The coastal component of LLS focuses on the coastal zone from Northern Phang Nga Province to Ranong Province and is executed in parallel to the Thailand component of Ecologically and Socio-economically Sound coastal rehabilitation and Management that aims to demonstrate a landscape approach ("reef to ridge”) to the rehabilitation and management of a coastal stretch based on participatory decision making process.
Thailand has a long history in community forestry that has resulted in a number of actively managed areas that are both officially recognized as well as not recognized. In addition, forests are important resources for both people and Biodiversity. Following the tragic event of the 2004 Asian tsunami, a substantial amount of post disaster interventions in livelihood and restoration has taken place that has resulted in the development and strengthening of local level institutions, such as local tourism committee, village development funds and local conservation committees.
Social capital and the value of networks is an integral component in the development of sustainable practices in natural resource management. Using a strategy of developing upon existing systems and strengthening them, IUCN brings its convening power and impartiality to promote an integrated approach to natural resources that leads to practical on-ground examples of the links between coastal forests and livelihoods that is people- centric.
In northern Phang Nga and Ranong provinces the presence of a large number of community based natural resource management bodies exist at the village level. While many of these committees have been successful and managing the resources within their jurisdiction, there appears to be little coordination amongst the different organizations in any formal way. As such, one of the frequent points noted during interviews have been the need to influence the larger political processes in the region. Under the LLS work plan a suit of complementary activities that strengthen and empower coastal community networks in Natural resources management is being promoted within two watersheds in the region and to support linkages within the those communities with broader regional networks such as the Andaman Triangle Network which consists of communities in the coastal provinces of Krabi, Phuket and Phang Nga along Phang Nga Bay.
With the growth of community based tourism in the region, there is a need to support collaboration among community-based organizations to increase the effectiveness of nature based tourism for poverty reduction and conservation purposes.
Through LLS, IUCN is working to identify the tools for facilitating and promoting community tourism operations. Recognizing the outstanding natural and cultural resources of the North Andaman area, LLS will support the creation of a sustainable tourism network in Nakha, Suksamran, and Kuraburi districts. The short tem goals for the network would be to provide:
- resources and opportunities for capacity development in community tourism
- a forum for sharing of lessons learned and ongoing cooperation
- strengthened inter-group relationships
- increased visibility and promotion