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ECONOMIC ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THAILAND

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INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies

 The ministries and agencies responsible for decision-making on international cooperation and assistance for sustainable development are as follows:

·      Fiscal Policy Office, Ministry of Finance

·      Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, Office of the Prime Minister

·      Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation, Office of the Prime Minister

·      Ministry of Foreign Affairs

·      Ministry of Commerce

Several national level committees have been created to coordinate policy and legislation on issues concerning international cooperation and development assistance for sustainable development. An International Economic Policy Committee has been established to consider policies related to economic, trade, commercial, and trade related environmental and technical issues. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has several working groups that meet regularly to review policies related to cooperation and development assistance. The Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation works closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and technical agencies on the transfer and exchange of technology, information, and data within the region.

The central government is responsible for international relations through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Border relations with neighboring countries are supervised at the local level by provincial governors and military and police authorities.

The Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation (DTEC) has been authorized by the Government of Thailand to supervise and coordinate Technical Cooperation that is given by foreign donors to the Government of Thailand and then is distributed to government agencies and private organizations. However, Technical cooperation which the donor intends to give directly to government agencies or private organizations can be arranged without DTEC's involvement.

Since 1963, DTEC has been responsible for the technical cooperation which Thailand provides to other developing countries, as well as mutual assistance programs organized among developing countries. Many of these activities are funded entirely by the Thai government. However, some are paid for by foreign governments. For almost 40 years DTEC has worked with developing countries in providing technical cooperation. At present, Thailand provides technical cooperation to other developing countries under the scheme entitled "The Thai International Cooperation Program " (TICP).

·          DTEC's mandates can be identified as follows :  

1) To act on behalf of the Royal Thai Government in administering technical cooperation programs which have been agreed upon by Thailand and her cooperating partners including various foreign governments and international organizations.

2) To prepare technical cooperation programs and to appraise, monitor and evaluate technical cooperation projects.

3) To provide financial support, services and facilities to technical cooperation projects and experts.

4) To provide an English language proficiency test and language training to Thai candidates who are selected for training abroad. 

·          Broadly speaking, DTEC performs the following 2 activities :

1.      PROGRAMMING

DTEC works closely with both foreign and Royal Thai Government agencies in designing, planning, appraising, monitoring and evaluating technical cooperation programmes and projects with foreign countries and international organizations, These activities are performed by the Planning Division and the External Cooperation Divisions I, II and III.

2.      SERVICES

The implementation of technical cooperation programmes and projects is the sole responsibility of the assigned Thai agency. However, DTEC provides certain supports and services to facilitate and ensure a smooth implementation of the programmes and projects. The said supports and services are carried out by the Office of the Secretary, the Language Testing and Training Services Division, the Project Finance Division, the Procurement and Tax Clearance Division and the Project Audit Division. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The Thai Government has a policy to uphold all commitments under the UN Charter, various treaties and agreements to which Thailand is party, and shall promote a more prominent role on the part of Thailand in actively assuming its responsibilities toward the international community, as follows:

·          Strengthen and develop relations and cooperation with fellow ASEAN member countries in political, economic, social and cultural fields, including support for the successful implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade Area, with coverage to include agricultural products and services, as well as support the conclusion of an agreement on cooperation in the production of industrial goods, investment and human resources management.

·          Promote economic relations and cooperation with important trading partners under a free trading system with fair competition, as well as actively participate in efforts to reduce international conflict resulting from disputes related to trade, investment, technology transfer and protection of intellectual property rights, by taking into primary account the country's preparedness. 

·          Promote Thailand's role in international fora in the fields of environmental conservation as well as sustainable and balanced development.

·    Participate jointly in international fora in protecting and promoting democratic values and human rights.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Thailand has been an active member of the United Nations and has participated in numerous international peacekeeping and election monitoring activities in all regions of the world. Through participation as a founding member of ASEAN, the Cairns Group, and the WTO, Thailand has played an important role in promoting trade liberalization through the GATT. As a matter of regular procedure, Thailand has ratified and is committed to implementing most significant international environmental protection conventions and multilateral environmental agreements. Exceptions include the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention on the Law of the Sea, both of which currently are under active consideration. The Thai Government has allocated funds for numerous activities that promote international cooperation and foster the basis for improved coordination on international environmental matters. To enhance the quality and availability of environmental data, remote sensing technology is being employed to survey natural resources. Also, in an effort to protect fragile ecosystems, an environmental quality awareness program is being implemented among ethnic minority groups inhabiting highland areas of Thailand. In addition, an industrial occupations development program is being implemented to promote a diversity of income generating opportunities for poor urban and rural workers. 

 Since 1963, DTEC has been responsible for the technical cooperation which Thailand provides to other developing countries, as well as mutual assistance programs organized among developing countries. Many of these activities are funded entirely by the Thai government. However, some are paid for by foreign governments. For almost 40 years DTEC has worked with developing countries in providing technical cooperation. At present, Thailand provides technical cooperation to other developing countries under the scheme entitled "The Thai International Cooperation Program " (TICP).

TICP 's major recipients are the neighbouring countries in the Mekong sub-region namely Laos PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar. Moreover, TICP also contributes technical cooperation for development with other countries in Asia, the Pacific, and Africa as well as Eastern Europe.

As Thailand has assumed a key role in promoting subregional cooperation and is rapidly becoming an important development resource for the subregion as well as other developing countries, such cooperation will increase in the future as budgetary circumstances permit. Towards the year 2001, DTEC would like to see its role at the forefront of technical cooperation efforts through TICP. DTEC will maintain the management of TICP as a significant contribution to economic and social progress in the subregion and to reinforcing a host of positive and mutually beneficial relationships between the subregion as well as other developing countries worldwide. Finally, DTEC wishes to perform its contribution to technical cooperation effectively in order to respond to the new demand generated by the developing countries. 

 

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

 

Major Group

Participation in Decision-Making on International

and Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development

Local authorities

Local authorities (i.e., provincial governors, police, and military personnel) participate in issues related to the decision making process on international and regional cooperation for sustainable development with neighboring countries.

Business and industry

Business, commercial, and industrial interests participate in improving market accessibility for imports/exports and in investment strategies, through individual business contacts as well as through commercial associations. The Public-Private Sector Consultative Committee has played a major role in defining the goals and objectives for international and regional commercial cooperation for sustainable development. The role of business and industry is most important as a channel for the transfer of technology and management systems.

Scientific and technological community

·          Annual International Training Courses Program (AITC)
The Annual International Training Courses Program(AITC), which is one of the main types of TICP, is organized annually in a series of International Training Courses in a wide variety of development concerns. Fellowships to support participation in these courses are provided to countries throughout the developing world, through inviting the governments of those countries to send their officials to participate in the courses. A number of approximately forty (40) courses in different fields are implemented by Thailand's best academic and technical institutions. The specific courses and their contents are constantly being reviewed and updated by the scientific, academic, and technical communities, to ensure their relevance to the needs of Thailand's partners.

·          The Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC)
The TCDC program in Thailand is implemented in two types of sub - programs. One is the organized set program with a bilateral agreement and has regular consultative meetings (such as the Sino - Thai Scientific and Technical Cooperation). And the other is the ad-hoc activities, for which the request may come during the year from any developing country, or donors on behalf of developing countries, or come as a result of the TCDC programming exercises. The emphasis of this program is scientific and technical.

Scientific and technological community (continued) ·          Institutional Linkage Program (ILP)
The Institutional Linkage Program was officially organized in 1996 under the TICP for the purpose of expediting the cooperation program between institutions in Thailand and those of the cooperating countries.

The roles of Thailand-based major groups in international cooperation are as follows: 

Factor

Involvement

Role in International Cooperation Activities

Nature of the Partnership with Government

Major Group

Women

High

Particularly important in the fields of education, health, media, and social work.

Highly independent

Children & youth

Moderate

Significant participation in sports and religious activities. Minimal role in most other activities.

Dependent

Indigenous people

Thailand does not have indigenous people.

NGOs

High

Has contacts with and receives significant financial support from foreign NGOs, bilateral assistance, and individual grants.

Constructive partnership; funding for NGO activities is available through the Environment Fund and other development funds to support NGO activities.

Local authorities

Strategically important

Local authorities play an important facilitating and coordinating role particularly with neighboring countries.

Direct administrative relationship between the central and provincial and district levels of government.

Workers & Trade Unions

Moderately high

Worker organizations and trade unions participate in international forums to represent Thai laborers. Workers and trade unions provide guidance and a degree of protection to Thai workers overseas.

The government provides a legal framework for the operation of worker associations, trade unions, and labor placement agencies for Thai workers who are engaged in overseas work.

Business & Industry

Moderately high

The role of business and industry is most important as a channel for the transfer of technology and management systems.

Consultative partnership: The Public-Private Sector Consultative Committee has played a major role in defining the goals and objectives for international and regional commercial cooperation for sustainable development.


Programmes and Projects 

Thailand’s  Technical Cooperation Policy: To carry out technical cooperation with international development organizations and to achieve national development goals currently emphasize human resource development or "people-centered development". As such DTEC has pursued its work by taking into account the present 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan(1997 - 2001), the Thai Government's national development policy, policies and work plans of each ministry as well as the promotion of the participation of the private sector and NGOs in technical cooperation programs.

Thailand as a Recipient: The technical cooperation program is largely taken in the form of services from experts and volunteers, fellowships, equipment and financial grants.

Donors: Technical cooperation has been delivered to Thailand through two main channels namely multilateral and bilateral cooperation. Multilateral cooperation has been provided by international organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union. Bilateral cooperation has been given by individual donor countries to Thailand such as Japan, Australia, Germany, Denmark, France, Sweden, Belgium and Canada. Thailand's has also received cooperation from a number of non-governmental organizations.

Approaches towards the end of the 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan (2001): The trend of technical cooperation that Thailand has received since 1995 is registered at a declining rate due to the increase of her economic growth for several consecutive years and diversions of donors' aid policies towards Thailand. DTEC, therefore, has adopted various measures to maintain the level of technical cooperation in recent years. These measures are as follows.

1. The introduction of trilateral cooperation between Thailand and other donors in assisting third countries. This has received active participation by a number of foreign donors, some of which are Canada, Japan, New Zealand, France, Australia and Germany.

2. The adoption of a partnership cooperation program which emphasizes the increasing role of the Thai side in particular on a cost-sharing basis. The program may thus effectively attract many donors to cooperate with us. One of the projects which comes under this partnership approach is the joint establishment of the Kenan Institute Asia known as KIASIA between Thailand and the US.

3. The introduction of a sectoral approach, focusing on potential sectors to cooperate with donors. This will vary depending on areas of interest of each donor or some sector that has global impact namely HIV/AIDS, environment, women and children development and human resource development.

