The Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Centre was founded on December 28, 1981, at Tha Mai District in Chanthaburi Province on the eastern coast of Thailand. Because this part of the coastal area was made up of saline soil and also faced the problem of the deterioration of the mangrove forest, the local people could not perform any fishery activities. Consequently, the Centre focuses attention on conducting study and research on development and improvement of fishery and propagation of marine life in the coastal areas, together with integrated farming practice. The activities of the Centre also include the development of the utilization and conservation of the coastal natural resources in an attempt to bring about ecological balance. The aim is to enable the farmers to increase their production for self-sufficiency in the long run. The Department of Fisheries takes care of the coordination work. Currently, there are 23 surrounding villages serving as models for other farmers in the neighbouring areas to improve their career and productivity of their lands.
1 To promote the effective management of coastal fishery, as well as agricultural and occupational development in the eastern coastline.
2 To provide the effective programme of environmental conservation and to examine problems and find solutions related to mangrove destruction in the coastal environment using an integrated approach.
3 To increase the income of the surrounding villagers and farmers and improve their standard of living.
4 To promote the dissemination of knowledge, skills and appropriate techniques on aquaculture, coastal environmental protection and conservation, agriculture and animal husbandry, through the use of “demonstration projects” and provision of training based upon the study, research and experimentation work conducted at the Centre.
The overall management of the projects implementation in the Centre is under the responsibility of the Department of Fisheries.
Since the establishment of the Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Centre in 1981, the study, research and development activities have contributed towards improving the well-being and standard of living of the villagers and farmers in the Kung Krabaen Bay area as well as serve as a “successful demonstration model” for effective coastal resources and environmental management. The Centre has played an important role towards restoring previously degraded mangrove forest and to restore the ecological balance of the coastal zone which is vital for the survival of the coastal natural resource base.
Agricultural development concerning both cultivation of crops and aquaculture has been successfully guided towards sustainability. Mixed farming and farming pattern according to the New Theory have been applied on the farmers’ land, the activity which promotes maximum land use and enables continuous year round production.
The Centre not only encourages the farmers in the surrounding villages on the development of intensive shrimp farming which is environmentally friendly, but also designates 1,040 rai (166.4 hectares) of shrimp farms in the deteriorated area within the project for 104 households of poor farmers. This has had a satisfactory level of success. The Centre has also succeeded in disseminating the knowledge and benefits of group forming as well as encouraging the farmers to establish a shrimp farming cooperative which received the nation’s outstanding fishery cooperative award in 1995.
The quality of life and income of the farmers, especially those engaged in shrimp farming, have improved. In 1995, shrimp farmers obtained an average of 150,000 Baht per household per year, about three folds of that in 1994. Generally, the economic condition of the farmers has been raised above the poverty line. In 2002, the farmers in the surrounding villages gained approximately 92,638.50 Baht per household per year.
The Centre has received up to 200,000 visitors each year, after implementing the development-oriented tourism, which provides the visitors with both the technical knowledge and occupational development techniques while enjoying the visits. Consequently, the Centre won the “Excellence” Tourism Award 2000 and “Distinguished” Tourism Award 2002 from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Lastly, the geographical information system (GIS) has effectively assisted in the management of coastal resources in this region, contributing to mutual benefits for all parties concerned.
Tha Mai District, Chanthaburi Province 22120 THAILAND
Tel: 66 3938 8116-8 Fax: 66 3938 8119