Koh Tao partners with UNDP for youth-led sustainable tourism push
The holiday island of Koh Tao has partnered with the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) to pioneer sustainable tourism in Thailand once the Covid-19 crisis subsides.
BIOFIN has funded a communications studio with video production and editing equipment at Ban Koh Tao School, so students can present the island’s sustainability story to the world.
The students have already created their own YouTube channel called Tao Noi (Little Turtle) and a Facebook page dubbed “Tao Noi Story”. The channels are raising awareness of Koh Tao people’s efforts and challenges to create sustainable tourism on the island famous for its turtles and other natural riches.
The students said the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the tourist island hard, closing many businesses and putting locals out of work.
However, a recent fact-finding mission by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which runs BIOFIN, revealed Koh Tao’s ecosystem has made a stunning recovery in the absence of tourism.
BIOFIN was formed in 2014 as a global partnership to address sustainability efforts by building a sound business case for increased investment in the management of ecosystems and biodiversity. In Thailand, the National Economic and Social Development Council and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning helping the BIOFIN mission with the UNDP.