The Thai International Cooperation Program (TICP) is the range and value of Thailand's practical experience which is being implemented by DTEC and applied through its own foreign cooperation efforts in response to the foreign policy of the Royal Thai Government. The main point of TICP is technical cooperation through human resource development programs to serve the needs of various developing countries by utilizing the capacities of the Thai agencies concerned. TICP is also a lesson learned from Thailand's recent development experience and can be defined as using the principles of complementing, mutuality and solidarity. The TICP which has been provided to other developing countries comprises Bilateral Programs, Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC), Annual International Training Courses (AITC), Institutional Linkage Program (ILP), Third Country Training Program (TCTP) and other TICP activities. TICP, through these programs, not only shares its own expertise but also provides a forum for participants from other developing countries to exchange information with respect to their own challenges and realities.

The technical cooperation activities under TICP have been implemented through the following modalities :

I . Bilateral Programme


The Bilateral programme has been developed to strengthen the relationships between Thailand and neighbouring countries including Cambodia, Laos PDR,Vietnam and Myanmar as well as some other developing countries. The delivery mechanism of the development cooperation program includes the development project, human resources development program, secondment of Thai experts/missions and volunteers and the provision of supplies and equipment. The development project can also involve the construction portion in its implementation plan.  

II . Annual International Training Courses Program (AITC)


The Annual International Training Courses Program(AITC), which is one of the main types of TICP, is organized annually in a series of International Training Courses in a wide variety of development concerns. Fellowships to support participation in these courses are provided to countries throughout the developing world, through inviting the governments of those countries to send their officials to participate in the courses. A number of approximately forty (40) courses in different fields are implemented by Thailand's best academic and technical institutions. The specific courses and their contents are constantly being reviewed and updated to ensure their relevance to the needs of Thailand's partners. The Royal Thai Government's official invitation for the governments of particular countries to send their participants to attend each training course will be made through the Royal Thai Embassy according to the notification from the DTEC.

III . The Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC)


The TCDC program in Thailand is implemented in two types of sub - programs. One is the organized set program with a bilateral agreement and has regular consultative meetings (such as the Sino - Thai Scientific and Technical Cooperation). And the other is the ad-hoc activities, for which the request may come during the year from any developing country, or donors on behalf of developing countries, or come as a result of the TCDC programming exercises.

IV . Institutional Linkage Program (ILP)


The Institutional Linkage Program was officially organized in 1996 under the TICP for the purpose of expediting the cooperation program between institutions in Thailand and those of the cooperating countries. In the past, the program was set up for only the neighboring countries but in the near future it will be expanded to other countries in other sub-regions.

V . Third Country Training Program (TCTP)


The Royal Thai Government organizes studies, training and study tour programs in Thailand for participants from other countries who are sponsored by international organizations or donor countries. The DTEC on behalf of the Royal Thai Government takes care of the coordination and program arrangements and is also responsible for the administration costs while the sponsoring agencies absorb the program costs. This program depends on the donors community in sending participants to train in Thailand and the donors would bear the costs.

VI . Other TICP Activities


This category is involved with other TICP activities such as; the sending of representatives to meetings involved with TCDC, LDC etc.; the sending of missions to particular cooperating countries for technical consultative discussions; studies and researches in some areas of regional or sub - regional affairs, and others.

The Bilateral program has also been developed to strengthen the relationships between Thailand and neighbouring countries including Cambodia, Laos PDR, Vietnam and Myanmar as well as some other developing countries. The delivery mechanism of the development cooperation program includes the development project, human resources development program, secondment of Thai experts/missions and volunteers and the provision of supplies and equipment. The development project can also involve the construction portion in its implementation plan.

From Thailand’s Action Plan for Sustainable Development, March 1997

·          Recognizing the importance of international trade policies for sustainable development, Thailand has long been a strong supporter of trade liberalization. Thailand fully supports the operations of the WTO and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

·          To promote international cooperation regionally and globally, Thailand, as a member of ASEAN, initiated the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1992. Thailand also supports the application of other countries in the region to join ASEAN to further strengthen regional economic cooperation.

·          Economic cooperation among ASEAN Member Countries is enhanced by intra-ASEAN investment through the Revised Basic Agreement on ASEAN Industrial Joint Ventures. Several important economic issues were considered beginning in the fifth ASEAN Summit in 1995, including the Plan of Actions in Infrastructure Development, the Plan for the Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment and Intra-ASEAN Investment. ASEAN has agreed to make AFTA effective by the year 2003 for selected sectors such as tourism, telecommunications, finance and banking, and to support the ASEAN Industrial Cooperation agreement.  

Status 

As a result of the financial and economic crises that began in Thailand in July 1997, the rural sector needed to cope with the impact of remigration involving an estimated 1.2 million people, reduced remittances, and increased numbers of rural youth who would, in normal circumstances, have migrated out to urban centers. The result is that poverty in some rural areas is rapidly increasing – in aggregate from 11.4 percent in 1996, to 13 percent in 1998. Dry season unemployment has increased by more than 100 percent, and wet season unemployment by more than 200 percent. Underemployment also increased and youth unemployment nearly doubled. Although some of these problems will be corrected as a result of economic recovery, the Thai Government continues to be concerned about reducing regional income differentials, which have been exacerbated by rapid economic growth in and around Bangkok and the financial crisis.

Due to the same crises, all key economic indicators recorded significant decreases. Production, consumption, trade, investment, and economic growth all decreased several percentage points, and are only now beginning to recover. The economy grew at an annual rate of 10.7 percent during the period 1986-1991. Since then, the growth rate slowed down gradually reaching 5.5 percent in 1996, and a negative –0.4 percent in 1997. The economy decreased 9.4 percent in 1998, and is projected to grow 2 percent in 1999. Per capita income in 1998 was US$1,834.00, with more than 60 percent of Thailand's labor force employed in agriculture. Until the onset of the economic crisis in 1997, the manufacturing sector was outstripping agriculture in relative importance. But throughout 1997 and 1998 agriculture has been the only high-performing sector in the economy. Rice is the country's most important crop--Thailand is a major exporter in the world rice market. Other agricultural commodities produced in significant amounts include fish and fishery products, tapioca, rubber, corn, and sugar. Exports of processed foods such as canned tuna, pineapples, and frozen shrimp have risen dramatically.

The financial and economic crises have impacted on the management of natural resources, already in a serious state of degradation. Due to the return migration to rural areas of an estimated 1.2 million workers dismissed from urban employment, encroachment of forested watersheds for expansion of farmland has increased. Many communities have increased hunting and extraction of forest and non-timber forest products from forestry resources. Existing water resources have been insufficient to meet the increased need for irrigation for second and third cropping. The incidence of forest fires has increased. The use of illegal drugs in rural areas also has increased.

Challenges

An assessment of the allocation of budget funds in FY 2000 indicates that no funds were allotted to support non-governmental organizations, financing of sustainable development, and managing hazardous wastes. Similarly, only minimal public sector investments were made in creating the capacity for sustainable development, organizing for sustainable development, international law, and combating desertification and drought. Public funds may have been accessible however, to individuals, agencies, or organizations from one or more public funds established by the Thai Government to support energy management and environmental protection. The Thai Environment Fund administered by the OEPP provides loans to municipalities and sanitary districts for environmental protection and rehabilitation projects, and grants to NGOs for environmental management activities. In addition, the Energy Conservation Fund administered by National Energy Policy Office (NEPO) makes supplementary funding available to improve energy efficiency in 150 establishments.  

Important institutional, organizational, and financial problems remain to be addressed, before important elements of Agenda 21 can be executed in the Thai context. These problems have significant implications for Thailand’s ability to address urgent issues related to bridging the income gap and combating poverty. Linked to this is the need to provide greater attention to supporting sustainable agricultural and rural development, as well as conserving Thailand’s valuable biological diversity. Accelerated rural development and commercialized agricultural programs have contributed significantly to national security and economic growth, but large pockets of urban and rural poverty persist that can only be effectively addressed when decision-makers demonstrate a willingness and a commitment to reform and a modification of inappropriate cultural practices. Within the context of the new Thai Constitution, the key elements of Thai civil society should define the terms and conditions, and the criteria and standards, of good governance, accountability, and transparency in the Thai context. 

Public safety and security are at risk in that insufficient attention is being given to issues related to the safe use of toxic chemicals and the management of hazardous and radioactive wastes.  

To strengthen Thailand’s capacity to implement programs in response to Agenda 21, mechanisms should be defined that will create a greater capacity for sustainable development by encouraging the public and private sectors to establish partnerships with NGOs. These mechanisms will be a function of procedures and regulations that will facilitate the financing of sustainable development in an effort to achieve the objectives of Agenda 21.

The Thai Government has a policy to uphold all commitments under the UN Charter, various treaties and agreements to which Thailand is party, and shall promote a more prominent role on the part of Thailand in actively assuming its responsibilities toward the international community, as follows:

·          Strengthen and develop relations and cooperation with fellow ASEAN member countries in political, economic, social and cultural fields, including support for the successful implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade Area, with coverage to include agricultural products and services, as well as support the conclusion of an agreement on cooperation in the production of industrial goods, investment and human resources management.

·          Promote economic relations and cooperation with important trading partners under a free trading system with fair competition, as well as actively participate in efforts to reduce international conflict resulting from disputes related to trade, investment, technology transfer and protection of intellectual property rights, by taking into primary account the country's preparedness.

·          Promote Thailand's role in international fora in the fields of environmental conservation as well as sustainable and balanced development.

·          Participate jointly in international fora in protecting and promoting democratic values and human rights.

 The Thai Government has established an inter-ministerial International Economic Policy Committee, with the Minister of Commerce as chairman. This national committee has the mandate to examine any and all issues that have international economic implications. This committee has undertaken the monitoring of government policies to ensure that they conform to all international trade and investment agreements, including the WTO agreement and other multilateral and international conventions that have been developed to eliminate trade barriers.  

Information 

Reports on trade, investment, and economic growth are provided to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank.

Information and data on bilateral, sub-regional, regional, and multilateral/international cooperation are available from the Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation (DTEC). Potential users can contact DTEC directly. Information is provided to the Public Relations Department for dissemination to the public via Radio Thailand on a regular basis. In addition, significant information is available via the Internet at the following website: www.thaigov.go.th/dtec.htm

Information on international cooperation for sustainable development is disseminated and shared at the national and international levels primarily through mass media channels. Press releases are disseminated freely and openly regarding both international assistance being offered by the Thai Government as well as technical assistance being provided.   

