Angkana Tanetvisetkul, Managing Director of the Peach Group Resort, President of the Kata Karon Business Association and Phuket Go Green Group. Also well known as the President of “Kata Karon Sustainable” Project, created by The Kata Karon Business Association (which is made up of nearly 30 hotel and resort owners) and Karon Municipality, to both protect and take action for the benefit of the environment and local community.
History and goal of “KataKaron Sustainable” Project
After being appointed to be a President of the association last year, we have discussed on the main issue which need to be done and what we can serve the community the most. Finally, we realized that the environmental would be the first concern. Not only for villagers but this also benefit ourselves, who is the tourism-related business, and this kicked off the “KataKaron Sustainable” project or “Rak Kata Karon”.
“Rak” in Thai means “Conservation or Preserve”. Therefore our goal is to try our best to preserve Kata Karon Beach to be as good as it was like 20 years ago.
Main objectives of “KataKaron Sustainable” project “KataKaron Sustainable” project applies to 4 major objectives
1. To reduce the usage of foam and plastic containers on Kata Karon Beach. In fact, our ultimate goal is to eliminate this non-recyclable trash to ‘ZERO’.
2. “Take Trash Home”. To help Karon municipality decrease the amount of garbage on Kata Karon Beach by setting up this campaign and encouraged our clients to carry back any garbage which they generated whilst on the beach back to the hotels or homes.
3. Manage smoking zones. With the cooperation of Karon municipality, we will increase and enforce smoking areas along the beach fronts with suitable ashtrays. Hence, having “Smoking Zone” is an option, so our customers still be able to smoke but in the designated areas.
4. Clear community canal and water supplies. Continuously heard about wastewater entering into the sea, this established “Klong Suay Nam Sai” project which means beautiful Canal and clear water. We motivated our members to participate the Green Hotel campaign to treat their wastewater before entering the community canals and sea.
What “KataKaron Sustainable” Project has done?
Besides our internal management regarding the garbage Recycling and wastewater treatment. We now expanded to the global by publicizing to Kata Karon community and local people to make them aware of what “KataKaron Sustainable” is doing. And to represent those 4 main objectives to Karon Municipality and hopefully this would be appointed into the development plan next year.
In the meanwhile, we have promoted our environment projects and have the discussion among the entrepreneurs in Kata Karon Beach for their difficulties and solutions. This includes the Surfer, Beach umbrella rental, Massage, Tuk Tuk/Taxi service, Small fishing boats, restaurants together with the security units.
The feedback is quite grateful, the villagers really want to see the clear water and the white sand beach like the past 20 years. They totally agreed with our strategy and provide good cooperation. The next step is to liaison with Karon municipality to get the support on what we, both villagers and our association, requested.
How “KataKaron Sustainable” get the participation from community?
We have discussed and encouraged the villagers and entrepreneurs regarding “Foam and Plastic Free Zone” project and presented the replacement materials such as the containers made from bagasse or cartons. Despite the slight increasing cost but this is much more environmental friendly. Within 1-2 years, there would be a clause to stop usage of foam and plastic, so this is the good start to change.
Most impressive things about “KataKaron Sustainable” Project
Surprisingly, what impress me the most is about the feedback from villagers which is such excellent. I would say that the villagers and us, the local businessmen, we all love this area. We have been living here for almost 20 years and can be considered as one of Kata Karon’s family. All of us truly love and strongly want to see the nature here returns to be beautiful like before and remember to take the best care of our tourists in the same time.
Your expectation for “Kata Karon Conservation” Project
What we expect for this 2nd year is to make Kata Karon Beach, with the cooperation of municipality and villagers, to be announced as the “Foam and Plastic Free Zone” together with increasing smoking zones. This is hopefully to be success by this year.
We also wish other beaches like Patong, Kamala or Bang Tao to bring our concept, apply to each areas and expand to the whole Phuket in the future.
Another important thing, I, as the President of “Phuket Go Green” requesting for the participation from schools in Phuket to build awareness of stop using foam and plastic. From children to parents, gradually expand for the sustainable future of Phuket.
Interview with “Angkana Tanetvisetkul – President of the Kata Karon Business Association” about “KataKaron Sustainable Project”