Thailand: Improving Dugong Conservation & Ocean Waste Management

On Environment Day 2020, representatives came together to sign a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at improving sustainable development in Trang Province on November 26th, 2020.

The MoU aims to encourage collective commitment and actions towards improving ocean waste management and dugong conservation within the province. It was signed by 40 signatories at the provincial level, including government departments, civil society groups, NGOs and private sectors.

Save the Andamans Network (SAN), our Seagrass Ecosystem Services Project partner in Thailand, together with the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, were the driving force behind the Memorandum of Understanding on Sustainable Ocean Waste Management and Dugong Conservation. The Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and 500 people from different communities in Trang witnessed the signing ceremony.

Signatories of the MoU commit to addressing the problem of ocean waste by cleaning up existing ocean waste, promoting plastic litter-free tourism, developing robust systems for sorting and storing waste, applying a local environmental tax to single-use packaging, promoting eco-friendly packaging, promoting dugong and marine ecosystem conservation within local communities.

The development and signing of this MoU is an excellent example of the positive change Thailand is championing in the wake of the tragic deaths of two dugong calves, Mariam and Jamil, in 2019 who were found to have ingested plastic.