On Friday 24th August 2012 @ Holiday Inn, Patong Beach, Phuket, SEEK will be holding their Inaugural Meeting in collaboration with the AMCHAM Forum. The event is entitled “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”
Phuket is over its carrying capacity today and is in a crisis situation.
Our landfills are at capacity, our new incinerator is not yet turned on and there is no curbside recycling. Our fishing fleet has limited controls leading to overfishing, our beaches with only few exceptions have regular cleanups and there is no anti litter campaign. Our energy source is non renewable, the solar industry is embryonic, our fuel is subsidized and there is little energy efficiency in the public or private sector. Our eyes are wide open as we soak up the pleasure dome that this island province is, whilst eyes wide shut to the problems and the needs for a sustainable future.
Phuket is a mixture of the good (worlds’ best beaches, wonderful Thai food, culture and hospitality & year round sunshine and warm weather), the bad (non sustainable practices, litter, untamed consumerism and an island treated as a bottomless resource pit) & the ugly (beach encroachment, crime, throw up architecture & abuse of the sea) A 2025 Vision, today, on current trends, is not a utopian tropical isle based around 1970 island images but an overcrowded, overbuilt uncontrolled greed festival. No space on the beaches, destroyed reefs that are more deserts than tropical splendours. An Exploited and Abused pearl amidst the Indian Ocean, beaches that are a dumping ground for Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh & India.
Fortunately all is not lost, although we are at a fork in the road and do need all your individual support. Our collective GOAL that can be civic community led is for a sustainable Phuket, a Low carbon island and for it to be a World class marine reserve. This is possible but requires STRATEGIC PRIORITIES that include preserving our Cultural Values, stronger public & private sector partnerships & the support of Phuket’s key life supports: Better Land use & increased Green areas plus Water, Energy & Waste conservation and efficiency The Andaman Sea: Thailand has a coastline of almost 3,000 km (one third along the Andaman Sea Coast and two-thirds along the Gulf of Thailand Coast) and an EEZ of around 360,000 km2 Throughout the entire coastline, in-shore shallow water fisheries provide important food security and income for local small-scale fishers. Marine capture fisheries within the EEZ and coastal aquaculture together generate around $3 billion income/year.
Mangrove cover declined from 2 million rai in the mid-70s to 1 million rai in the mid- 90s, but has since recovered to 1.5 million rai. Phang-nga, Krabi, Trang and Satun account for almost two- thirds of remaining mangroves, while Chantaburi and Trat have the most remaining mangroves on the Gulf side. Coral reefs and sea grass beds on the Andaman coast are generally more abundant and in better condition than on the Gulf coast. There are a total of 23 coastal/ marine protected areas in Thailand, but together they represent only a very small proportion of Thailand’s seas and coasts, while mangrove forests and inter-tidal mud-flats are vastly underrepresented in Thailand’s protected areas system. Large parts of the coast are de-facto managed by local communities
While their rights and responsibilities in this regard are enshrined in the Constitution, there is no law passed to recognize, permit and control community-based management of mud-flats, coral reefs and sea-grass beds, etc. In large islands including Phuket, Samui and Chang, tourism is a major driver of the economy.
For the last 40 years, the coastal zone has been the scene of severe conflicts between small scale fishermen and large commercial fishing businesses; and between local communities and investors in commercial prawn farms, tourism, and other development projects.
In many ways the tragedy of the 26 December 2004 Tsunami spurred a renewed interest in Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) and rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems from sustainable livelihoods and disaster risk reduction. More recent (and still growing) concerns about the effects of climate change in the coastal zone are helping to maintain that momentum. This is an opportunity to share and exchange experiences and lessons learned from a variety of recent initiatives, programmes and activities in the coastal zone – both in community-based resource management; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture (including certification) marine protected areas; marine tourism; climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. It will identify workable solutions to pressing problems in the coastal zone; help to identify gaps that need to be filled; and prioritize issues for capacity-building, institutional development and legal/policy reform.
