NDP supports marine conservation efforts in Thailand
Chao Lao Bay was once regarded as an untouched jewel nestled on the Eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand. But, like many coastlines in Thailand, the past two decades has seen the continued decline of its spectacular marine habitat because of over-fishing, over-development and the resulting pollution.
As a result, fish stocks plummeted, directly impacting the livelihoods of small scale fishermen who have fished the Bay for generations. But with the help of a small grant from UNDP, the fishermen have started to rehabilitate the Bay, using local knowledge and technology. Already the community has replanted mangrove forests, initiated a coral reef protection project and constructed homes or crab condos for pregnant blue swimmer crabs so that they can safely breed.
Fish stocks are returning to healthy, sustainable levels once again and long-lost marine species are returning to the rehabilitated habitats. As 20 years of environmental degradation is reversed, local incomes have increased by half. The revitalization of the coral reefs have brought tourists back to the area and a 40 percent increase in the number of blue swimming crabs is saving valuable petrol used for fishing vessels.
In tandem with the efforts of the community, the local government has passed a law ensuring coastal conservation activities. Additionally, UNDP is helping participants to promote the project throughout Thailand as a successful example that bears repeating and similar projects have already begun to pop up elsewhere
Sri Lanka Turtle Conservation Project supported by UNDP
Southern Central Sri Lanka is home to both the breathtakingly beautiful tea plantations that have made it famous and the impoverished plantation workers who work them. Originally Tamils from India who were brought over by the British to provide cheap labor on estates, the plantation community forms nearly five percent of the population in Sri Lanka today.
These plantation workers have faced social, economic and political isolation through the generations. While the Government finally provided them with full citizenship in the 1970s and began providing them with social welfare services, they remain poor and marginalized.
Many workers live with their entire family in small, one-room structures that lack running water and sanitation facilities. They often have little or no access to medical services and lack job security of any kind. With the plantation sector contributing to about five percent of the country's GDP, improving the lot of plantation workers is beneficial not only to the people themselves, but to the economy as well.
In 2006, UNDP supported the Government in the formulation of a legislative action plan that focuses on a range of human development issues targeting the country's most vulnerable, including those in the plantation estate sector. UNDP provided a team of consultants and training for the relevant government departments in order to actually implement the plan, which mandates improved infrastructure, health, education, housing, gender equality and human rights for these poorest.
Now that the action plan has been agreed upon, and the Government is ready to move ahead on it, UNDP is continuing in its advisory role in terms of figuring out how to translate the plan into a concrete road map for the years ahead. If Sri Lanka is weather the global economic recession while simultaneously achieving the Millennium Development Goals, stepping up human development for all of its citizens must remain a priority.
UNDP works to alleviate poverty in rural China
Millennium Development Goals - UNDP Videos
Here you will find a selection of our videos dealing with eight poverty reduction and social development targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).