Sunday, August 25, 2019

B-DNA clean-up sweeps nearly 3 tonnes of trash from coast

Jul 07. 2019
Volunteers remove mounds of trash from a mangrove forest.
Volunteers remove mounds of trash from a mangrove forest.
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By The Nation

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More than 2,100 volunteers representing business, government and civil society helped clear away 2.8 tonnes of trash along the coast in Bangpu, Samut Prakan, on Saturday (July 6).

The mountain of garbage collected – equivalent in weight to 280,000 plastic bottles – was collected in just under three hours.

The items included both glass and plastic beverage bottles, bottlecaps, plastic bags, food wrappers, fabric, tyres and cigarette butts.

Her Royal Highness Princess Adityadornkitikhun, a daughter of HRH Princess Chulabhorn, joined in the effort organised by the Thailand Bio-Diversity Network Alliance (B-DNA), a national “business and biodiversity platform”, to raise public awareness about plastic pollution.

“We all generate litter, so combating marine plastic pollution is everyone’s responsibility,” said Wijarn Simachaya, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and a member of the B-DNA advisory committee.

Founded by IUCN and Toyota, B-DNA aims to broaden the private sector’s role in nature conservation with a focus on biodiversity and achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. 

It gives companies the opportunity to learn about sustainability and adopt strategies and to collaborate on conservation projects across Thailand. 

The priority for the next few years is to help businesses tackle plastic pollution.

“All businesses rely on natural resources to some extent,” said Aban Marker Kabraji, IUCN Asia director. “Platforms like Thailand B-DNA encourage businesses to transform the way they value, manage and invest in nature by highlighting the opportunities and benefits of a more sustainable approach. 

“By addressing their environmental footprint, businesses can open up new opportunities, respond to consumer demand for responsible products, and save natural resources as well as costs.”

At the clean-up site were booths where participants could learn more about tackling plastic pollution as individuals and through their businesses.

“Toyota Motor Thailand has been raising awareness about biodiversity conservation in Thailand via the ‘Toyota Green Town’ project in association with the Toyota network and partners like the Thailand Environmental Institute and the Foundation for Environmental Education for Sustainable Development,” said Pravena Nuntikulvanich, vice president of Toyota Motor Thailand. 

“Thailand B-DNA gives us the opportunity to raise awareness and take action on biodiversity conservation in Thailand through the knowledge and network of our partners from the government, civil society and the private sector.

B-DNA will in the next few months be hosting workshops where people can gain the skills and tools required to engage in sustainability. 

The workshops will range from entry-level sessions on the relationship between business and biodiversity to more issue-specific sessions, like how and why companies should address plastic pollution in their operations.

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