As 2021 continues, so does the pandemic. The positive side to this is that the world has had more time to heal. With less travel (both land and air) the number of pollutants released has reduced. The reduced number of tourists to Thailand has meant less people on the beaches, less people in the National Parks, less waste, less boat traffic. This has led to a number of different species thriving, again this year we have seen record numbers of turtles coming on the beaches to nest. This has been both Leatherback and Green Sea Turtles, nests have been monitored and we have seen a record number of hatchlings embarking on their life in the oceans. However with every positive there are also negatives. 2021 was supposed to see Thailand banning single use plastics. This has been delayed due to the pandemic and the importance of not sharing food. Yes it is important, but it has also meant that the use of single use plastic has increased not decreased. In addition to the normal use of plastics, people returning to Thailand have had to do mandatory hotel quarantine. All meals and drinks have been served in plastic containers. This is not reused and doubtful it has been recycled. It is more than likely dumped and will end up in the ocean to join the million tonnes of plastic already contaminatinating our waters. Waters that our fisherman fish, water that communities are dependent upon. Regular beach cleans have shown that we are collecting increased numbers of food containers. Another addition to our list are disposable masks, whilst used previously in Asian countries, they are now almost compulsory the world over. If you cant use reusable masks and have to use disposable masks, please make sure that you cut the loops before throwing them. This prevents wildlife getting caught in the future.
Mangroves are a vital part of coastal conservation, we have increased our activities and research. We have been monitoring the health of newly established forests and reporting the health of the trees to our partner DMCR (Department of Marine and Coastal Resources). We are also monitoring the number of species in established forests. Our findings are showing that whilst one species may have been planted it is now attracting up to 3 or 4 different species. This is critical to the ecosystems that live in them, we are finding new species of crab and the return of snakes and mammals to the area. Our aim is to camera trap areas to see what species are there that we cant see during surveys. We need additional cameras to be able to do this, your donations will help immensely.
Overall even though the pandemic is still gripping the nation, our conservation work continues, we continue to work with our partners to ensure the protection of the Andaman coast. Thank you to all who have donated and thank you in advance to all of you who will. Without your support our impact is restricted, with your support our impact is maximised. We hope you all continue to be healthy and well during these times, and thank you for your generous support!
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