The following materials and documents are available and distributed free of charge from the Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation:

1.      List of Technical Cooperation Projects

The list presents the name of all technical cooperation projects which were ongoing as at September 30, 1996. It includes only projects which external sources extended to Thailand. (Thai 49 pages)

2.      List of Technical Cooperation Projects received during the 7th National Economic and Social Development Plan

The list provides the name of all technical cooperation projects which external sources extended to Thailand during the 7th National Economic and Social Development Plan 1992-1996. (Thai 31 pages)

3.      Donors' files

The document presents general information, technical cooperation policy and area of activities of 9 main donors. (Thai 68 pages)

4.      DTEC Journal

The 4-monthly journal provides information, statistics, articles and interviews on technical cooperation activities in Thailand. (Thai)

5.      DTEC Annual Report

The report presents DTEC's performance for each fiscal year. It includes technical cooperation activities, supporting services and interesting statistics. (Thai)

6.      Thai International Cooperation Programme Annual Report

The report presents the policy, principles and objectives of the Thai International Cooperation Programme. It also reviews the implementation on technical cooperation activities under TICP for each fiscal year. (English)

Research and Technologies 

During both the Seventh and Eighth National Economic and Social Development Plans (1991-2001), Thailand has aimed to strengthen human resources in the fields of science and technology, to support national development, to adopt new technology to increase industrial and agricultural productivity. 

Thailand supports the implementation of a sustainable development strategy. It calls for the enhancement of overseas development assistance from developed countries to increase the capability of developing countries to fight natural resources degradation and environmental deterioration. Thailand has acquired technology mainly via commercial channels. As Thailand is now both a recipient and a provider of technical assistance, environmentally sound technologies are essential for the country to sustain its development, while technologies received as well as those developed domestically can be transferred to other developing countries.

Beginning in 1991, the National Science and Technology Development Agency has supported research, development, and engineering in scientific and technological spheres. The Agency’s goals include: i) to support public sector research, development and engineering projects; ii) to support technological strengthening in the private sector; and, 3) to offer scholarships in the fields of science and technology for study abroad and locally. In support of small and medium scale enterprises, the Board of Investment and the Ministry of Industry have provided a systematic and continuous program of facilitating technical linkages among industries and supported the efforts of Thai industries to gain access to technologies from the international market. 

Areas in which Thailand is seeking transfer of technology from the developed countries to accelerate sustainable development in the country include:

·          genetic engineering and biotechnology

·          energy efficient technologies

·          electronic and computer technology

·          biodiversity monitoring and assessment

·          environmental control and environmentally friendly technologies

·          climate friendly technologies

Thailand strongly supports the notion that developed countries should accelerate the transfer of technologies that enhance the global environment, to developing countries, through bilateral and multilateral technical assistance programs. Thailand also supports the establishment of a regional technological network in Asia and the Pacific region, to strengthen cooperation in technology transfer. Thailand is capable to facilitate capacity building in the region. Support from the international community will enhance Thailand’s capability to develop its role as a hub for the dissemination of technical assistance to the developing countries of the region. 

Thailand has been operating a Research Development Fund since 1992, to support research in the basic and applied sciences as well as social sciences.

In addition, the Kenan Institute Asia (KIAsia) supports greater development cooperation between the United States and Asia. The Institute, headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, works to bring U.S. technology, knowledge, and business expertise to bear on issues of importance to the region. Established with an endowment provided by private sources and the Thai and US governments, KIAsia is a Thai nonprofit foundation. It cooperates closely and receives funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Thai Department of Technical and Economic cooperation (DTEC). The Institute operates on the premise that private enterprise is a key to sustainable solutions to Asia’s development needs. It works closely with the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The overall objective of KIAsia is to promote mutually advantageous cooperative programs among U.S. and Asian corporations, universities, government agencies, and assistance organizations. Its primary areas of work are in education, environmental management, and public health. KIAsia brings together the resources of US and Asian organizations to stimulate long-term business, technological, and educational linkages for the benefits of Asia and the United States.  

In addition to significant public sector investments in implementing Agenda 21, Thai business leaders have taken an active interest in participating in the global efforts to participate in the sustainable development process. To this end, the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development (TBCSD) was established in 1993 by a group of leading figures in the Thai business community. The TBCSD is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable development through business leadership. In the capacity of Secretariat to the TBCSD, the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) works closely with TBCSD members and counterparts to implement TBCSD initiated projects.

 The objectives of the TBCSD include:

·                    to promote the concept of "Sustainable Development" amongst business leaders;

·                    to disseminate information on sound environmental practices to the business community and the general public;

·                    to encourage the business community to adopt a leading role in preventing and solving environmental problems; and,

·                    to promote the spirit of corporate citizenship in enhancing the quality of the environment.

Among the projects the TBCSD has completed in recent years are the following:

·        TBCSD Guidelines for Sustainable Development: This project promoted the concept and practice of sustainable development among the business community in Thailand by encouraging the private sector to adopt a proactive role towards society and the environment.

·        Pesticide-Free Agricultural Villages: This project aimed to decrease the use of chemical pesticides in agricultural villages while promoting the use of natural products and other alternative methods to control insects and pests, and to improve the sustainability of pesticide-free produce.

 Presently the TBCSD is implementing the following programs:

·        Green Labeling: This project aims at providing reliable guidelines to distinguish genuine environmentally friendly products, to encourage the production of green products using clean technology, energy conservation and recycling, as well as to promote environmental awareness amongst manufactures and consumers;

Pilot Project for Implementation of ISO 14000 and Sequential Training of ISO 14000: These projects aims to promote the adoption of the ISO series prior to the official launch in an effort to reap the benefits of proactive management and support the goal of sustainable development, and to encourage TBCSD members to become leaders in the implementation of ISO 14001.

·        Environmental Conservation Circle (EEC): This project aimed to benefit from the Quality Control Circle (QCC) principles for creating environmental awareness in the private sector , to foster a change in employee attitudes and practices towards environmental conservation, and to promote environmental consciousness and concern for future generations through group dynamics and worker participation;

·        Coal and its Impact on the Environment: This study analyzed current and future trends of coal production and consumption, coal's impact on the environment and environmental protection through the use of control technologies.

·        Renovation of Khlong Lod: In conjunction with the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA), the project aims to improve both the environment and the landscape surrounding this important historical canal, as well as to raise the level of environmental awareness amongst local residents and the general public.

·        Promotion of the Preservation and Development of the Historical City of Ayutthaya: This project aims to facilitate the implementation of the Fine Arts Department's master plan to preserve and restore the historical city.

·        TBCSD Public Relations: This project aims to develop a positive corporate environmental image of the participating business leaders who have initiated concerted efforts to protect the environment through raising environmental awareness amongst the general public, in addition to informing others about TBCSD activities and achievements.

Thailand supports the implementation of a sustainable development strategy. It calls for the enhancement of overseas development assistance from developed countries to increase the capability of developing countries to fight natural resources degradation and environmental deterioration. Thailand has acquired technology mainly via commercial channels. As Thailand is now both a recipient and a provider of technical assistance, environmentally sound technologies are essential for the country to sustain its development, while technologies received as well as those developed domestically can be transferred to other developing countries.

Beginning in 1991, the National Science and Technology Development Agency has supported research, development, and engineering in scientific and technological spheres. The Agency’s goals include: i) to support public sector research, development and engineering projects; ii) to support technological strengthening in the private sector; and, 3) to offer scholarships in the fields of science and technology for study abroad and locally. In support of small and medium scale enterprises, the Board of Investment and the Ministry of Industry have provided a systematic and continuous program of facilitating technical linkages among industries and supported the efforts of Thai industries to gain access to technologies from the international market. 

Thailand strongly supports the notion that developed countries should accelerate the transfer of technologies that enhance the global environment, to developing countries, through bilateral and multilateral technical assistance programs. Thailand also supports the establishment of a regional technological network in Asia and the Pacific region, to strengthen cooperation in technology transfer.

Thailand supports the implementation of a sustainable development strategy. It calls for the enhancement of overseas development assistance from developed countries to increase the capability of developing countries to fight natural resources degradation and environmental deterioration. Thailand has acquired technology mainly via commercial channels. As Thailand is now both a recipient and a provider of technical assistance, environmentally sound technologies are essential for the country to sustain its development, while technologies received as well as those developed domestically can be transferred to other developing countries.

Beginning in 1991, the National Science and Technology Development Agency has supported research, development, and engineering in scientific and technological spheres. The Agency’s goals include: i) to support public sector research, development and engineering projects; ii) to support technological strengthening in the private sector; and, 3) to offer scholarships in the fields of science and technology for study abroad and locally. In support of small and medium scale enterprises, the Board of Investment and the Ministry of Industry have provided a systematic and continuous program of facilitating technical linkages among industries and supported the efforts of Thai industries to gain access to technologies from the international market.

Thailand strongly supports the notion that developed countries should accelerate the transfer of technologies that enhance the global environment, to developing countries, through bilateral and multilateral technical assistance programs. Thailand also supports the establishment of a regional technological network in Asia and the Pacific region, to strengthen cooperation in technology transfer.

Financing 

Bilateral and multilateral sources are available on the following page: “Total Assistance to Thailand by Donors Fiscal Year 1997”

 Private sources (International Investment Position / IPP):

                                                                                                                                 Unit:  millions of US$

Investment

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

1. Direct Investment

   (direct loan)

 

4,919

 

4,745

 

4,738

 

6,480

 

6,940

2. Portfolio Investment

6,684

9,472

9,774

10,038

9,560

2.1 Debt securities

6,684

9,472

9,774

10,038

9,560

2.1.1 General Government

1,750

2,159

2,316

2,096

1,700

2.1.2 Bank

492

330

194

110

100

2.1.3 Other Sectors

4,442

6,983

7,264

7,.832

7,750

i) State Enterprises

592

987

883

1,124

1,330

ii) Private Enterprises

3,850

5,996

6,381

6,708

6,420

Source:  Bank of Thailand, January 2001

  

Additional Information is readily available from the Bank of Thailand at this website address:

http://www.bot.or.th/bothomepage/databank/EconData/IIP/iip_e.htm

Total Assistance to Thailand by Donors Fiscal Year 1997*

 

 

 

 

 

(Thousand Us.Dollar)

TYPE

EXPERTS

VOLUNTEERS

FELLOWSHIPS

EQUIP-MENT

GRANTS

OTHERS

TOTAL

DONORS

 

 

 

 

 

1/

 

Japan

16,032.8

-

3,805.2

10,337.4

2,294.0

-

32,469.4

NGOs

956.7

-

-

-

13,042.4

-

13,999.1

Germany

8,391.6

-

603.3

3,588.1

-

-

12,583.0

United Nations2/

-

-

-

-

-

14,000.0

14,000.0

Denmark

6,663.1

-

481.0

4,742.8

-

-

11,887.0

France

4,597.2

-

358.5

200.1

-

-

5,155.7

Volunteers

-

4,731.7

-

1.6

-

-

4,733.3

U.S.A.

