Pimalai’s Rak Lanta
Pimalai Resort and Spa
To ensure the success of the “Rak Lanta” Project, our strategy is to get involved with local community members including those employed by dive shops, school students, local authorities, national park wardens and resort operators by promoting environmentally friendly waste management practices, for example, using waste separation to reduce, reuse and where possible recycle waste.
INTRODUCTIONIt is Pimalai’s belief that our success as a leading resort in Thailand is partly based on our goal of preserving a safe and healthy environment for the people of Koh Lanta as well as visiting guests. As such, every detail from the selection of the resort’s location, to the design of the grounds and construction of the facilities, was planned and executed with the goal of complementing, not competing with the original natural environment. We endeavour to stay true to this belief and in doing so we will always be able to offer guests genuine comfort and solace from the hustle and bustle of life.
“Pimalai’s Rak Lanta” Project was initiated to enforce our stated belief by creating awareness of the importance of preserving Koh Lanta’s natural environment. We endeavour to be accepted as a role model by local communities as well as foreign visitors to maintain Koh Lanta as a special sanctuary. The Project provides knowledge and support for local community groups by actively supplying information on waste management issues concentrating on two major topics, the preservation and enhancement of native forests and the restoration of underwater coral damaged by human activities via coral propagation.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYOver the past decade, Koh Lanta has seen a substantial increase in the number of tourist arrivals on the island. An outcome of this growth is the stress imposed on waste management which is now becoming a major issue due to the lack of a suitable landfill facility together with limited resources from local authorities to manage the problem. Being part of the Koh Lanta community Pimalai upholds its moral and social obligations and is committed to supporting initiatives to preserve Koh Lanta’s natural environment, as well as making it a sustainable tourist destination, bringing positive benefits to local communities. To ensure the success of the “Rak Lanta” Project, our strategy is to get involved with local community members including those employed by dive shops, school students, local authorities, national park wardens and resort operators by promoting environmentally friendly waste management practices, for example, using waste separation to reduce, reuse and where possible recycle waste.
We have also initiated our own green team and have sought advice from invited guests who are experts in the field such as those participating with Ocean Quest. This is a marine conservation organization founded by Anuar Abdullah and other marine biologists to help organize training and offer stimulating activities to create awareness of the need to protect and/or restore existing forests and protect coral reefs from further degradation especially in areas designated as marine national parks.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTAs a result of promoting and providing waste bins and garbage storage facilities around Kantiang beach, garbage is now properly disposed of in a designated area improving the scenery and reducing the amount of water-borne garbage deposited on the beach. We have helped local communities, shop owners and resort operators to separate garbage in a systematic manner so non-decomposable materials can be recycled.
We are educating school students on waste separation programs and provided each school with 5 sets of bins with clear labelling to simplify waste separation. Moreover, we plan to set up a “cage” where students can deposit plastic bottles. The “cage” will be emptied each week by a company that will pay for the plastic, providing additional income to the school to spend on necessary items.
Pimalai has since embarked on a new exciting conservation initiative under the name of “Pimalai Coral Propagation”. The Resort, in conjunction with Ocean Quest, has been working closely with the Koh Lanta and Trang National Parks to ensure that the project is successful and can be a role model to propagate corals in other regions of Thailand. The project has been going for 2 years and involves more than 20 dive shops around the island as well as including some participation by some of our resort guests.
FUTURE DIRECTIONPimalai has a future plan to expand the “Rak Lanta” Project to all 14 schools in Koh Lanta Yai, Lanta Noi and Koh Por within the year 2018 and will continue to monitor their progress with quarterly meetings among school teachers to share results and benchmark best practices. Future projects in addition to waste separation is to transfer Pimalai waste management skills on waste decomposition so schools can make their own fertilizer to grow food crops for use in their school.
The resort is now embarking on an exciting new initiative to tackle plastic garbage pollution, a major waste management issue, and plan to launch a “Say No to Plastic bags and Foam” program to reduce plastic consumption, a major waste management issue in Koh Lanta and beyond.
40 years ago, the owners and developers of this resort discovered lush, hilly land at the tip of Koh Lanta. They envisioned a personal paradise, a place where children could learn about and inherit a love for nature. They fell in love with the vivid azure cove, golden strips of sand and the verdant green of the surrounding mountains and realized that such beauty was meant to be shared. Unlike the rest of Koh Lanta which had given way to resorts, beach vendors and the hectic buzz of tourism, the natural setting of Pimalai remains virtually untouched up to this day.