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Go Eco Phuket petitions to form official marine protection task force

PHUKET: Fed up with the lack of positive action by officials in following up on environmental protection laws, local conservation group Go Eco Phuket has formally filed a request to the Phuket Governor to form a team of officials to deal with marine environmental protection.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Wednesday 24 January 2018, 02:47PM

Ittiput Schadt (centre) explains to the press that Go Eco Phuket has been proactive in protecting Phuket’s marine environment and tourist attractions for years, but needs support. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

Ittiput Schadt (centre) explains to the press that Go Eco Phuket has been proactive in protecting Phuket’s marine environment and tourist attractions for years, but needs support. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

The request, addressed directly to Governor Norraphat Plodthong, was filed at the Damrongdhama Center (Ombudsman’s Office) at Provincial Hall this morning (Jan 24).

“We have tried to co-operate with officials and local police about coral damage cases since October 30, 2017, when a diver was photographed sitting on coral,” Go Eco Phuket Secretary Ittiput Schadt told The Phuket News.

“Officials are unable to charge this male diver who sat on coral because they don't have enough evidence,” he said. (See story here.)

“Many cases are going too slow, some cases have failed. Officials are difficult to cooperate with in seriously trying to help conserve the marine environment.

“We have tried enough, Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong must know about this problem,” Mr Ittiput added.

“We require the Governor to set up a team of officials from the Tourism Business and Guide Registration Office, the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), the Phuket Marine Office, Marine Police, the Labour Office, Royal Thai Navy Third Area Command and Go Eco Phuket, in order to deal with cases threatening marine life,” Mr Ittiput explained.

Mr Ittiput also reminded officials of the public announcements by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) ordering them to perform their duties.

“Under the orders given by the NCPO and government regulations, it is the responsibility of the Governor of each province to immediately respond and fix residents’ problems to prevent and protect the forest and environment,” he said.

“Marine life and the environment is not only for people to visit, they need to be taken care of. If you find out about or see any persons doing harm or destroying it, that person must be exposed or others might do the same and cause more damage to the marine environment.

“We have done this for four years, but we need support,” he said.

Nuanchan Samat, who is the head of the Tourism Department at the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor), supported the move.

“I am a Phuket person and I do care, and support having a special team set up to help protect our marine environment,” she said.

“In my position as head of the PPAO Tourism Department, I will help the PPAO to support this as best I can,” she added.

Phuket Damrongdhama Centre Chief Athiwat Yodwan, who received the request filed today, thanked Mr Ittiput.

“I will read it later,” he noted.

Mr Athiwat declined to answer questions from the press.

“I don’t like to be in the public light, but I am a productive working official. I will follow up on this as fast as possible,” he said, before walking away.



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Jor12 | 26 January 2018 - 14:47:57

And still the mother of all expats makes incorrect assertions.

Kurt | 26 January 2018 - 10:31:07

We may applaud the petition action of Go Eco Phuket, as they are fed up with lack of positive actions by Officials in following up environmental protection laws. (PN,24/1)
Is it not strange that Phuket so far has no team of officials dealing with marine environment protection?

Seems Phuket needs new fresh inspired environmental Officials 
Young, educated, and spirit full. For Thailand 4.0

Jor12 | 25 January 2018 - 20:32:58

The point is that a coordinate effort is needed, rather that what the mother of expats has - as usual - wrongly insinuated.

DeKaaskopp | 25 January 2018 - 16:16:24

"Perhaps Go ECO,ATUS and CMAS can join forces"Maybe not a bad idea.But what ever final decisions they would make,they should contact the"mother"of all expats/experts first,as only one person really knows what's good for Tourist's,expats and Thai's and what they need!Actually every department on Phuket should do so.

Jor12 | 25 January 2018 - 15:21:07

Better late than never

Kurt | 25 January 2018 - 14:07:49

Perhaps GO ECO Phuket, ATUS, and CMAS can join forces and do what Government Officials not have the interest and spirit for to do, despite the instructions of NCPO to perform their duties.
Phuket Governor should investigate why Officials not function/perform sufficient in these serious matters.
Dismiss them, kick them to inactive posts in Bangkok.

Bigaresort | 25 January 2018 - 06:28:18

I hope this is a real serious try ! is it not to late?


Jor12 | 25 January 2018 - 01:33:06

Excellent initiatives shown by this civic minded conservation group, that can galvanise community groups to work together for the good of the community and to seek assistance from the powers that be. One doesn't need to be an "official association" to do this. 

Asterix | 24 January 2018 - 15:26:45

GO ECO PHUKET is not an official association but instead it is a club of local dive boat operators with their own interests.
In Thailand, ATUS (Association of Thailand Underwater Sports) is the national diving association of Thailand (CMAS Thailand) and internationally recognized by being full voting member of the world underwater federation CMAS.

Asterix | 24 January 2018 - 15:26:29

ATUS is the official Underwater Sports Association which is under the supervision of SAP (Sports Autority of Thailand) and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Kingdom of Thailand.
Therefore, the Thai Administration should invite instead ATUS representatives at official meetings about snorkeling, scuba diving and protecting coral reefs.

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