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NATURAL RESOURCE ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THAILAND

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AGRICULTURE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Community Development Department (CDD), Ministry of Interior, is responsible for improving the quality of life and environment of rural people to meet basic minimum needs by promoting participation in family and community development activities. The Department of Land Development is the principal Thai Government agency responsible for the rehabilitation of degraded lands.

According to the 1992 Degree on Administration of the Community Development Department, the CDD has the following mission:

- to educate and develop people in the learning process to establish self-reliance in social, economic and environmental development. The target groups are children, youth, women, community volunteers and local leaders;

- to support people's organizations, community development volunteers and leaders in community development by promoting public participation with respect to their economic, social and cultural circumstances;

- to systematically promote rural development administration by assisting communities to establish Village Data Systems to guide Rural Development Plans. The CDD also develops community organizations to enable them to solve problems.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

National legislation does not restrict the transfer of productive arable land to other uses. Only in the case where an area is worthy of being conserved due to its natural or aesthetic values or amenities, and such area is yet to be designated a conservation area, can the Minister of Science, Technology, and Environment issue a ministerial regulation designating such an area as an "environmentally protected area." Following designation of such an area, protective measures can be prescribed as seen appropriate.

Thailand adopted a new Constitution in 1997 that requires every person to conserve natural resources and the environment as provided by law. The Constitution also requires that the State promote and encourage public participation in the preservation, maintenance and balanced utilization of natural resources and biological diversity, in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The target of the 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan is to reduce poverty from13.7 percent of the total population in 1992 to less than 10 percent of the total population by the year 2001.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is executing economic policies adopted by the Thai Cabinet in 1998 to reduce poverty through agriculture and food security. Key policies include the following:

Under the Eighth National Social and Economic Development Plan, the Department of Land Development will undertake the following activities to promote sustainable agriculture between l997-2001: land use planning, land and water conservation systems, Vertiver grass against erosion, cropping systems, integrated agricultural systems, selection of crop varieties tolerant of pest and soil, and tree conservation and forests expansion by growing new trees.

A national policy on sustainable agriculture and rural development was last revised in 1998. The objectives of the policy include:

A national policy review of food security issues was undertaken in 1998. As part of the agriculture sector policy reform measures adopted by the Thai Cabinet in 1998, the Thai Government adopted a policy for preparing for global climate change. An important element of this policy is that the Government committed itself to ensuring food security for the country to prevent impacts from natural disaster, by accelerating production of agricultural products in areas with high production potential as well as in areas that are adequately served with water resources; particularly in area that have sources of natural surface water, irrigation system infrastructure, underground water supplies, and irrigated areas serviced by pumps.

The Office of Environmental Policy and Planning has prepared a "Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016" that was adopted for implementation by the Thai Cabinet in 1997. This document aims at the integration of natural resources management and enhancement, and conservation of national environmental quality, with sustainable economic and social development, and to ensure the quality of life. The Plan elaborates goals, policies, and implementation guidelines for the effective use of land resources; conservation, rehabilitation, and development of degraded soils and land. It is to be a resources base for sustainable development by rehabilitation of degraded soils and mitigating soil erosion; and, conservation and utilization of areas containing unique ecosystems. In the context of this Plan, the Thai Government is committed to the following policies related to the systematic development, conservation, and rehabilitation of water resources:

Issues related to safe and appropriate use of pesticides have also been addressed in the "Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016". The national policy states that the Thai Government will promote reduced utilization of chemical pesticides. Law enforcement guidelines include consideration of measures to strictly prohibit imports and production of hazardous materials in agriculture that affect public health and the environment. Supporting guidelines include preparation of an action plan to provide knowledge and understanding to workers to properly use hazardous materials, especially those in the agriculture sector, with the support of NGOs.

The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board has prepared and coordinated and facilitated the implementation of the 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan that includes policies and measures for environmental protection and the conservation, preservation, and rehabilitation of natural resources, including land and soils

The policies include strategies to accelerate rehabilitation of renewable resources and application of mitigation measures to address water pollution, air pollution, noise and vibration pollution, and pollution from solid wastes, hazardous materials and hazardous wastes.

The objectives of the proposed policies and plans include protecting and rehabilitating environmental quality; conserving natural resources; boosting institutional capacities to administer and manage environmental quality; effectively using land resources for activities based on their capacity; conserving, rehabilitating, and improving degraded soil and land as the resource base for sustainable development; conserving areas containing unique ecosystems; protecting 50 percent of the country in forest; and conserving biodiversity.

Over the next two years (1999-2001) the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is implementing an agriculture sector reform policy that requires a paradigm shift that will result in the implementation of measures that will lead to increases in equitable access to production-support services by the rural poor including:

In 1998 the Thai Cabinet adopted the policy recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives for a Policy on Fertilizer and Agricultural Chemicals as follows:

In the same year, the Thai Cabinet adopted the policy additional recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to develop agricultural potential in irrigation command areas, by efficiently producing agriculture products, while mitigating pollution problems impacting on the environment in these areas.

The "Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016," sets forth policies, goals, and guidelines to ensure adequate protection for plant genetic resources. The policy recommendations that were adopted by the Thai Cabinet included one for the management of biodiversity in forest ecosystems, namely: Protect, preserve, and conserve flora, fauna, aquatic life, and other living organisms in forest areas. Guidelines included:

Directly in response to Convention on Biological Diversity, the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning on behalf of the National Committee on the Convention on Biological Diversity has prepared the National Policies, Measures and Plans on conservation and sustainable use of Biodiversity. The Policies, Measures and Plan was approved by the Cabinet in 15 July 1997.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

The Department of Agriculture is implementing a Sustainable Agricultural Development Project that will lead to the following outputs within the next two years:

Programmes and Projects 

In terms of Environmental Development the CDD has 3 main activities as follows:

- Water Resource Utilization Promotion Project. This project has organized water resource users (that is, occupation groups and general water users), to establish Water Resource Utilization Groups for water resource maintenance and problem solving. The Water Utilization Group has developed administrative committees, rules and water utilization regulations in order to maximize its distribution among users so that living standards can be improved.

The Water Resource Management Project has two main activities. The project provides a training course for members of the group about water resource management. The project has also supported a revolving fund per group for occupational and water utilization activities, that is vegetable cultivating, live stock, fishery, and integrated farming.

Through the Community Approach to the Natural Resources Management Project (CNM Project), the CDD has established a collaborative relationship with the Faculty of Social Administration, Thammasat University, a committee of community development experts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States, and The Royal Forest Department of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The CNM project received funding from the Ford Foundation. The project's goal is to encourage participation in natural resource management with an emphasis on community forests, the role of community development, workers, and the process of raising the level of local participation. The CDD encourages participation in the conservation, maintenance, and sustenance of nature and the environment through a joint effort of the government and private sector.

Major activities to implement the SARD policy include:

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has developed a program for Rehabilitation of Forests and Forestry Occupations and Other Natural Resources, including biological diversity. This program is being implemented as part of the 8th Agricultural Development Plan. Elements include, but are not limited to the following guidelines to integrate environmental concerns into agricultural development:

Sustainable agricultural development programs have been initiated through 40 Agricultural Technology Transfer Centers throughout Thailand using the resources of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Department of Agriculture, Department of Land Development, and the Natural Resources and Biodiversity Institute, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has programs that will promote crop diversification at the farm level, including:

The Department of Agriculture is implementing a Sustainable Agricultural Development Project that will lead to the following outputs within the next two years:

Major activities that the Government has initiated to increase non-farm employment opportunities in the rural areas include:

The Department of Fisheries initiated a program in 1993 of marine and fisheries protected areas to enhance protection and conservation of breeding grounds in Gulf of Thailand.

Status 

According to the Thai Government’s policy indicated in 8th National Plan (1997-2001), sustainable agriculture is practiced in an area of not less than 20 percent of Thailand’s cultivable area (or 4 million hectares). Additional agriculture area brought under irrigation since 1992 on land rehabilitated is as follows:

Area in Ha: 281,121.92; Percentage of total cultivated land: 6 percent

The agriculture sector had been Thailand’s "engine of growth" in the 1960s and 1970s, with annual growth in the sector of 4-5 percent. In the mid-1980s, manufactured exports overtook agricultural exports in importance, but agriculture still accounted for a relatively large share of employment in 1997 (39.4 percent in the dry season and 50.3 percent in the wet season); provided raw materials for agribusiness; and, continued to ensure household food security. The growth in agriculture in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s resulted significantly from land expansion including occupation of forest reserve areas. Since the financial and economic crises of 1997, agricultural production in physical terms has held its ground and actually increased, as a result of devaluation-led increase in prices of agricultural products and an increase in demand for Thai products to compensate for damage inflicted by ENSO in other exporting countries. Farmgate prices have declined while the costs of production have increased from the devaluation of the currency (baht). Growth in the agriculture sector increased an average of 3.7 percent annually between 1990 and 1996, and maintained a positive growth of 1.6 percent in 1997, and 2.5 percent in 1998.

Since the financial and economic crises of 1997, the rural sector has been coping with the impact of re-migration 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 the first quarter of 1998. Real wages have fallen by 13 percent since 1997, and seasonal unemployment has increased significantly.

Sustainable development is promoted in Thailand, inter alia, through:

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) has adopted several specific measures authorized by the Thai Cabinet in 1998 to change the sector towards sustainability, including the following:

Area Development Approach: MOAC will concentrate its efforts on irrigation command areas, cooperative land settlements, land reform areas, coastal zones, and terrestrial and marine ecosystems, to increase the export of agricultural products, and to increase domestic production of agricultural products to substitute for imports. This approach will allow improved management of water for irrigation, better control of quality of agricultural products, and regulation of sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards.

Alternative Farming Systems: MOAC will use an area-based approach to promote alternative farming systems to smallholder farmers to advance sustainable agricultural development, through an integrated program consisting of the following:

Institutional Development Approach: Initiation of an integrated management approach among line agencies in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, with an emphasis on collaborating to implement programs and projects. Through this approach, MOAC also will cooperate with local governments, non-governmental organizations, cooperatives, local community groups, and the private sector to strengthen the capacity of local institutions to more effectively carry out their duties and responsibilities, as mandated by laws governing their establishment and operations. This process will aim to prepare local bodies to:

The Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action (Rome, 1996) called for a minimum target of halving the number of undernourished people in the world by the year 2015. The following target products have been focused in this regard:

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has begun a restructuring process that will lead to the following:

Beginning in 1993, with the assistance of UNDP, the World Bank, and the Global Environment Facility, the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives undertook a comprehensive review of Thailand’s terrestrial biological diversity. A pre-investment study was prepared that included an assessment of biodiversity in the context of the protected areas system operating in Thailand and the condition of conservation forests. An investment plan was prepared to enhance the capacity of concerned Thai Government agencies, community-based organizations, NGOs, and local governments to administer and manage biological diversity in Thailand. The plan focused on providing enhanced protection to Thailand’s Western Forest Complex that is comprised of --- protected areas, covering ---- hectares, in collaboration with local communities and occupants. Agencies and NGOs working in the area have executed parts of the plan.

To further concentrate the human and financial resources of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives to ensure adequate protection for plant genetic resources, the Ministry created in 1997 the Natural Resources and Biodiversity Institute to operate as an independent agency within the Ministry. The Institute is mandated to facilitate and coordinate natural resources and biodiversity management programs among concerned line agencies, and to serve as the principal contact point for other concerned Thai Government and international agencies on issues related to natural resources management.

To further ensure adequate protection and promote sustainable use of plant and animal genetic resources, the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment established the National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), as well as the Biological Diversity Information Center.

The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, created the Thai Seas Rehabilitation Institute in 1995. This Institute has the goals of improving the management of coastal and marine ecosystems; monitoring coastal and marine environments; improving management of aquatic life habitats; and, undertaking co-management of coastal fisheries and habitats with community-based organizations and NGOs.

The consumption of primary inputs such as purchased seeds, fertiliser, and pesticides in Thailand over the last five years, is as follows:

Item \ Year

1991

1993

1994

1995

1996

Fertilizer Consumption

(tons)1

107,779.05 140,901.22 133,556.75 207,493.95 383,669.90
Imported Pesticides No. of products: N/A 229 223 223  
  Quantity

(kg.):

19,726,000 29,696,830 32,274,652 38,754,535  
  CIF

Value:

N/A US$38.36 million US$143.73 million US$180.13 million  

1 Quantity of fertilizer distributed by the Marketing Organization for Farmers

N/A = Information is not available 

 Challenges

Weak institutional coordination is a major problem in implementation of sustainable agriculture measures.

The principal information gap is that databases are not yet linked nor accessible to the general public.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The following measures are taken to improve quality of agricultural products for export:

In 1997, the Thai Cabinet adopted policy recommendations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives that supported the promotion of sustainable agricultural development programs through support for self-sufficiency and economic moderation programs including integrated / mixed farming, agroforestry, organic agriculture, and the New Theory of Agricultural Development that emphasize production for self-sufficiency, to meet the needs of farm households.

The Sustainable Agricultural Development Project of the Department of Agriculture promotes environmental awareness in rural areas, resulting in a correct and common understanding about sustainable agriculture.