360.0

-

-

-

-

3,220.4

3,580.4

Australia

2,262.8

-

975.9

84.3

-

-

3,322.9

European Union

2,565.7

-

140.2

79.8

-

-

2,785.7

Sweden

1,679.9

-

396.3

50.2

-

-

2,126.4

Belgium

1,570.3

-

300.3

206.2

-

-

2,076.7

United Kingdom

196.2

-

864.9

-

-

-

1,061.1

Canada

750.8

-

82.3

-

-

-

833.1

New Zealand

94.1

-

530.9

-

-

-

625.0

Netherlands

163.1

-

386.2

-

-

-

549.2

Asian Countries

-

-

230.0

290.3

-

-

520.3

Austria

-

-

22.5

292.4

-

-

314.9

SEAMEO

-

-

75.8

-

-

-

75.8

CPSC/CPS

-

-

27.1

-

-

-

27.1

IDRC

-

-

-

-

25.7

-

25.7

Switzerland

16.9

-

-

-

-

-

16.9

ASEAN

-

-

15.11

-

-

-

15.11

Egypt

-

-

11.5

-

-

-

11.5

ATT/JICA

-

-

1.1

-

-

-

1.1

TOTAL

46,301.2

4,731.7

9,308.0

19,873.2

15,362.1

17,220.4

112,796.5

TOTAL ( 1$=27 BAHT ) B1,000

1,250,131.2

127,754.6

251,315.9

536,575.3

414,777.4

464,950.1

3,045,504.6

% DISTRIBUTION

41.0

4.2

8.3

17.6

13.6

15.3

100.0

·          1/ Per diem, training program, seminar support, evaluation, supplies and material and operation cost.

·          2/ estimated value *These data were collected from the Technical Cooperation Scheme DTEC only.

Cooperation

Environment - international agreements:

·          Party to: Climate Change, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

·          Signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea

International organization participation: APEC, AsDB, ASEAN, CCC, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), OPCW, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNTAET, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

From Thailand’s Action Plan for Sustainable Development, 1997

Over the past 15 years, the economic growth of Thailand has been fostered by the rapid rise of its international trade and its greater involvement in the overall world economy. International trade is thus vita to the sustainable development objectives of Agenda 21. 

Recognizing the importance of international trade policies for sustainable development, Thailand has long been a strong support of trade liberalization. Thailand actively participates in regional as well as global trade negotiations, both bilateral and multilateral. It actively participated in the GATT negotiations and strongly supports the work and operations of the WTO. It is a long-standing member of the Cairns Group of food and agricultural products exporting countries, which traditionally has supported accelerated liberalization of trade and removal of technical barriers to trade.  

Thailand plays an active role in the ASEAN region to promote Agenda 21 goals and objectives, namely:

·          Recognizing the importance of international trade policies for sustainable development, Thailand has long been a strong supporter of trade liberalization. Thailand fully supports the operations of the WTO and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

·          To promote international cooperation regionally and globally, Thailand, as a member of ASEAN, initiated the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1992. Thailand also supports the application of other countries in the region to join ASEAN to further strengthen regional economic cooperation.

·          Economic cooperation among ASEAN Member Countries is enhanced by intra-ASEAN investment through the Revised Basic Agreement on ASEAN Industrial Joint Ventures. Several important economic issues were considered beginning in the fifth ASEAN Summit in 1995, including the Plan of Actions in Infrastructure Development, the Plan for the Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment and Intra-ASEAN Investment. ASEAN has agreed to make AFTA effective by the year 2003 for selected sectors such as tourism, telecommunications, finance and banking, and to support the ASEAN Industrial Cooperation agreement.

·          Thailand supports economic cooperation among its neighboring countries. The establishment of the Mekong River Commission as a body to seek closer cooperation among the countries sharing the Mekong River; the initiation of an economic triangle between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand; the strong support for the Asian Development Bank’s Greater Mekong Sub-Region Program, all reflect Thailand’s trust in trade liberalization and its philosophy of cooperation.

 From Thailand’s Action Plan for Sustainable Development, 1997

Over the past 15 years, the economic growth of Thailand has been fostered by the rapid rise of its international trade and its greater involvement in the overall world economy. International trade is thus vita to the sustainable development objectives of Agenda 21.

Recognizing the importance of international trade policies for sustainable development, Thailand has long been a strong support of trade liberalization. Thailand actively participates in regional as well as global trade negotiations, both bilateral and multilateral. It actively participated in the GATT negotiations and strongly supports the work and operations of the WTO. It is a long-standing member of the Cairns Group of food and agricultural products exporting countries, which traditionally has supported accelerated liberalization of trade and removal of technical barriers to trade.

 Thailand plays an active role in the ASEAN region to promote Agenda 21 goals and objectives, namely:

·          Recognizing the importance of international trade policies for sustainable development, Thailand has long been a strong supporter of trade liberalization. Thailand fully supports the operations of the WTO and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

·          To promote international cooperation regionally and globally, Thailand, as a member of ASEAN, initiated the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1992. Thailand also supports the application of other countries in the region to join ASEAN to further strengthen regional economic cooperation.

·          Economic cooperation among ASEAN Member Countries is enhanced by intra-ASEAN investment through the Revised Basic Agreement on ASEAN Industrial Joint Ventures. Several important economic issues were considered beginning in the fifth ASEAN Summit in 1995, including the Plan of Actions in Infrastructure Development, the Plan for the Promotion of Foreign Direct Investment and Intra-ASEAN Investment. ASEAN has agreed to make AFTA effective by the year 2003 for selected sectors such as tourism, telecommunications, finance and banking, and to support the ASEAN Industrial Cooperation agreement.

·          Thailand supports economic cooperation among its neighboring countries. The establishment of the Mekong River Commission as a body to seek closer cooperation among the countries sharing the Mekong River; the initiation of an economic triangle between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand; the strong support for the Asian Development Bank’s Greater Mekong Sub-Region Program, all reflect Thailand’s trust in trade liberalization and its philosophy of cooperation.

Throughout the 1990s, Thailand has supported joint research, professional networking, and other activities related to sustainable development between experts in the region by participating in the following activities:

·          UNDP: Cooperation in establishing an energy data center.

·          ESCAP and UNIDO: Cooperation in training government officials.

·          UNESCO: Cooperation in establishing a Southeast Asia Microbiotechnology Center.

·          Canada: Cooperation in establishing a satellite receiving station and improving medium-scale food industry.

·          Italy: Cooperation in establishing a biomass energy system in rural areas.

·          Japan: Cooperation in development of electric and electronic standards, training of Thai scientists and researchers, and more recently, a joint project in machine translation which aims at using computers to translate from the Thai language to Japanese and vice versa.

·          European Union: Cooperation in energy resource development, flood control, and sustainable agricultural development.

·          Australia: Cooperation in the development of agricultural product packaging.

·          Sweden: Cooperation in training of environmental engineers and waste quality study.

·          Belgium: Cooperation in water pollution control.

·          WorldWide Fund for Nature: Cooperation in wildlife study and wild elephant conservation.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth, eighth and ninth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 2001.

For access to the homepage of the Ministry of Commerce with information on Thailand's trade policies, click here:
Information on international cooperation to cope with pollution is provided from Thailand's Pollution Control Department under:

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TRADE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The institutional mechanism used to identify such "hot spots"in the integration of trade and environment issues, is the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment, operating through regional offices reporting to the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning; and, the Department of Pollution Control. Issues related to these "hot spots" are brought to the attention of the National Environment Board for consideration and action.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Regulations related to genetically engineered and/or modified organisms have been adjusted in light of current discussions on their safety. This has been undertaken in the interest of consumer protection. Thailand’s current policy is to remain free of commercial production of genetically modified crops.

The Plant Variety Act of 1975 has recently been amended to conform to changes in section 27, 3, (b), of the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights required by member countries of the World Trade Organization.

Status 

Thailand has long favored an open international trading system, provided that developing nations are given equal opportunities to compete and grow. Thailand, as a member of ASEAN, initiated the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1992. The main objective of the proposal was to promote trade liberalization in the region, an important step to effectively exploit the comparative advantage of the respective countries. ASEAN has targeted a tariff reduction of 16 groups of products to 0.5% by the year 2008.

As a result of the financial and economic crises that began in Thailand in July 1997, the rural sector needed to cope with the impact of remigration involving an estimated 1.2 million people, reduced remittances, and increased numbers of rural youth who would, in normal circumstances, have migrated out to urban centers. The result is that poverty in some rural areas is rapidly increasing – in aggregate from 11.4 percent in 1996, to 13 percent in 1998. Dry season unemployment has increased by more than 100 percent, and wet season unemployment by more than 200 percent. Underemployment also increased and youth unemployment nearly doubled. Although some of these problems will be corrected as a result of economic recovery, the Thai Government continues to be concerned about reducing regional income differentials, which have been exacerbated by rapid economic growth in and around Bangkok and the financial crisis.

Due to the same crises, all key economic indicators recorded significant decreases. Production, consumption, trade, investment, and economic growth all decreased several percentage points, and are only now beginning to recover. The economy grew at an annual rate of 10.7 percent during the period 1986-1991. Since then, the growth rate slowed down gradually reaching 5.5 percent in 1996, and a negative –0.4 percent in 1997. The economy decreased 9.4 percent in 1998, and is projected to grow 2 percent in 1999. Per capita income in 1998 was US$1,834.00, with more than 60 percent of Thailand's labor force employed in agriculture. Until the onset of the economic crisis in 1997, the manufacturing sector was outstripping agriculture in relative importance. But throughout 1997 and 1998 agriculture has been the only high-performing sector in the economy. Rice is the country's most important crop--Thailand is a major exporter in the world rice market. Other agricultural commodities produced in significant amounts include fish and fishery products, tapioca, rubber, corn, and sugar. Exports of processed foods such as canned tuna, pineapples, and frozen shrimp have risen dramatically.

Export-induced increases in the production of land-based shrimp aquaculture have increased local and national environmental problems. Fresh water canals in coastal zones and off-shore coastal waters have been polluted as a result of large-scale discharge of untreated wastewater from shrimp aquaculture ponds, with negative impacts on coastal fisheries and other natural resources in the coastal zone. An expansion of brackishwater shrimp aquaculture into fresh water agricultural production areas has been blocked through strict enforcement of current laws and regulations.

The increased export of anchovies, found in coastal waters in southern Thailand, has resulted in increased competition among small-scale fishing communities and commercial fishing operations for the resource. The Thai Government has met with both sides to find an equitable solution to this problem.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth and eighth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: March 2000.

