Trat is a peaceful small province in the Gulf of Thailand with rich natural resources. Once an agricultural oriented town, but recently overwhelmed by tourism industry, Trat has experienced an inevitable sharp environmental deterioration. With support from farmers, business owners, government officers, the community, public and private sectors, and co-operation with the public organisation DASTA (Designated Areas for A Sustainable Tourism Administration), GIZ and the Thai Trattourism Association (TTA), sustainable tourism under the theme of climate-friendly tourism has been initiated and become a keynote close call to environmental conservation.
In the course of two years, resource management training programmes have been conducted and pilot projects to manage waste, reduce waste energy and greenhouse gas emissions are being administered on islands while ecotourism and agro tourism are initiated on the mainland. The key to the mission is the role of the people. The challenge lies in having people shift values and take ownership in sustainable tourism and all other lifestyles, as much as in maintaining healthy co-operation with all sectors.
Churaipon C. Klaijumlang