The underwater world with Songpol Tippayawong | WWF

The underwater world with Songpol Tippayawong

Posted on 27 August 2007    
© WWF / Kittipan SUBKHOON
Is the story of the lifetime work of this determined man, an ex-researcher of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and currently the Head of the Marine and Coastal Resources Unit, WWF Thailand. Pet Mania is very interested in his work and was fortunate to interview him this past August about his work, which stresses on participatory management that focuses on sustainable management of marine and coastal resources.

Songpol talked about the results of the Green Coast Project that he oversees. This project covers 4 themes: coral reef, sea turtles, seagrass, and mangrove forest, all of which received good to very good responses from the community, especially because such issues are the same issues that the coastal community have tried to push for sustainable management and conservation. The results of the project were pleasing in that the community, NGOs and local government agencies all participated. Lifestyles, which were measured based on better income and benefits improved, as well more care were placed in the ecosystem.

However, much work is still needed. He left the audience with an interesting thought stating that the amount of damage marine and coastal resources faced from the tsunami is much less than the crises that humans have caused, whether it be from coastal development or tourist ports, all these actions cause erosion, water pollution and create waste. Furthermore, the ocean faces commercial fishery boats that directly harm the resources as well as take away income that would have otherwise gone to local fishery communities.

Additionally, the efficiency in management at the policy level and the civil system, which is under the supervision of political measures are still minimal. There is also a lack of respect for local wisdom, and support for participatory management, especially from the local community. The local communities are rarely included in management, despite having shown to better manage the resources, use less funds in doing so, and have a better sense of ownership because they see the resources as the foundation of their local lifestyle. Even though today, the problem persists, Songpol and the Green Coast Project team continue to stand strong to protect this underwater world. The sea maybe something that is out of reach for many, and is often overlooked, but let's not forget that it is also the same beauty that many adore and have many memories that cannot be forgotten; this reason alone should be enough for us to all start protecting this blue beauty and all that depends on it.
© WWF / Kittipan SUBKHOON Enlarge

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