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Call for Phuket tourism businesses to go “green’

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Call for Phuket tourism businesses to go “green’ | Thaiger

PHUKET: A Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) seminar held at The Metropole hotel on Tuesday brought together academics and members of the tourism sector to discuss global warming effects in Phuket, where an estimated 344 million tonnes of greenhouse gases are produced every year, said Nisanat Sathirakul, deputy secretary general at the Office of Natural Resources and Environment Policy and Planning (ONEP).

K. Nisanat said, “Human activities, such as burning fuels, cutting down trees, producing electricity, transport and an increase in garbage all lead to the emission of greenhouse gases.

“World temperatures are higher than they were 100 years ago, and increasing development and production activities have caused climate change. Because of this, we now have higher levels of rainfall and the temperature of the water is changing,” she added.

Somkiat Khokiattiwong, a biologist from Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC), explained that there is now a significant difference in temperature between surface water and water below the surface.

“Higher water temperature leads to corals drying out and bleaching. Water currents are also changing, which could lead to a loss of beach land,” he added.

When water temperatures rise just one or two degrees above average, corals can lose their color and become bleached. Corals can normally recover from this condition, unless the high water temperatures persist, in which case the corals normally die, K. Somkiat explained.

Walailak Noypayak, director of the Market Research Division of TAT, said that the increased frequency of storms will lead to higher levels of rainfall and adverse weather conditions.

K. Somkiat said, “I think the first thing we need to do is educate local people to take care of their area as much as they can.”

Thon Thamrongnawasawat, an associate professor from Kasetsart University, said, “Support has to come from three parts: the government should implement [green] policies, private enterprises should take action to preserve the environment, and academics should educate local people about [environmental] issues.”

K. Walailak added, “In the long term we have to force the island’s businesses to protect and preserve the environment, and then we must evaluate the standards of the hotels with the Green Leaf Foundation.”

Established in 1998, the Green Leaf Foundation works in partnership with the TAT to certify hotels according to their levels of efficiency in managing resources and contributing to the upkeep of the environment.

Green Leaf certificates, issued every two years, are scored on a scale from one to five leaves in recognition of a hotel’s contribution to preserving the environment.

“We need everyone to help together because global warming is the world’s problem,” added K. Walailak.


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