Baan Kuku community protected area , Thailand © SSereepaowong , 2011
The long-term goal of this small grant project was to support Thailand’s national coastal resources policy. Its specific objective was to build the capacity and awareness of community groups and organizations for playing an effective part in formulating and implementing public policy for the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources.
The Phuket Fisher-Folk Network was established in 2006 by members of a group of small-scale fishing communities. Its aim was to advocate against poorly formulated policies for fisheries and tourism which had led to mangrove encroachment and the degradation of marine resources.
The project targeted fishing communities in four villages along Phuket’s eastern coast. The main beneficiaries were 230 of the 4,878 households in these villages. Most of these households earn their living from small-scale fishing, agriculture, trade and services, and ecotourism. Yearly per capita income at the time of the project was about US$2,334.
In Ban Tha La in Thalang district, project beneficiaries received additional support from several agencies. This helped to build and integrate different groups in the village, including small-scale fishers, a weavers’ group, a food-processing group, and a tourism group. Project and other support also led to the demarcation of a marine protected zone in front of Ban Tha La.
In Ban Kuku in Muang district, 120 hectares of mangrove forest were brought under community management, and another 10 hectares reclaimed successfully by the community through legal procedures.
Despite the increased capacity of community leaders, the target villages still face a number of threats and concerns. At Ban Tha La, the issue is local infrastructure development, including a tourist programme and the construction of sea ports and a small private airfield. For Ban Kuku, near Phuket’s provincial capital, the issues are land-use conflicts and related legal questions.
The project raised its profile through print publications and by promoting its activities widely.
The regular work commitments of beneficiaries can affect scheduling of project activities, as some participants are likely to be busy during the day. A number of meetings and workshops may have to be scheduled in the evening. Regular dialogue and coordination with different stakeholders help to facilitate implementation of project activities.
Muang and Thalang, Phuket, Thailand
1st Oct 2009 to 31st Oct 2010
The Andaman Project for Participatory Restoration of Natural Resources contributed US$18,010 in cash. The participating communities made a total in-kind contribution of US$12,367.
Mr Pitthaya Yadum
Phuket Fisher-Folk Network
24/28 Moo 1, Vichit, Muang,
Tel: +66 89 8696189