North Andaman Tsunami Relief (NATR)

North Andaman Tsunami Relief (NATR)

North Andaman Tsunami Relief

 

North Andaman Tsunami Relief (NATR) provides assistance to the coastal communities on and near Koh Phratong (Phang Nga, Thailand) that have been affected by the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, in collaboration with others involved in the relief efforts to work toward long-term sustainability of these communities. Please see NATR's website for pictures, reports and information on donation and other ways to help.

 

Recognizing that tourism will play a major role in the North Andaman communities' future, NATR has been working to provide the local people with the training necessary for the adoption of adventure, community-based, and eco-tourism (ACE tourism).

 

The North Andaman coast of Thailand is an ecologically and culturally unique area. Compared to other areas of natural beauty in the region, it is remarkably undeveloped and many communities still survive by their traditional livelihoods. A high percentage of the land area is designated as protected area, both mountain and coastal zones, such as Laem Son and Mu Koh Surin National Parks, Na Kha Wildlife Refuge, and Koh Phratong.

 

Most communities live along the coastal belt and were severely affected by the tsunami. As tourism becomes a more prominent economic force in the area, there is a danger of local communities being unprepared, both in terms of job skills and cultural resilience, which could lead to rapid community and resource degradation. These communities need to start building a broad-based economy that can successfully encompass increasing tourism levels without becoming over-dependent.

 

NATR’s training programs aim to empower the local communities, give local villagers better control of how and where tourists visit, and allow these community members to discuss and define long-term sustainability on their own terms and explore the feasibility of using ACE tourism as a tool for responsible and sustainable development that preserves culture and the environment. NATR currently provides ACE Expert Vocational Training in tourism business and guiding.

  • ACE Business Training (July – September 2006): Provide practical skills (money management, marketing, etc.) in small business and an understanding of larger markets and community finance.
  • ACE Guide Training (April – October 2006): Ensure that guides have the necessary service and hospitality skills along with first aid and safety techniques.

Training will also focus on knowledge of regional and village-based environment and culture, and the interpretation skills required to engage and educate Thai and foreign visitors. Qualified trainers and training partners are needed to lead these programs (must be fluent in Thai).

 

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