Located two hours from Bangkok and 20 minutes by speedboat from Pattaya, Koh Sak is an island surrounded by vibrant coral reefs. It also houses a unique historic component: cement casts of the handprints, footprints and signatures of past visitors including their Royal Highnesses the King and Queen of Thailand; the Apollo 11 crew (three months after returning from the Moon); and other dignitaries and entertainers.
In recent times, mass tourism is causing a rapid decline in the island’s environment, which includes degradation of the coral reefs. The coral is especially harmed as more and more speedboats bring tourists who unwittingly contribute to their decline. The Reef Ecology Group (REG) of Maihidol University International College (MUIC) has been documenting changes in the reef caused by tourism. Activities carried out in and on the reef are reducing reef resilience in the face of global climate change.
You can help by joining Love Wildlife’s hands-on educational tours to Koh Sak. Designed by REG, the tours, from March to July 2017, aim to raise awareness of coral reef issues and threats at the same time as improving knowledge and understanding of coral reef biology and ecology. Visitors, including children, learn how to carry out coral, fish and invertebrate surveys to assess coral reef health. They also help build artificial reefs in ongoing reef-restoration projects. Tours are designed to complement a visitor’s level of interest, experience and expertise. The full-day tour costs 2,000 baht per person, including lunch and transportation; register here.
Love Wildlife is a non-profit foundation registered in Thailand, with the aim of educating the younger generations about the importance of wildlife and their connection to the world. People are inspired at a young age to respect other living beings, acquire a better understanding of animals’ needs, and grow up to be responsible citizens and consumers. In addition to school outreach, other conservation and education projects include Chom Whales, a wonderful opportunity to observe the Bryde’s whales that live in the Gulf of Thailand; Slow Loris conservation, dedicated to the protection of slow lorises that involves research, education and rehabilitation; and Fin Free Thailand, a campaign encouraging hotels and restaurants to stop serving shark fin, among other initiatives.
For more information on Love Wildlife Foundation, please email [email protected].