During its grand opening celebrations in March 2002, the
JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa and the Minor Hotel Group donated US$45,000 to launch the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation to raise funds and awareness of the plight of the critically endangered giant leatherback turtles as well as other turtle species nesting in the area
Mai Khao is one of the few Phuket beaches that continue to welcome nesting turtles. Turtle eggs are also rescued from nearby beaches where a necessary natural and peaceful environment can no longer be guaranteed.
The eggs are then given to the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC), Department of National Park and the Royal Thai Navy who provide a safe home for them to hatch in; one where the young turtles can gain strength before finding their true home in the sea. The foundation funds these programmes.
Over the last few years, the Foundation has broadened its environmental efforts to not only ensure the conservation of leatherback and other turtles but also to preserve the environment with the involvement of local communities, schools, universities, government organisations and other NGOs.
The MKMTF is dedicated to educating the larger community about the plight of sea turtles here in Phuket and how we can support them. Efforts by the Foundation and its supporters include an integrated coastal management plan with its partner the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, including beach and reef cleaning, educational workshops, recycling projects, mangrove tree planting, turtle rescue/release and support of other marine conservation organizations.
Funds are raised for the foundation by its members and partners such as JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, Anantara Hotels and Resorts and the Marriot Vacation Club International who ensure a sizable annual donation goes to those Marine Conservation Units which ensure many worthy projects such as the Nesting Beach Patrols & Hatchery Program including the Marine Animal Stranding Rescue Project to help bring awareness of turtle protection and encourage the participation of all stakeholders to preserve our natural surroundings.
Our new partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature brings the foundation into the global arena, and this opens the doors to thousands of relevant support structures and resources: www.iucn.org
The foundation works closely with local authorities including the National Parks Office, the Fisheries Department and Phuket Marine Biological Centre to plan and execute conservation programmes in order to ensure that Mai Khao Beach remains an environmentally pristine area for turtles.
Annual programmes and activities
The Foundation offers special thanks to:
Private sector partners:
JWMPRS, ANANTARA HOTELS AND RESORTS, MPBC, MMKB
PPG, PMBC, DMCR, DNP, DOF, the Royal Thai Navy
IUCN, WWF, MFF, SEEK Phuket