With a banner emblazoned “Break Free From Coal” hoisted between two masts, the ship will be the centre of activities for the next few days, with open tours of the boat from 9am to 5pm tomorrow (June 10).
At 4:30pm today will be a forum titled “Conservation of Marine Biodiversity in Phuket as a World Tourism City” that will continue until 6pm. Key panellists include Marine Biologist Dr Nalinee Thongtham from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre; Dr Arpa Wangkiat from Rangsit University; Phuket Civic Group member Chote Tangvinit; Ao Kung Bay Conservation Group leader Pradit Puangket and Phuket environmental activist Rattanaporn Jangjaidee.
From 6:30pm to 7:30pm will be a mini-concert by Job Bunjob, follows by Thai pop-rock band Tattoo Colour from 7:30pm to 9pm.
After the free open boat tours tomorrow, the fun continues on Monday (June 11) with a cooking competition conducted in Thai and English featuring elementary school students from Phuket and neighbouring provinces from 10:30am to midday, with Chef Pom Thanaruk Chuto and Rainbow Warrior Captain Hettie Geenen as the cooking-contest judges.
From 2pm to 4pm on Monday will be the “VEG TALK ‘Less Meat More Veggies’” event featuring a series of expert speakers, as follows:
- Seeing a broken food system through a simple meal
by Kingkorn Narintarakul Na Ayuthaya, Biothai
- Less is more: Reducing meat and dairy for a healthier life and planet
by Watcharapol Daengsubha, Greenpeace Southeast Asia
- Sustainable Consumption and Production within the food supply chain
by Ply Pirom, WWF-Thailand
- How eating plant-based meals can support local communities
by Amnaj Maiyodkrang, President of Wang Nam Khiao Non-toxic Agriculture Cooperative under the Royal Initiative
- Diet for climate - a solution to the world major problem that begin with one's plate
by Maria Poonlertlarp, Miss Universe Thailand 2017
Another key event on the ship’s itinerary is the launch of the report “Thailand Renewable Energy Job Creation” from 10am to 11am on Tuesday (June 12).
Key speakers at the launch will be Dr Decharut Sukkumnoed from the Faculty of Economics at Kasetsart University; Dr Somnuck Jongmeewasin of the International College at Silpakorn University; Asst Prof Dr Usa Onthong from the Research Centre for Energy and Environment at Thaksin University; and Somchet Chaiyalap from the Sustainable Energy Research Centre for Communities in Kalasin Province.
The report launch on Tuesday will be followed by the forum “Renewable Energy Investment in Thailand” from 11am to 12:30pm, featuring Luepong Luenam from the Faculty of Agricultural Technology at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang; Asst Prof Chedsada Mingchai from Uttaradit Rajabhat University; Suphakit Nantavorakarn from the Healthy Public Policy Foundation; and Nathee Sitthiprasart from the Renewable Energy Industry Club under The Federation of Thai Industries.
The renewable-energy forum and the report launch are expected to highlight critical energy issues Thailand’s leaders are currently facing, especially as long-standing plans for a coal-fired plant to be built in Krabi have faced continued strong opposition from local residents as well as activists and the major blackouts only last Friday (June 1) threw into sharp relief the poor state of Thailand’s energy infrastructure as major power supply disruptions struck areas of Bangkok, the Northeast and the Central Plains, and were also felt in Phuket, when power supply to the national grid provided by a power plant in Laos failed.
On the issue of Thailand’s waters becoming so polluted with plastic that a pilot whale died last week with 80 plastic bags, weighing about 8 kilograms, found in its stomach (see story here), Greenpeace as recently as Tuesday (June 5) called on world leaders at the G7 Summit in Canada this weekend to end the plastic pollution crisis by taking stronger steps to curtail the uses of plastics including single-use plastics such as plastic bags and straws – two primary sources of plastic pollution in Thailand (see Greenpeace release here).
The ship itself – technically the third Rainbow Warrior since the first was bombed in New Zealand (see here), has been hailed as a “shining example for green ship building”.
“We wanted the third Rainbow Warrior to be as environmentally-friendly as possible for a ship of its type and Greenpeace has worked with some excellent engineers to make it happen,” Greenpeace notes on its website.
To that goal, the ship,which entered operation on October 14, 2011, sails primarily under wind power.
“Its 55m-high A-Frame mast system can carry far more sail than a conventional mast of the same size. This is the first time this design has been installed on a vessel of the Rainbow Warrior’s size.
“The Warrior does have electric drive engines to help out when the weather isn’t suitable, but these are also built with sustainability in mind,” Greenpeace notes.
“On board up to 59 cubic meters of grey and black water can be stored, avoiding any need for at sea disposal. And a special biological filtering system helps clean and recycle grey water,” the organisation adds.
For more information about the Rainbow Warrior’s 2018 tour of Thailand, see the Facebook page: Greenpeace Thailand.