Part 1 – Saving the Beaches, Preventing Microplastics
A “restoration team” of six Moken will collect marine debris from the beaches 15 times per month. At least 6,000 kg of marine debris will be removed from the island, with plastics, metals, and styrofoam going into a sustainable recycling chain. In addition to restoring the beaches, this project will prevent marine debris from re-entering the ocean as microplastics.
Part 2 – Ancestral Wisdom Meets Modern Conservation
In order to inspire the next generation, a group of Moken elders and children will accompany the restoration team. Kids in the village today have very little opportunity to explore the islands, and have not seen the damage caused by marine debris. Along with helping clean the beaches, the children will learn from their elders about the unique ecology and history of each beach; including where to guard turtle nests from monitor lizards, medicinal plants to treat jellyfish stings, and ancient burial grounds.
Part 3 – Cultural and Economic Empowerment
3. This project will be the first self-organized long-term project by the Moken themselves (all previous assistance to the Moken has been conceived of and implemented by outside parties). Travel restrictions due to Covid-19 have left many Moken without jobs this season and unable to provide for their families. This project will provide much-needed income through environmental conservation, and by creating the infrastructure to gather and sell marine debris in the future.