SCG took green-minded youngsters on ‘Who Make Change – Let’s grow seagrass @Trang’ trip to replant seagrasses, the hero in curbing global warming due to their ability to sequester 35 times as much carbon dioxide as terrestrial plants. The trip to Kantang’s Ban Mod Tanoi community in Trang, which is home to the largest seagrass meadow in Thailand, let them learn, share environmental conservation experiences, and plant seagrasses hands-on together with experts and community representatives who are true doers in seagrass planting. It will turn them into the source of inspiration for others to jointly quench global warming with sustainable results.
Mrs. Venus Asavasitthithavorn, Enterprise Brand Management Office Director, SCG, said, “SCG believes in the power of young generation, environmentally conscious people as the key force to quench global warming. We have recruited them into ‘Who Make Change – Let’s grow seagrass @Trang’ trip, which is part of our ‘Plant to Cool the Planet’ campaign. The trip serves as a platform to learn and share their experiences on what we can do to curb global warming, especially by planting seagrasses that help absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than terrestrial plants and contribute to restoration of marine resources. Through trip activities, the participants will learn and be inspired to take action and make positive changes for the planet. In ‘Learn from the Real’ session, they will learn the correlation between seagrass meadows, mangrove forests and living organisms from experiences shared by environmental experts, local intellects and youths of Ban Mod Tanoi. ‘Grow Your Plant’ will take them on the ground to plant seagrasses and mangroves the way these plants can really thrive in natural surroundings. ‘Nature Reconnected’ will then expose them to a local way of life by the sea in which the community coexists in harmony with nature. Throughout this trip, they will gain valuable knowledge that can be passed on to others to make changes for a better world.”
Dr. Petch Manopawitr is a conservation scientist with 20 years of extensive experiences in international environmental organizations, including IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature, UNDP – United Nations Development Programme, WWF – World Wildlife Fund, and WCS – Wildlife Conservation Society. “With climate change evolving at speed, its harsh effects continue to emerge, including marine heatwaves, ocean acidification, and extreme weather conditions that often result in disasters,” he pointed out. “Seagrass meadows are underwater ecosystems that provide coastal zones with significant services. They keep lives in good balance with the environment, protect coastlines against coastal erosion and storm surge, and directly slow the speed of global warming because they hold up to 35 times as much carbon dioxide as tropical forests, which gave them the status of a ‘blue carbon’ ecosystem. Moreover, they sustain biodiversity of marine and coastal ecosystems, being natural habitats of endangered marine species such as sea cows. This coastal zone is home to the largest and the most fertile seagrass meadow in Thailand, which makes it necessary for us to ensure proper restoration and conservation.”
Rasita Phrakong, nicknamed Sunma, 16 years old who is a leader of Mod Tanoi youth group. She told about how people in her community come together for the environment: “I was born and raised in a fishing village by the sea. Mom always taught me that mangrove forests and seagrasses are vital to the ecosystem and have big influences on our fishing activities. As I grew up, I together with friends formed a group of 30 – 40 youths in Ban Mod Tanoi to take care of the environment in our neighborhood, plant seagrasses and mangroves and clean up beach litters, making sure that our coastal zone is fertile and rich in marine lives. We are proud to keep natural resources in our community rich, so adult villagers can continue to fish for our living.”
Suphaphit Chaiyadit, Yothin Thongpawa and Panuwat Dechanupanon are members of Grow Up Together team. They shared their impression and learnings from this trip: “We are active in the Children and Youth Council of Thailand where environmental issues are prioritized. However, our activities largely revolved around education rather than hands-on experiences, and we have no knowledge how and why seagrasses are important. So, we decided to join this trip. It was an eye-opening experience to know the status of climate change, the roles of seagrass meadows that are ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems and how to plant seagrasses. We learned a local way of life that coexists in harmony with nature, thanks to the way local people embedded green habits in their children, such as waste sorting. We plan to build on these learnings to extend our environmental goal towards behavioral change driven by greater appreciation of the environment. The most difficult task is to plant ‘trees’ in people’s hearts and minds. Environmental conservation is not a mission for the sake of our generation, but future. By pointing out to people the impacts and noticeable changes in their surroundings to give them awareness of short- and long-term effects of climate change, plus own learning from their first-hand experiences, they would become more mindful about the environment, just like us after joining this trip.”
“Global warming is an urgent issue that needs attention from all of us, to protect the environment. At SCG, we do business with sustainability in mind, adhering to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria to achieve our ESG 4 Plus goals: Set Net–Zero, Go Green, Reduce Inequality and Embrace Collaboration, plus harnessing good governance. Among them, SCG aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which call for multisectoral collaboration to make needed changes for tangible and sustainable results. We believe that this trip will inspire young people, who are full of energy and may already have the heart for conservation, to share this commitment with SCG and broaden its positive effects. They can become a source of inspiration for others in the efforts to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reduce global warming by planting trees, returning fertile natural resources to the planet sustainably and be part of green economy development. With these, we will be able to achieve the greenhouse gas emission goal together, in line with Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) economy model and its APEC 2022 host year,” Mrs. Venus concluded.