Go Eco ‘boot camp’ kicks off in Phuket

Posted on November 20, 2013


Don’t wear sunscreen if you are going snorkelling, you could kill the coral below.

That was one of the messages delivered on the opening day of Go Eco (November 19), a six-day “boot camp” for 20 people, including tourist police officers, tour operators, consular staff, academics, government officials and journalists.


The boot camp is organised by the Phuket Dive Operators Club (PDOC) to raise awareness of life underwater and the impact on it of human activities, including tourism.

The 20 will get a full PADI open water course and lectures on marine conservation and the laws that apply.

The PDOC also hopes that Go Eco will raise awareness among Thais in general and to become “eco-volunteers”.

Back to the sunscreen: Johan Tissier, owner of Amazing Phuket Adventures dive company in Rawai explained, “Coral grows well under UV rays from the sun but sunscreen washes off when you are wet. In busy tourist dive spots you can see the grease floating on the surface when all the tourists jump in the water, especially in an enclosed bay.

“With the growing numbers of tourists, the amount of sunscreen that washes into the sea is large and can block the UV rays that are essential to the growing process of coral reefs.”

Prof Saisanit Pongsuwan from Biology department ,Science and Technology Faculty from Rajabhat University said, “People today are all too often disconnected from environmental issues.

“Participation will help local people understand more about the local environment and our resources, such as when children went recently to do a beach clean-up on Koh Racha. If we don’t preserve our own environment, who will?”

Vice-Governor Sommai Preechasil, who officially launched the project, expressed official thanks to the Go Eco team for organising beach and underwater clean-ups such as the one in August this year that involved hundreds of people on land and in the sea, collecting garbage.

“To collect garbage from underwater has never been done before,” she said. “I am glad that Go Eco has started these innovative and generous programmes. It is a good example of activities that give back to society.”

Santi Pawai, Director of Tourism and Sports in Phuket also announced useful new travel app for smart phones, the Travel Application Phuket, which will be launched in late December.

“With this app you will be able to find all important phone numbers, what’s happening in Phuket and other useful information for visitors,” Mr Santi announced.

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