If Naklua is going to fulfill its promise as an eco-tourism destination, local residents and fishermen must do more to preserve the environment, Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration said at a community forum.
DASTA acting director Thiti Jantangpol led the May 27 meeting with speakers from the Naklua Gulf Conservation Group and Lan Po Community.
The state agency has been working on a plan to leverage Naklua’s natural resources to draw tourists for bird watching, planting mangroves and cycling.
Sukit Baikoy, chairman of the Naklua Gulf Conservation Group, said more needs to be done to raise the awareness of locals about waste management and pollution.
Leka Sukprasert, a writer and painter, showed off illustrations of the community that could be used to lure tourists to Naklua for its natural beauty. She said she hopes residents become aware of the value and strength of the Naklua community, leading to development in ecotourism.
Speaking to the problems of waste and sewerage management, Santi Klongnoi, chairman of the Lan Po Community, said several things need to improve. Locals, he said, have to stop dropping plastic bags, foam boxes and other non-biodegradable waste into the sea. Fishing boats have to better protect coral reefs, water needs to be treated before dumping it into the ocean to protect mangrove forests, and people need to rehabilitee and protect marine animal populations, he said.