Sustainable development and low carbon tourism go hand in hand. If you have read the History of Koh Mak, you will have learned that the island is still 80% owned by descendants of a wealthy merchant who was a tax collector for the Thai King.
Therefore, unlike many islands the owners of Koh Mak comprise well educated and well travelled families many of whom have studied or lived in Europe or the USA.
They are more open to new ideas and also realise that what may make money in the short term is not necessarily the best solution long term when effects on the natural environment are concerned. It was in 2014 that the scheme to promote the island to foreign visitors as an eco-friendly island was launched.
Have you seen any other islands in Thailand where the local authorities actively solicit outside advice and know how in order to offset the negative effects that tourism is having on the island and promote sustainable development?
Koh Mak is a small and friendly island and there are absolutely no plans to change this. The local families have no intention to become another Phuket or Samui. The goal is to develop the island in a sustainable way in harmony with nature. In order to do this, you might be able to help.
If you are an expert in an area that is useful to the sustainable development of the island, we would like to hear from you. Here is a list topics that are important for the future of Koh Mak, however, if you have any other areas of expertise that you think will useful for us, we welcome your input.
Koh Mak is an inspiring place. So if you are able to use some of the local resources and turn them into something stunning, we would like to welcome you to the island. There are lots of places and spaces here where a little art could make a really nice contribution.
Koh Mak is a beautiful island and we want to make sure it stays this way. In order to do this, practical policies that protect the environment both on the island as well as in the sea around it need to be in place.
Human Resource Development
The key to building a future for the island is the people. We need to make sure that local people have the knowledge and expertise in order to sustain their life on the island. We see sustainable tourism as a key economic driver of Koh Mak’s future. If you are able to help local inhabitants learn the necessary skills (English, hospitality management etc.) we would like to hear from you.
Logistics and Transportation
Koh Mak is an island and therefore quite remote. It is a good thing that there is no direct highway from Bangkok to Koh Mak, however, this means that transportation and logistics can be a bit challenging at times. Therefore, a well organised plan to manage transportation to and from the island as well as eco-friendly transportation on the island itself would benefit everyone
Koh Mak is a great little island and we would like to share the island’s beauty with visitors from all around the world. We don’t have a big marketing budget, however, we do appreciate the importance of Marketing in order to attract visitors. If you are a marketing wizard and know something about electronic media, we would appreciate your help.
Natural Resource Management
Koh Mak has a lot of natural resources both on the ground as well as under water. The island’s natural beauty is a key driver or tourism so that must be preserved. However, overuse is an issue and the island should develop in a sustainable manner. Natural resources therefore need to be managed carefully.
So far, every resort owner has just done whatever they wanted to do – within the planning laws of course. However, it would make sense to come up with a development plan that looks at the island as a whole in order to ensure a sustainable development. So if you have ideas on how other islands have overcome this problem and worked to achieve a Masterplan for a 10-20 year future time span, we’d love to hear about it.
Value Added Processing
On Koh Mak we grow rubber and coconuts. So far, we ship most of the things that we grow to the mainland unprocessed. In order to create value for our island, we would like to process the rubber and coconuts locally on Koh Mak. Building big factories is definitely not what we want. But if you can think of a idea how we can add value to what we grow in a sustainable way, we would like to hear it.
We already do waste management and recycle as good as we can. However, everything is shipped back to the mainland. We think there is an opportunity to recycle things locally. If you got any ideas on how to approach this, please get in touch.
If you think you have what it takes to help us make Koh Mak a better place to live and visit, please get in touch with us. While we cannot pay any money for your expertise, we would be more than happy to provide you with discounted accommodation.
Just send us your CV and a brief description of your ideas how you could help us develop our island in a sustainable way and we will get back to you shortly. We welcome individuals and small groups.