Extension services are provided to community-based organizations and NGOs to develop small-scale irrigation systems with farmers; to encourage community irrigation systems; and, to examine systems for finding water for individual farms. This approach includes improving existing irrigation systems and making additional investments to increase the potential for water resource use, taking into consideration distinct local eco-agricultural and socioeconomic conditions in each region and each local area, and different alternative agricultural systems in use.

Support is given to production activities in a fully integrated manner, from cultivation to marketing, by establishing linkages with agro-industrial processing facilities and other upstream and downstream industries. Promotion and development agencies concerned are operating in the designated areas to undertake soil improvement, supervise and control product quality, from the outset to the end of the production cycle, ensuring the quality and value of products. The role of the private sector investment is emphasized in production or related industrial processing.

The Royal Forest Department is receiving support to strengthen the capacity of forestry researchers to operate botanical gardens at sites in the country with unique flora, to ensure adequate protection for plant genetic resources.

Information 

The following measures are being taken in preparation for the 21st Century:

The Natural Resources and Biodiversity Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives currently is designing a web page that will have links to natural resources and agriculture databases of the line agencies of the Ministry. At this time, the Ministry has an Internet web page (www.moac.go.th) with links to those line agencies that also have web pages.

The Government has initiated the development of on-farm and off-farm programmes to collect and record indigenous knowledge.

Indicators are currently being developed in Thailand.

Research and Technologies 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is implementing a comprehensive sustainable agricultural development program to implement integrated farm management technologies and practices.

Financing 

The Department’s investment budget for the rehabilitation of degraded lands between 1993 and 1997 was approximately US$183 million.

Cooperation

Since no early warning systems are in place to monitor food supply nor any national or regional institutions exist for an early warning system, the Thai Government is cooperating with ASEAN Member Countries to develop a regional system for monitoring the food security situation.

Support is being made available from the following multilateral and bilateral agencies:

  • UNDP
  • World Bank
  • Government of Denmark
  • Asian Development Bank
  • European Commission
  • Government of Japan
  • Thai national budget
  • AusAID
  • Government of Germany
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Finance
  • Government of Canada
  • Food and Agriculture Organization

* * * 

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: February 2000.

Click here to link to Country and Sub-regional Information on Plant Genetic Resources of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
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ATMOSPHERE

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Office of Environment Policy & Planning (OEPP) of the Ministry of Science, Technology & Environment (MOSTE) is primarily responsible for the protection of the atmosphere. It is a full-fledged member of the National Coordination Mechanism for Sustainable Development and serves as the Secretariat to the National Environment Board (NEB). National legislation has been reviewed partly in light of Agenda 21. Air pollution standards are reviewed continuously and are revised occasionally by the Pollution Control Department and the Ministry of Science Technology and Environment. The Hazardous Substances Control Division of the Department of Industrial Work of the Ministry of Industry is responsible for the control of chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs).  The other offices involved in decision-making for protecting the atmosphere are: Department of Energy Development and Promotion of MOSTE, National Energy Policy Office and Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board under the Office of the Prime Minister.

The NESDB supervises the work of the Office of the NESDB, and recommends suitable economic and social development strategies to the Thai Cabinet. The Board also has responsibility for screening and deliberating on various plans, programs, projects and policies submitted by the Office of the NESDB, and for making recommendations to the Thai Cabinet.  The Office of the NESDB is responsible for supplying data and submitting draft five-year national plans to the Board for consideration.  From time-to-time, the Thai Cabinet will assign work directly to the Office of the NESDB, through the Secretary-General, who is invited to participate in Cabinet meetings.   

The Prime Minister chairs the NEB. Vice-chairmen include a deputy prime minister and the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment.  The NEB is comprised of twenty additional members, including members of the private sector. The NEB submits policies and plans for environmental enhancement, protection, and conservation to the Thai Cabinet for approval; prescribes environmental quality standards; approves environmental quality management plans; recommends financial, fiscal, tax and investment promotion related to the environment; proposes amendments to laws and regulations related to the environment; supervises the Thai Environment Fund; and, submits annual reports on national environmental quality.

Article 60 of the 1997 Thai Constitution states that an individual retains the right to participate in the decision-making process of State officials in the performance of administrative functions which affect his or her rights and liberties, as provided by law.

 Articles 78 and 79 of the Thai Constitution call for the State to decentralize power to localities for the purpose of independence and self-determination of local affairs, as well as to promote public participation in the use and quality of natural resources and the environment.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The Montreal Protocol and its Amendments were ratified by Thailand July 7, 1989. The London Amendment (1990) and Copenhagen Amendment (1992) were ratified by Thailand on June 25, 1992 and December 1, 1995 respectively. The latest report to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat were prepared in mid-1996.

According to the Thai Constitution of 1997, every person has a duty to conserve natural resources and the environment, as provide by law.

 The Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act of 1992 stipulates provisions for several aspects of air pollution control, namely:  

Regulations for protection of the atmosphere: Ministerial Orders, Ministerial Decrees, and regulations include the following:

2.1 ATMOSPHERIC AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARDS 

1) Notification of the National Environment Board No.10, 2538 (1995) 

issued under the National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (1992) Re: Atmospheric Ambient Air Quality Standards

 

2) Notification of the National Environment Board No.12, 2539 (1996) 

issued under the National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (1992) Re: Acceptable Concentration of Carbon dioxide in Atmospheric Ambient Air Quality in One Hour

 

2.2 AIR QUALITY STANDARDS AT POINTED-SOURCE

 

2.2.1 Industrial Emission Standards

 

1) Notification of the Ministry of Industry No.2, E.B. 2536 (1993)

issued under the Factory Act issued under the Factory Act B.E. 2535 (1992) Re: Substance Limits in Industrial Emission


2) Notification of Science, Technology, and Environment

issued under the National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (1992) Re: Emission Standards for Electricity Plant

 

2.2.2 Motor Vehicle Emission Standards

 

1) Notification of Science, Technology and Environment

issued under the National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (1992) Re: Allowable Concentration Black Smoke and Carbon dioxide in Motor Vehicle emission

 

2) Notification of Science, Technology and Environment

issued under the National Environmental Quality Act B.E. 2535 (1992) Re: Allowable Concentration of Carbon dioxide in Motorcycle Emission

 

2.2.3  Boat/Ship/Vessel Emission Standards

 

1) Notification of the Harbor Department No. 177/2527 (1984)

Re: Usage of Fume and Noise Level Motors for Boats/Ships/Vessel

Fiscal and financial measures related to promoting protection of the atmosphere have been developed and implemented by the National Energy Policy Office. Specific measures successfully implemented have included the following:

i)      Abolition of leaded gasoline: Distribution of unleaded premium gasoline in the country since May 1991. The distribution of leaded gasoline was abolished by 1 January 1996, earlier than originally targeted.

ii)      Gasoline quality improvement:

-                                 Increase the octane of regular gasoline from 83 to 87 RON

-                                 Lower the lead content from no more than 0.40 grams/liter to no more than 0.15 grams/liter

-                                 Reduce the quantity of benzene from no more than 5 percent volume to no more than 3.5 percent volume

-                                 Classify premium gasoline into that mixed with oxygenate compounds on a compulsory basis and that mixed
             with oxygenate compounds on a voluntary basis

-                                 Enforce the mixture of additives in premium and regular gasoline

-                                 Limit the quantity of aromatic compounds to no more than 50 percent volume

iii)                 High speed diesel quality improvement in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region:

-    Lower the 90 percent distillation point from no higher than 370? C to no higher than 357?C.

-    Lower the sulfur content from no more than 1 percent to no more than 0.50 percent by weight, effective as of September 1993.

-          Lower the sulfur content from no more than 0.50 percent to no more than 0.25 percent by weight, effective           as of 1 January 1996.

-          Lower the sulfur content from no more than 0.25 percent to no more than 0.05 percent by weight, effective as of 1 January 1999.

-          Enforce the mixture of additives.

iv)                    Improvement of fuel oil available to the general public as follows :

-         Reduce the minimum viscosity of fuel oil, grades 2-4, from not lower than 81, 181, and 231, respectively to not lower than 7 centi-stokes, which is the same as that of grade 1 fuel oil.

-          Improve the quality of fuel oil distributed in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region by reducing the sulfur                     content from no more than 2.5-3.2 % by weight, to no more than 2.0 percent by weight.

-         Improve the quality of fuel oil distributed to other provinces by reducing the sulfur content from no more           than 2.5-3.2 % by weight, to no more than 2.0 % by weight, with the effective date of 1 January'98.

-         Improve the quality of fuel used by the Electric Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) at its Bangkok           area plants, as of early 1994.

v)        Installation of a Flue Gas Desulfurization system at EGAT’s Mae Moh Thermal Power Plant in Lampang                    Province, northern Thailand, to control the level of sulfur dioxide concentration; reduced to an acceptable 1,300 micrograms/cubic meter.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

The “Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016,” provides goals, policies, and implementation guidelines for addressing air pollution.

Effective policy mechanisms exist in the form of the principal elements of the 1985 Statement of Forest Policy (based on the Thai Cabinet resolution of 1985 and still in  effect) includes the following: 

·        Forest management for environmental protection;

·        Formulation of a forest development plan for inclusion in each five year national development plan;

·        Conservation and protection of the natural environment through city planning and designating zones for forests, communities, and agriculture in each province

·        Creation of a National Forestry Policy Committee

·        Execution of extension programs to raise the level of public awareness, instill positive attitudes, and introduce proper skills on the wise use of  forest resources;

·        Promotion of reforestation;

·        Promotion of integrated wood industries;

·        Revision of the legal framework to support efficient forest resources conservation and utilization;

·        Promotion of wood energy from plantation sources as a substitute  for fossil fuels;

·        Designation of sloped land greater than 35 percent as forest land;

·        Formulation and implementation of guidelines for dealing forest degradation problems;

·        Introduction of an incentive system to promote reforestation and forest plantations by the private sector; and,

·        Human resources development and rural settlement planning in conformity with national natural resources management and conservation plans.       

Strategies related to greenhouse gas emissions are stated in the following: 

    From. the “Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016

-         Continuously monitor, check, analyze, and construct databases of overall ambient air quality and emission of air pollutants from its sources.

-         Prepare reports on the efficiency of systems or facilities and equipment for controlling designated air pollutants emissions from industries.

-        Promote and support improvement and upgrading of fuel standards to meet international standards, including promotion of ending the use of polluting fuels.

-          Formulate and improve air quality standards, both overall standards and emission standards, including designating methods to check and measure pollution, to be the same as international standards, and strictly enforce these laws against offenders.

-         Establish categories of sources of air pollution discharge that must be controlled and discharged into the atmosphere, including formulating appropriate standards for controlling air pollution from sources.

-         Designate all categories and ages of vehicles to undertake annual inspections of fuel combustion discharge systems, using an inspection system based on the service center model.

-         Support and collaborate with the private sector, associations, independent groups and all categories of mass media to participate in public relations efforts and campaigns to educate and increase understanding and awareness of hazardous threats from pollutants in the air, and be informed of enforcement of laws against all categories of polluters.

From “Thailand’s Action Plan for Sustainable Development,” March 1997, greenhouse gases are being reduced through the following:

-         Switching from fossil fuels to gases

-          Improving mass transit systems in urban areas

-          Implementing demand-side management in power use

-         Accelerating reforestation of degraded forest lands

-        Protecting conservation forests and watershed areas

            -    Public campaigns on global environment protection

From “Final Report: Environmental Quality Management Plan, Vol. 1,” December 1997: 

-         A Management Plan for Environmental Quality Enhancement (1999-2006) has been formulated in accordance with the “Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016, based on a strategic management concept that the important natural resources and environmental problems are to be analyzed and given priorities; targeted environmental priorities to be achieved during the 8 years of operation period are to be set; policy guidelines and measures as a frame to formulate relevant programs and projects are to be determined; programs/projects and associated manpower and budgetary requirements are to be analyzed and proposed for improvements of both a physical and natural environment and quality of institutions simultaneously. Six natural resource and environmental issues are set for high priorities and emphasis:  soils and land use, water resources, natural forests and mangrove areas, air pollution, water pollution, and solid waste and sewage disposal. 

 Strategies include:

-       Rehabilitation and development of existing degraded natural resources including the atmosphere;

-        Improvement of organizations dealing with administration and management of natural resources and of the coordination structure for agencies concerned for more efficiency and unity in management

-        Amendment of laws and regulations that hinder the advancement of natural resources and environmental development and conservation

-        Launching of relevant programs to change the attitude of the Thai people on the importance of natural resources and environmental quality enhancement and conservation.

        -           Implement the Management Plan for Environmental Quality Enhancement (1999-2006) over an 
         8 year period, in two phases.

        -           Air pollutants will be maintained within the standard value in 1997, particularly for carbon monoxide.      

-        Industrial areas and communities will be require to keep their air pollutants within the standard limits   especially for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

From “Thailand Environment Monitor 2000,” (World Bank, January 2000):

Policy responses by Thailand for air quality management include:

-        Comprehensive program in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region to reduce air pollution.

-         Phase-out of leaded gasoline and improvements in fuel quality to reduce emissions. Improvements in transportation planning and traffic management systems.

-          Emission standards for new and in-use motor vehicles tightened.

         -          Power plants equipped with flue gas desulfurization technology and low sulfur fuel oil used since 1992.

From “Thailand Environment Monitor 2000,” (World Bank, January 2000):

        -             Policy responses by Thailand for air quality management include:

-          Comprehensive program in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region to reduce air pollution.

