The event on World Oceans Day is held on the 8th of June every year to celebrate and honor our oceans and seas. This year, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment by the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources of Thailand, in collaboration with international organizations and private sector allianceshold a grand opening of the event under the theme “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean” at Ari Samphan Room, Department of Environmental Quality Promotion. H.E. Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment chaired the event in Bangkok, and witnessed the simultaneous launching ceremony of garbage booms in 7 locations,chaired by the governors of each province through VDO conference. Exhibitions displayed in the event demonstrated the current technologies and innovations using in marine and coastal resources management, and the need of cooperation from all sectors to sustainably solve the problems of our oceans.
H.E.Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment said that we had used the sea and its resources in a wide range – our living, tourism, transportation and sea-based industries – serving the economic growth and generated billions of dollars annually in our national income. On the contrary, we had continuously destroyed the sea, by discarding wastewater and garbage to the environment, as well as overexploitation of fishery resources. Holding the event on World Oceans Day is to remind us of the importance of the oceans and the benefits we receive from them. The nature needs care – using natural resources is not wrong, but it has to be used only as needed and within their carrying capacity. In response to COVID-19 epidemic, the Thai government has taken immediate measures to suspend travel. The closure of all tourist destinations including more than 140 national marine parks increases a chance of restoration to marine and coastal resources, evidenced by more frequent sightings of marine endangered species in many areas. In Trang Province. A herd of about 20 dugongs were seen feeding in seagrass bed near KoLibong, and more than 30 black killer whales were found swimming near KohRok. InKrabi province, many whale sharks were seen in the area of KoLanta National Marine Park, and a school of blacktip sharks were found feeding inKoPhi Phi and KoHong. After 10 years of disappearance, nesting of leatherback turtle and green turtle were found, as well as sighting of dugongs close to Suan Son beach, Rayong Province. Coral reefs in many areas have been naturally restored after a period of no tourism. These evidences clearly reflect the disturbance on nature caused by human activities.
H.E. Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa left the following message to the Thai people. “The big blue ocean is the home of living organisms from the size so tiny that we cannot see with our naked eyes to the world’s largest animals as the blue whale, which is currently less than 10,000 in number, and also many more organisms remained unexplored. To look after the huge area of the sea, the government officials alone cannot make it possible. Participation from people, civil society, private sectors, and across countries globally are required. The seas and oceans are connected with no boundary, the result of our actions locally can definitely affect farther than we can imagine. Technology is just a tool to help us ease and accelerate the process of management and solving problems, but the sustainable solution needs the change of our behavior and mindset so that we can hand over the healthy and wealthy natural resources to the next generations”.
Mr. Sopon Thongdee, Director-General of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, added that, the 2020 World Oceans Day was held on the 8th of June under the theme “Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean” at Ari Samphan Meeting Room, Department of Environmental Quality Promotion. This year, we received well cooperation from many partners such as UNEP, UNDP, Blue Carbon Society, M.K. Real Estate Development PCL., SCG Chemicals, Ocean CleanUp and TerraCycle Thai Foundation. Moreover, it was our honor to welcome ambassadors and representatives from a number of embassies in Thailand to the event. Our distinguished guests and participants had witnessed the launching ceremony of garbage booms in 7 provinces chaired by H.E. Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa and the 7 governors via VDO conference. The exhibition displayed some examples of technologies and innovations used in marine and coastal resources management, such as application of Unmanned Ariel Vehicle (UAV) to explore and monitor marine endangered species, Ocean Forecasting System (OFS), Coral Bleaching Warning System, and Rigs to Reef. The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources standed ready to implement all programs and activities under the government’s policy, and adhere to obligations of the agreements the country has signed to conserve, restore and protect marine and coastal resources to sustainably remain in order to pass on to the next generations, said Mr. Sopon Thongdee the end.