The 2014 Sirindhorn International Environment Park Photo Contest
Coinciding with the 6th Anniversary of the Sirindhorn Park, the 2014 Photo Competition provided the region’s photographers the opportunity to showcase their talent and to highlight the beauty of Thailand’s environment. The H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Trophy was on offer as well as cash prizes valued at 100,000 THB. The Park was opened in 2003 as an honour to H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, aiming to revive the mangrove, beachfront and mixed deciduous forest environment back to a pristine state. It also aims to be a Centre for training and distributing knowledge in natural conservation along with methods for energy saving. The Park provides eco-tourism for the public to encourage awareness about the significance of environment and conservation for sustainable development. Sirindhorn Park was awarded a Tourism Authority of Thailand Award in 2013 for learning–based recreation. Our attendance at the Park on 19th July was not the time to check out all the displays, practical rehabilitation projects and learning opportunities.
That will come another day, but sufficient to say that a visit to the Park, located at the Rama VI Military Camp, should be on everyone’s agenda. This is a modern, well-resourced and visually appealing venue to consider local environmental issues and ways of managing a sustainable environment as well as to observe the returning natural wildlife. School children are frequent visitors, with regular excursions to this Learning Centre. On the day of our visit their enthusiasm for the ideals of the Park was on display with many displays of school projects developed under the Park’s guidance. We also enjoyed a visual presentation of how photography can show environmental change with a series of ‘before and after’ shots, including the presenters personal ‘environmental change’, from small boy during the early days at the Park through to the present day.
He also highlighted the visual impact of photography to demonstrate language errors (both Thai and English) in signage around Thailand; the humour of these errors not lost on the appreciative audience. I didn’t get the opportunity to talk to him about an English language entry sign at the front gate security post requesting drivers to ‘take down their windscreen’…………………
How do you do that? The key note speaker and photography award presenter was the inaugural and current President of The Sirindhorn International Environmental Park Foundation, Dr Sumet Tantivejkul. Clearly a very passionate advocate of environmental protection, he offered comment and ongoing concerns about continuing Thailand forestry degradation.
However this was really a day for celebration with a demonstration of traditional dance and goodwill amongst the gathered visitors. The displays of the winning photography were outstanding with some very colourful and varied photos of the flora and fauna encouraging further exploration of the Park. Our congratulations to the many winners; a world class display of photography with a message. We hope to be part of encouraging that exploration with a review of the Sirindhorn International Environment Park coming soon! For more information: www.sirindhornpark. org.th