-          Phase-out of leaded gasoline and improvements in fuel quality to reduce emissions. Improvements in       transportation planning and traffic management systems.

-          Emission standards for new and in-use motor vehicles tightened.

         -           Power plants equipped with flue gas desulfurization technology and low sulfur fuel oil used since 1992.

Strategies related to terrestrial and marine resource development for greenhouse gas sinks are stated in the following:

From the “Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016”

-               Promote the use of economic incentives to promote solutions to air pollution.  

-            Accelerate reforestation and rehabilitation of degraded watersheds by re-establishing natural healthy forests    using native species.

-            Formulate a legal framework to protect watersheds.

-           Promote economic incentives for reforestation on privately owned land and support participation of the private sector, NGOs, communities, and local people in development of community forests, urban forestry and fast growing tree plantations.

-            Promote development of local awareness of forest conservation.

-          Increase capacity and efficiency for forest protection and rehabilitation and conserve forest resources in national reserve forests, while monitoring the situation and changes in the integrity of the forest.

-         Preserve remaining healthy forests, those without encroachment, and prevent any other utilization of these forested areas.

-         Strengthen capacities to manage protected areas for conservation of biodiversity and establish a trust fund for protected areas management, as well as crate transboundary reserves.

Strategies related to substances that deplete the ozone layer  are stated in the following:;

From the “Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016”

-         Promote collaboration among government agencies, state enterprises, and the private sector to control and prevent air pollution, and support efficient and safe energy utilization.

-          Control and reduce utilization of substances that are a danger for atmospheric ozone layer.

-         Support study, research, and training in technologies for control and eradication of polluted air, including improving and maintaining machinery to decrease air pollution.

-         Support and collaborate with the private sector, associations, independent groups and all categories of mass media to participate in public relations efforts and campaigns to educate and increase understanding and awareness of hazardous threats from pollutants in the air, and be informed of enforcement of laws against all categories of polluters.

-         Promote the use of economic incentives to promote solutions to air pollution.

From the “Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016”

-         Promote collaboration among government agencies, state enterprises, and the private sector to control and prevent air pollution, and support efficient and safe energy utilization.

-          Control and reduce utilization of substances that are a danger for atmospheric ozone layer.

-         Support study, research, and training in technologies for control and eradication of polluted air, including improving and maintaining machinery to decrease air pollution.

-          Support and collaborate with the private sector, associations, independent groups and all categories of mass media to participate in public relations efforts and campaigns to educate and increase understanding and awareness of hazardous threats from pollutants in the air, and be informed of enforcement of laws against all categories of polluters.

-         Promote the use of economic incentives to promote solutions to air pollution.  

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

-       Provide support the use of substitutes for the following:  

Substance

Date

ODS in refrigerator and cooling machine production

Since 1997

ODS in air conditioners in new autos

Since 1996

ODS in freezer and cold storage production

Since 1998

ODS in all sprayers

Prohibited since 1998

No new factory will be allowed to use ODS to produce foam

 

Prohibition of ODS foam production

Prohibited since 1998

Notes:     ODS = ozone depleting substances

Source:  Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment, March 1997

Strategies related to transboundary air pollution are stated in the following: 

From the “Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016”

-         Formulate prevention measures and prepare emergency plans for protection, mitigation, suppression, or abatement of emergency situations, or accidents from air pollution.

-         Strengthen capacities to manage protected areas for conservation of biodiversity and establish a trust fund for protected areas management, as well as crate transboundary reserves.

The strategies proposed for sustainable management of the forestry sector include: 

(i)                  preserve and enrich forestry resources;

(ii)                protect ecological balance;

(iii)               protect the environment to maintain the quality of life and a solid foundation for development;

(iv)              establish forestry management systems for the efficient utilization and protection of forestry resources and forest ecology for the benefit of society and local communities; and,

(v)                protect against and provide relief from natural disasters.

Short-term Goals concerning reduction of green house gas emissions include

Within the scope of the Eighth National Economic and Social Development Plan (1997-2001), the National Energy Policy Office has set the following targets to prevent and solve environmental problems resulting from energy development and utilization, namely:

-    Expand the designated areas, where the distribution of fuel oil shall have no more than 2.0 percent of sulfur content for grades 1-4 and no more than 0.5 percent for grade 5, to cover more provinces than the Bangkok Metropolitan Region.

-    Speed up the distribution of non-corrosive (low sulfur) diesel 0.05 percent by weight, by 1 January 1999, and consider improving quality specifications of high speed diesel in order to further reduce pollution (e.g., the increase of cetane number and the decrease of density).

-        Control and monitor the storage and demolition of lube oil residue and used lube oil together with promoting investment in recycling used lube oil according to an appropriate basis.

-        Enforce that oil depots, oil tank trucks, and petroleum service stations in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region and major urban centers are installed with oil vapor traps.

-        Intensify the expansion of natural gas application to commercial vehicles in order to reduce air pollution, especially in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region.

-        Encourage solid waste disposal yielding energy as a by-product to reduce problems of environmental pollution in urban areas.

-         Switching from fossil fuels to gases: Thailand now purchase electricity from Laos, has agreed to purchase gas from Myanmar, and strengthened the power agreement with Malaysia, reducing emission of CO2 from the power sector by between 15 and 30 percent.

-         Improving mass transit systems in urban areas: Thailand is operating its first elevated train system. The expressway system, allowing more rapid flow of vehicles, is already in its third state of development. Mass transit systems in Thailand can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 20 to 100 thousand tons annually.

-         Implementing demand side management in power use: DSM Pilot Programs (1992-1997) saved energy and reduced GHG. By 1995, an estimated 50 MW was saved, with a reduction of 180 thousand tons of CO2.

-          Accelerating reforestation of degraded forest lands: Since 1995, various companies and public groups have reforested more than 120 thousand hectares of land, providing carbon sinks for millions of tons of carbon per year.

Short-term Goals concerning conserving and increasing greenhouse gas sinks, are as follows: 

National Economic & Social Development Plan

Protected Areas

Forest Cover

 

  Year

Million Ha

Percent

 Year

Million Ha

Percent               

7th Plan, 1992-96

1996

14.11

27.5

1989

14.34

27.9                       

8th  Plan, 1997-2001

1998

17.08

33.0

1998

12.83

25.0                         

Source :Royal Forest Department,1993 & Thai Forest Sector Master Plan, & official contact with RFD, October 1998

 

        Short-term Goals concerning mitigating ozone depletion are as follows:             

Target Dates to Halt the Application of CFCs in Thailand

Ozone Depleting Substance

Target Date to Halt Application

CFC 11, 12 in new products

1998

CFC 113, 114, 115

1998

Halon 1211 in new fire extinguishers

1994

Halon 1211 in refills

1998

Halon 1301 in new fire extinguishing systems

1998

Methyl Chloroform

1998

Source:  Ministry of Industry, 1997

 

          With regards to mitigating transboundary air pollution, Thailand strongly supports global efforts to protect the atmosphere.  Thailand is in the process of developing policies and measures to mitigate climate change policies.  Thailand also encourages all parties to strengthen the effort to reduce GHGs. 

            Long-term (1997-2016) Goals concerning reduction of green house gas emissions include:   

-          Pollutants in ambient air will remain within designated standards, particularly carbon monoxide, beginning in the year 1997.

-         The concentration of air pollutants in industrial zones and general communities, particularly sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, will be within designated standards.

  Long-term (1997-2016) Goals concerning conserving and increasing greenhouse gas sinks are as follows:

-         Preserve at least 0.16 million hectares of mangrove forests.

-         Conserve and rehabilitate all types of coastal resources for the protection of the balance of coastal ecosystems.

-          Forests will cover 50 percent of the country, with at least 30 percent designated as conservation forest and the remaining 20 percent designated as economic forest.

  Long-term (1997-2016) Goals concerning mitigating ozone depletion are:

-          Pollutants in ambient air will remain within designated standards, particularly carbon monoxide, beginning in the year 1997.

-         The concentration of air pollutants in industrial zones and general communities, particularly sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, will be within designated standards. 

Target Dates to Halt the Application of CFCs in Thailand

Ozone Depleting Substance

Target Date to Halt Application

CFC 11, 12 in maintenance and refills

2010

  Long-term (1997-2016) Goals concerning mitigating transboundary air pollution:

Air quality in pollution control zones and urban areas, particularly dust, will be within designated Ambient Air Quality Standards. In particular, dust contamination in general areas will have an annual average of not more than 0.1 mg/m3, and dust contamination in roadside areas will have a maximum 24-hour average concentration of not more than 0.3 mg/m3.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

NGOs have carried out studies on the negative health effects resulting from air pollution. NGOs and the private sector have participated in efforts to strengthen the scientific basis for decision-making, promote sustainable development, and prevent stratospheric ozone depletion. Agencies involved include the Department of Industrial Works, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank.

Among the nine major groups, the groups involved in decision-making are as follows:

Group

Role

How participation is ensured

Business and industry

Managers

Through law enforcement &  monitoring

Scientific and technological community

Research & development

Budget funding

Local authorities

Local law enforcement

Constitution:  Decentralization of power to local governmen

 The major groups which are most affected by atmospheric pollution and climate change and the ways in which they are protected from or compensated for the adverse effects of atmospheric pollution are as follows:

Group Most Affected

Protection / Compensation

Urban dwellers

-     Through law enforcement and monitoring of ambient air quality standards, emission standards, fuel quality standards, and lubricant quality standards

-      Promotion of unleaded gasoline

-      Installation of exhaust filtration equipment in vehicles

-     Examination of pollutants emitted from vehicles before extending registration

-     Control of pollutants from industrial facilities

-     Establishing categories of industry subject to pollution control

-     Periodically supplementing and revising industrial emission standards

Residents of rapidly developing areas

-          Through law enforcement and monitoring of ambient air quality standards, emission standards, fuel quality standards, and lubricant quality standards

-             Promotion of unleaded gasoline

-            Installation of exhaust filtration equipment in vehicles

-           Control of pollutants from industrial facilities

-            Establishing categories of industry subject to pollution control

-            Periodically supplementing and revising industrial emission standards

Residents around electric generating plants

-            Installation of smoke filtration equipment

-            Through law enforcement and monitoring of ambient air quality standards, emission standards, fuel quality standards, and lubricant quality standards

-           Control of pollutants from industrial facilities 

Programmes and Projects 

Thailand has been a party to the Montreal Protocol since 1989 and has ratified subsequent Amendments to the Protocol. Thailand, as an Article 5 country under the Protocol, is eligible for assistance from the Multilateral Fund. Two implementing agencies, the World Bank and UNDP, work in Thailand to channel funds and equipment from the Multilateral Fund to industries in Thailand. As of December 1996, under UNEP, two projects have been completed, and under the World Bank, four solvent cleaning projects have received funding. Phase II of the domestic refrigerator projects have been submitted recently for consideration by the 21st Executive Committee.

Implementation of high priority environmental projects to address air pollution include:

-          Project for the Preparation of Measures and Directions in Prevention and Resolution of Air and  Noise Pollution

-          Project for the Inspection and Monitoring of Air and Noise Pollution

-          Prescription and Improvement of Air and Noise Pollution Control Standards Project

-           Preparation and Improvement of Air and Noise Pollution Data Base System Project  

 

Introduced to Industrial Activities: 

-                                  Ambient lead levels have dropped sharply since the phase-out of leaded gasoline.

 

-                                  Despite significant increases in vehicular population, CO levels have declined slightly over recent years due to fleet modernization, enforcement of emissions standards, reduced traffic congestion, and improvements in fuel quality.

 

-                                  Sulfur dioxide emissions have declined. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) introduced a comprehensive policy for environmental protection. Environmental compliance of EGAT’s power generating plants has improved and emissions have begun to decline.

 

-                                  Energy conservation programs lower energy requirements significantly. A 1992 Energy Conservation Promotion Act increased commitment and resources available to implement a comprehensive national energy efficiency program.

 

-                                  Adoption of Demand Side Management (DSM) programs targeting appliances in six categories that significantly contribute to Thailand’s electricity demand growth - lighting measures, air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, ballast, and motors.

 

-                                  Growing number of Thai firms actively complying with ISO 14000 standards: 121 enterprises currently certified ISO 14000 compliant; 41 in the electronics sector.

 

-                                  Several baseline studies have been undertaken to establish the 19909 baseline data and to develop a country strategy for GHG.

 

-                                  An energy conservation fund aimed at big buildings has been established.

 

Source:  Pollution Control Department and the World Bank, January 2000

Introduced to Agricultural Activities

-                                 In 1992, the Thai Government classified forest reserves totaling 23.5 million ha into 3 distinct zones: conservation zone, economic zone (commercial or productive forests), and agricultural zone.

-                                 The Thai Government intends to increase the coverage of the protected areas from 16 to19 percent of the total land area, through the addition of 50 terrestrial national parks, 15 wildlife sanctuaries, and 3 non-hunting areas.

-                                 The Thai Cabinet approved watershed classification maps (using 1 sq km grids) and land use regulations for all regions in 1992.  

-                                 Long-term sustainable development of land is being stressed through crop diversification and other programs, including organic farming and other appropriate farming systems.

-                                 Distribution of vetiver grass and other crops by the Department of Land Development totaling 41.8 million plants, between1994 and 1996.

