On this occasion, The Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, General Surasak Kanjanarat, participated in the event along with Vice Phuket Governor Dr. Prachiad Aksornthamakul and parties. The event welcomed the Honourary Chairperson of The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, Mrs. Katherine Heinecke, and the executive management team of Marriott International, Mr. Carl Hudson, Area Vice President of Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Japan and Mr. Oriol Montal, General Manager of JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa.
The successful event was a great opportunity to officially launch the grand opening of The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, also known as the turtle shelter and education centre, opening its doors to the public as well as marking the special occasion of the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Conservation Declaration signing ceremony among 10 hospitality operators, and 3 government sectors including Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, Anantara Vacation Club Phuket Mai Khao, Dvaree Mai Khao Beach, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao, JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Maikhao Dream Villa Resort and Spa Phuket, Marriott Vacation Club Resort, Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa, Sala Phuket Resort & Spa, Baan Maikhao Phuket by Sansiri, Mai Khao Sub District Administrative Organization, Phuket Marine Biological Centre, Sirinart National Park and Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation . 19 Turtle were released back to the Andaman Sea as a significant gesture of the special occasion.
“I am very honored to be here today to represent the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation at the Turtle Shelter and Education Center Grand Opening. I was personally involved with this project when it started 14 years ago when we had a very large leatherback come and lay her eggs in front of the hotel during the hotel opening time, I am very happy to report that she was back again last year laying more eggs. Together with the PMBC, IUCN, our partners and local community we have spent 14 years protecting the turtles of Mai Khao and educating people about their plight.
We are very excited to have signed an new ”Turtle Declaration for Mai Khao” and will be working with all of the hotels in Mai Khao in a strategic manner to further positively impact the conservation of turtle and the amazing beauty of this natural area we call Mai Khao.
The private sector partners are working closely together to sustain this project financially long term so that we can continue to welcome nesting turtles back to Mai Khao.
We are hugely proud and excited about the opening of our on-site turtle and education center where we can share our resident turtles with the community, guests and schools to further inspire them to help with our conservation efforts. Thank you to the Minister for being in attendance and to all of the MKMTF partners for their continued support. This project represents the future of conservation with all parties involved working together for the benefit of turtles and the environment” said, Katherine Heinecke, Honourary Chairperson of The Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation.
Declaration of Marine Turtle Conservation at Mai Khao Beach
Under this declaration, the association will conduct an annual meeting to stimulate Mai Khao turtle conservation program into an evident success.
For more information about the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, please contact Mr. Sean Panton, Co-Chairman & Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Marriott Thailand Business Council, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Khun Kittipan, Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation Manager, via email email@example.com or call 076 338 000 ext. 3383.