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Thailand

Libong and Muk, Ko Kah

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Conservation benefit: Supporting island communities in dugong conservation and habitat protection

Date Approved: 11.2002

Mangroves

This project protects mangroves, which trap more CO2 than any other kind of forest and as a result, slow global warming.

Seagrass

This project protects seagrass, which traps more CO2 than any other marine ecosystem, slowing global warming.

The islands of Libong and Muk, off the west coast of Thailand, comprise 8,649 acres and 3,718 acres of land respectively. They are home to the only remaining population of Thailand’s endangered dugongs. These slow-moving marine mammals, closely related to manatees, feed on the islands’ expansive seagrass beds. Nearby are two uninhabited islands, Lao-Tam and Ko Kah, which protect the seagrass beds from heavy erosion from the mainland.

YADFON, a local NGO, has been working with local communities for years. Seacology is working with YADFON to give these island communities materials and supplies for a network of seagrass bed and mangrove forest preservation projects. Preserving this precious habitat will protect the endangered dugongs.

Project Updates

January 2005

YADFON, the local group running the project, won a 2004 Associate Rolex Award for Enterprise for this project.

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July 2004

Through community conservation training sessions and meetings with village representatives, a network has been established between the four villages committed to conservation efforts. This network has encouraged villagers to work together toward dugong habitat protection and the creation of sustainable livelihoods that conserve the coastal ecosystems. Thus far, work completed has included mangrove forest restoration; installation of demarcation buoys; construction of signage; boardwalk construction; expansion of one community learning center; beginning construction on another community learning center and a mangrove learning center. Completion of the last community center and a mangrove learning center is scheduled to be completed by October.

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