20 YEARS ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL PROJECT EDITION
Former volunteers will be Project Field Leaders
Naucrates conservation effort at Phra Thong island started in 1996, when the island was chosen as the base of a sea turtle conservation project. The project started in collaboration with the Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) and it was registered by National Research Council Thailand (NRCT) in 1999 as the “Pilot project to establish the Phang Nga focal point for sea turtle conservation at Phra Thong island (PT)”. Last year the NRCT approved the fourth phase of the project, which will continue until 2020. The project was lead and coordinated by Dr. Monica Aureggi, since the start.
Since year 2005, the project has been lead by different leaders working on the field. Staff changed every one or two years. The low turn- over of project field leaders is mainly due to the lack of funds to employ someone year around.
The project’s main source of funds is volunteers’ contributions. Volunteers pay a project fee that covers all the general expenses, their food and lodging, staff salaries and project activities.
Over the past 20 years, the project has developed into a conservation project, focusing on different topics such as endangered species, mangrove forest, seagrass, birds, coral reef, etc. Each year according to funding availability and staff, the project focused on different subjects, creating an important database of the nature of the island. In parallel, Naucrates focused on the local community, introducing many initiatives and training to assist and provide support for the local community. Environmental education has been a priority since the beginning of the project, in particular for school children.
For the past few years the project has been based at Lion Village, where collaboration and good relations have been established with villagers, plus at Nok’s bungalows..
Tourist development on the island is increasing year by year, threatening the conservation of natural resources.
The proposal for the 20th ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL PROJECT EDITION suggests that former volunteers will conduct the 2016-17 fieldwork season, as leaders. They will take turns to work on the field for 2 or 3 weeks each, guaranteeing beach monitoring and nest protection, as well as awareness of tourists and organising ‘s educational activities.
Aims of the project
· To protect the sea turtle nesting population by monitoring nesting beaches
· To support the homestay group of Lion Village and local bungalows sites
- To provide environmental education to local children
- To conduct awareness among tourists
- Open the Community Conservation Center (CCC) at Lion Village and organize guided visits for tourists.