The event was held under the theme “Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean”, with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) hosting similar events in 10 coastal provinces.
The event was to encourage Thai people to conserve and take care of marine resources,” Mr Varawut said.
“To join us to solve problems that accumulated over a long time ‒ including the problem of marine debris, the problem of deteriorating sea water quality, the problem of overfishing, and alleviating global climate change problems ‒ with a commitment to preserve the sea for a long time by not leaving a burden for future generations to face and solve problems caused by today’s generation,” Mr Varawut said.
Collective action is needed, Mr Varawut said.
“All sectors of the community are at the heart of ocean recovery and to make that recovery remain balanced and sustainable,” he noted.
“Currently, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is in the process of accelerating the [conservation] work so that the results can be seen more clearly. especially accelerating our approach to drive the work more efficiently and create a variety of alliances to move forward together in unity,” he added.
“The events to mark World Oceans Day were to provide opportunities for people in communities to join together to show the power to conserve Thai marine resources,” Mr Varawut explained.
The event included a showcase of Thai cultural performances, an exhibition of marine resources conservation and successes in marine resource management. Badges of honour emblazoned “Love the sea the most” were awarded to those who have taken part in marine conservation efforts and a plaques of honour were awarded to organisations and collective groups who have worked towards the conservation of marine and coastal resources.
Also presnt to officiate the event were MNRE Permanent Secretary Jatuporn Burusphat, DMCR Director-General Sophon Thongdee, Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew, Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO) President Rewat Areerob and a host of local officials, including Patong Mayor Chalermsak Maneesri.
Mr Varawut noted, “The marine and coastal resources of Phuket is an important natural resource that generates income and nourishes the people of Phuket, which is ready to accommodate millions of tourists per year. It generates hundreds of billions of baht in revenue for the country each year.”
“I am proud to see my brothers and sisters in Thailand help to oversee and drive the conservation of marine and coastal resources in Thailand to be evident in many countries, along with expressing the intention of working to preserve the sea for sustainable conservation.
“We will not leave a burden on future generations in facing and solving problems posed by our generation. We believe that the power of the Thai people and cooperation from various sectors is the key to restoring and saving the oceans to remain balanced and sustainable forever,” he said.
Mr Varawut vowed greater coordination to accelerate work efficiency and create diverse partnerships to work together in a unified way.
The event also hosted the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Marine Waste Management by representatives from government agencies, business interests and local communities in pilot areas to help reduce waste in five main estuaries: the Bang Pakong River, the Chao Phraya River, the Tha Chin River, the Mekong River and the Bang Tu Poon River.
The MoU hopes to work towards zero waste being emptied into the rivers, and includes support for waste traps to reduce the proliferation of marine debris.