The Koh Tao community came together in a big way to help support the recognition of international Earth Day 2013. Organized through the Save Koh Tao Group, many dive schools and businesses conducted a land clean-up in the morning, in all three of the island’s villages. Volunteers cleaned along beaches, roads, and other public areas to get over 550 kgs of rubbish. In the afternoon, 6 dive schools from the island went out to various locations with over 60 divers to clean up marine debris, collecting over 640 kgs.
In the evening, things really kicked off with the 4th annual Save Koh Tao Earth Day Film Festival. This year we had 10 movie submissions from various videographers and groups from around the island. The video submitted are made about the environmental beauty, diversity, problems or conservation actions being undertaken here on Koh Tao. All of the videos submitted this year where really well made and entertaining, with a nice set of different messages in each one. We also held a popular vote for the best movie, which was won by Simon Dowling of Crystal Images, with a movie about the ‘Crystal Wreck’ artificial reef project at Buoyancy World.
Following the movies we also had some live music by a local Koh Tao band, ‘Gipsy Divers.’ Throughout the night we had games, raffles and contests going to raise money for the Save Koh Tao Marine Branch projects as well. The most successful fundraiser activity was put on by the team from PADI and Sunshine Divers, The Save Koh Tao Jail. Volunteers did an amazing job of running the prison, adding a lot of fun to the evening and raised 23,470 baht for our projects.
Thank you very much to all of the volunteers from around the island who helped to set up the Film Festival, and also to all of the sponsors of the event, including:
- Big Blue Conservation
- The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources
- Himmapan Jewelry Shop
- Koh Tao Leisure Park
- Koh Tao Star Villas
- Koppee Coffee Shop
- The New Heaven Reef Conservation Program
- Project Aware
- UV Dive Koh Tao
Thank you very much also to the people who submitted films to the event:
- Koh Tao School
- Kailash Cook (Eco Koh Tao)
- Koh Tao Animal Clinic
- Lisa Valensi (The Film Company)
- Mark Wastall (Sunshine Divers)
- Simon Dowling (Crystal Images)
- Tourism Authority of Thailand
- Yakov Munkevo (Crystal Images)
A big thanks to all those who helped make this evening such a sucess!