For access to the homepage of the Ministry of Commerce with information on Thailand's trade policies, click here:
Information on international cooperation to cope with pollution is provided from Thailand's Pollution Control Department under:

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CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

In Thailand, there is no specific body dealing with consumption and production patterns. Nevertheless, several government agencies are responsible for various development sectors with the aims of the sustainable consumption and production patterns such as the National Economic and Social Development Board, the National Environment Board, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Commerce, the Consumer Protection Office.

In the energy sector, several bodies have been established: The National Energy Policy Council, the Energy Policy Committee, The Energy Conservation Promotion Fund Committee and the National Energy Policy Office (NEPO).

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The Energy Conservation Promotion Act B.E. 2535 (1992) has established measures to conserve energy in factories and buildings, and promote energy-efficient materials, machinery and equipment.

Codes of Practice for industries, Standards or Guidelines for the activities of industry to discourage unsustainable practices and promote sustainable production patterns include:

Most of these measures are mandatory. Certain guidelines are voluntary such as the production of energy-efficient lighting equipment/air-conditioners.

The DSM program promotes the labeling of high energy-efficiency products e.g. refrigerators, air-conditioners, fluorescent lamps and ballasts etc. so that people can opt to use high-efficiency products to reduce cost of electricity. Moreover, NEPO has published and distributed several booklets on methods of efficient utilization of energy to schools and the public.

Specific policy and economic instruments that are applied to discourage unsustainable and encourage sustainable consumption and production practices include:

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

There is no National Strategy, Policy or multi-year Work Program directly addressing the Sustainable Consumption and/or Production Patterns. Thailand has applied a 5-year national plan to ensure its sustainable development. Balance of demands of production and the conservation of natural resources and environment has been stressed in the Eighth National Economics and Social Development Plan (1997-2001); The Policy and Perspective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality (1997-2016).

Among the issues which these policies and plans address are the following:

Thailand's strategies towards sustainable production and consumption include:

Environmentally sound methodologies/technologies for sustainable production:
applying "Polluter Pays Principle" and "Beneficiary Pay Principle" in resource and environmental management
promotion of environmentally-friendly methods in agricultural production and processing
introducing economic instruments in industrial pollution management
promotion industrial environmental auditing system and ISO standards
Reducing wastes from production process and promoting recycle:
promoting "reduce-reuse-recycle principle" in industrial production
Promoting voluntary green labeling
Sustainable consumption:
accelerating demand-side management in the power sector to increase efficiency
accelerating the establishment of testing standards, minimum energy efficiency standards and energy efficiency labeling system of electrical appliances and equipment
Implementing energy auditing system in factories and buildings
promoting the establishment of the Energy Efficiency Technology Information Center in major urban centers
promoting public awareness in water and energy conservation
 
Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

There is no specific administrative body at the local and provincial levels for sustainable consumption and production pattern in particular. Generally, there are lines of commands in respective agencies from the central to the provincial level, who will carry out the actions and plans based on the policy of the government. For instance, there are provincial consumer protection committee in every provinces, provincial offices for Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Commerce etc..

In practice, the role of these groups in decision-making is limited. The government plays the major role in establishing all measures. For policies or projects which have potential effect on the general public, public hearings are compulsory to obtain views/comments to be incorporated in the final version of such policies/project implementation guidelines. The government is promoting intensively the local participation in resource and environmental management in their communities. The Local Administration Organization is the legal institution at the grass-root level to initiate the decision in resource utilization and environmental protection in its jurisdiction. The new constitution (1998) substantially promotes the role of local community in resource and environmental management.

Programmes and Projects 

There are several programs, especially on energy conservation and waste minimization. Among them are:

These programmes highlight or focus on environmental, economic, social or cultural aspects of sustainable consumption and production. For example, the implementation of demand-side management between 1993-1998 has reduced 457 MW of peak demand and 2,143 GWh of energy while emission of CO2 was reduced by 1.6 million tons.

Status 

Data are generally available on consumption and production aspect. The figure of the overall picture of efficiency is not available. Efficiency information can be obtained in some areas such as the Royal Decree on Designated Buildings help reduce energy consumption in business buildings in 1997 by 14%, accounting for total decrease of power demand by 650 MW.

Targets of conservation of natural resources and environmental protection have been specified in the Policy and Perspective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality (1997-2016). Targets on pollution control have been stated in the Pollution Management Action Plan (1997-2006) The 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan has several targets for 1997-2001:

Methods that have been adopted by industry in order to attain more sustainable production include:

Major research, development, and demonstration projects and activities include e an nergy conservation program in which biogas generation from pig manure and land fills are implemented, and an industrial Liaison Program in which solar roof-top pilot project is implemented. In the biogas projects, 6 major pig farms participated, accounting for 10,000 cu.m. of the biogas system. If the project reaches its full scheme and finishes 15 years operation as planned, there will be 27 million cum. of biogas produced. In addition, 100 thousand tons of organic fertilizer will be obtained as by products. The first phase of the project has been completed. Construction of the facilities in four projects has been completed while another two are being constructed.

Challenges

  The main constraint is the lack of personnel with expertise in energy.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

There are several programs for education and awareness-raising carried out by related agencies:

Training for targeted groups includes:

There are several campaign programs such as Energy Saving in Households and Offices, Car Pool and other transportation related programs. Financial support from the Energy Conservation Fund also provided to awareness campaign programs through media such as TV, ratio spots, newspapers to promote sustainable consumption patterns. Several campaigns were successful including Car Pool, 6 Approaches to Save Gasoline, Primary Energy Sources for Electricity etc.

Information 

Several annual statistical reports are available, such as:

In Thailand, an Energy Conservation Promotion Act 1992 has been enforced since 1992. The National Energy Policy Council and NEPO are the main monitoring bodies on implementation of relevant laws, regulations and standards submitted by concerned implementing agencies. A bureau, BERC, is set up under the DEDP to supervise the designated facilities (factory/building) to comply with the Act. Auditing and monitoring system is in place through various channels as follows:

The information is distributed to the academic institute and related government agencie through NEPO. A web site of the information of the Department of Energy Conservation Promotion is under construction

NEPO and power distribution utilities i.e. the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Provincial Electricity Authority have carried out a study on domestic load pattern during 1995-96. The outcome of the study reflects power consumption behavior of each category of consumers, which leads to more efficient planning of the demand side management namely:

Research and Technologies 

Ways in which clean and environmentally sound technologies are promoted and applied in production include:

Other technology-related issues that are being addressed include a study on Energy Efficiency Standards Regime, which is being carried out to draft recommendation for establishing a national energy efficiency standards regime that will reduce energy consumption in the country significantly. Studies in reuse/recycle of industrial wastes have also been carried out, and the results will be used to promote resource conservation.

Financing 

Both the government budget and the special fund such as the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund and the Environmental Fund are the main sources of support to the public and private sector in development of sustainable production and consumption pattern

Cooperation

Cooperation in this area takes place through:

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth and seventh sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 1999.

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FINANCING

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Thailand is working on streamlining the tax structure taking into account the environment. The case of leaded and unleaded gasolines is an example where tax differences are used to penalize those using leaded gasoline.

At present, there is no specific environmental tax law, levies, or other charges. The Ministry of Finance has established a working group chaired by the financial advisor to study the environmental tax and related measures. The working group supports the use of taxes to protect the environment.  

In terms of new economic instruments, a 7-satang charge (equivalent to a small fraction of one US cent per litre) is levied on all petroleum products and made available to the Energy Conservation Fund. Other fees and pollution charges are under consideration.

Regulations governing foreign direct investment in Thailand are governed by the Investment Promotion Act of 1977, amended in 1991. With regard to making foreign direct investment (FDI) more environmentally friendly, the investment promotion policy of the government requires investors to prepare measures and control their activities

so as not to affect environmental quality (article 10, Investment Promotion Act, 1976). Incentives provided to foreign investors are offered by the Office of the Board of Investment. Priority activities promoted by the Board of Investment include environmental protection and / or restoration.

Programmes and Projects 

Over the period 1999 to 2001, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is implementing an agriculture sector reform program that supports pilot projects in which irrigation schemes are upgraded and cost recovery will be undertaken.

Status 

Since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), the Royal Thai Government's Ministry of Finance and the Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation (DTEC) have agreed with the Asia Development Bank (ADB), the International Bank for Reconstruction (IBRD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other development cooperation agencies to give priority to pollution control, natural resources management, urban improvement, and similar sustainable development projects.

Financial mechanisms used in Thailand to combat poverty include the following:

Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives

Rubber Replanting Aid Fund

Farmers’ Welfare Fund

Land Reform Fund

Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare

Social Security Fund

Old Age Pension Fund

Child Welfare Fund

Ministry of Finance

Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives

Ministry of Defense

Veterans’ Welfare Fund

Together with the requirement of catalytic converter installation, Thailand has gradually reduced and finally eliminated leaded gasoline from the market. In addtion, the government also promotes environmental management projects such as investment in solid waste, industrial waste and wastewater management.

Challenges

The provision of irrigation water for agricultural production free of charge is an unsustainable subsidy to the agriculture sector. The amended Royal Irrigation Act of 1975 authorizes the collection of irrigation fees from owners or occupiers of land within an irrigation zone, however such fees have never been collected.  

Information 

Information related to financing sustainable development is made available to potential users through the Office of the Board of Investment, Office of the Prime Minister. The Internet web site address for the Board of Investment is: www.boi.go.th

Cooperation

Thailand is a recipient country of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The emphasis on setting up a sustainable development strategy has now become a routine factor in all development cooperation negotiations.

The ADB, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development (DANCED), UNDP, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank are among the most active providers of sustainable development funding and technical advisory services. This is only a partial listing since records are not yet well organized to distinguish different kinds of assistance.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth and sixth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: March 2000.

For information from the Ministry of Finance, click here:
For information on participating States in the Global Environment Facility, click here:
For information about issues and projects in Asia and the Pacific from the World Bank, click here:

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TECHNOLOGY

Transfer of Environmentally-Sound Technology

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Department of Industrial Works (DIW), the Ministry of Industry, Pollution Control Department (PCD), the Office of Environment Policy and Planning, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment are the primary national agencies promoting the transfer of environmentally sound technology. The Federation of Thai Industry and the Thailand Environment Institute are significant players in this process.

The Ministry of Industry has established the National Accreditation Council. A subcommittee under the Council is responsible for International Standards Organization (ISO) 14000 issues. The Thai Industrial Standard Institute is the national body responsible for turning ISO 14000 into the Thai Standard, and acts as a certification body together with the Thailand Environment Institute. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

In order to rehabilitate the natural resources and environment, The Eighth National Economic and Social Development Plan(1997-2001) proposes the development of prototypes and commercial technology for waste disposal and green technologies to be applied to the production process. The Plan also promotes the analysis and evaluation of technology for appropriate environmental management especailly in the agriculture, industrial and energy sector. Both the Government and private sectors cooperate to implement the plan by giving high priority to initiatives in heavy polluting industries, such as, tanneries, electroplating textile dyeing, pulp mills, palm oil manufacture, and tuna fish processing.

