Apr 22, 2021

Bleaching event in Western Indian Ocean

Briefing a ranger survey team
Briefing a ranger survey team

Earlier this year our team in the Seychelles received a 1st bleaching alert from CORDIO (Coastal Ocean Research and Development - Indian Ocean). Right now, parts of the Western Indian Ocean are recording temperatures 1-2 °C warmer than the baseline.  There is a critical  need to monitor the coral reef ecosystems and record the impacts, during and after the bleaching event  to understand the reactions to the increasing ocean temperatures and input into regulation and policy.

The event has coincided with our participation ini GVI Charitable Programs “The 6th Mass Extinction” campaign. The campaign aims to highlight the current conservation and climate crisis we all face, and are all causing, and actions we can take to avert the crisis. The actions and activities will be held on and around Earth Day, this week, and nearly 500 people around the world have signed up to take part. Here in Seychelles we will be running community environmental awareness sessions, including teaching environmental education lessons, getting community members out snorkelling on the reef to teach them about the reefs and the amazing natural resources, and conducting a community beach clean to remove anthropogenic debris from the environment and learn about the 3 r’s, reducing, re-using and recycling. Please see the video of Estel and the project team in the Seychelles, who tell us that “climate change is not an abstract concept” inn the Seychelles. Please watch the video to learn more about how their home is being affected, and please share with your friends and family, below.

With the loss of data in 2020 due to COVID restrictions, we are now urgently looking to raise funds to allow a small but effective team of scientific divers to complete 384 surveys across 24 monitoring sites with the aim to have them all complete by the end of June. We also aim to conduct effective training for the SNPA rangers so that they can help monitor areas outside the North West of Mahe. Our target is £1500 GBP. Our project has qualified for GlobalGiving 100 % match funding, for all donations up to 100 USD made prior to midnight on Friday 23rd April. Please see and share our fundraiser page below.

We can not thank you enough for all of your support so far, and for continuing to support us however you can as we work to tackle the conservation and climate crisis, together. 



Coral reef decimated by bleaching
Coral reef decimated by bleaching
About to start a survey
About to start a survey
Seychelles reefs
Seychelles reefs

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Apr 22, 2021

Education disruptions

We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our donors for their continued support throughout this difficult time. The world over has been affected by the pandemic, young and old have suffered. The government of Thailand was very quick to react to COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic, with travel restrictions and lockdown measures implemented. 

In terms of education, the pandemic has caused severe disruption. Schools were closed with immediate effect, initially for a minimum of 5 months. The local schools set up a system where the parents collected the week's work from the school on a Sunday and returned the completed work the following Friday. The teachers were available for help and support throughout this time. The schools also provided home visits to check on the children and the families’ welfare. However, you can imagine the impact this has had on the children's education. The reopening was staged with different classes being taught at different times, and some of our students have still not been able to return to their education.

One of the main ongoing issues that local schools face is children leaving education below the age of 16. When the school breaks for the holiday in April, they always see much fewer students returning the next school year. Although the extended time at home was a real concern, through engagement and ensuring that the families and students had good support, we were pleased to see a good number of children returning to school. However, many are still to return. This may be due to people moving because of their parent’s work, or the children being needed at home, or living outside of the village with them unable to make the journey to school. We are hence in discussions with the schools to see how we can help them meet the transportation needs of the children who live outside of the village to allow them continued access to quality education.

We were really honoured to be invited to our partners’ end of year celebrations, where the students showcased their English skills along with the work experience projects they completed. With the skills they have developed, they are empowered to improve their opportunities and living standards and it was great to see the fruition of all of their hard work under such challenging conditions. 

One of the many reasons why Thailand had such low numbers of COVID-19 was due to the local community healthcare volunteers. The volunteers are made up of local members of the community, each responsible for around 10 houses. It is their responsibility to monitor the health of specific families and visitors. Ban Nam Khem had a checkpoint at the entrance of the village, counting everyone entering the village. Everyone’s temperature was checked as well as ensuring masks were being worn. Thanks to previous donations we were able to loan equipment to the healthcare units. A local Burmese foundation installed handwashing facilities around the village. We helped educate the community on the risks and protection needed for the pandemic. Vaccinations have now started, community healthcare volunteers have had their first dose, and are awaiting their second. We are, however, still unsure of how the vaccinations will be distributed, especially as many in our community are Burmese and Moken, so are without Thai Identification. 

We are currently supporting GVI Charitable Programs "The 6th Mass Extinction" campaign, where we will 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 to help raise funds to support environmental education, critical conservation and climate action projects. In Thailand, the conservation and climate crisis are very real, everyday concepts, and so please support or donate to the campaign through the link below. 

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Apr 22, 2021

Local communities and elephants coexistence

Dear Supporters,

Thank you for your ongoing support. When the pandemic hit one year ago, and international tourism in Thailand ground to a halt, it was a difficult time for the community in Huay Pakoot and their elephants. Most elephants that are owned by the community work in tourism camps, and when these closed, the community had no choice but to bring the elephants back to the village, to feed and look after them at their own expense.

The community of Huay Pakoot care deeply about their elephants, seeing them as a member of their own family. They worked hard to keep the elephants well-fed and happy through the pandemic. The village used to be surrounded by endless forest, however now due to the farming industry (which is encouraged by big companies in Bangkok), the forest is now fragmented, this means that it was hard to find space for the now 70 elephants to forage, a much larger number than the project had originally planned for!

However, the community have used this pandemic as a way to discuss the future for their elephants. They are all very keen to move towards a more ethical line of tourism, with more elephants being in the forest and able to roam as they please. First, that requires some reforestation of the area, and a steady stream of tourists to supply sufficient funds.

Our aim is to support them to develop their ethical tourism model by initially helpiing to fund the reintegration of elephants back to the forest and supplying capacity building initiatives for community members so they can assist with and take ownership of this project. Over the next few months, staff members will be working closely with the community to refine the existing plan and refine it according to the new needs and expanson of the elephant herd. We’re really excited to all come back togther, plan the next steps we need to take together, and for the rest of the year. With tourism starting up again, things are looking promising.

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 to help raise funds to support critical conservation and climate action projects. 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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