Andaman Discoveries Blog

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


SEED Grant – Site Visit from GTZ

Tobias and Sebastian of GTZ Thailand
As part of the SEED grant Andaman Discoveries recently received, Tobias and Sebastian of GTZ Thailand took a day out of their holiday to brave Kuraburi’s monsoon rains and meet with Andaman Discoveries. GTZ is a German organization committed to sustainable development, including countries devastated by the tsunami. Tobias was interested in assessing the organization firsthand and reporting back to the SEED committee.

After meeting with the team for several hours, Tobias observed that “Andaman Discoveries is an NGO with diverse activities, and is very professionally managed by a team of competent specialists.” He also concluded that there was cooperation potential with GTZ: “Andaman Discoveries as a very progressive organisation in its field and could be an interesting partner to exchange with, to set best practice examples with, and to potentially include in the project in some other form.”

I can just hope that GTZ will learn form the best practice of Andaman Discoveries and gain knowledge about truly and participatory commmunity tourism. It is necessary that the GTZ guys do apply similar approaches at their (and Exotissimo´s) so-called ecotourism project in Luam Nam Ta in Lao PDR where the indigenous locals, I experienced, are rather just used as objects in a museum (recall the long-neck Karen?!)rather than participants with equal rights!
I'm impressed by Tobias' thorough assessment of Andaman Discoveries. It's clear that he takes his role seriously and is dedicated to finding the best possible partners for GTZ's projects.
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