Increasing sources of revenue for safeguarding biodiversity and environmental management in Koh Tao sub-district

Francesco Ungaro
Published: 07 December 2022
Last edited: 07 December 2022
remove_red_eye 350 Views

Summary

The island of Koh Tao, Thailand, attracts up to 500,000 tourists each year. This is important for the local economy but can also generates waste and pressure on the corals.The finance solution was introduced where tourists pay THB 20 visitation fee (US$0.6 per tourist), endorsed with an issuance of the amended municipal ordinance by Koh Tao sub-district Municipality Office with a hard-copy receipt being issued to each tourist at the pier upon arrival. It can generate up to $360,000 per year to protect island's biodiversity. This finance solution has aligned public finance (Koh Tao municipality fiscal budget) and private finance (tourists) to a nature-positive future. The issuance of municipal ordinance with specific pro-biodiversity finance provisions was introduced for the first time in a non-protected area of Thailand.The first-of-its-kind legal framework titled “Koh Tao Pier Fee Management and Collection Act 2021” was announced by the Koh Tao municipality office in late 2021.

Classifications

Region
Southeast Asia
Scale of implementation
Local
Subnational
Ecosystem
Beach
Coastal forest
Coral reef
Marine and coastal ecosystems
Theme
Coastal and marine spatial management
Ecosystem services
Fisheries and aquaculture
Gender mainstreaming
Habitat fragmentation and degradation
Islands
Legal & policy frameworks
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Pollution
Sustainable financing
Sustainable livelihoods
Tourism
Waste management
Species Conservation and One Health Interventions
Risk communication, community engagement and behaviour change
Challenges
Loss of Biodiversity
Conflicting uses / cumulative impacts
Erosion
Ecosystem loss
Poaching
Pollution (incl. eutrophication and litter)
Inefficient management of financial resources
Lack of access to long-term funding
Changes in socio-cultural context
Lack of public and decision maker’s awareness
Sustainable development goals
SDG 5 – Gender equality
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 1: Awareness of biodiversity increased
Target 5: Habitat loss halved or reduced
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 8: Pollution reduced
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 17: Biodiversity strategies and action plans
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge
Target 20: Mobilizing resources from all sources
Business engagement approach
Direct engagement with associations
Indirect through consumers
Indirect through financial institutions
Indirect through government
Indirect through legal actors

Location

Koh Tao, Ko Pha-ngan, Surat Thani 84360, Thailand

Impacts

  • With an acknowledgement by the Governor of Surat Thani province, the first-of-its-kind legal framework titled “Koh Tao Pier Fee Management and Collection Act 2021” was announced by the Koh Tao municipality office.
  • The collection of THB20 (US$ 0.06) per tourist has been endorsed with an issuance of the amended municipal ordinance by Koh Tao sub-district Municipality Office.
  • The commencement of tourist user charges collection officially started in April 2022.  Estimated that the revenue generated from the user charges collection for the post-COVID situation is approximately $180,000 - 360,000 USD per year.
  • The mayor of Koh Tao sub-district municipality office and its council members have confirmed that the revenue generation from user charges will be earmarked for nature and biodiversity conservation and community-based environmental management activities at Koh Tao through the supervision of the Koh Tao Sub-district Environmental Plan Development Working Group.
  • 5 community-based organizations (CBOs) were trained on project proposal development to access the UNDP small grant programme(SGP) including  Koh Tao Small-scale Fisherfolk group, Mae Haad Taxi boat operators, Sairee Taxi boat operators, Koh Tao Women group, and Youth group of Tao Noi Channel have been assisted by the project to develop and submit the proposal to UNDP Thailand as low value grant to receive additional funds from Krungthai Bank.

Contributed by

gamzeakarsu.en_37360's picture

Gamze Akarsu United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), BIOFIN

Other contributors

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)