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Credit: Sereechai Puttes, Time Out Bangkok

SOS Thailand’s COO tells us how we can get more out of food waste

Bangkok is a huge buffet city, with hotels and restaurants offering daily eat-all-you-can feasts or Sunday brunch specials. Many of these buffets prepare more food than their guests can consume—better be safe than have to deal with hungry, disgruntled customers complaining that there wasn’t enough roast beef.

But have you ever wondered what these restaurants do with all their excess food? Most become food waste, ending up in trash bins and, later, landfills. (64 percent of Bangkok landfills are made up of food waste.) Have you ever wondered if there was any way you could perhaps make sure that all these surplus food doesn’t just go to the bin? An NGO in Thailand has.

Read the full article to find out more here.

By Gail Piyanan and Thana Boonlert for Time Out Bangkok.


Maya Bay is one of Thailand’s most famous beaches but worries over damage to its coral reefs will close it during low season to help it recover. Photograph: ColorPlayer/Getty Images

The bucket-list beach on the island of Koh Phi Phi Leh became famous when it featured in the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, but environmental concerns mean it will close to tourists from June

It is one of the world’s most famous beaches, thanks to its starring role in Danny Boyle’s film of Alex Garland’s bestselling novel, and is often referred to simply as “the beach”. However, this summer Maya Bay, on the Thai island of Koh Phi Phi Leh, will be closed to tourists as authorities attempt to reverse decades of damage done to the region’s marine environment.

The closure will take place from June to September, during the island’s low season, in order to give its coral reef time to recover. While similar measures have been introduced on other Thai islands – in 2016 local authorities closed Koh Tachai – it is the first time tourists will be forbidden from visiting Maya Bay.

Read the full article here.

By  for The Guardian.


Cigarette butts pose a risk to beach ecosystems, say Thailand government officials. Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA

Those caught lighting up could face a year’s imprisonment as the government seeks to end pollution and drain damage on Thai beaches caused by discarded cigarette butts

Thailand is to ban smoking on some of the country’s most popular tourist beaches, with the prospect of up to a year in prison for those caught lighting up, according to reports by local media.

The move follows a recent survey of litter on Patong beach, Phuket – visited by millions of foreign tourists each year – which found an average of 0.76 cigarette butts per square metre in a sample area, which would amount to 101,058 butts on the 2.5km-long stretch of sand.

The survey was undertaken by the country’s department of marine and coastal resources, which described it as a “serious problem”. Discarded cigarette butts accounted for a third of rubbish collected by the department.

Read the full article on Thailand’s plan to ban smoking on some of the country’s most popular tourist beaches here.

By Will Coldwell for The Guardian.


Credit: Shutterstock

Rising demand for Thai organic goods in both local and export markets has prompted the government to pursue a range of initiatives aimed at encouraging organic farming practices.


The state is launching a new programme to promote organic agriculture by encouraging a reduction in the amount of new rice planting, and a shift from commercial varieties to organic strains …

Read more here. 


By Oxford Business Group



Photographer: Wayne Lawrence for Bloomberg Businessweek

A mahout, wearing the traditional mohom outfit—denim, red neckerchief, and yellow straw hat—sits atop an elephant at Anantara.

Anantara Golden Triangle in northern Thailand is one of the only places where you can ethically interact with the country’s elephants.


I’m half-submerged in the Mekong River—the watery border that ­separates Laos from Thailand and Myanmar—sitting atop a big-eared, pink-spotted, 3-ton elephant named Poonlarp. Her skin looks soft from a distance, but it’s much coarser up close, covered in inch-long bristles. Her gait, which at first gives the appearance of flowing-through-honey movement, feels wobbly up this high. She’s alternately headstrong and playful. If you’ve ever walked a large, stubborn dog, you have an idea what it’s like to ride an elephant. This is the ­bucket-list item that brings people here to Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort.


Read more about ethically interacting with elephants at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort here. 




World Wetlands Day: IUCN launches regional project to enhance resilience of wetlands in Lower Mekong countries

Categories: Asia, Climate, Featured Post, Planet
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On the occasion of World Wetlands Day on February 2, IUCN is announcing the launch of a regional project to enhance the resilience of wetlands in Lower Mekong countries. Funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), and to be implemented until 2020, the Mekong WET: Building Resilience of Wetlands in the Lower Mekong Region” project aims to build climate resilience by harnessing the benefits of wetlands in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

wetlands in Lower Mekong

Photo: © Pheakdey Sorn/IUCN

Mekong WET will help the four countries to address their commitments to the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, and to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. With wetlands featured as a key ecosystem, the project also supports governments in implementing their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) under the Convention on Biological Diversity and pursuing their commitments on climate change adaptation and mitigation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. By International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Read more.


How a lame baby pachyderm inspired an art project that has raised millions for elephant care

After a decade of touring the world to raise funds for Asia’s pachyderms, the Elephant Parade art exhibition is back in Chiang Mai where it all started and celebrating its tenth anniversary with 89 colourful statutes of elephantine tykes on display all around the city. Mike Spits, the co-founder, recently opened the Elephant Parade studio in Chiang Mai, and was happy to share the success story with his supporters. By Phoowadon Duangmee, The Nation. Read more.

The Elephant Parade on display at Maya shopping mall in Chiang Mai province. Photo credit: Phoowadon Duangmee

The Elephant Parade on display at Maya shopping mall in Chiang Mai province. Photo credit: Phoowadon Duangmee




Image Source: BBC

Thai authorities are set to close the island of Koh Tachai, saying heavy tourism is negatively affecting natural resources and the environment. The island, off Phang Nga province, is part of the Similan National Park.

Almost all Thai marine national parks close to tourists from mid-May to mid-October for monsoon season but Tachai will not reopen, the Bangkok Post says. By BBC. Read more.


The Human Cost of Elephant Tourism

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Mahouts rest as their elephants eat fruit in Chiang Mai

While Western activists focus on the animals, their handlers are often treated as expendable.

It should have been a day like any other in Mae Wang, Thailand. But at one elephant camp in this small rural district just outside the tourism hub of Chiang Mai, the elephant handlers, or mahouts, were on edge. Somjai, a five-ton bull decked out with a pair of meter-long ivory tusks, was in musth, a hormonal phase characterized by huge increases in testosterone and aggression. By Hilary Cadigan. Read more.


by Yuvadee Nirattakun, Director, Marketing Research Division, Tourism Authority of ThailandTourism Authority of Thailand's Sustainability

The ultimate goal of economic and social development is an attempt to establish security, improvement, to have a better quality of life and society, and to maintain peace and safety, while all suffering is relieved. To achieve that goal, it is necessary to create sustainable development.


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