11 July 2024

Environmental academics have voiced opposition to a project, by a tambon administration organization in Phuket province, to build a beach erosion barrier on the famous Surin Beach, claiming that the project will increase, not decrease sand erosion.

The mayor of Choeng Thaley Tambon Administration Organization has invited tambon and village heads, community leaders and business operators to a public hearing at the TAO office on Monday, to share their views on the 19 million baht project to build a staircase barrier.

In an open letter, addressed to Phuket’s governor, the academics, led by Sasin Chalermlarb, chairman of the Sueb Nakhasasthien Foundation, expressed serious concern that the barrier might exacerbate the erosion.

The group noted that part of the beach is already paved with cement, providing space for beach-front activities, but the cement has caused beach erosion during the monsoon season. The group suggests that the cement pavement be removed and replaced with a sand dune, which will look more natural and can be used for tourism activities.

The proposed stair-case type barrier will cause the beach to look unnatural and make it almost impossible for people to swim in the sea, because the waves rise as they strike at the barrier.  Sooner or later the beach will lose its sand and the barrier will break up, the group reasoned.