Based on the request from Prefectural University of Hiroshima, AIT acts as a focal point in Thailand for this trilateral civic engagement project to address the ocean plastic pollution problem. Annually, eight million metric tons of plastic waste is discharged into the oceanic zone, causing serious damage to fisheries and cultural ecosystems in each country. This project will examine the potential for problem solving based on civic participation by assessing a new ecotourism model, building a civic platform, and establishing a system for monitoring, analysis, and communication of the plastic pollution through partnership with Iriomote Island, where Japan’s first ecotourism association has been spearheading the monitoring, analysis, and communication of garbage washed ashore, as well as Prefectural University of Hiroshima and Vietnam National University Hanoi Campus. Thailand and Vietnam were selected since market economy has penetrated and world-class tourism destinations flourish. The project will also engage participants from other countries in ASEAN such as Lao PRD and Cambodia.

Keywords plastic pollution, ocean environment, microplastics, common-pool resource management, ecotourism, multilateral partnership

Outreach

Duration 2019 – 2021

Faculty Dr. Narumi Yoshikawa, Dr. Takuji W Tsusaka, Dr. Vilas Nitivattananon, Prof. Chettiyappan Visvanathan, (Dr. Nophea Sasaki), Nguyen Thi Trang, Souksaveuy Keotiamchanh

Partner/Sponsor/Funding Toyota Foundation

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