Child of the 2010s

Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn, A Young Enthusiast Turning Passion for Wildlife into Internationally Acclaimed Achievements

Sirinya Wattanasukchai, Jaime Gill
Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn as a child.
Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn/2023
Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn as a child.
18 December 2023

Katanyou Wuttichaitanakorn was born in 2006 in Bangkok. By the time he completed primary school, he had already developed a powerful passion for wildlife and the natural environment. He decided he might thrive in alternative homeschooling outside the traditional public education system, studying alongside other children but with more opportunities to pursue his personal passions. His parents supported his decision.

“I am fortunate to have supportive parents and I know I was in a privileged position, receiving this education,” he says. “I don’t think child-centric schooling is for everyone, some of my school friends decided to go back into more conventional education. But for me, it gave me a chance to really explore my interest in photography and nature, and go on field trips.”

Like many other young people of his generation, Katanyou is very concerned about climate change and damage to the environment. He is concerned that “huge construction projects can harm our environment, such as dams in forest reserve areas. As well as hoping that businesses will adopt more environmentally conscious practices he thinks schools should teach more on climate change and the impact of environmental pollution.

Even at 17, Katanyou is already doing his best to be a force for positive change. He has started giving lectures on the environment and is keen to collaborate with UNICEF, having learnt about the organization from his parents. “I wish we could help people learn and relate to climate change issues more, so they could improve their lifestyle to be more environmentally friendly. Many people don’t realize how these issues affect their everyday lives, animals and environment.”

He also uses his passion for wildlife photography to make a difference, inspiring others to share his love for the natural world. He has honed his photography skills over the years, but often didn’t make progress in competitions in Thailand. Nonetheless, he persevered and applied to the international Wildlife Photography competition run by the UK’s Natural History Museum. He was named Young Wildlife Photographer of 2022 for his “extraordinary picture of a feeding Bryde’s whale.”

Like all young people, Katanyou’s life was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic - though he believes less than most. The main challenges were seeing less of his friends and only able to go on photography trips under strict conditions. But he used the time to continue honing his skills for the future, taking photographs of wildlife around his house. “I don’t consider myself successful yet, because I’m still being provided for by my parents,” he says. However, he is determined to continue pursuing his passion by studying zoology in university, helping him to continue his growth as a champion for the environment and natural world.

About “Child of the Decade” Blog Series

For each decade UNICEF has worked in Thailand, we will share the story of a child who grew up then. They were chosen to reflect Thailand’s diversity, rather than provide a case study of UNICEF’s work – although their lives have been shaped by the improved healthcare, education and opportunities we have worked towards.

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