Tell us about yourself
I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, alongside my three other siblings. At the time, I never thought that I would end up in this career. I spent a lot of time during my childhood training to become a professional tennis player. Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to study abroad in Michigan, USA, where I later met my lovely wife. Now, I am a father of two, working two jobs and spending quality time with my family.
What comes to your mind when you think of the ocean? What does it mean to you personally?
The ocean brings so much joy to us as a family. My family loves the ocean – especially my children. For example, I have been an avid scuba diver for over 30 years. Similarly, my son and my daughter have taken up scuba diving since they were 12 (they are now 28 and 26 respectively). We cannot wait to go back by the ocean again when things are better.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing our oceans in 2020?
I see two major challenges – (1) plastic marine debris and (2) global warming. Plastic waste has not only polluted the ocean but also claimed many lives and affected the food chain through micro plastics. When it comes to global warming, the rise of water temperature has had a devastating impact on coral. I have seen so much coral bleaching over the past few years during my scuba diving trips at some of my favorite spots. It is very sad.
Can you tell us about your work? How does your work help reduce oceans plastic pollution?
I am proud to be part of the founding team that established the first Public Private Partnership in plastic and waste management in Thailand on June 5, 2018. This initiative aims to reduce plastic marine debris in Thailand by 50% by 2028. We called it Thailand PPP Plastic, comprising of public and private sector players as well as NGOs. We now have 42 organizations that have joined this initiative. We have divided our work into areas ranging from improving infrastructure, law & regulation, promotion & education, innovation, and database creation.