Day_172 : Hollywood Movie “The Beach” and The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in Thailand

Past writings are to be disclosed little by little with some changes.

Nikkan Berita
Nikkan Berita Writer’s Archive December 30, 2006

The Supreme Court of Thailand ordered 20th Century Fox Inc. and its local subsidiaries to restore the ecosystem of Phi Phi Island, acknowledging that the company degraded the environment around Phi Phi Lei Island for the filming of the Hollywood movie “The Beach” in 2000 on December 7, 2006. The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, has made great strides in the development of tourism on the island and displaced many tourists, but the island was one of the worst affected areas by the Indian Ocean Tsunami of late 2004, and many tourists lost their lives.

Flyer: The Movie “Tha Beach”

Tourism development for economic development and environmental issues lay largely in the background of why Koh Phi Phi was one of the hardest-hit areas by the tsunami in Thailand.

It all started with the baht crisis that hit the Thai economy in 1997. In the early 1990s, the Thai government established the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment and the Environmental Fund, enacted a number of environmental laws and enacted a national environmental boom, which began in the early 1990s. A prime example is a controversy over the alteration of the environment for Hollywood movies, known as “the beach controversy,” which began in 1998.

This was sparked by an attempt by a film crew to alter the landscape of Maya Beach on the island of Phi Phi Ley. For the filming of football game scenes, the sandy beach was widened by bulldozers and non-indigenous coco palm trees were imported and planted on the beach to create an image of a tropical paradise. The Royal Forest Department’s decision to approve the alteration was a measure that went so far as to bend the law in order to attract international investment with the aim of reviving the Thai economy.

This has led to the neglect of nature conservation, and local NGOs and others have begun to investigate and prosecute the environmental degradation around the island.

The tsunami that struck Phi Phi Island on December 26, 2004, occurred in the midst of such tourism development.

Now, two years after the tsunami, the island of Phi Phi Lei and the surrounding areas have regained their natural beauty, having been cleared of the man-made nature created by the tsunami.

Mr. Songboon of TOT Krabi Province, a major telecommunications company in Thailand, said, “I’ve been watching Phi Phi Island for a long time, but the sea was the dirtiest just before the tsunami. He said with great emotion, “The beaches around the area after the tsunami have regained the beauty of 10 years ago. He is currently staying on Phi Phi don Island to set up an internet connection.

Picture: Maya Beach

Mr. Spar, who runs a dive shop in the hard-hit Thongsai Bay, said, “For a while after the tsunami, we were in a vicious circle, with fewer customers and higher rates for the limited accommodations available to stay, and even fewer customers. However, now the sea itself is getting very clean and the city has recovered a lot, and the customers have returned. Management is getting a little better, too. and a glimpse of hope.

Picture: Thongsai Bay

Supreme Court decision that seems too little too late. It will be interesting to see how Phi Phi Island rebuilds and learn from the experience of the tsunami and its recovery process.

Natural Disasters and Disaster Management in Thailand
Natural Disasters and Disaster Management in Thailand

Day_170 : The methodology of the Research on the communities and workers sustainability in the industrial complex area affected by the 2011 Chao Phraya Flood  

Basically, we proceed with a top-down process for the research. The followings are the outlines of the procedures for the surveys: 1) Rojana Industrial Park and Japanese companies and their responsible persons 2) Communities: Community leaders, employees, and critical facilities and their responsible persons.

1) Rojana Industrial Park and Japanese companies and their responsible persons
The followings are the reasons why Japanese companies and why Rojana Industrial Park in the central region of Thailand are selected for the project. The first, 451 of 804 inundated companies in the central region of Thailand caused by the 2011 flood were Japanese related (Tokyo Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., 2011). The second, the Rojana Industrial Park, is one of the seven inundated industrial parks in the central region of Thailand. Rojana Industrial Park is also deeply related to the Japanese company because Rojana Industrial Park was established as a joint venture between Japanese (Nippon Steel & Sumikin Bussan Corporation) and Thai (Vinichbutr’s Group) companies in 1983. The Japanese target companies are mainly selected through the connections with the Japanese Chamber of Commerce Bangkok and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). The responsible persons are chosen totally up to the companies. The representative Japanese and Thai managers and persons in charge of BCP or risk management of the companies are chosen to meet our needs. We conduct focus group interviews and questionnaire surveys for the above persons and employees in the companies. Questionnaires are distributed and collected in the box in the canteen of the companies.

2) Communities: Community leaders, employees, and critical facilities and their responsible persons
A top-down approach in data collection is applied by gaining the necessary authorization from the senior-level officials such as Chief of DDPM Ayutthaya and Chief district office, which subsequently facilitated reaching out to Tambon and Mooban leaders through the District office. This approach proved useful in establishing the proper and assured contacts to conduct the surveys in the target area.

Firstly, we ask permission to do surveys from the Ayutthaya governor and the chief of the DDPM Ayutthaya office. Second, we are introduced to meet the target Amphoe Uthai chief and ask him to communicate with the four target Tambon leaders. Third, we asl Tambon leaders to introduce the thirty-five Muban leaders and also the persons in critical facilities in the area. After the process, we conduct the employees’ surveys. The target persons, 400, are randomly selected with the recognition of the Muban leaders based on the Yamane formula. We also proceed with the interview surveys to our prioritized twenty-five critical facilities acknowledged by the Tambon and Muban leaders. The representatives or the persons in charge of risk management in the critical facilities are required to answer the questions.