Phra Thong Island CCRC
Project Title : Phra Thong Island Community Conservation Center
Type : Coastal Community Resource Center
Location : Ban Lion Village, Phra Thong Island, Phang Nga, Thailand
Start Date / End Date : 2008 – present
Collaborators, Partners and Supporters : Andaman Discoveries; Lions Foundation International of Thailand; Planeterra Foundation/Student Travel Association (STA); Naucrates
MAP has been working on the island of Phra Thong on the Andaman coast of Thailand since 2008. The island has diverse and abundant marine resources, including mangrove and seagrass. MAP has promoted their protection through sustainable management and the development of alternative livelihoods for local people. To support this work, MAP-Asia was very pleased to receive new funding from the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA) Foundation. MAP’s project “Coastal Community Resource Centre Development and Nature Guide Training for Koh Phra Thong Lions and Tha Pae Yoi Villages Eco-tourism Groups” was selected as one of the three winners of the 2012 PATA Foundation grant program. The funds supported the training of local community members to be eco-guides for kayak ecotourism in the mangroves, develop an island eco-guide for visitors, and provide solar power for the Coastal Community Resource Center (CCRC) in Ban Lion Village.
The CCRC also functions as a visitor center; a base for the sea-turtle research and conservation of MAP’s partner, the Italian NGO Naucrates; has displays promoting environmental awareness of Phra Island’s ecosystems for community members and visitors; and serves as a base for the sea grass ecosystem conservation research work of MAP advisor Dr. Barry Bendell. The Center also provides space to market natural tie-dye handicraft from the women’s cooperative started with MAP support following the 2004 tsunami. MAP provided leadership in establishing CCRC and equipping it.
1) Community capacity building in biodiversity;
2) community capacity building in sustainable livelihood development;
3) demonstration site for green technologies (solar power, rainwater harvesting, recycling);
4) site for Environmental Education, mangrove/coastal ecology research
A wide range of activities are underway or planned for the CCRC including:
- School Children’s Environmental Education
- Sea Turtle & Sea Grass Conservation
- Mangrove Conservation, Restoration, and Management
- Community-Based Tourism with homestay and Eco-tourism programs
- Women’s Handicraft development as a supplementary livelihood
- Green Practices Demonstrations
- Visitor Center with Ecosystem Exhibits & Displays
Highlights / Milestones:
1) Establishment of the Women’s Tie-Dye Cooperative established generating sustainable alternative income following the 2004 tsunami;
2) Development of a training course in bird-watching (Sept 2011);
3) Hosted Youth International Volunteers Programme (Oct 2011) and North Andaman Youth Seminar (Oct 2011)
Most recent activity: In September 2012, 5 adults and 15 youth from the village of Tae Pae Yoi, both boys and girls, received an intensive 2-day training in kayak eco-tourism, led by facilitators from MAP-Asia, John Gray’s Sea Canoe, and Andaman Discoveries. They learned kayak operation, safety, and navigation, and then had ample time to practice their new skills navigating through the local mangroves.
Leaders and community members of Ta Pae Yoi are now actively planning how to move forward with the eco-tourism program, which will involve tourists doing homestays at the two bungalows already ready for use (with plans for four more). Activities planned include kayak tours, fishing trips, cooking lessons, bicycle touring, bird watching and traditional dancing. This homestay program will enable the villagers to derive sustainable livelihoods from their mangroves, while providing an opportunity for the villagers to learn more about their own environment.
Island exploration, homestays, turtle conservation, and volunteer opportunities
- Offers visitors a chance to visit one of Thailand’s least developed islands
- Extraordinary biodiversity includes turtles, dugongs, dolphins and the Lessor Adjutant Stork
Costs : ?
Resources and related articles:
Photo sheet pdf file