By taking part in this project you will be making a major contribution to marine conservation on Koh Tao. Through your reef surveys you will providing the data from which the reefs can be monitored and conservation strategies and activities planned. In addition you will be directly taking part in projects such as reef clean ups having an immediate impact on the environment.
As the island has become more popular the environment has come under increasing pressure, so there is a real need for action in order to protect the environment and maintain a balance between nature and the demands on it from diving and tourism, the fishing industry and the Thai community. This project is trying to facilitate this by bringing the different parties together, generating awareness about the need for action and implementing a series of in-water and on-land projects.
This is a small project that is having a quick and direct impact on the island's environment. It has already made great progress including the development of a bio-rock artificial reef, island-wide clean ups, and an education programme with the local school.
In addition to the direct benefit of the project itself, we try to ensure:
Social responsibility: Before volunteers depart we provide them with a detailed information pack on the area they will be visiting. We try to educate and encourage our volunteers to understand and respect the local cultures and customs.
Economic responsibility: For over 10 years we have been providing volunteers to help at charitable projects around the world. A UK charity has now been launched to build on this success by providing financial assistance to overseas causes as well. The organisations we work with are often struggling to fund the work they are doing so every penny raised makes a real difference.
The majority of the fee (approx 70%) that volunteers pay goes directly to the marine conservation project. This is a locally run organisation, providing employment for local Thai staff. While volunteers are in-country, they stay in locally owned accommodation and we encourage them to buy locally and support local businesses.
Environmental responsibility: One of the main negative impacts of our volunteers travelling, is the carbon dioxide created from flights. We work with an Amazon conservation project that helps to ensure that carbon is sequestered through tree planting. While our volunteers and customers are overseas, we identify and encourage simple steps to minimise their impact on the local environment. And at our office in the UK we try to recycle as much of our office waste as possible, use recycled products where available, avoid printing (no brochures) and minimise energy usage.
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