EVENT PRINCIPAL: Synergy Solutions / Thanyapura Ltd
Government: Tourism Authority Thailand, Thailand Convention Exhibition Bureau, Provincial Governors Office, Ministry of the Environment, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Health, Ministry of
Education, Thai Hotels Association and more
NGO’s: IUCN National Committee; Asia Pacific Environmental Network; Thai Environment
Institute (TEI), Sustainable Smiles, UNDP, MFF; DNP; DMCR; DOF; SAMPAN; CATSPA;DASTA; GIZ; AFD; BOBLME; EU-BCR; Sida; Norad; SDF; RECOFTC; WWF; Cousteau Divers; Thai Dive Association; CSR Asia & Business Continuity Management (BCM) Private Sector: Retail groups such as Central & Tesco, food groups, hospitality groups/hotels (such as Holiday Inn, Marriott Group, Westin, Grand Millennium) the ECO sector on Phuket & tour operators. Rotary, Phuket International Women’s Club, SKAL
9.00am / Opening ceremony Dignitaries: The Governor of Phuket Khun Tri Augkaradacha
Dr. Robert Mather, Head IUCN SEA, Dr. Paul Chamniern, Director, Thai Environment Institute (TEI)
9.30am / Overview / Phukets’ commitment to the Future / Phuket Governor
SEEK Goals and objectives for a Sustainable Phuket / Sean Panton, SEEK
The Good the Bad and the Ugly / Nick Anthony, Green Phuket
Phuket Success Stories: Energy Efficiency (Energy Ministry) / Waste management (Health Ministry) Green Beach Program (Kamala Beach) Plastic Reduction (Phuket Governors Green Committee)
ASEAN environmental education (APEN) / Mr. Peter Harris, Director APEN EMBRACE, Climate change awareness (TEI & ISET) Khun Kanokwan Homchai-aim, SEEK senior coordinator PIWC Scholarship program – Carol Dux, President PIWC
CSR Asia / How CSR can help Phuket in the future – Mia Overall, CSR Asia
11.00am / COMPASS INDICATORS / What the Sustainability Plan will look like
Update on stakeholder workshops and findings / Robert Steele, Senior Partner, Atkisson Group & Director Systainability Asia
Presentation of key indicators for a sustainable Phuket
NATURE / Oceans, Beaches, Protected Areas, Waste Management, Water Management.
ECONOMY / Carrying Capacity, Energy & Green Government, Green Products/Considered Consumption, Transportation. SOCIETY / Education, Enforcement, Media. WELLBEING /Health Care, Safety
1.00pm / Working LUNCH
2.00pm / Afternoon Breakout session to decide indicators; 4 Groups
STRATEGIC PRIORITIES: Preserving Values: Environmental, Cultural Values, Public & private sector partnerships & Achieving Consensus, Support of a Phuket Watch-Dog Network, Environmental Quality Protection Bureau (EQPB) Palau, Semi autonomous, Earthmoving, Marine and water quality, EIA review, Sustainable design energy, water and land use, Phuket’s Key Life supports and watchdog, Land use & Green areas. The island lungs, urban development, green area protection, water, life’s key element, salt water & oceans; pollution and the reality of Silt on reef destruction Fresh water constraints and ground water depletion, energy, off grid Phuket, Renewable energy planning, waste, REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE, Island wide Curb-side recycling, litter bug program, beach Cleaning
3.30pm Summary and Closing Remarks
3.30pm AMCHAM registration in lobby
4.00pm AMCHAM Discussion
TOPIC: Green Business Review of Phukets leading Hotel Reduce, Reuse & Recycle programs:
Recycling today, energy efficiency, being water wise and getting more bang for your buckwhether a hotel, or business, or at home. Saves you money as pennies become pounds… and saves the environment!
Sean Panton, SEEK
Dr. Robert Mather / Head IUCN SEA