There are incentives or economic instruments in effect to encourage the use of ESTs. These include The Environmental Fund; IFCT loans with low interest rate for the private sector to improve the environmental management system; Tax reductions for imported equipment that help protecting or controlling pollution, tax privilege in investment promotion, especially, for environmental conservation & rehabilitation activities; Tax difference between leaded and un-leaded gasolines .

With regard to legislation to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) the Ministry of Commerce has revised the Patent Acts that pertain to computer software and has upgraded the status of Patent Division under the Department of Commerce Registration to the Department of Intellectual Property.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

The private sector (business and civil society) is making certain efforts to to promote the transfer of ESTs and cleaner production processes. For example, the Industrial Federation of Thailand, the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development and private companies such as the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, and the Siam Cement Public Company Limited, have put effort into promoting cleaner production process.

Programmes and Projects 

There are pilot projects for 20 factories to join the ISO 14000 certification scheme and many firms have already received ISO 14000 certificates. Regarding the development of basic criteria or general guidelines that may be useful in assessing technology options, the National Environmental Protection Office (NEPO) is undertaking a study of labelling and standard setting to conserve energy, which should become a basis of national policy.

Information 

Sources of information on environmentally sound technologies existing at the national level include the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), Industrial Estates Authority of Thailand (IEAT), Industrial Finance Corporation of Thailand (IFCT), the DIW, the PCD, and trade missions attached to embassies. However, better access to e-mail sources of information at national levels and a central comprehensive and authoritative data bank or clearinghouse, which would include technological alternatives, is needed to improve the quality and accessibility of information on environmentally sound technologies.

Cooperation

Joint ventures and other partnerships have been initiated. Buri Juker and Thames Water, for example, organized a joint venture to assist IEAT with waste management in all its estates nationwide. To enhance South-South cooperation, the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) has an active committee on science and technology, reflecting its interest in obtaining pollution control and other environmentally sound technologies. To increase the amount of foreign direct investment, IFCT manages external financing for the elimination of chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs). Joint venture companies and investment incentives are actively promoted to handle waste treatment. The evaluation of the impact and effectiveness of government initiatives and policies on the development, transfer and dissemination of environmentally sound technologies is in progress.

International agencies and foreign Governments provide both technical and financial assistance. To establish or strengthen environmentally sound technology centres, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided assistance to FTI and other agencies. The Asia Development Bank (ADB) is discussing the possibility of creating an industrial and wastewater treatment technology centre to be managed by PCD. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Danish Cooperation for Environment and Development (DANCED), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and APO support the technology transfer efforts of Thailand. Several countries are involved in technology exhibits at IEAT's headquarters. Demonstration projects on cleaner technology for electroplating, tanneries, palm oil, and tuna fish are carried out by DIW with the cooperation of APO, GTZ, and DANCED.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth and sixth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1987 & 1998. Last Update: 20 March 1998.

 

Biotechnology

Research and Technologies 

The Department of Livestock Development (DLD) has continued to work on programmes for the conservation of indigenous animal genetic resources which include endangered species, such as cattle of the scientific names Bos banteng, Bos frontalis, two native cattle breeds, as well as two breeds of laying ducks known as Paknum and Nakon Pathom. There are four vulnerable indigenous species in the country known as swamp buffalo, Pubalus bubalis; native chicken, muscovy duck and geese; four breeds of swine; and seven breeds of dairy and beef cattle. The DLD develops research programmes concentrating on these indigenous animal genetic resources by assigning the Animal Husbandry Division to research and monitor such species, aiming to maintain pure line breeding and then utilize cross breeding to produce a sustainable herd. The DLD is preparing to renew the Livestock Breeding Improvement Regulation to conserve and appropriately use indigenous and exogenous animal genetic resources.

The National Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center has supported public and private sector in R&D to promote sustainable development. Five main areas are emphasized: Plant biotechnology; Animal biotechnology; Biotechnology for rural and small farmer development; Biotechnology for sustainable development; and Biotechnology for health.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth and sixth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997 & 1998. Last Update: 20 March 1998.

For information on biotechnoloy from Thailand's National Science and Technology Development Agency, click here:

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INDUSTRY

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

With regard to the elaboration of a national policy or strategy for ecologically sustainable industrial development, the Environmental Management policy of the Department of Industrial Works includes extending its capability to control and counsel industry to use the appropriate technology for sustainable development. For pollution control, DIW has the following strategies:

Programmes and Projects 

There are several projects being undertaken by DIW to implement this policy, in cooperation with international organizations. Among them are: Projects in cooperation with NEDO:

Status 

At present, hazardous wastes and toxic substances pose the greatest threats to both human health and the environment. Many types of industry, especially non-agricultural based, produce hazardous wastes. Some of the toxic substances generated are: lubricant oil (from machinery), solvent and halogenated compound (from the petrochemical and electronic industry), chromium (from the electroplating industry).

Since environmental conditions in urban centers, especially in industrial concentrated areas are increasing critical, green industry is increasingly important, not just to reduce the stress on the environment, but also to pursue sustainable industrial development. The highly competitive market, especially the upper level, is environmentally sensitive and the green industry concept will help strenghten the competitiveness through consumer preference. The policy of MOI to promote Green Industry includes promoting the concept of higher efficiency in waste management; Increasing cooperation with non-profit and non-government organizations in advising industry; Disseminating the Cleaner Technology concept and increasing capacity building in this area within DIW; Providing the necessary help to small and medium scale industry in cleaner technology development; Green label for some industrial products.

Cooperation

Thailand, as a member of the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN), initiated the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1992. ASEAN has agreed to make AFTA effective by the year 2003 for selected sectors such as industrial cooperation.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth and sixth sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, April 1997 & 1998. Last Update: 20 March 1998.

For information on the role of industry in Thailand, please click here:
For information from the Department of Mineral Resources,click here:
For information from the Ministry of Industry, click here:

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TRANSPORT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Interior, and the Office of the Prime Minister are responsible for making decisions in the management and improvement of the transport system.

The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) serves as the coordinator, facilitating cooperation among related ministries and agencies of the government to formulate policy or legislation concerning the national transport system.

Decision-making on transport issues in the past has been made by the central government.  Under the new Thai Constitution, local governments are now authorized to make decisions to construct and maintain roads in municipalities and sanitary districts.  In the future, the Thai Cabinet will authorize local governments to formulate their own policies regarding the road system in their own sub-districts.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations 

Surface Transportation

The principal legal instrument related to the highway system in Thailand is the Highway Act of 1992. Laws related to land transportation include the Automobile Act of 1979; the Land Transportation Act of 1979, revised in 1992; and, the Property Procurement for Public Transport Act of 1996.  

Aviation

 Laws dealing with aviation include the Air Navigation Act of 1954 and implementing regulations of the Civil Aviation Board. According to these regulations, air transport will be conducted in accordance with Annex 16 of the Chicago Convention (1940) (Annex 16: Environmental Protection).

The Land Traffic Act was revised in 1992, and the Property Procurement for Public Transport Act was passed in 1996.

EMISSION STANDARDS FOR NEW VEHICLE IN THAILAND 

Type

Level

Reference Standards

Standards No.

Gazette

Enforced

1.Gasoline Engine Vehicle

5

94/12/EC

TIS.1440-1997

Vol.114 Part 90 dated November 11, 1997

January 1, 1999

 

6

96/69/EC

·        Ref.Weight not more than 1,250 kg.

·        Ref.Weight more than 1,250 kg.

TIS.1870-1999

 

·        Oct.1, 1999*

·        Oct.1, 2000*

2. Light Duty Diesel Engine Vehicle

4

94/12/EC

·        For Direct Injection Engine

TIS.1435-1997

Vol.114 Part 90 dated November 11, 1997

January 1, 1999

·        September 30, 2001

 

5

96/69/EC

·        Ref.Weight not more than 1,250 kg.

·        Ref.Weight more than 1,250 kg.

·        For Direct Injection Engine

TIS.1875-1999

--------------------------

·        October 1, 1999*

·        October 1, 2000*

·        September 30, 2001*

3. Heavy Duty Diesel Engine

2

95/542(A)/EEC (EURO 1.)

TIS.1290-1995

Vol.112 Part 77 dated September 26, 1995

May 12, 1998

 

3

95/542(A)/EEC (EURO 2.)

TIS.1295-1998

Vol. 112 Part 77 dated September 26, 1995

May 23, 2000

Type

Level

Reference Standards

Standards No.

Gazette

Size

Enforced

4. Motorcycle

3

HC not more than 5 g/km.

TIS.1360-1996

Vol.113 Part 25 dated March 26, 1996

All Sizes

July 1, 1997

 

4

CO not more than 4.5 g/km.
HC + NOx not more than 3 g/km.

·        White Smoke not exceed 15 %

·        Volatile Organic Compound not exceed 2 g/test

TIS.1650-1998

Vol.116 Part 57 dated July 20, 1999

·         Not more than 110 cc.

·        Not more than 125 cc.

·        150 cc. up

·         July 1, 1999

 

·        July 1, 2000

 

·        July 1, 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source :

National Environmental Board Resolution

     EMISSION STANDARDS FOR IN-USE MOTOR VEHICLES IN THAILAND

(Motorcycle)

Type

Pollutants

Standards

Equipment

Methods

Motorcycles

CO 1/
HC2/

4.5%
10,000 ppm.

Non-Dispersive Infrared Detection

Measure while parking the motor cycle at idle and no load

 

White Smoke 3/</SUP

30%

Smoke Meter, Full Flow Opacity System

Measure while parking the motorcycle at no load by quick acceleration the engine to ? of maximum power rpm.

 

Source :

1/ Notification of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment No.2, B.E.2537 (1994) dated September 14, B.E.2537 (1994) published in the Royal Government Gazette, Vol. 111 Special Part 44, dated October 7, B.E. 2537 (1994)

 

2/ Notification of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment dated March 17, B.E.2536 (1993) published in the Royal Government Gazette, Vol. 110 Part 38, dated March 31, B.E. 2536 (1993)

 

3/ Notification of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment dated February 15, B.E. 2542 (1999) published in the Royal Government Gazette, Vol. 116 Part 28, dated April 8, B.E. 2542 (1999)

 

EMISSION STANDARDS FOR IN-USE MOTOR VEHICLES IN THAILAND (Gasoline Vehicle)

Type

Pollutants

Standards

Equipment

Methods

- Register before November 1, 1993

CO
HC

4.5%
600 ppm.

