PHUKET: A Danish environmental expert presented a radical plan for the restoration of beaches to Governor Udomsak Uswarangkura on Saturday.
Poul Jakobsen, General Manager of the Skagen Innovation Center (SIC), told the Gazette after the meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall, “We are a worldwide environmentally-friendly research company and have come to Phuket to help restore and maintain the beaches from Patong up to Khao Lak – an area that has suffered severe erosion.
“We have developed a cost-effective system whereby we drain and widen damaged beaches and improve them esthetically. This, we feel, will bring back tourists to the area. We have made a survey from Patong up to Khao Lak and it’s possible to restore around 15 kilometers of this stretch.”
He said that, if the scheme is accepted, he will team up with local contractors.
The scheme would cost a hefty 3.3 million euros (165 million baht) and Mr Jakobsen has suggested that Thailand solicit funds for the project from worldwide tsunami foundations, through Thai embassies.
“It sounds like a lot of money but it is a relatively small amount compared with the going rates of construction companies. A normal company would charge 3.3 million euros to clean up 1.5 kilometers of beach. We would like to offer 15 kilometers for the same price, along with a yearly monitoring plan and evaluation report,” said Mr Jakobsen.
The Governor is reported to be interested in the project but on a somewhat smaller scale due to financial constraints. He is expected to make a decision after consulting Thai academics on the subject.
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