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Bay marred by movie ordered to be fixed

BANGKOK: The Supreme Court has ordered the Forestry Department to restore Maya Bay, which was environmentally damaged in 1998 during the shooting of the movie The Beach.

By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 14 September 2022, 02:18PM

Photo: Bangkok Post.

Photo: Bangkok Post.

The ruling was read out at the Civil Court yesterday (Sept 13) and follows earlier rulings by lower courts, reports the Bangkok Post.

A large part of filming for The Beach was done in Maya Bay, amid allegations of ecological vandalism when imported palms were planted to make the beach “perfect”.

The Krabi Provincial Administration Organisation and 17 other plaintiffs initially filed suit with the Civil Court handling environmental cases. They filed against the agriculture minister at the time, the Forestry Department, the then-Forestry Department chief, the Thai agent Santa International Film Production and filmmaker 20th Century Fox Co, as first to fifth defendants respectively, for violations of the National Park Act and the National Environmental Quality Act.

In 1998, authorities approved the re-landscaping of Maya Bay on Koh Phi Phi, which was within Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park in Krabi, for The Beach. This prompted the plaintiffs to file suit against those involved.

The plaintiffs asked the court to nullify the orders issued by the first, second and third defendants, which allowed the fourth defendant to shoot the film, and order the company to jointly place money as a guarantee for restoration of damage to the environment. Unless the guaranteed money was put up, the plaintiffs asked the court to order the first to third defendants to revoke the film permit given to the fourth and fifth defendants. The suit also called for the restoration of Maya Bay.

The lower court ruling ordered the Forestry Department to restore Maya Bay to its natural state. The court also ordered it to set up a working panel to draw up a rehabilitation plan for Maya Bay and sustainable use of areas around the bay. The working panel was to be set up within 30 days of the ruling being made.

The court ordered the fourth and fifth defendants to be responsible for implementing a compromise agreement dated Feb 27, 2019. Under the agreement, the fifth defendant agreed to give B10 million for natural conservation so that the first and second plaintiffs could use the money for nature conservation. The first defendant would update the court every year on the progress of the work, for three consecutive years or until the money was spent.

The lower court acquitted the first and third defendants. The defendants appealed to the Appeal Court handling environmental cases asking for acquittal of the second defendant too. Later, the first and second plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court.

The court found the plaintiffs’ appeal was partially sound. It ruled to uphold the lower court ruling for the Forestry Department, to restore Maya beach. The department was ordered to comply with the Supreme Court judgement within 30 days.

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Kurt | 16 September 2022 - 08:26:05

Are there no toilets and bins at Maya Bay beach?  Do the passenger boats have toilet holding tanks which they must empty after return in homeport? Are there no sanitation officers on Phi Phi island? How in lords name take Thai officials daily care of the island environmernt?

christysweet | 15 September 2022 - 11:23:47

The damage is from the million tourists who have peed in the water and thrown their lunch packaging in the bushes, not a movie made 24 years ago. 

JohnC | 15 September 2022 - 09:16:39

It should have been restored to it's original state as soon as the movie was finished being filmed. 24 years on it hardly seems possible to turn back time now. Worst of all the destruction was for a pathetically bad third rate movie that wasn't worth watching. I guess somebody here must have made lot's of money from this travesty.

Kurt | 14 September 2022 - 19:35:41

Nature lives, it springs, it grows. Imagine that the original Maya Bay nature setting was not adjusted for movie shooting, than Maya Bay also would now not be as it was in 1998. The idea to make it anno 1998 is just a excuse of a group who smell money making behind a nonsense justification.

Prab | 14 September 2022 - 16:12:48

what a bunch of rubbish and the 1998 movie, they just seeking somo bucks clearly, no mention of the million of chinese tourist that used the beach in the last 20 years or 100 tousen speed boat drifting there and so on... just patetic to say the least.. their face is just like their bottom lol 


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