-                                 Diversified agriculture is now given priority over extensive mono cropping of cash crops.

-                                 Policies adopted related to promoting environmentally friendly land use practices:

-                                 Effective use of land resources for various activities, based on their capacity and environmental conditions throughout the country.

-                                 Conserve, rehabilitate, and develop degraded soils, and land, to be a resource base for sustainable development, by accelerating rehabilitation of infertile soils, and by mitigating soil erosion in coastal areas.

-                                 Conserve and utilize areas containing unique ecosystems and geology

-                                 Plans for the expansion of human settlements are reviewed by provincial level land use and provincial development committees and municipal authorities, as well as town and country planning officials, for their impacts on landscape (open space); forest lands; wetlands; and, biological diversity in coastal areas.  Provincial land use plans are reviewed and revised every 5 years by the Department of Town and Country Planning working in collaboration with provincial, district, sub-district, municipal, and sanitary district authorities, with the participation of provincial and sub-district administrative organizations and district councils.

-                                 The Office of Environmental Policy and Planning has developed policies and guidelines for the effective use of land resources for various activities, based on their capacity and environmental conditions. The “Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016” was approved by the Thai Cabinet in 1997. Among these policies are included the following:

-                                 Protect soils from degradation and loss and rehabilitate soil quality;

-                                 Increase effective land use practices that are relevant to soil capacity;

-                                 Conserve and protect areas that are suitable for agriculture; at least 35 percent of the country’s total area, with 25 percent designated for farming and 10 percent for pasture, through the use of legal and fiscal measures to preserve and protect fertile agricultural areas;

-                                 Promote and support suitable agricultural land use practices through providing incentives for agricultural development that supports natural resources and environmental conservation;

Through the Eighth National Economic and Social Development Plan, the Thai Government is supporting the adoption of natural agricultural systems. Biological and ecological controls are the main tools to improve productivity and assure sustainable land use. The target is for at least 20 percent of planted area to be under natural farming systems by the end of the plan period in 2001.

Measures or changes that have been introduced to land-use practices in Thailand, with the aim of protecting the atmosphere, include the following:

 Measures or changes that have been introduced to prevent further depletion of the ozone layer are: 

Measures or changes that have been  taken to increase greenhouse gas sinks (e.g. forests, marine resources, etc.) are as follows:  

Thailand’s 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan (1997-2001) places a strong emphasis on sustainable development through strengthening the capacity of human resources for sustainable forest management.  The principal objectives of the Eighth Plan include: 

(i)    To preserve and rehabilitate conservation forests to cover at least 25 percent of land area, and to maintain mangrove forests to be not less than 160,000 hectares; and,

(ii)                (ii) To promote and expand total forest cover to 40 percent of land area.

Status 

The general impact of atmospheric changes in Thailand on human health, settlements, ecosystems, and economic activities has been minimal. No major impacts have been reported.

Thailand's government has remained active in its efforts to curb the import of various ozone depleting substances (ODSs), such as CFCs and halon, according to the provisions of its Country Programme (an official phase out schedule for the country) as well as working to motivate industries to cooperate in the phasing out process. The Department of Industrial Works (DIW) has set quotas for each of these substances (CFC quotas began in 1993 and Halon quotas began in 1996) in order to control the ODSs entering Thailand. From 1994 to 1995, the amount of CFCs imported into Thailand decreased by approximately 1800 MT and the amount of halon imported into Thailand decreased by 60 MT. Thailand has also made strides towards increasing public awareness among industries. During Ozone Day, 16 September 1996, DlW organized a seminar in which industries were given the opportunity to learn about new alternatives to ODSs as well as share their experiences of changing to non-ODS technology.

Most recently, DIW has sent to Cabinet a new regulation which bans CFCs in the production of new domestic refrigerators beginning 1 January 1997. This landmark regulation represents a conclusion to the close cooperation between DIW, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to improve standards for the new R-134a compressor which domestic refrigerator manufacturers in Thailand will be using in the future.

At the national level, the early detection system and the capacity to predict climate changes and fluctuations are rated as "poor" and national level capacity-building and training to perform systematic observations and assessments is rated " adequate." The Government has provided training opportunities in the area of transboundary atmospheric pollution control. The DIW, the Pollution Control Department (PCD) and the Industrial Estates Authority of Thailand (IEAT) share responsibility for improving environmental practices, including pollution control, waste minimization, wastewater treatment, and toxic waste practices in all plants, especially those with ten or more workers. In terms of transboundary atmospheric pollution, the country's capacity for observation, assessment, and research is rated as "poor," while its rating on information exchange is "good." Seminars have been held in the Aerosol and Haitian sectors, as well as on Ozone Day. These seminars discussed alternatives to ozone depleting substances.

The National Energy Policy Office has achieved the following targets to prevent and solve environmental problems resulting from energy development and utilization, namely:

-        The distribution of fuel oil has no more than 2.0 percent of sulfur content for grades 1-4 and no more than 0.5 percent for grade 5, in additional provinces including the Bangkok Metropolitan Region.

-           The distribution of non-corrosive (low sulfur) diesel 0.05 percent by weight has been available nationwide since 1 January 1999

-         Switching from fossil fuels to gases: Thailand now purchases electricity from Laos, gas from Myanmar, and strengthened the power agreement with Malaysia, reducing emission of CO2 from the power sector by between 15 and 30 percent.

-         Improved mass transit systems in urban areas: Thailand is operating its first elevated train system. The expressway system, allowing more rapid flow of vehicles, is already in its third state of development. Mass transit systems in Thailand can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 20 to 100 thousand tons annually.

-         Implementing demand side management in power use: DSM Pilot Programs (1992-1997) saved energy and reduced GHG. By 1995, an estimated 50 MW was saved, with a reduction of 180 thousand tons of CO2.

-        Accelerating reforestation of degraded forest lands: Since 1995, various companies and public groups have reforested more than 120 thousand hectares of land, providing carbon sinks for millions of tons of carbon per year.  

The Pollution Control Department reports the following:

-         Ambient led levels have dropped sharply since the phase-out of leaded gasoline. . Average curbside concentration in 1998 was 0.08 ug/m3 – almost twenty-times less than the 1991 levels of 1.5 ug/m3 

-         The annual mean total suspended particles (TSP) at curbside averaged 480ug/m3 – from 1988-1997, exceeding the annual average standard of 330 ug/m3. In 1998, the annual mean TSP curbside concentration was 370 ug/m3, while the TSP in non-traffic dominated sites was 100 ug/m3.

-          Sulfur dioxide emissions begin to decline: In Mae Moh, 13 lignite power plants with an installed capacity of 2,626 megawatts are responsible for excessive levels of sulfur dioxide. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) introduced a comprehensive policy for environmental protection. Environmental compliance of EGAT’s power generating plants has improved and emissions have begun to decline.

-         Growing number of Thai firms actively complying with ISO 14000 standards: 121 enterprises currently certified ISO 14000 compliant; 41 in the electronics sector. 

At this time, an estimated 16 to 19 percent of the land area of Thailand is covered by the protected area system, totaling approximately 14.4 million hectares (90 million rai).

According to the Department of Energy Development and Promotion, the use of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in Thailand is declining. Consumption of ODS per capita is lass than 0.3kg/year. Based on the import data, ODS consumption trebeled from 2,812 MT ODP (or 14,330 metric tons) in 1986, to 8,863 metric tons ODP (or 15,468 metric tons) in 1991.  

Thailand has made significant progress in phasing out ODS – between 1992 and 1997, imports dropped by more than half to 4,527 metric tons ODP (or 5,186 metric tons). 

Carbon dioxide emissions in Thailand have nearly doubled from 125 million tons in 1990 to about 232 million tons in 1996.

In order to conserve forest and protect biological diversity, Thailand has established a comprehensive protected areas system covering a total area of 10.6 million hectares or 20.6 percent of the land area, that is comprised of the following divisions:

·          124 national parks

·          53 forest parks

·          57 wildlife sanctuaries

 

·          44 non-hunting areas

·          15 botanical gardens

·          22 protected mangrove forests

·          49 arboreta

 

 

 

To achieve reforestation and forest rehabilitation targets, all logging concessions have banned since 1989, and the following actions have been undertaken:  

·          support for alternative agriculture

·          support for watershed management

·          support for community forestry

·          support for community networking

·          improved management through harmonizing in situ human settlements and forest conservation

·          community and civil society participation in natural resources management

To accelerate reforestation and forest rehabilitation, the Government initiated a Reforestation Campaign to Commemorate the Royal Golden Jubilee of the Coronation of the King of Thailand that was celebrated beginning in 1994.  The target for reforestation was 80,000 hectares at various sites including: along 50,000 km of roads and highways; schools; government offices; religious compounds; parks; recreation areas; riversides; around dams and reservoirs; and in degraded forests.  

Challenges

Air pollution in Thailand is most severe in Bangkok Metropolitan Region. Particulates smaller than 10 microns (PM10) are now considered the priority air pollutant. The annual mean total suspended particles (TSP) at curbside averaged 480ug/m3 – from 1988-1997, exceeding the annual average standard of 330 ug/m3. In 1998, the annual mean TSP curbside concentration was 370 ug/m3, while the TSP in non-traffic dominated sites was 100 ug/m3.  

Maximum PM10 levels remain above the standard of 120 ug/m3. In 1998, the daily standard forPM10 was exceeded 12 percent of the time at the curbside monitors and 6 percent at non-traffic dominated sites. The major sources of PM10 are industrial boilers (29 percent), motor vehicles (23 percent), and re-entrained dust from roads (33 percent). The one and eight-hour average concentrations of curbside ambient CO only occasionally exceed the standards (less than 1 percent).  

A number of recent studies have shown that air pollutants have increased mortality and mobidity, most notably in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region. One study[1] reports that the Bangkok populations has been adversely affected by increases in particulate matter – with an estimated 5,000 premature deaths annually. 

The Mae Moh valley has recorded an unusual number of deaths from heart failure and a high incidence of chronic respiratory problems. In one 1998 incident, 400 villagers were hospitalized as local SO2 levels of 2,200 ug/m3 per hour were reported (compared to standards of 1,300 ug/m3). 

Capacity building is an integral part of technology transfer and is very important in enabling Thailand to participate effectively in the climate change convention. Climate change issues are relatively recent and very dynamic and complex. New technical issues are constantly emerging. The dynamic nature of the issues and their technical complexity require that national experts be updated continuously to ensure the latest developments are closely followed. Capacity building for national staff is vital if Thailand is to play its proper role in the global efforts to address climate change. Specific technology required to enhance the capacity of local institutions in Thailand include the following: 

·        development of local emission factors for inventory assessment in different sectors

·        skills in comprehensive vulnerability assessment

·        skills in choosing suitable mitigation and adaptation options

·        skills in dealing with CDM related issues

·        skills in operating transferred technologies 

Property rights or patent issues are a serious constraint to technology transfer, and unless these issues are resolved favorably, technology transfer could result in the erosion of financial resources of recipient countries. Capacity building also could be limited only to operations and could stifle innovation. The capacity of recipients to develop their own technology or to adapt imported technology utilizing local resources must therefore be supported.  

Among the potential barriers to technology transfer in Thailand are the recent economic crisis and the lack of information networks. The economic crisis, for instance, has forced the government to cut the budgets of public agencies, thereby seriously constraining their proposed action plans or development programs. Another potential barrier to technology transfer in Thailand is the insufficient flow of technical and financial information related to climate change technology. There is a need to regularly update and disseminate the technical and financial information available to the related agencies as well as to the general public. The regular and up-to-date information flow requires not only sufficient human resources, but also good information systems and strong international support.


[1] Sources: “Building Partnerships for Environmental and Natural Resource Management” Environmental Sector Strategy Note, World Bank, 1999; “Can the Environment Wait? Priorities for East Asia,” World Bank, 1997;
“Thailand: Mitigating Pollution and Congestion Impacts in a High-Growth Economy,” World Bank, 1994.

 

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

 Problems that have arisen from the rapid expansion of conservation forest areas include:

-         Declaration of protected areas lack satisfactory demarcation; hens, the boundaries are unclear to local communities;

-         The extended boundaries often include deforested land occupied by farmers, an this has created social conflicts; and,

-         The rapid expansion of conservation forest areas was not complemented by an increase in human resources and administrative support, so protection remains inadequate.

The recent expansion of protected areas was not sufficiently supported with ground-truth surveys, and the declaration of new protected area frequently contradicts actual land use and occupation.  

From Thailand’s Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016:

-        Current reforestation efforts do not compensate for deforestation; and, reforestation is undertaken using mainly using a single species.

-        The degradation and encroachment of forests is occurring for many reasons, including: 

·          land speculation

·          expansion of agricultural lands

·          ineffective implementation of government policies

·          non-systematic and non-standardized information on forest cover

·          ineffective implementation of the watershed classification system

·          conflict between national forest policy and national land policy

·          polices emphasizing basic infrastructure development national security tourism promotion establishment of commercial monoculture plantations for export

·          ineffective enforcement of natural resource management laws and regulations

 

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising     

On the issue of natural resources and environmental conservation, Thailand’s approach to education and public awareness comes in various ways. At the most fundamental level, there are government agencies that disseminate information on the issues to the public through different media including newspapers, radio, television, posters, and other means. Campaigns are launched intensively on appropriate occasions and public participation is solicited to the greatest extent possible. A basic knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues is emphasized in the educational system. 

