Apr 27, 2021

Pi Mao, a New Year in Laos

Dear Supporters, 

We welcome the New Year in Laos! Pi Mai (New Year) celebrations begin in mid-April and continue for three days.  In a country that relies heavily on tourism the past year has been challenging, as it has been throughout the world. The new year brings a new start and optimism for the year ahead.

The first day is considered the last day of the year.  It’s when people clean and prepares for the days ahead. The second day is known as the day of no day.  It’s neither part of the previous year or part of the next year.  The third day is the first day of the Laos new year and celebrations include ceremonies for luck and prosperity.

Prosperity means flourishing and thriving. It’s health and happiness as well as developing skills that can serve you well in the future. In the previous Laos year, your donations have supported students with their education through resources and school fees. Access to education leads to wider work opportunities as well as an opening the door to further education. 

As we move into the Laos New Year we welcome your continued. It is your support allows us to provide learning opportunities for students and opportunities for students to become teachers. We thank you for your continued contribution and commitment to the program in Laos and look forward to working together to continue to provide educational opportunities. 

Thank you

The Laos project team

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Apr 23, 2021

Mangroves and Turtles

Dear Supporter,  

The pandemic has had an impact on a global scale as many countries have experienced lockdown and travel restrictions. For instance, Thailand was one of the first countries to stop all flights and internal travel. Travel restrictions have had a massive impact on the country, both economically and environmentally. Due to the international travel ban, no tourists were visiting, which contributed to decreased human activity. Nature lay undisturbed, skies and beaches were empty, which allowed nature to take a break (there were no dives nor hikes). As such, we have seen record numbers of turtles returning to the beaches to lay their eggs! Our partner DMCR (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources) provided 24-hour surveillance over the nests and have shared webcam footage of nests hatching on social media! This has led to an increased interest in turtles and the value they add. 

Our work of education in and around our community is valuable to provide people information about the turtles and inform them of the threats they face. We also educate on the small lifestyle choices that everyone can make to reduce the threats and increase the species survival rate.

 Furthermore, DMCR has been busy planting mangroves to help restore the local coastline. We plan to visit our mangrove later this month. Thanks to your previous donations, we have been able to plant over 2,000 mangroves Look out for our next update to see how your mangrove is growing and providing a habitat for a threatened ecosystem.

We have been unable to continue our work directly with The Royal Thai Navy in the past year at the turtle rehabilatation centre. However, we have been frequently invited to check on the turtles and are pleased to say that the Navy and the turtles are doing well! And, improvements have been made, including a netting system around a new large tank to prevent the pine needles from entering the tank. It is projects like this that your funds help us complete!

The Royal Thai Navy is always looking for ways of increasing knowledge on sustainability and best practice. We were honoured to be invited to the opening of their first sustainable farm. This will help educate the officers and their families on the importance of growing their produce and how this can impact the environment. We look forward to working with the officers and their families to help deliver educational material in English to those who visit the farm. We need your help to be able to do this. 

With the reduced number of tourists and restaurants being closed, there has been a drop in the demand for seafood. As a result, fewer boats have been fishing which gives the ocean a chance to recover. The practice of monitoring the reef, and the fish allows us to see the changes over time. Divers have seen record numbers of species and have noticed an improvement in the condition of the corals. Whilst we all want an end to the current pandemic, we also want to take the time and observe how nature continues to react. Some of the results from the travel reduction can already be seen. We hope that as things start to reopen, the lessons we have learnt are not lost. 

In support of GVI Charitable Programs "The 6th Mass Extinction" campaign, we will also be joining nearly 500 other people around the world to help highlight the current conservation and climate crisis we all face, actions we can all take to help reduce the negative impact we are all having on the planet and raise funds to support critical conservation and climate action projects. We are conducting beach cleans to remove waste from the enviroonemnt, alongside our new local partners, Trash Hero Khao Lak. To support or donate to the campaign, please see the link below. 

Lastly, we'd like to thank you all for all of your support so far and in the future. The work completed so far, and the future success of the project would not be possible without the help and support of people like you! Thank you.

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Apr 22, 2021

Caribbean King Crabs helping coral restoration!

In support of our coral restoration program, we have started a new marine aquaculture program focused on incrementing the presence of the Maguimithrax spinosissimus, (Caribbean King Crab), in the coral reef, specifically in the sites where coral restoration activities are being carried out. These crabs are herbivores and love macroalgae: the same macroalgae that are smothering the corals by overgrowth. The per capita grazing rate of this species exceeds those of most herbivorous fish. Getting more of these crabs into the coral reef ecosystem will make a huge difference to the success of the coral restoration project.

So far this year, we have been reef monitoring following the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Protocol. We have already collected data on the health of the reef and shared it with several of our partners so that they can use the data to aid decision making re the regulations and policies for the management of the reef areas and the conservation of the reef.

On coral restoration projects, and coral cloning through fragmentation and assisted fertilization, we have so far achieved 35% advancement on our objectives. We have generated and relocated 79.5 thousand coral in the reef so far, which is equivalent to one third of our total objective of 265 thousand corals by 2022.  Meeting our goal is a substantial challenge after the disruptions of COVID-19, that contnue to impact upon our ability to conduct our work but, something that needs to be done to be able to advance forward in the conservation of the magnificent coral reef ecosystems. 

In support of GVI Charitable Programs "The 6th Mass Extinction" campaign, we will be joining nearly 500 other poeple around the world to help highlight the current conservation and climate crisis we all face, actions we can all take to help reduce the negative impact we are all having on the planet, and to help raise funds to support critical consrvation and climate actioon projects. To support or donate to the campaign, please see link below. 

Thank you once again for your support, our work so far, and in the future, is only possible due to the huge support from people like you, GRACIAS!!!!!!

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