Home > News and Events > SEEK a sustainable Phuket, Friday August 24th 2012

SEEK a sustainable Phuket, Friday August 24th 2012

SEEK Inaugural Conference and AMCHAM Forum

Friday 24th August 2012 @ Holiday Inn, Patong Beach, Phuket 

8.30am – 4.00pm: The Future of Phuket “Sea, Sand & Sustainability / Seeking a Sustainable Phuket” 
4.00pm – 6.30pm: American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) Green Business Forum

TOPIC: Green Business Review of Phukets leading Hotel Reduce, Reuse & Recycle programs



Phuket is over its carrying capacity today and is in a crisis situation.

Our landfills are at capacity, our new incinerator is not yet turned on and there is no curb side recycling. Our fishing fleet has limited controls leading to overfishing, our beaches with only few exceptions have regular cleanups and there is no anti litter campaign. Our energy source is non renewable, the solar industry is embryonic, our fuel is subsidized and there is little energy efficiency in the public or private sector. Our eyes are wide open as we soak up the pleasure dome that this island province is, whilst eyes wide shut to the problems and the needs for a sustainable future.

Phuket is a mixture of the good (worlds best beaches, wonderfull thai food, culture and hospitality & year round sunshine and warm weather), the bad (non sustainable practices, litter, untamed consumerism and an island treated as a bottomless resource pit) & the ugly (beach encroachment, crime, throw up architecture & abuse of the sea)

A 2025 Vision, today, on current trends, is not a utopian tropical isle based around 1970 island images but an overcrowded, overbuilt uncontrolled greed festival. No space on the beaches, destroyed reefs that are more deserts than tropical splendours. An Exploited and Abused pearl amidst the Indian ocean, beaches that are a dumping ground for Thailand, Burma, Bangladesh & India.

Fortunately all is not lost, although we are at a fork in the road and do need all your individual support. Our collective GOAL that can be civic community led is for a sustainable Phuket, a Low carbon island and for it to be a World class marine reserve. This is possible but requires STRATEGIC PRIORITIES that include preserving our Cultural Values, stronger public & private sector partnerships & the support of Phuket’s key life supports: Better Land use & increased Green areas plus Water, Energy & Waste conservation and efficiency


The Andaman Sea

Thailand has a coastline of almost 3,000 km (one third along the Andaman Sea Coast and two-thirds along the Gulf of Thailand Coast) and an EEZ of around 360,000 km2.

Throughout the entire coastline, in-shore shallow water fisheries provide important food security and income for local small-scale fishers. Marine capture fisheries within the EEZ and coastal aquaculture together generate around $3 billion income/year.

Mangrove cover declined from 2 million rai in the mid-70s to 1 million rai in the mid- 90s, but has since recovered to 1.5 million rai. Phang-nga, Krabi, Trang and Satun account for almost two-thirds of remaining mangroves, while Chantaburi and Trat have the most remaining mangroves on the Gulf side. Coral reefs and sea grass beds on the Andaman coast are generally more abundant and in better condition than on the Gulf coast.

There are a total of 23 coastal/marine protected areas in Thailand, but together they represent only a very small proportion of Thailand’s seas and coasts, while mangrove forests and inter-tidal mud-flats are vastly underrepresented in Thailand’s protected areas system. Large parts of the coast are de-facto managed by local communities.

While their rights and responsibilities in this regard are enshrined in the Constitution, there is no law passed to recognize, permit and control community-based management of mud-flats, coral reefs and sea-grass beds, etc. In large islands including Phuket, Samui and Chang, tourism is a major driver of the economy.

For the last 40 years, the coastal zone has been the scene of severe conflicts between small scale fishermen and large commercial fishing businesses; and between local communities and investors in commercial prawn farms, tourism, and other development projects.

In many ways the tragedy of the 26 December 2004 Tsunami spurred a renewed interest in Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) and rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems from sustainable livelihoods and disaster risk reduction. More recent (and still growing) concerns about the effects of climate change in the coastal zone, are helping to maintain that momentum.

This is an opportunity to share and exchange experiences and lessons learned from a variety of recent initiatives, programmes and activities in the coastal zone – both in community-based resource management; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture (including certification) marine protected areas; marine tourism; climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. It will identify workable solutions to pressing problems in the coastal zone; help to identify gaps that need to be filled; and prioritize issues for capacity-building, institutional development and legal/policy reform.



