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Koh Tao Eco Day Workshops

Save Koh Tao is a charity organisation set up to try to tackle some of the problems the island is facing. The island doesn’t get much mainland assistance and things like rubbish collection and disposal is mainly funded by Save Koh Tao. Not only do they concentrate on land based problems but also in the ocean around our island as well.

They set up workshops to train islanders how to do reef surveys to check the health of the reefs. They also care for the reefs with mooring Buoy and coral Nursery workshops. Monthly meetings are organised which representatives from dive shops, locals, residents and visitors can attend to discuss and plan new or ongoing projects around the island like beach or underwater clean ups.

Todays Eco Day Workshop was put together by Save Koh Tao, Project AWARE and PADI so they can give an over view of the work each of them are doing towards conservation on the island. The Save Koh Tao offices in Mae Haad were the venue and it was split into four workshops.The people attending where split into four groups so we could move around to each section in turn. The first workshop was about Save Koh Tao and an overview of the work they do and how you can get involved. Included in this workshop was a project for tackling waste on the island, this was a grant awarded via a competition run buy Project AWARE. The project won 5ooo dollars to put in place the infastructure to tackle the problem of waste on the island.

The next Workshop was for Project AWARE and the work they do and the campaigns they are now focusing on.  Project Aware are a non-profit organisation set up to deal with the problems the ocean faces. Up until a resent shift in policy they tried to tackle many problems at once but have now directed their efforts on two fronts. The first is marine debris, with the help of scientists they put together a program called Dive Against Debris where individuals or dive schools/clubs can dive and/or clean a beach or dive site, log all the data of exactly what the rubbish is, how many and how much it all weights.  Project AWARE can use this data to lobby and petition Governments, businesses and communities. The other thing their are campaigning for is sharks, in November they are have a Shark Finathon to raise money and awareness to fight the finning trade around the world.

There was also a mooring buoy workshop to teach people the correct way to lay new or repair old mooring lines and buoys and also how to set up no boat zone markers. These skills are going to be very important after monsoon when a lot of them get damaged.

The last workshop was to design and make signs to put up around the island asking people to dispose of their rubbish properly but in a friendly way.  This is part of what the Project AWARE competition money is being spent on.

The next event for you to join is our clean up in Mae Haad which will happen on the 24th October.  Either meet at Master Divers at 3.30pm or under the sala by the main pier at 4pm.  We intend to focus on the roadsides so that all litter is removed before the monsoon rains can wash it into the ocean.  Everyone is welcome so please spread the word.

 

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