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Phuket's promise as a playground for future generations requires commitment

Phuket Environment Chief Warns of Disaster

Saturday, May 15, 2010
Phuketwan News Analysis/Opinion

ENVIRONMENTAL safeguards are being ignored and Phuket's future is at risk unless developers are reined in, the island's Chief of the Natural Resources and Environment Department, Ong-art Chanachanmongkol, said at a seminar yesterday.

He told 150 Phuket construction industry representatives, resort owners and managers, consultants and local authorities that the environment was often ignored, damaged and destroyed by people who failed to keep their promises and undertakings.

''These environmental promises are important pieces of paper because the Phuket beaches and the reefs are why people come here,'' he said. ''It may seem easy to avoid undertakings, but in the end, it will ruin Phuket.''

By coincidence, Khun Ong-art's Phuket call came just as US President Barack Obama was berating BP oil company officials for ducking responsibility for a hugely damaging oil rig spill off the US coast.

Although the conference room at the Katina Hotel in Phuket City is a long way from the White House in Washington, the points both men were making bore striking similarities.

Khun Ong-art urged greater consideration for the big picture and for the future of Phuket, not just for a quick saving or a profit.

Protecting the environment is vital. And as with so many aspects of life on Phuket and along the Andaman coast, one thing makes it possible to bend most rules, for the money-hungry to get what they want: corruption.

Phuketwan is prepared to go further than Khun Ong-art did and say this: As long as corruption continues to flourish on and around Phuket, there can be no balance between development and Phuket's best interests.

Corruption is at odds with Phuket's increasingly desperate need to maintain its reputation as a tropical holiday destination that preserves its beaches and reefs for future generations.

One Malaysian destination that attracted 200,000 visitors last year is aiming for 160,000 this year - so that its beauty can be saved.

Protecting Phuket's environment without fear or favor or consideration of profit should be where the holiday island makes its stand against corruption. It's a matter of life and death.
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Comments

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"Phuket's increasingly desperate need (is) to maintain its reputation as a tropical holiday destination that preserves its beaches and reefs for future generations."

One could add "and its natural environment" otherwise nothing more need be said.

Please do not destroy the "magic" of your beautiful island that I first discovered over 20 years ago and have experienced on so many occasions since.

Why do you think we come here. Certainly not for 'Big Macs', 'KFC' 'Hard Rock' and flash high rise resorts.

Your future is in your hands - and minds!

Posted by rfdunedin on May 15, 2010 14:06

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Thirty years ago I came to this place. The head of IBM for Asia was my neighbor and he told me about Phuket and suggested I come here he said it was one of most beautiful places he had ever seen BUT!!!!

I said," but what"?

He said," They will over develop it and destroy it".

He was right!

The problem with corruption: no one cares as others just pay and go around the rules.

The people who are civil servants here have no incentive to make things work and produce good legislation as they make money off the corruption and not making things work.

So why change who cares.

Years ago I wrote articles saying get rid of your 80 meter building limit build your houses on the hills and don't keep filling in the lands that produced rice for 100 of years and that you will need to feed future generations.

Don't keep filling in the lands that you used to produce rice on with the next to useless red dirt from the hills and broken concrete from buildings being torn down.

Yesterday I drove over some of Phuket's oldest rice fields and they were filled with hunks of concrete waste plastic and the dirt from the hills that have little growing value. Here are fields that fed Thai people for hundreds of years.

Heh who cares heh man we want the money from selling our lands why should we worry about future Thai generations feeding themselves.

A few years ago no one listened but today a few Thais are beginning to wake up as they see the goings on with the earth.

But too few and too late, most don't care.

I hope this will change!

But as I see one corrupt group fighting it out with the other corrupt group in Bangkok, I shudder.

Will people here ever wake up! John Gray says No it will be to late!

Is he right?

Come on, prove him wrong !

Posted by Capt Canada on May 18, 2010 23:14


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