The harmonious relationship and reliance on each other of these monkeys and the mangrove forest in the village of KuKu near Phuket city simply tells us the fertility of the natural resource and the lives within it. The monkey inhabitants were not afraid of us as we went by. Young saplings are planted hoping they become strong trees to the mangrove area in Rasada. It serves the local residents’ purpose to maintain and add forest to the land in contribution to Their Majesties the King and Queen who have been working tirelessly to take care of forest land. This huge mangrove land of over 800 rai which comprises rice aqua animal lives and plants, attract canoeists or those who appreciate eco-tourism to come by.”Located on a shoreline, Kuku villagers see the ocean as our home. We must help protect and take care of our home. The plus point here is that we can go out fishing or boating everyday while the mangrove forest is still very fertile. Here we emphasize on eco-tourism. That includes bird watching or floral observation.” Sand whiting fish, locally known as ‘Pla Sai’, are cash aqua animals for the fishermen at Kuku village. Sand whiting fishing activity has become a popular activity along with the boat ride through mangrove forest. Some enjoy the ride with Maphrao Island as a backdrop. He said “There are several fishing locations. We have spots for deep sea fishing, shallow fishing, sand whiting fishing etc.’ The community’s potential has led the local university of Rajapat to carry out a research study to develop the location as community tourism site. Not only natural resources, but the strong commitment of locals would lead to good management. She said “Kuku village show another good example of marine, local fishing way of life and mangrove forest and natural resources conservation. They are abundant in marine lives, trees, and lately we found that it can be a perfect spot for bird watching.”
The mangrove area may not be in as good a condition as today without the strong efforts and dedication of residents to stand up against encroachers. There are still some legal-related issues or complications, but the villagers keep walking forwards to develop the site as an eco-tourism location showing how human can live in harmony with nature.
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