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Moken Guardians of the Sea: Safeguarding the Ocean from Plastics

Our project aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the sea. Since April 2019 the Swiss Foundation Jan & Oscar has been running a plastic sorting facility with direct access to the sea in Ranong (South West Thailand), allowing fishermen to bring and sell plastic with their long tail boats directly at our pier. We provide education for young students, employment and income opportunities for local precarious minorities, of which are the Moken, an ethnic group of semi-nomadic fishing people who live on several islands in the Andaman Sea.

4. Quality education8. Decent Work and Economic Growth11. Sustainable Cities and Communities14. Life below Water
  • Khao Niwet School in Ranong : Education is a big part of the long-term solution of marine plastic pollution. Thus, the project works with the Khao Niwet School in Ranong sensitizing children about the plastic pollution problem and showing existing solutions. The project’s initiatives include a wastebank, where students have the opportunity to bring waste to their school and workshops to involve children as ambassadors in their families and communities.
  • Environment : Every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans. Yet billions of people worldwide, especially the world's poorest, rely on a healthy ocean to provide jobs and food. In 2015, Thailand was ranked among the top 6 contributors of marine plastic pollution. According to recent scientific studies, the most efficient way to get rid of plastic debris that have already found their way to the Ocean is to stay on land/islands and clean-up coastlines.
  • Local communities : The project provides income to three groups of people: employees of Ranong Recycle for Environment Social Enterprise, fishermen from the neighbouring islands of Ranong (islands waste-pickers) and waste pickers living in the surrounding area (land-based waste-pickers). The islands waste-pickers are generally organized in groups of 2 to 6 people, who can be members of a family or associates. These groups include members of the Moken Community – an ethnic group of semi-nomadic fishing people who live on several islands in the Andaman Sea. Their traditional way of life has been under threat for several years because of intensive fishing and plastic pollution. Most of these exceptional swimmers live under the absolute poverty line and are not registered citizens. These groups also include other socially marginalized individuals (Burmese immigrants, single moms).
Stakeholder picture
Stakeholder picture
Stakeholder picture
Stakeholder picture
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Our actions

Recruiting and training of personnel on plastic sorting focusing on socially marginalized individuals and gender equality
Running a plastic sorting facility with direct access to the sea and organizing the logistics on islands
Educating children by operating our wastebank at Khao Niwet municipal school
Finding new markets/innovative solutions for upcycling ocean plastics
No. of students involved in our programmes

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Target: 750
No. of people working at Ranong Recycle for Environment

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Target: 15
No. of islands on which plastic was collected

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Target: 6
No. of waste collectors involved in the project

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Target: 40
Total amount of plastic collected (in kg) since January 2020

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Target: 130000
No. of groups of fishermen involved in the project

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Target: 10
Workers declaring they feel trained to recognize different types of plastics since being involved with the project

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Target: 80% totally agree
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Our outcomes

Jobs created for previously unemployed or informally employed people.
New income opportunities created for minorities (Moken fishermen) and socially marginalized individuals by collecting and sorting plastics
Increased visibility of our project at the local, national and international level
No. of "Like" mentions on the Facebook page

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Target: 5000
People from local communities declaring they feel satisfied working for this project

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Target: 80% totally satisfied
Kg of plastic recycled through the facility since January 2020

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Target: 100000
People from local communities declaring they feel reassure about the security of their job and/or income

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Target: 60% totally agree or slightly agree
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Our impacts

Reduced plastic leakage into the ocean
Creation of a new plastic economy
Cleaner environment and beaches
Workers declaring they are more aware of the plastic pollution of the environment since being involved with the project.

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Target: 80% totally agree or slightly agree
Collectors declaring they feel that this project is helping to reduce the plastic pollution of the environment.

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Target: 80% totally agree or slightly agree
People from local communities declaring they feel that their activity is valued by society

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Target: 80% totally agree or slightly agree
No. of 100kg bales of plastic produced and stored in the centre since January 2020

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Target: 1200

Who we are

Mrs. Laurence Pian
Jan and Oscar Founder
Dr. Michel Pardos
Project Leader
Ms. Chutima Janto (First)
Islands coordinator - 2nd Life Project manager
Ms. Capucine Paour
Project coordinator
Mr. Nirattisai Ponputi (Chay)
Operation manager
Ms. Boondarik Jampathai (Bua)
Volunteer for Jan & Oscar Foundation
Mr. Henri Klunge
Volunteer for Jan & Oscar Foundation
Ms. Elena Zhikhareva
Volunteer for Jan & Oscar Foundation
Mr. Aung Naing OO
Employee of Ranong Recycle
Mr. Min
Employee of Ranong Recycle
Som O Pramongkit
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Mrs. Manaw
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Nui Pramongkit
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Mrs. Amina Kan
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Mrs. Daw Lae Lae Win
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Look Pramongkit
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Ms. Jutamart Naorachan (Bow)
Coastal communities and education Projet Coordinator
Wut
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Koy
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Mizu
Worker at Ranong Recycle
Ploy
Worker at Ranong Recycle

What we are looking for

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A second-hand forklift to carry the plastic bales from the warehouse to the truck.

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A second-hand pickup truck.

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Volunteers to help at the recycling center in Ranong, south of Thailand (minimum stay of 3 months).

They are supporting us