Go Green for Samaesarn Island – Sattahip, Thailand!

Tree planting and Baby Hawksbill Turtle Release.

That’s right!  We just kicked off this seasons ‘Go Green for Samaesarn Island!’   Feeling blessed that I was invited as an honorary guest from the iTravel Channel for the grand opening ceremonies, because this is a project that is very dear to my heart, especially with my background in conservation biology from the University of the Fraser Valley.

For the past ten years, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the Chairman of the Royally-initiated Plant Genetics Conversation Project at Samaesarn Island has fascilated the transformation of a deserted forest into a community forest, conserving some of the country’s most valuable plants species.

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Jinder at the Opening Ceremony

The ultimate goal when the initiative began was to, ‘develop the personnel and plant genetics resources for the maintenance of plant varieties, and for the development to be advantageous for the farmer, as well as the business section of the country.”  As I stood on the island, and observed my surroundings, I was filled with so much joy and happiness to see how obvious the change has been, with a significant level of progress in achieving this goal.

Grand Opening Ceremonies Pictures:

Myself and Natalie Glebova (Miss Universe), standing by as Thai officials were thanked and recognized for their efforts over the past 10 years.

Royal Thai Navy:

In addition to all the people involved in the conservation project, officials from the Royal Thai Navy, the Royal Forest Department, and the Royal Irrigation Department, all work hand in hand to successfully protect the countries endemic species.

Tree planting & Coral Pipe Planting Project:

After the grand opening ceremonies we had the opportunity to take part in tree planting conservation project.  At first, when we were asked to plant a tree, I thought nothing of it, and that I was helping to conserve trees.  Then as I started planting, I thought about the bigger picture and thought maybe I was fighting to save or rebuild the forest, but it was after I left that I had realized, the planting of trees had nothing to do with the trees but more with humanity, and that it’s humanity that we are fighting for.

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Jinder and Natalie releasing turtles

Before leaving the island, we went down to Look Lom beach to release baby hawksbill turtles back to the sea.  The turtle is a powerful symbol in many cultures around the world, and I learned that they represent peace, patience, and most appropriately, long life.

An intimate moment with the princess of Thailand.

After an amazing day, we were then taken off the island of Samaesarn back to the city of Pattaya on our private tang marine boat, which was an incredible end to the day.  I’m not gonna lie, I jumped right into one of the 4 comfy beds aboard the ship and slept like a baby for the first half of the return trip.  I’d like to give a huge thanks to TAT – Tourism Authority of Thailand for their hospitality, on behalf of myself and the entire iTravelChannel team.

GO GREEN FOR SAMAESARN ISLAND!

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