Non-Dispersive Infrared Detection

Measure while parking the car at idle and no load

- Register after November 1, 1993
All Type

CO
HC

1.5%
200 ppm.

 

 

Source :

Notification of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment No.3, B.E.2540 (1997) dated June 23, B.E.2540 (1997) published in the Royal Government Gazette, Vol. 114 Part 76, dated September 23, B.E. 2540 (1997)

    EMISSION STANDARDS FOR IN-USE MOTOR VEHICLES IN THAILAND (Diesel  Vehicle)

Type

Pollutants

Standards

Equipment

Methods

Diesel Vehicle

Black Smoke

50%

Filter System

Measure while parking the car at load by quick acceleration the engine to maximum rpm.

 

 

45%

Opacity System

 

 

 

40%

Filter System

Measure while the car running steady on the roller at 60% of maximum power rpm.

 

 

35%

Opacity System

 

Source :

Notification of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment No.2, B.E.2540 (1997) dated June 17, B.E.2540, published in the Royal Government Gazette, Vol. 114 Part 76, dated September 23, B.E. 2540 (1997)

 

Notification of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment No. 4 B.E.2541(1998) dated September 9, B.E.2541 (1998), published in the Royal Government Gazette, Vol. 115 Special part 100, dated October 27, B.E.2541 (1998)

The land traffic management operations carried out by the Office of the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic (OCMLT) are aimed at traffic and road network management for effective usage. The development of high-quality public transport systems is emphasized. The public is encouraged to use public transport and measures are introduced to reduce personal car usage. The most important aspect is educating the public and campaigning to instill a culture of orderly road usage for the benefits of the public. OCMLT has diversified its scope of work in space and time: it has expanded to other regions, especially in important regional cities countrywide, and has steered the drafting of a National Master Plan to be used as a guideline for ongoing planning and project formulation which will ensure a long-term solution to the traffic problems. Most importantly, the master plan provides a frame work for efficient coordination of every party involved. 

Improvement of public transportation

As a policy and planning office, the Office of the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic (OCMLT) has initiated and proposed to the Cabinet for consideration various measures to improve the quality of public transport and reduce the number of personal cars. Past accomplishments include:

·        Encouragement of car service provision for government officials

In order to reduce personal car usage, it is proposed that the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Finance set up a center for arranging office buses to exclusively serve their officials and the officials working in the vicinity. The officials using the service will pay for the expense. If any center does not have enough people using the bus service, the government will provide a subsidy of up to 10% of the bus rental fee, At present, there are 7,000 office bus riders per day.

·        Planning of Road Traffic and Transport

OCMLT has also prepared a master plan for the mass transport system. This plan lays out a network of electric train routes in metropolitan Bangkok and its vicinities , which can accommodate approximately 40,000-60,000 passengers per hour per route. The Cabinet also passed a resolution on May 17, 1994 which requires that an additional electric train system be constructed as an underground system with in both a central 25 sq. km. area and in an additional area of 87 sq. km within the inner ring road. Also on September 27, 1994, the Cabinet passed a resolution approving in principle the master plan for the transport system proposed by OCMLT. OCMLT has subsequently hired a consultant for the architectural design of the proposed electric train system that is technically sound and economical, without disrupting the surrounding environment.

·        Improving of Bus Road Network

 The demand for public transport has been decreasing from the past and that the demand for private transport will be increasing in the future. Therefore, the greater Bangkok area essentially needs a high capacity, convenient, fast, and safe public mass transit system which should be developed as quickly as possible, using some combination of heavy rail, light rail, mono rail, guided bus or other appropriate system. This network must be capable of meeting the travel requirements of passengers, be physically suitable for development projects, environmentally friendly, and a cost effective investment. Beside working on the master plan for Public Mass Transit System and the Development of a Supplementary Mass Transit System, OCMLT also has set up a continuous study of how to Public Mass Transit System to help in providing public transportation services to help in providing public transportation services to all parts of the country especially for those out of the service area can use other appropriate means of transportation which will be connected to a future public mass transit system.

·        Acquisition of more air-conditioned buses

The quality of public transport system needs to be improved in order to complement measures to reduce personal car use. It was therefore proposed to acquire 2,000 new air-conditioned buses to improve the quality of public transport and to adequately serve the needs of the public. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has approved and is waiting for the final decision on the revised bus routes and the transfer of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

·        Taxi system improvement project

The project of installing communication radios in every taxi in metropolitan Bangkok to improve service is one of the projects sponsored by the Government Savings Bank, Krung Thai Bank Public Co., Ltd. and low interest loans (not more than 7% interest rate) in the amount of 500 million Baht , with the Department of Land Transportation allotting a budget to compensate for the interest rate margin. The Communications Authority of Thailand and the Post and Telegraph Department will set up additional taxi radio communication centers and will cooperate with the Telephone Organization of Thailand in adjusting the service rate for the centers to reflect their public service status. This project will make traveling by taxi more convenient, especially for those living in housing estates, thus helping to reduce the use of personal cars.

·        Measures to reduce the number of certain types of vehicle

In order to control the numbers of certain types of vehicle, such as vehicles carrying not over 7 passengers and vehicles registered by juristic persons, the annual car tax structure and vehicle fees have been raised. At present, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications is in the process of amending related laws to submit for the Cabinet's approval. This project is intended to reduce the demand for purchasing new vehicles.

·        Information Center for Office Exchange Project

From a Royal Initiative of His Majesty the King to reduce the traveling distance between home and office, government officials are now being offered an opportunity to choose an office nearer to their home by exchanging duties with other officials. An Information Center for Office Exchange has been established in all ministries with Office of the Civil Service Commission compiling all information. The traveling by officials can be lowered to a certain extent.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The  Office of the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic (OCMLT)  was established under the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic Act 1978. The originally Commission comprised heads of various government offices involved in traffic and transport matters, chaired by the Minister of Interior, and was attached to the Office of Policy and Planning of the Ministry of Interior. Its important role was to propose to the Cabinet policies, master plans and various other measures concerning the land traffic system; and to approve projects arrived at maintaining continuity and consistency in solving traffic problems regardless of changes of government so as to maximize the benefits to the country. Later, The Traffic and Transport Coordination Commission for Metropolitan Bangkok and the Suburbs proposed that traffic problem-solving and management for the entire country should be centralized. The Director of the Policy and Planning Office in the Ministry of Interior was given the task of formulating a unified organization to administer and find solutions to the traffic problem- a permanent national central office for solving traffic problems. The Commission for the Management of Land Traffic Act 1978 was then revised in 1992, with the Prime Minister being the chairperson of the Commission in place of the Minister of Interior. The Office of the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic, which is the Secretariat for the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic, was also upgraded to a department level under the Office of the Prime Minister. Its roles and authority were expanded in accordance with the objectives of its establishment. 

·        Development of the road network system

Even though all concerned agencies have been trying their best to establish rules, regulations and plans for managing road traffic both in metropolitan Bangkok and suburban areas, OCMLT remains concerned with intensifying traffic and transport problems that seem out of control. There are the result of a lack of adequate infrastructure, careful planning and proper use of resources which have made metropolitan Bangkok and its suburbs a heavily congested area surrounded by main roads and secondary roads without proper internal, routes

In 1994 OCMLT hired Kasetsart University and Sinthu Pike Model Co.,Ltd. to coordinate a pilot project to improve the master plan. This will help to solve traffic problems of the following 5 congested areas: Sukhumvit, Sathon, Sutthisan, Thonburi, and Bang Plat. This study was carried out in a four-stage project to develop the system of main and secondary roads, In the 8th meeting of CMLT on May 19, 1994 the committee considered the proposals and passed the following resolutions: 

  1. To assign the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration ( BMA) and the Metropolitan Police Bureau Commissioner to undertake Stage 1 and Stage 2 below on each area of traffic congestion using their own budgets. If there is a need to revise the budget plan or in emergency matters then the proposal for additional funds can be submitted to OCMLT.

  2. To assign the BMA to propose plans for Stage 3 and Stage 4 to OCMLT within 3 months.

·        Coordination of Transportation Megaproject

In 1994, OCMLT received funding from the Asian Development Bank to provide technical assistance to the Office of Megaprojects. The purpose of the Megaproject Technical Support was to coordinate the work of the transport megaprojects which includes the electric train system and the expressway system and 5 other projects that have already been or are in the process of being approved. These projects are the Second Stage Expressway, the elevated Vibhavadi Rangsit Toll Road, Ram Inthra - At Narong Expressway, Rapid Transit System, Bangkok Train Transit and Elevated Road and the Third Stage Expressway. 

There are problems concerning the physical intersections between routes which cause thirty -three obstacle points to the construction. OCMLT help meetings among the agencies involved to discuss the plans and establish guidelines to eliminate problems at 12 remaining intersections. This also helped improve understanding about the work-plan and the time frame needed to finish the task.

Development of alternative transport modes:

PHASE ONE. 110 kilometers, including the following 3 projects that are now in progress :

1. Bangkok Train Transit and Elevated Road Project (Hopewell) of the State Railway of Thailand (Red Route), which is divided into 3 routes

2. Bangkok Mass Transportation System Project of Bangkok Mass Transit Co., Ltd. (Tanayong) (Green Route), divided into 2 routes-

3. Second Stage Metropolitan Electric Train Project of Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority, with a total length of 103 kilometers (Blue Route)

PHASE TWO. 103 kilometers, including projects extended from Phase One and Orange Route Electric Train Project(New Route). Period of construction is 1995-2001.

PHASE THREE. Construction period is 2001-2011, this is divided into 2 routes

Development of a Supplementary Mass Transit System

The official master plan for the development of mass transit system for Bangkok indicated certain routes carrying 7,000 - 12,000 passengers per hour. This traffic volume was not sufficient to warrant inclusion in the primary mass transit system. Rather, there was a need for a supplementary mass transit system that would efficiently incorporate these secondary routes to create a comprehensive transport network. In October 1996, OCMLT hired a consultancy firm to assist in designing such a system for Bangkok. According to the firm's commendations, a supplementary mass transit system should be developed to incorporate five new routes.

·        Acquisition of more air-conditioned buses

The quality of public transport system needs to be improved in order to complement measures to reduce personal car use. It was therefore proposed to acquire 2,000 new air-conditioned buses to improve the quality of public transport and to adequately serve the needs of the public. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has approved and is waiting for the final decision on the revised bus routes and the transfer of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

·        Taxi system improvement project

The project of installing communication radios in every taxi in metropolitan Bangkok to improve service is one of the projects sponsored by the Government Savings Bank, Krung Thai Bank Public Co., Ltd. and low interest loans (not more than 7% interest rate) in the amount of 500 million Baht , with the Department of Land Transportation allotting a budget to compensate for the interest rate margin. The Communications Authority of Thailand and the Post and Telegraph Department will set up additional taxi radio communication centers and will cooperate with the Telephone Organization of Thailand in adjusting the service rate for the centers to reflect their public service status. This project will make traveling by taxi more convenient, especially for those living in housing estates, thus helping to reduce the use of personal cars.

