Story | 21 Jul, 2021

Integrating science, traditional knowledge, tourism and education to strengthen coastal resilience in Krabi, Thailand

In March 2021, the SEAGONG project, a transdisciplinary community-based seagrass, and dugong conservation project, was established in Aonang, Krabi, one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations. The project aims to identify pathways for fishing communities and local businesses to engage in the conservation and management of coastal ecosystems, particularly seagrass meadows while supporting income diversification and building local resilience. The work is supported by a small grant from IUCN’s Mekong WET project, which aims to build climate resilience by harnessing the benefits of wetlands in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam.



Led by the social enterprise NatureMind-ED, the project utilises drone imagery and geospatial analysis in collaboration with the Seaweed and Seagrass Lab at Prince of Songkhla University and the Department of National Parks. The resulting maps will be used during community stakeholder workshops focusing on participatory mapping of traditional ecological knowledge related to fishing methods and seasonal fishing trends. 

The workshops aim to strengthen local engagement and produce maps of proposed conservation areas. Participants will also develop co-management plans, which will build on the results of the needs assessment and climate change adaptation planning consultations. These plans will highlight environmental degradation, economic disparities, climate change threats, and potential Ecosystem-based Adaptation actions to strengthen the resilience of the coastal areas. 

In addition, an eco-guide training program is being developed in collaboration with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Krabi Hotels Association. The training will provide work opportunities that cultivate synergies between people and nature. Save the Andaman Network, a local NGO, is also part of the project team and will support the participatory workshops with fishing communities and other local stakeholders.

The SEAGONG project also relies on transformative education to empower school teachers and students. Building on the project team’s extensive experience in designing hands-on learning programs, the project is collaborating with Aonang School, Banlaempho School, and Nong Thale School to co-design citizen-science learning sessions using the project sites as open-air classrooms. 

We have had many years of environmental education with almost no results. It is time to create hands-on practical learning that leads to behaviour change,” said Khun Sun, 58, community member, Khlong Muang, Krabi.

The project is planning community events and communication campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of ecosystem services provided by seagrass ecosystems. All information related to the SEAGONG project will be compiled on a website to further disseminate the information. 

The Mekong WET Small Grants fund several wetlands projects in the Indo-Burma region. These initiatives are directly answering specific climate threats to wetland ecosystems, species, and communities using Ecosystem-based Adaptation strategies as the main approach.

About MWET

Funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB),  the “Mekong WET: Building Resilience of Wetlands in the Lower Mekong Region” project aims to build climate resilience by harnessing the benefits of wetlands in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Mekong WET will help the four countries to address their commitments to the Ramsar Convention, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, and to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.


The Indo-Burma Ramsar Regional Initiative (IBRRI) was jointly developed by the Ramsar National Focal Points of the five countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam), and IUCN’s Asia Regional Office, based on specific needs identified in these countries. It was endorsed by the 52nd meeting of the Ramsar Convention Standing Committee in June 2016. The IBRRI aims to support the coordinated implementation of the objectives of the Strategic Plan of the Ramsar Convention. IUCN acts as the Secretariat for the Initiative under the leadership of the Steering Committee, which includes representatives from the five governments and the Ramsar Convention Secretariat as an observer.