9.00am Opening ceremony Dignitaries:

  • Mr. Apisan Sangasri – Chief of Kathu District
  • Dr. Robert Mather – Head IUCN Southeast Asia


9.30am Overview & Phuket Success Stories

  •  SEEKing and DOing Sustainable Phuket by Dr. Chamniern Vorratchaiphan – Senior Director, Thailand Environment Institute (TEI)
  • How CSR Can Contribute to a Sustainable Phuket by Mia Overall - Senior Researcher, CSR Asia

  • Beach Program and Plastic Reduction by Nick Anthony, Indigo Real Estate

  • ASEAN environmental education by Peter Harris - Director, Asia Pasific Environemntal Network (APEN)

  • SEEK Goals and objectives for a Sustainable Phuket – Sean Panton - CEO, SEEK Phuket


11.00am Presentation - Sustainable Indicators for Phuket

Update on stakeholder workshops and findings by Robert Steele – Senior Partner, Atkisson Group & Director Systainability Asia

Presentation of key indicators for a sustainable Phuket


1.00pm LUNCH

2.00pm Afternoon Breakout session into 4 Groups




Goal/Future Outcome









Solutions and Strategies


Natural Resources and protected and laws are enforced

Protected Area Management

●Extent and Quality of protected area

  ●Living Planet Index

●effective law enforcement by local government with effective
  ways to report abuses

  ●”Guardian” scheme to give ownership to local people

Phuket is a Green/renewable energy Province “Low Carbon

Energy Source –Renewable energy

●% of renewable energy vs. unrenewable sources

  ●carbon footprint vs. carbon offsetting

●insentive schemes for businesses (carbon tax)

  ●insentives/ education to use low carbon fuels for transport

Sustainable Waste Management is practiced thorughout Phuket
  “Closed Loop Zero Waste Island”

Waste Management Practices (Incinerator, Landfills)

●% of recycled waste v. Incinerated/landfill waste

●Awards schemes for businesses/institutions that recycle

  ●Set up easy to use recycling schemes and roadside collections

Phuket’s Environment Quality is World Class and healthy

Environmental Quality

●Environment Quality Index

●effective law enforcement by local government with effective
  ways to report abuses

  ●Award Scheme for compliant businesses and communities

Phuket’s Beaches, Watercourses and Streets are Green and Clean


● Compliance with international standards for bathing water
  quality and clean beaches (“Blue Flag”/ Star rating system)

  ● Measure volume and type of litter collected during clean-ups, size of
  clean up team, costs of disposal

●”Guardian” scheme to give ownership to local people,
  schools, businesses etc

Phuket has an Environmental Education programme that permeates
  all schools’ curriculum

Environmental Education (EE) in School

●% of schools that include Eco Education programme across the

●Awards schemes for schools and students

  ●Certification for schools


Nature discussion group





Nicholas Franklin


Senior Program Manager

O.B. Wetzell

Development Management Group


Jacob Ritter



Mr.Kittipan Sabkhoon

Maikhao Marine Turtle Foundation


Tim Holzapfel

Making Teams

Marketing&Event Manager

Somyod Singbumrung

Patong Municipality


Simone Allone

See Bees Diving

Pr Manager

Nakorn Amornwatpong


Technical Advisor

Petch Manopawitr


Program Manager

Bill Reidy

Debra Mierczak



Goal/Future Outcome



Solutions and Strategies

Phuket supports a green economy and green businesses

Green businesses

Number and % of hotels that achieve …certified.




- The group puts focus on Goal No.3
and 4.

- Goal No.4 – for Phuket, to be the region’s leader in Sustainable Tourism, is
time consume and needs lot of supporting information to compare to another 4 provinces
in the region.

- Goal No.3 is a solution to reach Goal No.4.

- Therefore, Goal no.3 is a good start and feasible for our time frame as some
green business initiatives already exist. 


- There’re representatives from 4
different hotels in this group. They said that in terms of changing behavior at
individual level, many hotels now have practiced some common green behavior
like garbage recycling, conserve energy and water among the hotel staff as well
as encourage guests to reuse their linen stuff, conserve energy and water in
their room.

- At system level, many hotels and businesses have practiced environmental
management in their own way such as using eco-friendly products, applying water
treatment system/waste management, getting food supply from nearby local
community/organic farm, etc.

- CSR program is also well-known and has been perform in many private

- As a result, green businesses is the best aspect as it broadly covers the
main economic activities in Pkuket


- At present, there’re so many
standards related to green businesses.

- In Phuket, a clear requirement for businesses that want to achieve the
“sustainable green businesses”, 
“…certified”, “Sustainable Tourism framework” has to be declared.

- A comparison among different standards needs to be addressed as well. It can
be done by getting hotels together then they can exchange their green practices
and eco-friendly technologies and finally find a common-ground standard that
every hotel agrees to perform.

- SEEK can host/produce the standard.

Solution and strategy

The group offers some solutions that might support green businesses
in Phuket

- 1. Get multilingual education institutions to train the green course to
business owners and staff.

