project has been largely successful in working toward these goals. In addition to the village "greening" and homestay initiatives, great strides in community environmental education and awareness have occurred through the Community Coastal Resource Centre (CCRC). The CCRC consists of two donated houses converted into a simple community nature and education centre which is the focal point for conservation activities. Furthermore, the project has successfully involved the village in natural resource conservation and management through the creation of a local conservation coordination team, participation in mangrove study, and rehabilitation, along with research, and sea turtle activities. Ultimately, the project shows great potential for continued growth and success.
MAP-Asia would like to acknowledge the financial support of:
- Lions Foundation of Thailand
Ecumenical Coalition on Tourism
Tie-dye Products from Ban Lions
Since 2007 MAP has been working in conjunction with Andaman Discoveries and Naucrates (NGO's) to develop sustainable livelihoods in Lion Village on Phra Thong (Golden Buddha) Island in the north Andaman region of Thailand. Supporting and promoting sustainable livelihoods is an important tool in stimulating the exchange of ideas and information on the conservation and restoration of mangrove forests and associated habitats.
In 2010 with financial support from NZAID, MAP helped with the formation of a woman's natural tie-dye cooperative in Lions village. This is an island that was severely affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004. As a result, Lions village was built further inland as a replacement for the original village of Pak Chok, which was completely destroyed during this tragic event.
The women's cooperative is not only a great source of hope, innovation, but also a much needed supplementary source of family income to their husband’s meagre earnings from small-scale fisheries. Like many traditional fishers they face growing problems from the ravage of trawlers, habitat destruction, and ever increasing diesel fuel costs. The group members have been striving hard to develop creative new designs and practical products using local knowledge and materials. All of the products are made with 100% natural plant-based dyes and 100% cotton fabric. All dyes are sourced on the island, such as from the barks of mangrove and paper-bark trees, the leaves of Indian Almond and wild passion flower. The women sustainably harvest the materials for their dyes and also to ensure a convenient economical plant supply they grow some dye sources in their community garden.
By purchasing these beautiful Ban Lions Tye Dye handcrafted products you will not only supporting these women’s livelihood but also their important conservation work. To discover how to order head to the Andaman Discoveries handicrafts web page by clicking here.
Download the tie-dye catalog and the poster explaining the tie-dye materials and techniques (click on the image below).
•Seagrass Monitoring at Ban Lion
The seagrass meadows around Phra Thong Island are an important fisheries resource, yielding molluscs, crab, shrimp, sea cucumbers and fish. The seagrass is also food for endangered species, such as dugongs and sea turtles, which are the focus of important regional conservation efforts. In June 2009, MAP initiated a project "Community-based Seagrass Monitoring and Conservation at Phra Thong Island", which promoted the conservation and monitoring of the meadows with the participation of people from Lion Village. The monitoring follows the methods of Seagrass-Watch, which has sites in several countries of the Asia-Pacific region.
Participation in seagrass monitoring improved local stewardship and responsibility for the seagrass environment.
On Phra Thong Island there has been concern about the over-exploitation of fisheries and the need to protect them. Consequently, the villages of Lion and Tha Payoi set up marine protected areas which restricted fishing and gathering activities in their seagrass meadows. To support that initiative and to provide a critical analysis of the effectiveness of that protection, a new project has begun in 2012, “Evaluation and Monitoring of Marine Protected Areas in Seagrass Meadows at Phra Thong Island, Thailand” . The current and previous projects were both supported by the Rufford Small Grants Foundation through a grant to Barry Bendell, a MAP volunteer. That support is gratefully acknowledged.
•Youth in Action for Next Generations
Youth groups from the Upper Andaman Coast have operated sustainable development projects for several years. Youth in Action for Next Generations (YANG) (a project supported by the EU) is helping to build upon youth's previous efforts by expanding the community network to a global audience. YANG's primary objective is to provide young people the necessary skills to create local actions in favour of sustainable development through global collaboration.
Through a collaborative partnership with Andaman Discoveries, MAP began facilitating the YANG project in support of the youth conservation group in Ban Talae Nok village located on the North Andaman coast. This program provides support while also linking them with youth groups in seven Asian and European countries, including a visit from partners in France and Hungary. By operating their own projects and learning from peers all over the world, youth are given the skills and knowledge to create sustainable development programs. Furthermore, they have taken an active part in decision making, which has had a major impact on resource-use issues affecting their futures. Networking amongst those groups will help to continue to build their capacity in order to accomplish their activities successfully in the community. MAP also assisted in organizing the YANG seminar in Kuraburi which encourages young people to become aware of their involvement in sustainable resource management.
MAP Asia would like to acknowledge the financial support of:
- Pistes-Solidaires of France
- Andaman Discoveries of Thailand
- Cottonwood Foundation of USA
- IUCN - Thailand Program
For More Information: YIA October 2009 Report.