Public awareness on environmental issues such as climate change is raised through a systematic dissemination of information. In addition, public awareness is enhanced through direct participation in natural resources conservation and environmental protection activities. Thailand encourages different parties, public and private, to actively participate in natural resources and environmental management, as well as in discussions and activities related to climate change. 

Since the early 1990s, Thailand has strongly supported the role of NGOs in natural resources and environmental management. Workshops and on-the-job training were organized by NGOs in many areas. Increasing concern over the rapid deterioration of the environment in recent years have also induced the private sector to actively participate in environmental conservation activities. Thus, public awareness and actions to promote environmental protection have become an interactive process. 

Since UNCED in 1992, Thailand has been in the forefront of developing countries in climate change research. Since the early 1990, studies related to climate change impacts and greenhouse gases have been conducted by various research and academic institutes. Collaborative research has been organized to exchange knowledge and experience on climate change issues.

 In 1990, a National Committee on Climate Change was established to advise on matters concerning the UNFCCC and to recommend a national policy on climate change issues, comprised of representatives from relevant government agencies, experts from academic institutes and NGO representatives.

 Greenhouse gases are being reduced through the following:

-                                 Switching from fossil fuels to gases

-                                 Improving mass transit systems in urban areas

-                                 Implementing demand-side management in power use

-                                 Accelerating reforestation of degraded forest lands

-                                 Protecting conservation forests and watershed areas

-                                 Public campaigns on global environment protection

In Thailand, NGOs that are registered with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment are eligible for financial support from the Environment Fund to pursue development activities. The Thai government has continuously encouraged NGOs to apply for support from the Fund to carry out natural resource and environmental development projects and activities. Although there are more than 200 NGOs working in the field of natural resources and environment, only about one-half of them have been registered. These NGOs are actively coordinating with local communities and related government agencies in promoting sustainable development. 

Public awareness on natural resources conservation and environment protection also has increased through the efforts of the private sector. In cooperation with the Royal Forest Department and local communities, the private sector participated actively in the reforestation/afforestation program to celebrate the King’s 50th year of accession to the throne. Likewise, voluntary private sector programs on green labeling and clean technology have contributed indirectly to public education and awareness of natural resources and environmental issues.

 Specific education and other awareness efforts include: 

-         The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment is presently cooperating with the Ministry of Education to further expand natural resources and environmental studies in the educational curricula at all levels. Twenty-one regional centers for environmental education have been established across the country to promote environmental education system.

-         Additionally, NEPO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, has launched programs for conserving energy and natural resources in schools to integrate energy saving and natural resources preservation awareness in the educational curricula. For instance, a 5-year Dawn Project was launched in 1997 with a total budget of nearly 300 million baht to promote education in energy and natural resources conservation at the schools.

-        The Royal Thai Government has encouraged students to exchange experiences and information through an Internet website called SchoolNet. Managed by the NECTEC. SchoolNet, the first online educational resource in Asia, was launched in Thailand in 1995 to support human resource development under the 8th Plan. The project provided Internet access to 2,500 secondary schools across the country by 1999, and aims to cover an additional 5,000 primary and the vocational schools by 2000. The project has received strong support from private companies and public enterprises. There are currently more than 1,300 schools registered as the members of the network.

During the 7th Plan period, Thailand concentrated on strengthening local manpower in science and technology to support national development. The country also promoted the use of new technologies to increase industrial and agricultural productivity and used fiscal policy measures to promote environmentally friendly technologies. Total investment in the direct procurement of technology, machines, and equipment under the 7th National Plan was several billion baht[2]

Technology transfer in the context of climate change must be viewed differently from the process of technology transfer that occurs in normal trading and commercial activities. Technology transfer in the climate change context must be perceived within the principle of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. Serious consideration must therefore be given to equity issues that could arise from climate change impacts or mitigation measures. The developed countries that are mainly responsible for the present accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere and that are highly capable of adapting to climate change must assist less developed ones like Thailand to cope with the phenomena. Thus the transfer of technology through market mechanisms alone will not be sufficient, and some form of market intervention is necessary. In particular, barriers to technology transfer should be eliminated to enhance favorable conditions. 

In fact, cooperation in climate change research is accompanied by technological transfer and exchange of knowledge to a certain extent. Countries that participate in climate change research, in one way or another, gain certain knowledge and skills. While undertaking climate change research and development, Thailand has been able to access “soft technologies” in terms of improved research methodologies. Thailand also has accumulated knowledge and experience in the Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ) pilot phase. 

Thailand has participated actively in the climate change convention process and has established basic institutional structures, such as a national focal point and a national committee, to handle climate change issues. The institutional setting in Thailand is therefore generally supportive of participation in climate change activities, including the transfer of technology. The domestic political environment is also conducive to international co-operation.

During the 7th Plan period, Thailand concentrated on strengthening local manpower in science and technology to support national development. The country also promoted the use of new technologies to increase industrial and agricultural productivity and used fiscal policy measures to promote environmentally friendly technologies. Total investment in the direct procurement of technology, machines, and equipment under the 7th National Plan was several billion baht[3]

Technology transfer in the context of climate change must be viewed differently from the process of technology transfer that occurs in normal trading and commercial activities. Technology transfer in the climate change context must be perceived within the principle of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. Serious consideration must therefore be given to equity issues that could arise from climate change impacts or mitigation measures. The developed countries that are mainly responsible for the present accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere and that are highly capable of adapting to climate change must assist less developed ones like Thailand to cope with the phenomena. Thus the transfer of technology through market mechanisms alone will not be sufficient, and some form of market intervention is necessary. In particular, barriers to technology transfer should be eliminated to enhance favorable conditions. 

In fact, cooperation in climate change research is accompanied by technological transfer and exchange of knowledge to a certain extent. Countries that participate in climate change research, in one way or another, gain certain knowledge and skills. While undertaking climate change research and development, Thailand has been able to access “soft technologies” in terms of improved research methodologies. Thailand also has accumulated knowledge and experience in the Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ) pilot phase. 

 The institutional setting in Thailand is therefore generally supportive of participation in climate change activities, including the transfer of technology. The domestic political environment is also conducive to international co-operation.



[2]  In the first 2 two years of the 7th National Plan, more than 600 billion Baht had already been estimated to be invested in this area (MOSTE, 1997).

[3]  In the first 2 two years of the 7th National Plan, more than 600 billion Baht had already been estimated to be invested in this area (MOSTE, 1997).

 

Information 

The 1994 national inventory of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) represents the second official inventory of GHGs in Thailand. The first official inventory was undertaken for 1990 and was prepared in 1997. Prior to the 1990 inventory, however, the Thai government commissioned a study to assist in its preparation for the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in June 1992. The study was conducted jointly by the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) and the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI). Besides presenting a 1989 inventory of GHGs, the joint TDRI/TEI study evaluated some of the potential impacts of global warming on Thailand and identified various options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 Thailand’s 1994 inventory of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is the result of recent studies conducted by various researchers throughout the country. In estimating the 1994 GHG inventory, the researchers used the 1996 IPCC Revised Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (IPCC, 1997). To the extent possible, the researchers used local activity data to substitute for the default data recommended by the IPCC, thus making the latest estimates more accurate and relevant to the country. 

In the agriculture sector, despite the use of local values for emission factors, cropping periods and harvesting area, the uncertainty of methane estimates remains high. This is due mainly to the extreme spatial and temporal variability of methane fluxes throughout the cropping season; soil characteristics; water and crop management practices; organic matter amendments; and, fertilizer application. Actual measurements of methane emissions conducted in four provinces in different regions of Thailand indicate a wide divergence in results. 

The measurement of enteric methane emitted could have been conducted directly through use of a facemask or respiratory chamber. But in the absence of special facilities and instrumentation, the amount of methane gas produced was indirectly calculated by using emission factors that estimate the amount of energy intake that is converted into methane. The disposal of wastes and the processes employed to treat wastes also give rise to methane, which is produced via anaerobic decomposition of organic matter. The amount of methane emitted therefore depends mainly on the physical characteristics of waste and the anaerobic activities in the waste disposal system and treatment process. Earlier estimates of the amount of CH4 emissions from solid waste disposal indicated much higher figures than is currently estimated. This is due to earlier estimates used to develop theoretical gas yields based on the mass balance approach. These estimates did not incorporate any time factor into the methodology and did not take into account various categories and ages of disposal sites. Present estimates, on the other hand, use the theoretical first-order kinetics method that take into consideration the long period of release, rather than the instantaneous emissions, of methane.  

The estimate of methane emissions from solid waste disposal and wastewater handling has benefited greatly from the availability of more accurate statistics and expanding coverage. The latest estimates of emissions from wastewater treatment, for example, are based on the actual number of factories that use anaerobic wastewater treatment facilities. Moreover, the latest methodology for estimating CH4 emissions from industrial wastewater treatment facilities distinguishes between wastewater and sludge handling systems, thus eliminating the previously substanstial emissions from sludge.  It also indicates the degradable organic component and identifies the fraction of organic sludge handled by drying and composting, a method that eliminates the emissions from sludge handling.

 The amounts of CO2 emitted and sequestered from forests are very difficult to estimate because of complex biological factors and the lack of reliable data, especially with regard to the rate of change of land use, the use of converted forest land, and the biomass density of forests. The amounts of GHGs emitted and sequestered in Thailand during 1994 were estimated using the currently available methodologies developed by the IPCC. Local activity data were used to the maximum extent possible. The IPCC methodology was modified, under specific assumptions, in order to improve the accuracy of estimates and to ensure an accurate reflection of conditions prevailing in local forests. Apart from the difficulty of estimating the area of abandoned land due to lack of inventory data on land use in the past, assumptions were made regarding the amount of carbon uptake from trees or crops planted on abandoned land. Biomass accumulation was also assumed to be faster during the first 20 years and slower thereafter, so that forests are restored to 20 percent of original forest biomass during the first twenty years and reach 80 percent in 100 years.  

Due to the currently limited use of Internet facilities in Thailand, scientific data and information on the protection of the atmosphere and issues concerning climate changes are made available to potential users and decision makers at the national level through annual reports prepared by line agencies of the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment in document form. Inter-active database systems being developed that will make data available on the Internet. In addition, periodic evaluations and research reports are produced by concerned agencies and are made available to the public and relevant individuals at the national level.  

Data on Ambient Air Quality Standards and other related information for Thailand are available on the World Wide Web Site of the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion: http://www.deqp.go.th/english/greendata/index_greendata.htm.

Due to the currently limited use of Internet facilities in Thailand, scientific data and information on the protection of the atmosphere and issues concerning climate changes are made available to potential users and decision makers at the national level through annual reports prepared by line agencies of the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Environment in document form. Inter-active database systems being developed that will make data available on the Internet. In addition, periodic evaluations and research reports are produced by concerned agencies and are made available to the public and relevant individuals at the national level.  

Data on Ambient Air Quality Standards and other related information for Thailand are available on the World Wide Web Site of the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion: http://www.deqp.go.th/english/greendata/index_greendata.htm.

Research and Technologies 

Several Thai research and development organizations are supporting technology transfer and capacity building. The National Science and Technology Development Agency is an important promoter of research and development in the areas of engineering, science and technology that are critical to the country’s development. The Environmental Research and Training Center of the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion provides support for environmental training and promotes research related to climate change related. Other governmental and non-government research and development institutes concerned with various aspects of climate change issues include: the National Research Council, the National Research Fund, the Thailand Productivity Center, and the Thailand Institute for Scientific and Technological Research.      

Thailand is funding the following research programs aimed at promoting a better understanding of the processes and consequences of changes in the atmosphere: 

-                                 Development Project for Appropriate Technology for Treatment and Control of Air Pollution, being implemented by the following organizations: 

-                                 Development Project for Clean Technology for Factories, being implemented by the following organizations:

-                                 Project for the Development of Economic Measures to Reduce Pollution, being implemented by the following organizations:

-                                 Project for Readiness in the Application of Economic Principles in the Management of Industrial Pollution, being implemented by the Department of Industrial Works 

-                                 Project for the Preparation of Measures and Directions in Prevention and Resolution of Air and Noise Pollution, being implemented by the following organizations:

-                 Pollution Control Department

-                            Department of Land Transport

-                Harbor Department

-                            Royal Thai Police Department

-               Local Administration Department

-                            Bangkok Metropolitan Administration

-                Public Works Department

-                             Department of Health

-               Department of Highways

-                             Department of Industrial Works

-              Department of Labor Protection & Welfare

-                                   

 -                                 Project for Inspection and Monitoring Air and Noise Pollution, being implemented by the following organizations:

-             Pollution Control Department

-          Department of Land Transport

-             Harbor Department

-           Royal Thai Police Department

-             Local Administration Department

-           Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand

-             Ministry of University Affairs

-            Department of Health

-             Department of Highways

-            Department of Industrial Works

-             Office of Environmental Policy & Planning

-            Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand

 

-             Concerned Agencies

  -   Project for Prescription and Improvement of Air and Noise Pollution Control Standards, being implemented by the following organizations:

-    Pollution Control Department

-       Royal Thai Police Department

-    Thai Industrial Standards Institute

-       Harbor Department

-    Department of Land Transport

-       Department of Industrial Works

 

 

-           Project for the Preparation and Improvement of Air and Noise Pollution Database, being implemented by thefollowing organizations:

Various types of greenhouse gases are emitted from industrial production processes other than energy combustion activities. These processes involve the chemical or physical transformation of raw materials into intermediate or final products. Thus the amounts and types of GHGs emitted depend on the quantities of raw materials used as well as the nature and conversion efficiency of the manufacturing process. 

