Koh Tao, Better Together

Project overview


COVID-19 is affecting every facet of people’s lives in every corner of Thailand. In February 2020, the Royal Thai Government has addressed COVID-19 in an integrated manner and responded through a lockdown approach. Since the lockdown, the local islanders from Koh Tao who usually drive tour boats have lost a substantial source of income. Two hundred households or more than 1,000 people have lost their incomes. For individual households in Koh Tao, estimated monthly living costs is $500. It is hopeless for the small tourist boat drivers to cope with this crisis and those who have limited access to government assistance have used up their savings.  

With funds generated from this crowdfunding campaign, two hundred registered tourist boat drivers shall be chosen as direct beneficiaries and will receive financial assistance. These small tourist boat drivers will collect marine debris floating in the ocean and clean the beaches under the ‘cash for work’ modality. Households will be able to use the temporary basic income for food and basic utilities while marine biodiversity resources of Koh Tao Island will also benefit through collection of marine debris.


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Impact Packages
Save Communities in Koh Tao Island


4 USD can help the boat drivers to survive for a day and with 40 USD you can help them survive for 10 days. Thammanoon Boonsa, one of the small boat operators in Koh Tao states that “Before the COVID crisis, I used to earn money from tourists. Now I tried to sell fish at $3 per kilo, but even at $1 per kilo, I can’t sell them. As there are no tourists, my livelihood is very much affected.”

Coral Reef Package


For tourist boat drivers, coral ecosystems are also a source of food and income from dive tourism. Therefore, it is vital to preserve Koh Tao’s coral reefs from marine waste pollution. 4 USD can help the boat drivers to survive for a day and with 60 USD you can help them to survive for 15 days. Lamenting on the situation, one of the small boat operators in Koh Tao, Mr. Thavee Buthchui says: `For the past couple of months, we are suffering a lot. Before COVID-19, we earned $70 a day. Now, most of the boat operators have lost their jobs and are unable to earn money.`

Turtle Package


Koh Tao means turtle island and removal of marine debris and other pollutants will ensure survival of this iconic species. Your donation of 120 USD will support one month’s livelihood of a boat driver through the cash for work scheme. This will enable the boat driver to collect marine debris for 1 month to help to reduce ocean pollution and reduce the mortality rate of sea turtles.

Whale Shark Package


Mr. Chaiyan Thurasakul, the mayor of Koh Tao Tambon municipality said, “In the meantime, we are building forward for a better Koh Tao as a sustainable diving destination. " By supporting the boat drivers for 3 months to collect marine debris through the cash for work modality, whale sharks, the most famous marine wildlife in Koh Tao, will not become entangled in fishing nets near Koh Tao again.