H.T.M.S. Underwater Learning Site Project
PTT Exploration and Production PCL
As an operator of petroleum exploration and production in Thailand which directly involved with marine seabed, PTTEP has a strong commitment to creating positive impact in marine biodiversity and ecosystem services.
INTRODUCTION“H.T.M.S. Underwater Learning Site Project” is one of PTTEP’s CSR initiatives for environmental conservation. This project was initiated in 2010 with the main objectives to rehabilitate marine ecology by reusing the decommissioned battleships, namely H.T.M.S. Prab and H.T.M.S. Sattakut, as a new home of marine life and sessile organisms, to enrich the marine biodiversity, as well as to be the learning sites of marine life and their development in long-term basis. Moreover, these two battleships were created as new diving sites which help to attract the tourists, reduce the effects and pressures on natural coral reefs as well as generate a considerable income for local communities.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYThe initiative reflects PTTEP’s commitment towards business sustainability in which economic, environmental, and social factors are integrated. Realizing that creating a new home of marine life demands a huge investment, a touch of innovation as well as a collaboration with various agencies and stakeholders, PTTEP has engaged among concerned parties; including the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation; the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources; Royal Thai Navy, Faculty of Fishery of Kasetsart University; local business operators and communities, to consider the most suitable structure for using as a new underwater learning site.
In 2011, After studying to find the best location and practice to ensure the minimal impact on marine ecology, two decommissioned ships offered by the Royal Thai Navy, namely H.T.M.S. Prab and H.T.M.S. Sattakut, were placed underwater at Koh Ngam Noi in Chumphon province and Koh Tao in Surat Thani Province. To have an efficiency study on marine ecology and biodiversity, the project has developed the tools to facilitate studies about living organisms.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTOver the last 7 years, the program has generated tremendous outcomes including the increasing number of small fish from 10 species to more than 60 that reflected the increasing of marine ecology and biodiversity, developing new undersea attractions and expanding into large coral reefs in Chumphon and Surat Thani provinces, which reflected the reducing of impacts on natural coral reefs. Moreover, there was no significant impact on the conditions of the seabed in every area studied.
The number of tourists and divers are growing up at 37.7% at Koh Ngam Noi in Chumphon province and 18.8% at Koh Tao in Surat Thani province which were able to boost community’s economy. In 2017 the project was measured by using Social Return on Investment (SROI) method with the satisfied outcome as 5.34:1 (THB). Moreover, the project generated positive media exposure through activities with PR value of over 16,000,000 THB during 2011 – 2017, raising awareness on marine ecology conservation and contribution to the company’s reputation.
FUTURE DIRECTIONThese battleships will be in service for more than 60 years and the study on marine ecology and biodiversity will be continuously conducted from time to time to ensure the sustainability in marine ecology. Moreover, PTTEP will continue supporting the construction of buoys and its maintenance, placing around the diving sites, to protect the damage to natural coral reef from tourist boat anchoring and the underwater clean-up activities will be organized to raise awareness of marine conservation.
As an operator of petroleum exploration and production in Thailand which directly involved with marine seabed, PTTEP has a strong commitment to creating positive impact in marine biodiversity and ecosystem services. The company has been fully supporting on this project and putting every efforts to achieve the goals both in preventing loss within their system as well as in restoring biodiversity and wildlife habitats to improve overall ecosystem health.
PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited Thailand (or PTTEP), is a national petroleum exploration and production company dedicating itself to providing a sustainable petroleum supply to Thailand and the countries PTTEP operates in. PTTEP conducts its business as a responsible corporate member of the society to achieve a balance between business, society and the environment. The company strongly support human rights in line with the legitimate role of business and give proper regards to health, safety, security and environment consistent with its commitment to contribute to sustainable development of the society.