Using the mass balance approach to estimating the emission factors for different types of manufacturing processes, GHG emissions were estimated for seven major industries, namely, cement, lime, glass, pulp and paper, iron and steel, petrochemicals, and food and beverage industries. 

In addition, many Thai researchers have examined possible mitigation measures to reduce GHG emissions. Some were able to quantify the potential for GHG emissions reduction, while others were limited only to identifying mitigation options and did not estimate the amount that could be reduced through each measure. In several cases, the suggested mitigation measures were based on studies conducted elsewhere. Hence, their suitability, acceptability and effectiveness to local conditions have yet to be proven. 

The potential mitigation options identified ranged from the generation of electricity from landfills to the chemical treatment of feeds for ruminants. Some were technology based, while others, like the shift from the transplanting of rice seedlings to the direct seeding method in rice cultivation, involved a change in cultural practices. Some estimates showed that GHG emissions could be reduced by as much as 70-80 percent. The potential for reduction was even much larger when the options were combined. Related to rice cultivation, for instance, improved water management and the use of pre-fermented organic matter instead of green manure could reduce total methane emissions by up to 30 percent.

Thailand has tried all means available to promote international co-operation and technology transfer. To support environmental protection, Thailand is now critically evaluating the use of fiscal mechanisms, i.e., environmental taxes through the application of “Polluter Pays Principle” and “User Pays Principle” in the management of natural resources and the environment. At the regional level, Thailand fully supports ASEAN initiatives on climate change.  

The continued development of research and conduct of policy studies pave the way for national initiatives in setting the agenda for research and development related to climate change. Through capacity building and technological transfer, developing countries like Thailand is attempting to meaningfully identify priorities and needs with respect to sustainable development. In this way, the mitigation or adaptation options identified could easily be integrated into the national economic and social development process. 

As domestic development initiatives tend to encounter less resistance than those originating externally, the maximum utilization of local expertise is underway.  

Thailand promoting the use of well-regulated and modern technology to establish databases showing the spread of pollution and to standarize environmental management. 

Research on the development and use of ethanol is taking place among a consortium of academic institutions in Thailand.

The main constraints to developing a more accurate and reliable inventory of greenhouse gases in Thailand are the absence of local emission factors for the key sectors such as agriculture, energy and forests, and the lack of sufficient data for inventory estimation. Thailand also has encountered a problem of identifying people to undertake inventory work on a regular basis. The more complex the inventory methodology, the more difficult it is to find researchers to undertake the work. 

The determination of local emission factors requires intensive research work. While Thailand has conducted extensive research work on emission factors for the rice sector, there is a need to develop local emission factors for other sectors, including livestock, energy, and wastes. The setting up of an international network for information and technological exchange could facilitate this work. Building the capacity of the staff of relevant agencies to update the GHG inventory on regular basis also is vital to enhancing national inventory work.

The national greenhouse gases inventory shows the status of emissions and provides the background for development of mitigation options. In the case of Thailand, mitigation options were identified mainly based on their technical potential, and the so-called “no-regrets” options were used to specify the more practical alternatives for Thailand. The choice of “no-regrets” options has long been adopted as Thailand’s main strategy for climate change. These options do not add higher costs to a particular activity but contribute to climate change benefits. They also conform to Thailand’s sustainable development goals.  

Assessment of vulnerability to climate change and adaptation measures in Thailand is at an early stage of development. Still, technological improvement is critically needed. Experience suggests that the development of regional or sub-regional climate models that reduce the level of uncertainty is vital for reliable vulnerability analysis. Specific models to analyze the vulnerability of major areas such as rice, water resources, forests, coastal resources and health also must be developed to make reasonable scenario assessments. The critical absence of technology in these areas highlights the importance of transferring soft technology. 

Technology transfer is required at all stages of research and development of climate change issues. Thailand has yet to develop experience, knowledge, skills and capacity not only to inventory greenhouse gases, but also to design methods for vulnerability assessment as well as in the conduct of vulnerability assessment itself. Many of the issues cut across several sectors and demand experts in various fields. The implementation of a climate change agreement also requires building different aspects of institutional capacity.

Financing 

Funds and equipment from the multilateral fund of the Montreal Protocol are channeled through implementing agencies such as the World Bank and UNDP. These funds and equipment are used to assist industries in Thailand to change to non-ODS technology.

The percentage of the Thai Government’s budget for the Eighth National Economic and Social Development Plan (1997-2001) allocated to protection of the atmosphere is approximately three percent.

 -                     Sources from outside the country.

 Bilateral and multilateral technical cooperation for climate change in Thailand began in the early 1990s. Most of the assistance was in the form of so-called “soft technologies” to enable Thailand to calculate GHG emissions, and to inventory and identify mitigation options. Some assistance also was used to increase the capacity of local institutions to assess climate change impacts and adaptation options. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the principal source of multilateral funding used to address problems arising from climate change. The GEF has channeled financial support through the ADB, UNDP, UNEP or the World Bank. The amount of assistance, however, has been relatively small compared to the needs and the number of interested ODA.

 Total Assistance to Thailand by Donor Governments, 1993-1997 (US$ thousand) 

Donor

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

Total

Japan

     48,768

   50,665

47,821

     33,292

     32,469

213,015

Germany

       9,742

    9,714

   10,823

    8,858

  12,583

    51,720

United Nations

     22,000

   18,000

   15,000

   12,750

  14,000

    81,750

Denmark

         938

   10,649

   13,417

   10,045

   11,887

   46,935

France

       1,087

     4,485

    3,653

   4,172

    5,156

   18,551

U.S.A.

      8,994

5,867

   3,291

  3,914

   3,580

 25,647

Australia

   11,012

 10,318

  9,886

    6,788

   3,323

 41,327

European Union

    6,407

    9,288

   3,749

  3,723

    2,786

   25,953

Sweden

       746

   2,324

    3,070

     1,161

    2,126

   9,428

Belgium

     8,453

       469

       958

    1,785

     2,077

  13,742

United Kingdom

       763

    1,409

    1,267

        825

     1,061

     5,325

Canada

      1,961

     1,249

    1,187

        980

        833

     6,210

New Zealand

          654

       361

         60

       135

       625

     1,836

Netherlands

          779

       663

        602

         567

        549

     3,159

Austria

            11

 -

           6

        997

        315

     1,329

Finland

 -

          391

           418

 -

 -

          809

Switzerland

         241

        450

          30

        240

            17

        977

Italy

       1,259

         321

 -

 -

 -

     1,579

Others

    29,342

   28,325

   26,201

    22,593

   19,409

125,869

Total

  153,156

 154,947

141,439

112,823

 112,797

   675,162

Source:  National Communication to the UNFCCC, 2000

 The Seventh and Eighth National Economic and Social Development Plans aimed at strengthening human resources in science and technology to support national development, at promoting the adoption of new technology to increase industrial and agricultural productivity, and at increasing the budget for science and technological development.   

In 1991, the National Science and Technology Department Authority (NSTDA) was established with the mission of supporting research, development, and engineering in scientific and technological spheres. The NSTDA has three main goals:  (i) to support public sector research, development and engineering projects; (ii) to support technological strengthening in the private sector, and (iii) to offer scholarships in the fields of science and technology for study abroad and locally. More than one billion baht was allocated to the NSTDA in 1996. 

In addition to NSTDA, the Chulabhorn Research Institute, an autonomous, multidisciplinary institute, which was established in 1987, has been in the forefront in basic as well as applied scientific research development in Thailand.  

To develop capacity building for small and medium scale industries, the Ministry of Industry and the Board of Investment Unit for Industrial Linkage Development organised training workshops in 18 provinces to strengthen the capacity of local entrepreneurs. The industrial development linkage project also established to facilitate technological linkages between industries. Support has been provided to the industries to obtain access to technologies from the international market. 

Cooperation

The Thai Government has not taken any initiative within the framework of the United Nations and its regional commissions to convene a regional conference on transportation and the environment, except for participating in a few seminars on "Vehicle Emission Control", sponsored by the World Bank. In the area of transboundary atmospheric pollution, regional, multilateral and bilateral agreements are being approved and discussed. United Nations bodies and intergovernmental organizations have participated in efforts to strengthen the scientific basis for decision making, promote sustainable development, prevent stratospheric ozone depletion, and reduce transboundary atmospheric pollution. There was a Trilateral Conference between the Department of Industrial Works (Thailand), the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry on CFCs.

Thailand has participated actively in the climate change convention process and has established basic institutional structures, such as a national focal point and a national committee, to handle climate change issues.

Bilateral and multilateral technical cooperation for climate change in Thailand began in the early 1990s. Most of the assistance was in the form of so-called “soft technologies” to enable Thailand to calculate GHG emissions, and to inventory and identify mitigation options. Some assistance also was used to increase the capacity of local institutions to assess climate change impacts and adaptation options. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is the principal source of multilateral funding used to address problems arising from climate change. The GEF has channeled financial support through the ADB, UNDP, UNEP or the World Bank. The amount of assistance, however, has been relatively small compared to the needs and the number of interested ODA.

Total Assistance to Thailand by Donor Governments, 1993-1997 (US$ thousand)

Donor

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

Total

Japan

     48,768

   50,665

47,821

     33,292

     32,469

213,015

Germany

      9,742

   9,714

   10,823

    8,858

  12,583

    51,720

United Nations

     22,000

   18,000

   15,000

   12,750

  14,000

    81,750

Denmark

         938

   10,649

   13,417

   10,045

   11,887

   46,935

France

       1,087

     4,485

    3,653

   4,172

    5,156

   18,551

U.S.A.

      8,994

5,867

   3,291

  3,914

   3,580

 25,647

Australia

   11,012

 10,318

  9,886

    6,788

   3,323

 41,327

European Union

    6,407

    9,288

   3,749

  3,723

    2,786

   25,953

Sweden

       746

   2,324

    3,070

     1,161

    2,126

   9,428

Belgium

     8,453

       469

       958

    1,785

     2,077

  13,742

United Kingdom

       763

    1,409

    1,267

        825

     1,061

     5,325

Canada

      1,961

     1,249

    1,187

        980

        833

     6,210

New Zealand

          654

       361

         60

       135

       625

     1,836

Netherlands

          779

       663

        602

         567

        549

     3,159

Austria

            11

 -

           6

        997

        315

     1,329

Finland

 -

          391

           418

 -

 -

          809

Switzerland

         241

        450

          30

        240

            17

        977

Italy

       1,259

         321

 -

 -

 -

     1,579

Others

    29,342

   28,325

   26,201

    22,593

   19,409

125,869

Total

  153,156

 154,947

141,439

112,823

 112,797

   675,162

Source:  National Communication to the UNFCCC, 2000

The progress Thailand has made in ratifying international treaties related to the protection of the atmosphere is as follo

    The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:

- Thailand ratified in 1994.

    1997 Kyoto Protocol:   

                        - Under consideration. 

    1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, as amended:

                        - Thailand ratified in 1989.

In addition, Thailand is party to the following conventions related to the prevention of transboundary air pollution: 

* * *

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

Information on air pollution prevention projects is provided from Thailand's Pollution Control Department
Click here for national information from the Web Site of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For the access to the Web Site of the Ozone Secretariat, click here:

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BIODIVERSITY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Department of Fisheries is responsible for aquatic fauna in Thai Waters (including Crocodiles). The Department of Fisheries has adequate capacity and technological inputs in regards to aquatic fauna. Traders, aquaculturists, and crocodile farmers are involved.

In accordance with the decision of the UNCD, the Royal Forest Department (RFD) has formed a committee to consider biological diversity issues. Currently, RFD is in the process of establishing an office to handle implementation in cooperation with the National Committee on the Convention in Biological Diversity which is the national biodiversity governing body under the National Environmental Board.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The Convention on Biological Diversity was signed by Thailand in 1992. The Convention has not yet been ratified. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed in 1975 and ratified in 1983.

Programmes and Projects 

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.

In terms of wildlife conservation under CITES, the Human Resources Institute (HRI) is cooperating with the Botany and Weed Science Division in identifying varieties of indigenous fruit crops and vegetable and medicinal plants. To conserve threatened species, 9 kinds of fruit crops (119 varieties) in areas prone to flooding in central Thailand have been collected. Germplasm gardens have been established. Morphology studies are now being implemented. HRJ also cooperates with the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) in the collection of introduced varieties.

