PHUKET: Management at The Racha resort on Koh Racha Yai, a popular day-trip island about 25 nautical miles south of Phuket, has stepped up its campaign in environmental care on the island.
The news follows environmentalists’ accusations against greedy developers, tour operators and resort owners for blatantly exploiting Koh Racha‘s pristine natural beauty to make a profit, with little or no regard for preservation.
Although not named as one of the offending businesses, management at The Racha has stepped in to resolve at least one of the blights highlighted by environmentalists.
“As one of the leading resorts on Racha Yai island, The Racha embraces and practices ecological and environmentally responsible and sustainable development. And in line with this, all our glass bottles and recyclable waste materials at the resort are sent to Phuket for recycling,” said The Racha Managing Director Daniel Lim in an email to the Phuket Gazette.
“The large pile of glass bottles pictured in the article [published on May 29] does not belong to The Racha, but to some of the local tourism operators on the island. Nonetheless, we have since sent our staff to clean up this pile as part of our community action for the island,” he added.
Mr Lim pointed out that The Racha supported the beach and reef cleanup organized by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, held on Friday and Saturday, and was the host venue for the event.
“We have undertaken several other environmental projects such as the reef restoration project following the tsunami. This was carried out jointly with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources and the Reef Ball Foundation from the US.
Mr Lim also pointed out that The Racha installed and pays for the upkeep of the floating jetty that has become an icon for day trippers, divers and other visitors to the island.
“Although it costs us more to maintain this floating pontoon jetty each year than the one-time cost to build a permanent concrete structure, we feel it lessens the impact on the environment and it restores the beach to its pristine state when the floating pontoon jetty is removed.
“We allow the public to use our pontoon jetty to lessen the danger to swimmers by not having the speedboat operators reverse their boats right to the beach,” explained Mr Lim.
“The environment belongs to all of us and it is our responsibility to be guardians of our environment for future generations. You may find out more about The Racha’s environmental initiatives on our website www.theracha.com under ‘About Us/Environment’,” he added.
The Phuket Gazette, aware of The Racha’s long-standing commitment to environmental conservation activities, included the story ‘The Racha – it ain’t us’ in our coverage of ‘The Rape of Racha’ on page 3 of the current issue of the Gazette. Digital subscribers may click here to download the full newspaper.
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