·        Measures to reduce the number of certain types of vehicle

In order to control the numbers of certain types of vehicle, such as vehicles carrying not over 7 passengers and vehicles registered by juristic persons, the annual car tax structure and vehicle fees have been raised. At present, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications is in the process of amending related laws to submit for the Cabinet's approval. This project is intended to reduce the demand for purchasing new vehicles.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

The Bangkok Metropolitan Region has the most urgent needs for an improved transport system.

Programmes and Projects 

The land traffic management operations carried out by the Office of the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic (OCMLT) are aimed at traffic and road network management for effective usage. The development of high-quality public transport systems is emphasized. The public is encouraged to use public transport and measures are introduced to reduce personal car usage. The most important aspect is educating the public and campaigning to instill a culture of orderly road usage for the benefits of the public. OCMLT has diversified its scope of work in space and time: it has expanded to other regions, especially in important regional cities countrywide, and has steered the drafting of a National Master Plan to be used as a guideline for ongoing planning and project formulation which will ensure a long-term solution to the traffic problems. Most importantly, the master plan provides a framework for efficient coordination of every party involved.

WORK ACHIEVEMENTS OF OCMLT 

Development of traffic and transportation regulations and laws

In order to efficiently solve the traffic problems and improve the traffic system, the laws and regulations relating to traffic have been improved and amended in accordance with changes and environmental factors. In response, the OCMLT has designed and is implementing a program addressing the following issues:

 1. Guidelines for reducing traffic obstruction

OCMLT, the Metropolitan Police Bureau, the Department of Insurance and the Non- Life Insurance Association jointly established guidelines for prompt removal of vehicles involved in an accident from locations that obstruct the traffic flow. Thirty-four insurance companies agreed not to collect damage fees from each other. They remove the need for insured vehicle owners to determine who is at fault and the vehicles can therefore be promptly removed. This can help reduce the traffic congestion caused by accidents.

2. Adoption of tax and customs measures to reduce personal car usage

OCMLT submitted and the Cabinet approved a proposal to raise annual vehicle taxation and vehicle registration fees to reduce the use of personal cars and promote a more efficient use of vehicles. OCMLT, in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Land Transport, declared various additional measures: for example, calculation of tax for luxury cars based on, the number of cylinders and the selling price (exceeding 3 million Baht) and for non-luxury vehicles based on vehicle weight; doubling of the vehicle tax rate; and elimination of the variations in the annual vehicle fee with the age of personal cars.

3. Fund for solving the traffic problems

OCMLT recommended the set-up of a fund to support urgent operations to prevent and solve traffic problems. This fund serves as either a revolving fund or a loan. The fund comes from vehicle fees and a portion of traffic fines collected. The Traffic Fund Act was drafted, divided into 2 categories:

3.1 Central Traffic Fund managed by OCMLT for solving traffic problems in metropolitan Bangkok and nationwide. The initial fund is allotted from the Government budget. Additional funding may be provided by the government as needed; Provincial Traffic Fund for each province managed by the provincial administration for solving local traffic problems. The Central Traffic Fund provides the initial fund and additional supporting fund in accordance with the designated criteria.

4. Enforcement of law to accelerate the mass transport development

Operations of mass transport in the past were governed by plans that required approval without a systematic process of analysis to reduce the possibility of complications and disagreements during the operation. To develop a high quality and unified public transport system, OCMLT drafted the Public Transportation Act that makes provision for the essential procedures for planning, operating, and developing the transport system. Other important issues covered include safety, government's authority inland expropriation, and policy for setting up funding to be used for the operation of the mass transport system. This act will help coordinate every organization involved in developing an effective mass transport system.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has undertaken to prepare a local Agenda 21 through the Movement of Local Agenda 21 Team. This Team has organized a series of workshops with stakeholders to prepare a catalogues of five pilot projects for each city district, including a “Sustainable Traffic and Transportation Project in Rattakosin Island” (an old part of the city). The model being pursued is a project that emphasizes public-private cooperation to brainstorm for sustainable traffic and transpiration development. The project would be in response to the real needs of people in each district and would be developed with their active participation.

·        Acquisition of more air-conditioned buses

The quality of public transport system needs to be improved in order to complement measures to reduce personal car use. It was therefore proposed to acquire 2,000 new air-conditioned buses to improve the quality of public transport and to adequately serve the needs of the public. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has approved and is waiting for the final decision on the revised bus routes and the transfer of the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.

·        Measures to reduce the number of certain types of vehicle

In order to control the numbers of certain types of vehicle, such as vehicles carrying not over 7 passengers and vehicles registered by juristic persons, the annual car tax structure and vehicle fees have been raised. At present, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications is in the process of amending related laws to submit for the Cabinet's approval. This project is intended to reduce the demand for purchasing new vehicles.

·        Development of a Supplementary Mass Transit System

The official master plan for the development of mass transit system for Bangkok indicated certain routes carrying 7,000 - 12,000 passengers per hour. This traffic volume was not sufficient to warrant inclusion in the primary mass transit system. Rather, there was a need for a supplementary mass transit system that would efficiently incorporate these secondary routes to create a comprehensive transport network. In October 1996, OCMLT hired a consultancy firm to assist in designing such a system for Bangkok. According to the firm's commendations, a supplementary mass transit system should be developed to incorporate five new routes.

·        Information Center for Office Exchange Project

From a Royal Initiative of His Majesty the King to reduce the traveling distance between home and office, government officials are now being offered an opportunity to choose an office nearer to their home by exchanging duties with other officials. An Information Center for Office Exchange has been established in all ministries with Office of the Civil Service Commission compiling all information. The traveling by officials can be lowered to a certain extent.

* **

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the ninth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: January 2001.

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SUSTAINABLE TOURISM

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Tourism Authority of Thailand and the National Environment Board are responsible for sustainable tourism at the national level. At the local level, the Regional offices of Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Provincial Authority, the Regional offices of Office of Environmental Policy and Planning and the Local Administration Organization are responsible.

Regular monitoring of tourism development and sustainability is undertaken by the regional offices of Tourism Authority of Thailand in the tourist attractions and the Regional Offices of Office of Environmental Policy and Planning on resource and environment conditions in their respective responsible areas. In addition, there are regular patrols of the conserved forests where many tourist attractions located; monitoring and management by the Provincial authority and local administration organization; and local community participation in monitoring and management tourist attractions in their respective vicinities. Problems are encountered, however, due to lack of efficient coordination between the concerned agencies and lack of sufficient integration plans between interrelated resources and environment.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Legislation or other regulatory machinery relevant to sustainable tourism include:

In addition, park management plans which have been prepared for most national parks could be used as the guidelines. The National Park Act and the related park regulations are mandatory for the public to follow.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Policies and plans that have been developed for sustainable tourism include the following:

Among the issues relevant to sustainable tourism that are covered by these policies and plans are

In Thailand's Tourism Master Plan, there are two strategies concerning sustainable tourism which are rehabilitation and conservation of tourist attraction and greening Thai tourism. In the National Tourism Development Plan, several points to develop eco-tourism have been raised, including: prioritize National Park development; impose strict control on environmental impact; create Green Tourism Label; register tour operator and guides; and carry out a campaign for eco-tourism.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

Different groups participate in different stages of decision process. Thailand has moved towards decentralization of management responsibility to local communities. Hence, in general, NGOs, local authorities and community and farmers are involved in deciding how to manage their tourism resources. For any projects that potentially affect the tourism resources, public hearings are required and the projects should be acceptable by the communities. At policy level, the government coordinate with the stakeholders such as business, industry and local communities to form the general policies on sustainable tourism for the country.

Programmes and Projects 

Thailand also has a number of major programmes in effect to promote sustainable tourism, including:

Examples of the ways in which eco-tourism and nature-based tourism are being promoted include:

Status 

Tourism industry plays an important role in the Thai economy. It is now the major generator of the foreign exchange earnings through tourist expenditures in the economy (about 15% of national income in 1995). There are no specific statistics for employment in tourism related activities, but together with agriculture, it is certainly one of the most important sources of labor absorption in the country, especially during the economic crisis period

In the last decade, the number of international arrivals in Thailand has increased twofold from 3.5 million arrivals in 1987 to 7.2 million arrivals in 1997. Tourism revenue also has increased from 50,024 million baht in 1987 to 220,754 million baht in 1997. The number of international tourists visiting Thailand is projected to increase to 11.2 million arrivals in the year 2003.

Recreation activities within National Parks have geared toward sustainable tourism and eco-tourism generally are nature trail, hiking trail, wildlife and bird watch, picnicking and youth camping.

Currently, tourism impacts on other issues related to sustainable development, in the following ways:

Challenges

Among the constraints that exist to pursuing sustainable tourism are

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The following training is available for employees in the tourism industry to assist them in understanding, applying and promoting sustainable tourism:

There are special environmental campaigns in tourist destinations calling on young people, local community and related business operators to join hands in clean-up operations such as the "Beautiful Muang Khon" project in Nakhon Sri Thammarat province, "Beautiful Phuket" project in Phuket province and "Love Umphang, Love Nature" in Tak province. There are also nature interpretation trips and exhibition programs, and regular public campaigns on conservation and protection of natural-based tourism are conducted by Department of Environmental Quality Promotion through various media.

Information 

Information is made available to decision-makers through the following:

Information is available on the Internet,for both the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the National Parks and related information.

Research and Technologies 

Technology-related issues that are being addressed include those associated with incinerators, water treatment facilities, and on-site water treatment system.

There is an environmental management section for hotels called Green Hotel. A hotel guide to best practice is available in Thailand. This guide is a working tool that suggest the ways of practices in which hotel can preserve the environment.

Financing 

Financing is provided through the national budget and special loans such as those from OECF, World Bank.

Cooperation

Thailand's "model sustainable tourism destinations" are located as follows:

Because of their proper management, the community actively participates in tourist attraction management and administration. Moreover, these areas have all elements of tourism which harmonize with the local culture Both local people and tourists can exchange their knowledge and experiences as well as culture.

In terms of cooperation with local authorities or private sector in promoting sustainable tourism, Thailand forms the Tourism Promotion and Development Committee at national and provincial levels to solve the tourism problems.

Cooperation is defined, in part, through five agreements, as follows:

In addition, Thailand, as a member of the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN), initiated the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 1992. ASEAN has agreed to make AFTA effective by the year 2003 for selected sectors such as tourism.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth and seventh sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: February 1999.


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