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For information on forest biodiversity in Thailand, click here:
For information on wildlife sanctuaries in Thailand, click here:
For information on national parks in Thailand click here:
For information on biodiversity from Thailand's National Science and Technoloy Development Agency, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the Convention on Biological Diversity, click here:
For access to the Web Site of the CITES Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the CMS Convention, click here:
For the Web Site of the Convention on the Protection of the World's Cultural and Natural Heritage, click here:
For the country-by-country, Man in the Biosphere On-Line Query System, click here:

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DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification Particularly in Africa has not yet been signed by the Thai Government. The Government has designated representatives to participate in the various meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Desertification Convention. Thailand is very much interested in becoming a party to the Convention and is in the process of acceding to it as an associate member. It is conducting many programmes and activities that are in line with the objectives of the Convention. They include land use planning in several watershed areas, conservation of land and water programmes, the establishment of land development villages, etc.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

Major groups involved in desertification issues include the Government Department of Land Development and the agricultural organization Volunteers of Land Conservation at the local level in villages.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Capacity building and technology issues in Thailand include: land use planning, and land and water conservation. The budget for sustainable land management is derived from the Thai Government. In terms of regional and international cooperation the following organizations assist Thailand in its efforts to combat desertification: the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the International Board of Soil Resources and Management (OSTROM IBSRAM).

* * *

This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

For access to the Web Site of the Convention to Combat Desertification and Drought, click here:

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ENERGY

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

 The government offices responsible for making decisions concerning energy issues in general and energy-related aspects of atmosphere and transportation are: 

In 1986, the Thai Cabinet established the National Energy Policy Council (NEPC) to take responsibility for energy policies and measures, having the National Energy Policy Office (NEPO) acting at the Secretariat.  In 1992, NEPO was established as a permanent department under the Office of the Prime Minister to enhance its efficiency and its flexibility in recommending energy policies to cope with the rapidly changing energy situation.  

NEPO has responsibilities under three pieces of legislation, namely: the National Energy Policy Council Act, 1992; the Royal Decree on the solution and Prevention of Petroleum Oil Shortage, 1973; and, the Energy Conservation Promotion Act, 1992. Under this legal framework, NEPO is responsible for recommending policies, development plans, and measures related to the energy sector to the NEPC, which is chaired by the Prime Minister. In addition, NEPO is responsible for coordinating and monitoring policy implementation of other energy-related agencies.  

Two committees have been established to assist NEPC with its work, namely: the Energy Policy Committee and the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund committee. NEPO performs the duties as a Secretariat for these committees.  

Management of the energy sector is coordinated through consideration of operations, plans, projects, and programs being submitted to NEPC for consideration and approval. 

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Legislation / Year

Coverage

Factory Act, 1992

Prescribing emission standards for factories.

 

 

Industrial Products Standards Act, 1968

Prescribing quality standards of lube oil, emission standards of new gasoline and diesel engines automobiles and motorcycles, production and maintenance of LPG tanks.

 

 

Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act, 1992

Establishing air and noise quality standards; and, mitigation measures for air and noise pollution.

 

 

Fuel Storage Act, 1971

Establishing guidelines to ensure safety in fuel storage areas and fuel transportation.

 

 

Revolutionary Decree No. 28, dated 29 December 1971

Concerning the filling, transport, and storage of LPG.

 

 

Revolutionary Decree No. 58

Providing instructions on safety in electricity distribution.

 

 

Commodities Export and Import Act, 1979

Concerning the export and import of fuel and LPG.

 

 

Energy Conservation Promotion Act, 1992

Stipulating the implementation of energy conservation measures in designated factories and buildings; supporting energy conservation efforts, including activities on renewable energy projects, energy-related research and development, and human resources development.

The Energy Conservation Promotion Fund, under the Energy Conservation Promotion Act, 1992, provides subsidies to government agencies, state enterprises, educational institutions, and private organizations, to be used for energy conservation programs. 

The principal elements of Thailand's sustainable energy strategy include the following[1]: 

a)             Promote exploration and optimum development of domestic petroleum resources.

b)             Intensify the implementation of energy conservation measures, on a continuous basis, to achieve the targets set.

c)             Promote the use of renewable energy and domestic by-product energy as well as promote the recycling of used materials or products in order to reduce energy consumption in the processing of raw materials.

d)             Support research and development for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, including the transfer of proven technologies and development of human resources in the field of energy conservation to accommodate potential increases in demand in the future. 


[1] National Energy Policy Office, 1997

i)                    Strategies for Energy Development (1999-2001), under the Eighth National Economic and Social Development Plan, 1997-2001:

- Provide an adequate amount of energy to satisfy the increasing demand at reasonable prices while ensuring quality and security of supply through the following measures:

- Promote and encourage exploration and development of petroleum and coal resources.

                - Negotiate with neighboring countries on energy development.

- Consider an appropriate level for long-term oil stockpiling to ensure the energy security of the country:

- Promote efficient and economical use of energy

- Promote competition in the energy supply industry and increase the role of the private sector, including:

- Prevent and solve environmental problems resulting from energy development and utilization, as well as improve safety of energy-related activities.

- Develop legislation related to energy and energy administration mechanisms, including the drafting of legislation for establishment of an Independent Regulatory Body in the energy sector, following privatization, to streamline the regulation of the electric and gas supply industries.

ii)                    Energy Conservation Program:

- The Energy Conservation Promotion Fund (ENCON Fund) was established in 1992 with funding from the following sources: funds transferred from the Petroleum Fund; levies imposed on petroleum product producers and importers at a rate determined by the NEPC; surcharges on power consumption; government subsidies at times; remittances from the private sector in the country and abroad; and, interest incurred from the ENCON Fund. 

- The Energy Conservation Program was established in 1994 to set guidelines, criteria, conditions, and priorities for the ENCON Fund allocation. During the fiscal year period 1995-1999, the total allocation from the ENCON Fund was 19,286 million baht. 

- During the period 1995-1999, the Energy Conservation Program was comprised of three sub-programs (Compulsory, Voluntary, and Complementary), and ten main projects, as follows:

Compulsory Program

Voluntary Program

Complementary Program

·            Existing designated factories and buildings

·            Renewable Energy and Rural Industries

·            Human Resources Development

·            Designated factories and buildings under design or construction

·            Industrial Liaison

·            Public Awareness Campaign

·            Existing non-designated factories and buildings

·            Research and Development

·            Management and Monitoring

·            Government buildings

 

 

Responsible Agency:

 Department of Energy Development and Promotion

Responsible Agency: 

National Energy Policy Office

Responsible Agency: 

National Energy Policy Office

Source: National Energy Policy Office, 1997

iii)                    Thailand Energy Demand and Supply Outlook:

Reserves

a)      Natural Gas, Condensate, and Crude Oil Reserves in Thailand (as of December 1998) 

Natural Gas (billion cubic feet)

 

Proven Reserves

Probable & Possible Reserves

Total Reserves

Offshore

10,899

22,719

33,618

On-shore

865

1,116

1,981

Total

11,764

23,835

35,599

 

 

 

 

Crude Oil (million barrels)

Offshore

66

202

268

On-shore

80

114

194

Total

146

316

462

 

 

 

 

Condensate (million barrels)

Offshore

206

384

590

Source: National Energy Policy Office, 2000

b)      Lignite:  The total reserve volume of lignite is 2,276 million tons.

Supply

a)             Natural gas: Most natural gas fields are offshore, but a few are on-shore. Since 1998, natural gas has been imported from Myanmar. It is expected that natural gas production will increase from a level of 1,699 MMCFD in 1998, to 2,200 to 2,500 MMCFD during the period 2000-2011.

b)             Condensate: The volume of condensate depends on the production of natural gas in the Gulf of Thailand. It is expected that the production volume will increase from a level of 46,340 barrels/day in 1998 to 65,150 barrels / day in 2006, and will continually decline to a level of 45,750 barrels/day in 2011.

c)             Crude oil: Production is from three fields: The Sirikit field is expected to be constant at a level of 18,000 to 25,000 barrels/day during the period 1998-2001. The Tantawan field is estimated to have a production level of 5,000 to 7,000 barrels /day during the period 1998-2007. The Benjamas field, where production began in mid-1999, has a production capacity of 8,000 barrels/day.

d)     Lignite: Production of lignite by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand at Mae Moh to be used as fuel in power generation will be constant at a level of 11.1-14.6 million tons during the period 1998-2011. Production in other basins will decrease from a level of 5.58 million tons in 1998, to 3.37 million tons in 2006, and to 0.61 million tons in 2011. If new lignite supplies are developed, the production capacity is projected to be at a level of 4-6 million tons in the next ten years

Demand

Demand, Production, and Net Import of Primary Commercial Energy (unit: Ktoe):

Year

1997

1998

2001

2006

2011

Growth Rate (%)*

Energy Source

 

 

 

 

 

1997-01

2002-06

2007-11

Production

26,115

26,151

26,190

29,690

26,318

3.1

2.5

-2.4

Crude

1,370

1,468

1,773

1,618

1,605

6.0

-1.8

-0.2

Condensate

2,035

2,105

2,558

3,045

2,150

9.5

3.5

-6.7

Natural Gas

14,017

15,219

14,932

16,985

15,766

5.6

2.6

-1.5

Lignite

7,123

6,232

6,058

6,848

5,475

-1.7

2.5

-4.4

Hydro

1,569

1,127

870

1,194

1,323

-11.5

6.5

2.1

Import/Export

35,927

30,440

39,402

52,758

74,217

1.2

6.0

7.1

Crude

36,370

33,905

42,603

44,175

45,784

6.2

0.7

0.7

Petrol Products

-1,493

-3,821

-8,958

-2,232

7,615

-

-2.43

-

Condensate

-1,068

-819

-2,175

-2,661

-1,766

14.7

4.1

-7.9

Natural Gas

0

18

5,802

7,345

8,887

-

4.8

3.9

Coal

2,054

1,019

1,885

5,889

12,187

-5.0

25.6

15.7

Electricity

64

138

244

244

1,511

28.9

0.0

44.0

Consumption

58,674

54,368

59,839

76,564

97,334

1.3

5.1

4.9

Crude & Petrol Products

 

34,003

 

30,486

 

30,596

 

38,103

 

48,113

 

-2.3

 

4.5

 

4.8

Natural Gas

14,026

15,237

20,187

24,285

28,725

12.2

3.8

3.4

Lignite & Coal

9,012

7,380

7,943

12,737

17,662

-1.9

9.9

6.8

Hydro & Elec.

1,632

1,266

1,114

1,438

2,834

-7.8

5.2

14.5

Import / Consumption(%)

61.2

56.0

65.8

68.9

76.3

-

-

-

*  These periods correspond to the Thai National Economic and Social Development Plans

Source:  National Energy Policy Office, 2000

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

In practice, the role of these groups in decision-making is very limited. The central government formulates and implements all measures. However, policies or projects that will affect the public are discussed in public hearings, to obtain views and comments to be incorporated in the final version of the policies, projects, or implementation guidelines.

The private sector is involved totally in energy production and distribution. Its role is coordinated with the state through representation on the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund Committee and the National Environment Board as well as numerous national committees, sub-committees, and boards.

Most NGOs and locally influential politicians tend to play major roles in objecting to constructing energy projects At present, there is strong opposition to the construction of coal-fired power plants, natural gas pipelines, and large-scale dams.

Programmes and Projects 

One of the ongoing and expanding Government initiatives intended to change consumption patterns is the National Energy Conservation Programme. Concern for energy conservation is growing. Tax exemption is provided for investment in all environmental protection and energy saving equipment. In terms of "material efficiency," producers are affected by government policies. In terms of "energy efficiency" and "waste reduction, reuse and recycling" producers, local authorities, households, and the central government are targeted by new policies.

The Voluntary Program, particularly the Renewable Energy Project such as the promotion of biogas production using pig manure, which can generate electricity for on-site use, and power generation using PV cells for schools outside the grid-system; and, promotion of solar energy use, such as PV pumping for villager water supply in rural areas. 

The Promotion of Renewable Energy Utilization Project under the Voluntary Program, in particular a new project on the Promotion of Small Power Producers (SPP) Using Renewable Energy, with a pilot period of 5 to 7 years, and a target of 300 MW of electricity to be connected to the grid.

Several research an development projects under the Voluntary Program, such as the biomass energy promotion program, that focuses on the use of agricultural wastes as an energy source; and, on solar energy, with a feasibility study being conducted on the utilization of hybrid power systems in remote areas or areas beyond the grid system.

The main programs undertaken to cut down emission of greenhouse gases and reduce GHG concentration in the atmosphere is the Energy Conservation Program, which consists of three sub-programs, namely:

 i)                    The Compulsory Programme

ii)                   The Voluntary Programme

iii)         The Complementary Programme

Programmes or projects undertaken to reduce emissions from the usage of petroleum-based fuels for transport, are:

i)                    Natural Gas for Vehicles Program

ii)                  Hybrid Vehicle Project

Status 

National Petroleum Balance[1] 

The petroleum situation in Thailand in 1999 was slightly better than the preceding year. On procurement, a daily figure grew by 3.1 percent. The figures increased both domestic consumption and exports by 2.8 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively. 

Efforts at energy self-dependency led to a reduction of oil imports. It was the third year in a row that Thailand could increase use of petroleum from domestic sources. On procurement percentage, the domestic share increased from 30.7 percent in 1997, to 35.4 percent in 1999. 

Imported crude dropped by 1.9 percent. Refined products as a whole increased by 41.6 percent, although domestic refineries could supply in excess, except for fuel oil. The production, consumption, and export of only LPG products increased. Use of natural gas a primary energy source has expanded continuously each year, but particularly for power generation.