- 2. Use financial incentive to motivate people into green businesses.

Data source for the indicator could be

- Thai Hotel Association

- Phuket Tourist Association

- Prince of Songkla University Phuket Campus(Faculty of Hospitality and
Tourism, Faculty of Technology and Environment, Phuket Community College)

- Phuket Tourism Authority of Thailand

- Phuket Chamber of Commerce

- International Business Association of Phuket (IBAP)

- Federation of Thai Industrial Phuket

Economy discussion group

















Bryan Lunt

Absolute World


Ms.Prapapun Noikongdee

Andara Resort&Villa

HR Coordinator

Mr.Songsak Thongkhaobue

Andara Resort&Villa

HR Coordinator

Nampetch Tipaxsorn

Movenpick Resort&Spa Karon Beach

Director of Marketing

Vina Pikunpon

Phuket Municipality


Sanwit Iabchoon

PSU Phuket Campus

Master Student

Thanyada Sornsil

PSU Phuket Campus

Master Student

Pareeda Mankhakhet

PSU Phuket Campus

Master Student

Supaporn Potpradit

The Paradise Koh Yao Boutique Beach

Executive Assistant Manager



Goal/Future Outcome



Solutions and Strategies

Goal 1: All School have sustainability incorporated in as a
  “whole school approach”

  • We need a new generation who understand sustainability concept so they can
  make better future than us.

• Sustainability Curriculum

• Number of schools that incorporate local issues in their curriculum.

  • Status of sustainability within al schools (Vision, mission, policy,
  curriculum, action)


Goal 2: Phuket is a safe (low crime) society for everyone

  • We need a safe society for the kids to grow up

• Crime

• Indicator: Number of violent crime/ Number of total crime (For
  both local and tourists)


Goal 3: Phuket Government is inclusive, transparent and green.
  “Sustainable governance”

  • Many development projects from both government and private sector are not
  aware of their impact on local communities.

• Community Engagement and consultation (information sharing)

• Indicator: Number of public hearings/ community consultations
  convened with regard to development projects per district



Society discussion group

















Mia Overall

CSR Asia

Senior Project Manager

Ty Collins

JW Marriott Kao Lak


Alexandra Vander Pol

Kajonkiet School

Teacher (English)

Sarunporn Thongpinyochai

PSU Phuket Campus

Master Student

Nutsara Mekjinda

PSU Phuket Campus

Master Student

Jutaporn Keson

PSU Phuket Campus

Master Student

Jutarat Suwannarat

PSU Phuket Campus

Master Student

Dithanan Senrit

PSU Phuket Campus

Master Student

Wisarut Suwanno

PSU Phuket Campus

Master Student

Papitchaya Muankoo

PSU Phuket Campus

Master Student

Martin Mayke








Goal/Future Outcome









Solutions and Strategies


The people of Phuket are heathy

Physical and mental health

- Dengue fever statistics    

- Medical rate                  

- Alcohol use                  

- Youth crime rate           


People feel safe

Crime, accident, violence

- % of helmet use            

- Youth crime rate           


People appreciate, value, and engage with nature

Use of parks and nature area

- Public & recreation space per person                  


The people of Phuket have basic needs

Affordability of basic needs

- % of household that has access to clean water        



Wellbeing discussion group





Tanu Nabnien

Andaman Organization for Participatory Restoration of Natural
  Resources (ARR)


Samrej Zeepongsekul



Meesak Saekok


Area Manager

Aeecha Binsam


Area Manager

Jacob Ritter



Suthee Yeeson

Phuket Rajabhat University



Pongsit San-e

Phuket Rajabhat University


Kanokpat Chumpornpun

Phuket Rajabhat University


Nitipong Thonnam

Phuket Rajabhat University, Department of Tourism Industry


Naiyana Srichai

PSU Phuket Campus, Faculty of Tchnology and Environment

Acting Vice Dean

Chaturong Kongkaew

PSU Hatyai Campus

PhD Student

Tianchai Tiyapongpattana


Working Group



3.30pm Summary and Closing Remarks

3.30pm AMCHAM registration in lobby 

4.00pm AMCHAM Discussion

TOPIC: Green Business Review of Phukets leading Hotel Reduce, Reuse & Recycle programs:

Recycling today, energy efficiency, being water wise and getting more bang for your buck whether a hotel, or business, or at home.

Saves you money as pennies become pounds… and saves the environment!



Sean Panton, SEEK

Dr Paul Chamniern, Thai Environment Institute


Arnfinn Oines, Social & Environmental Conscience, Soneva Resorts


Anthony Lark, General manager, Trisara

Ty Collins, General manager, JW Marriott Khao Lak

Morgan Layberry, EAM, Holiday Inn Patong

Leave a comment