11 July 2024

Six marine and coastal resources conservationists have tendered their resignations today (Thursday), at Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, in protest over what they allege is the lack of clear policy, direction and financial support from the ministry over the role of local communities in the protection of marine resources in southern provinces.

The conservationists, who are part of a group of experts appointed by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, arrived in Bangkok today from Nakhon Si Thammarat province to submit the resignations to Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varawut Silpa-archa.

One of them, Somchay Chaladchalaem, told Thai PBS that the ministry has failed to respond to the needs of the local communities, regarding the protection of marine and coastal resources, and they have been left to protect the resources themselves.

For instance, he said that local communities have not received any funding from the ministry or the department to supporttheir efforts to protect the mangrove forests, which are the natural breeding ground for numerous marine species.

He said local coastal communities want to protect their beaches, mangrove forests and marine species from illegal fishing and logging but, without the necessary funding, the task is near impossible.