Bio-Right projects in Suratthani, Thailand, Suratthani © Pratheep Mekatitham, 2012
Establish a sustainable development model to restore and manage mangrove forests, while supporting conservation of coastal marine natural resources and the livelihoods of local populations, through an innovative model of local income generation.
In particular, the project aimed to:
Aquaculture, particularly shrimp farming, has expanded enormously along the coasts of Thailand during the past two decades. The high demand of the Black Tiger Prawn, Penaeus monodon, for export influenced the rapid growth of the shrimp farming sector. Very high short-term financial profits had negative consequences, as shrimp farming has contributed to environmental problems related to water pollution and wide-scale mangrove forest conversion. In many cases, intensive shrimp farming has been characterized by a boom-and-bust cycle of rapid expansion followed by a crash. As a result the farmers migrated from the Inner Gulf of Thailand to southern areas (Prachuap Khiri Khan, Surat Thani, and Nakhon Si Thammarat) and later across to the Andaman coast (Krabi, Phang-Nga and Satun). This shifting cultivation, combined with degradation from unsustainable logging practices, has left behind large areas of abandoned ponds and degraded mangrove forests.
Vast areas of mangrove--traditionally used by local people for fisheries, timber production and non-timber forest products--have been converted to shrimp aquaculture ponds. Unsustainable environmental practices, including reliance on high nutrient, chemical and bio-chemical inputs, severely degrades land quality; and after only 5 to 10 years use, shrimp aquaculture ponds are abandoned and investors establish new ponds in other mangrove areas. While short-term economic benefits of this “shifting aquaculture” tend to be reaped by elite of influential investors, rural communities experience the permanent loss of local natural resources upon which their traditional livelihoods depend.
Like many other areas of Thailand and beyond, this is the case for the project target areas in Surat Thani province. Land conversion for shrimp aquaculture has caused the loss of over 90% of the project area’s mangrove forests. For the local population this has led to loss of resource access, loss of traditional livelihoods, unemployment and marginalisation.
Global and national, local stakeholders profit from the long term benefits of healthy, intact mangrove forests and local people will benefit from improved livelihoods. The Bio-Rights approach which has been implemented by the project, was tested and refined by Wetlands International for more than 10 years in Asian and African countries and has the potential to effectively increase income of local communities while at the same time enhancing conservation and wise use of natural resources. During the MFF project life, Wetlands International-Thailand Office replicated the Bio-rights approach from a similar project in Tha Kham sub-district, Palien district, Trang Province, Southern Thailand funded by Wetlands International.
Fishing communities surrounding Ban Don Bay in 7 districts; Tha Chana, Chaiya, Tha Chang, Phunphin, Mueang Surat Thani, Kanchanadit and Don Sak. Surat Thani Province, Southern Thailand.
Climate Change (more in the context of disaster risk reduction): The project, through its mangrove tree planting activities, re-established natural buffer zones in coastal areas which can prevent soil erosion and salt water intrusion. Communities also subscribe to using mangroves as a natural protection against storms and other extreme weather disturbances.
Gender Equality: The participation of both men and women was ensured in all project activities.
Communications: The project implemented awareness campaigns across all levels (community, province, national agencies, wider informed public) using different communications channels.
El Nino and Sea Level rise impact in Thailand (Thai), Suratthani © MFF Thailand, 2011
ดร สนใจ หะวานนท์ รองผู้อำนวยการศูนย์พลังงาน อุทยานสิ่งแวดล้อมนานาชาติสิรินธร จ.เพชรบุรี และยังเป็นที่ปรึกษาคณะกรรมการประสานความร่วมมือระดับชาติด้านนิเวศป่าชายเลนเพื่ออนาคต (NCB) ร่วมเสวนาและให้ความรู้ในเวทีชุมชนชายฝั่งเข้มแข็งปรับตัวต่อการเปลี่ยนแปลงสิ่งแวดล้อมสภาพภูมิอากาศและภัยพิบัติ ในงานสัมมนา ทิศทางชายฝั่งทะเลไทย ในทศวรรษใหม่ที่ยั่งยืน ดำเนินรายการโดย คุณเสกสรร ชัญถาวร มูลนิธิรักษ์ไทย วันที่ 24 สิงหาคม 2554 เวลา 08.30-11.30 น. เอกสารประกอบการสัมมนา http://issuu.com/mffthailand/docs/seminar_mff_surat_coastal_management_2011 ติดตามเกี่ยวกับโครงการอื่นๆ ได้ที่ http://www.facebook.com/MFFThailand ---- Dr Sonjai Havanond, Deputy Director of Energy Center, Sirindhorn International Environmental Parl (SIEP) shared with us about the el nino nad sea level rise phenomenon and how the coastal community adapt to climate change and prepare for disaster. The video clip from Seminar session 'coastal community and climate change adaptation' from the national forum 'the new decade of coastal resources management in Thailand' in Suratthani 22-24 August 2011. This session is organized by RaksThai foundation in collaboration with Mangroves for the future Thailand.
Surat Thani, Southern Thailand
16th Apr 2009 to 30th Sep 2011
The project partners include:
Prof. Dr Noparat Bamroongrugsa, Project coordination office
Faculty of Environmental Management
Prince of Songkla University
Hat Yai Campus, Hat Yai district
Songkhla 90112, Thailand
The project helped increase my confidence in building networks within and outside the community. The skills I learned from the MFF project made me confident to pay my personal loans, and now I have peace of mind. After the MFF project, I can participate in other national projects that directly contribute to my livelihood.
-- Mrs La-Wan Nate-vong,
beneficiary of Bio-Rights grant (cockle culture)
Laem-Po village, subdistrict Pumraing, district of Chaiya