On daily average, Thailand produced more petroleum in 1999 than in 1998. Gas production increased by 9 percent due to the addition of new offshore fields. Condensate grew only by 6 percent. Oil production expanded by 13 percent, while LPG produced as associated gas from the Sirikit field, decreased 7 percent due tot technical problems.  

All produced gas was utilized domestically. Approximately 96 percent of the gas (678 Bcf) was transmitted on-shore through pipelines. Of this total sale gas, about 65 percent was used as fuel in electricity generation and the remaining as feedstock in petrochemicals. The produced crude and nearly 25 percent of condensate from the Gulf of Thailand was shipped abroad.

Coal Activities in Thailand[2] 

Mostly found as low BTU, Thai coal has served the nation a core alternative fuel for decades. Thai coal mainly occurs in tertiary sediments contained in small-scattered inter-montane basins. Mining practices are regulated and supervised by the Department of Mineral Resources. Currently, only surface mining is used to excavate coals in Thailand. Total production in 1999 was approximately 18.258 million tons, all used domestically for the production of electricity. 

Thailand imports coal in small amounts to fulfill industrial needs. In 1999, 2.8 million tons of coal and by-products were imported, 73 percent greater than 1998. Bituminous coal for the cement industry was the principal product imported.   

The main use of coal in Thailand is electricity generation. In 1999, 72.65 percent of very high ash coal was used in the power sector. The remainder was lower ash, used as fuels in industries such as cement manufacturing (20.46 percent); paper milling (2.69 percent); fiber production (1.72 percent; processing for the production of calcium oxide (0.14 percent); and tobacco curing (0.10 percent).  

Coal reserves: Thailand's coal reserves are estimated to be 1,617.565 million tons. A Coal Exploration and Assessment Project has been implemented since 1987. The project revealed that Thailand has 20 potential coal basins, with total measured undeveloped coal resources of 738.21 million tons.

There is no plan to use nuclear energy for the next decade.



[1]             Mineral Fuels Division, Department of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Coal Activities in Thailand, Annual Report 1999

[2]              Ibid.

 

The primary energy consumption in 2000 is comprised of the following:

 

Energy Source

Percent of Consumption

·           Petroleum

49.8 percent

·           Natural gas

33.8 percent

·           Coal

13.8 percent

·           Renewable energy

0.7 percent

·           Others

1.9 percent

It is expected that in the next decade the demand for natural gas and coal will increase, particularly for use as fuels for power generation, whereas the share of petroleum utilization will decrease slight, as will the demand for renewable energy (i.e., wood chips, rice husks, and bagasse).

Trade liberalization and privatization will impact on the supply and demand for energy in Thailand, in that the supply and demand of energy will be allocated more efficiently; energy will be cheaper; and, energy shortages will not likely occur. Consumption patterns likely will remain unchanged since Thailand's energy market has been under the free trade system, in particular the petroleum market.

Challenges

Groundwater is an important water resource in Thailand.  Groundwater availability in Thailand varies from more than 100-300 cu.m. per hour in the Central region to less than 5 cu.m. per hour in some areas of the Northeast.  A rough estimate of the recharge rate of groundwater in the Chao Phraya basin, the largest river basin in Thailand, is about 5 % of the amount of rainfall.  The extensive use of groundwater by public water works, industries, and communities, especially by Bangkok and the metropolitan region, has resulted in land subsidence.  The most critical area has a land subsidence rate of more than 10 percent per year.  At present, groundwater use in Bangkok and vicinity is strictly controlled.

While the development of water supply sources almost has reached its limits, the demand for water is steadily increasing.  Demand for water by urban communities and the industrial sector has grown rapidly over the last few decades.  The conflict between agricultural and non-agricultural uses of water, especially in the dry season, has become increasingly critical and is expected to intensify in the next century.

Conflicts over the allocation of surface water in Thailand have now become a critical issue due to the expansion of demand and a shortage of suuply.  Variations in the frequency and intensity of rainfall in a monsoon region like Thailand also have imposed high risks of drought and flood in the dry and wet seasons.  Damage due to flooding in Thailand varies from year to year.  The risks are intensified by the increasing degrading of natural resources and the environment in the country.  The damage varies in each region, with the most severe damage wreaked in the South, followed by the North and the Northeast.  The Southern region has greater potential to be affected by a series of typhoons emerging from the South China Sea.  Climate change due to GHG accumulation could further impose higher risks to water resources in Thailand.

An important question related to the impacts of climate change that has not been fully addressed in Thailand is the social and economic implications of climate change. This involves not only the assessment of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change impacts, but also the development of means and measures to cope with climate change, including  new mechanisms to implement the Kyoto Protocol.

Research on the socioeconomic impacts of climate change and measures to mitigate greenhouse gases has been conducted in many countries and regions. An export-oriented economy like that of Thailand is relatively sensitive to external effects of international developments. Moreover, the high proportion of population in agriculture constrains the ability of the economy to absorb such effects. Further research on the social and economic impacts of actions related to climate change can help policy makers to avoid or minimize potential problems. Thailand has yet to conduct  research in this area. 

Several problems and barriers to implementation of the Voluntary Program, which promotes utilization of renewable energy resources, were identified in a mid-1999 evaluation undertaken by the National Energy Policy Office[1]; these include: 

i)               The objectives and direction of support for each technology were still unclear.

ii)              The limited scope of work of the Renewable Energy and Rural Industry Project created problems; particularly, obstructing facilities with energy consumption greater than 300 kW not being considered as designated facilities and thus not being eligible for receiving assistance from the Fund, to improve their energy consumption efficiency.

iii)            There are an inadequate number of skilled and well-trained field personnel in renewable energy technologies. There also is a lack of training to create more personnel that are qualified.

iv)            Public relations and information dissemination is lacking on renewable energy technologies funded under the Voluntary Program.

v)             There were communication failures between project holders and the National Energy Policy Office.

vi)            Criteria used to provide financial support for large-scale projects or projects of national importance should be publicly announced making organizations who are potentially interested in undertaking such projects aware of the availability of Fund assistance.

vii)          Energy conservation in other fields also should be promoted, including the re-cycling of waste materials and energy conservation in the transportation sector.

viii)         The Project on Energy Conservation in Non-Designated Factories and Building was under the Compulsory Program. However, the target groups of this project are factories and buildings that are not considered "designated” under the laws and regulations. It is therefore more appropriate to shift the project to the Voluntary Program.

ix)    The project proposal screening and evaluation processes were imprecise, including standards used in calculating the EIRR and FIRR of projects.

Regarding the development of cleaner technologies for fossil fuels: The market development cost is high, and identifying a sufficiently large market for such technologies is time-consuming.  In addition, there is limited budget, personnel, and expertise for technology development.

Although financial support is available from the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund, the implementation of certain environmentally friendly energy policies and strategies requires significant investment.  For example, a barrier to the wider use of solar energy is the high cost of solar cells, since these cells must be imported.

 

[1]              Office of the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund, Energy Conservation Program and Guidelines, Criteria, Conditions, and Expenditure Priorities of the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund, During the Fiscal Period 2000-2004,” 2000.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The Public Awareness Campaign Project under the complementary Program aims at changing consumers’ behavior and attitudes towards energy consumption to achieve efficient use of energy. On the environmental side, under Thailand Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016, monitored by the National Environment Board, policy and implementation guidelines have been established for environmental education and promotion. 

Thailand is implementing a Public Relations Program that is undertaken for changing the consumption and behavior patterns of Thai consumers. The objective is to achieve energy savings. This program is implemented under the "Divide by Two” campaign. The program consists of the following activities:

·           A general awareness campaign: A media strategy designed to sell the idea of energy saving and make the energy  Conservation Program visible to the public at large.

The Thai Government is implementing the "Dawn Project” that integrates energy conservation and environmental studies in 600 primary and secondary school curriculums nationwide. This project consists of five principal activities, namely:

i)               Development of national curriculum on energy conservation and environmental studies for primary and secondary schools.

ii)              Development and production of teaching materials on energy conservation and environment.

iii)            Training for school administrators and teaches to involve them in the project. Seminars on energy conservation and environment are organized on a regular basis for teachers to generate knowledge on energy and environment.

iv)            Learning activities in schools and communities.

v)             Project monitoring and evaluation.

The project is being undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of education, the National Energy Policy Office, and the Thailand Environment Institute. The main objectives are that students will apply energy conservation practices in their daily lives and habits, leading to sustainable use of energy and natural resources.

The Human Resources Development Project under the Complementary Program in particular the "Roon-Arun” Project; promotion of energy conservation courses at the university level; seminars and training for owners / energy managers of designated and non-designated factories and buildings, and energy consultants and technicians; and, scholarships for university students, researchers, and government officials to pursue studies in Thailand and overseas, in energy-related courses.

The Public Awareness Campaign Project under the complementary Program aims at changing consumers’ behavior and attitudes towards energy consumption to achieve efficient use of energy. On the environmental side, under Thailand's Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016, monitored by the National Environment Board, policy and implementation guidelines have been established for environmental education and promotion.

Research and Technologies

Biomass

Biomass tachnology is being applied through a pilot phase of 5-7 years of promotion of renewable energy utilization for power generation by Small Power Producers (SPP), with a target of 300 MW electricity to be generated and connected to the grid.

Solar energy

The bidding process has been initiated for Phase i installation of a 500 kW solar system in northwestern Mae Hong Son province.  The total target for the solar system for the province is 4 MW, by the year 2004.  Under the Roof-Top PV Grid connected Project, expansion is planned from 10 households in Phase 1 (1994-9), to 100 households in Phase 2 (2000-2004) as part of the Energy Conservation Program.

Wind energy

Feasibility studies are underway to determine the financial return on installing a hybrid power system (wind, solar, and/or diesel) for national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

Biogas

A biogas project is being implemented for power generation on livestock farms, being expanded from 10,000 m3 in Phase 1, to 40,000 m3 in Phase 2.

Since Thailand has significant potential to use agricultural residues or wastes to generate power, it is considered feasible and appropriate to promote utilization of biomass in power generation by SPPs.  Although subsidies are required to cover the production cost of biomes-generated electricity, to ensure that a project is financially viable, other benefits such as social, health, and environmental, also should be taken into consideration.

Thailand also is endowed with solar energy the year round, with good potential to reap benefits from solar energy in the form of both electrical and thermal power.  For remote areas beyond the grid system and particularly in Mae Hong Son province, as mentioned above, where the topographical features are mountainous and the population is scattered, solar power systems are considered more appropriate investments than the construction of high voltage transmission lines from neighboring provinces, to supply electricity to such a location.  

The  new transportation mode being devised with a view to improving fuel efficiency and promoting cleaner environment are carried out under the following projects:  

Information 

Energy information is available in Thailand from several sources. Annual publications of the Department of Energy Development and Promotion with important data include Thailand Energy Situation; Oil and Thailand; and Elite Power in Thailand. In addition, the National Energy Policy Office (NEPO) issues quarterly Energy Journals” and the NEPO website is accessible. Annual publications of APEC and ASEAN also are available.  

Information is made available to the public at the NEPO hompage, at the following address:  www.nepo.go.th

Financing 

Public Source:

The Energy Conservation Promotion Fund is established under Thailand痴 Energy Conservation Act of 1992, with the objective of providing support to those who wish to implement energy conservation activities. To raise initial working capital for the Fund, 1,500 million baht was transferred from the Petroleum Fund in 1992. In addition, also in 1992, the National Energy Policy Committee set a remittance rate to be imposed on domestically distributed gasoline, kerosene, diesel, and fuel oil at 0.07 baht per liter, to be deposited into the Fund. This remittance rate has been adjusted periodically in accordance with the economic situation of the country. At the end of fiscal year 1999 (30 September 1999), the Fund had accumulated capital of approximately 14,000 million baht.

The principal objective of the Fund is to provide financial support to designated factories and buildings for investments in and operation of energy conservation programs. At the same time, the Fund also supports other agencies that wish to undertake energy conservation, including activities related to renewable energy projects, energy-related research and development, public awareness campaigns, and the expenses for management and monitoring of the Energy Conservation Program.

Funding is derived primarily from the Energy Conservation Promotion Fund, and is used as working capital or subsidies for conducting energy conservation activities. The principal source of financing for the Fund is from the Oil Fund, which deposited 1,500 million baht into the Fund initially. In addition, remittances from the sale of petroleum products at a rate of 0.04 baht per liter are sent to the Fund. Interest and other benefits accrued by the Fund are also added to the principal of the Fund.  

Cooperation

Technical visits and adaptation of international transfer of energy related technology have been undertaken for several projects. One example is the 澱iogas production from livestock farms” project that received technical assistance through cooperation between Thailand and GTZ of Germany, from 1988-1994. The 田entrally-heated bulk curing system” project that developed thermal efficiency was supported by the Government of Australia. This project successfully replaced the inefficient traditional method of flue curing of tobacco.

Collaboration in the form of international meetings and workshops such as the APEC New and Renewable Energy Technologies Expert Group Meeting, where experience, progress, and challenges in promoting renewable energy in APEC member countries are shared; workshops and technical visits organized under the auspices of CIDA, for representatives from Lao PDR, Vietnam, and Cambodia, to Thailand, in which energy-related technologies and projects are discussed.

The Thai Government is implementing the Energy Conservation Program in order to promote efficient and economical use of energy.  

Thailand is involved in following other international/regional cooperation:

i)         Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC)

ii)       Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

iii)     Bangladesh-India-Myanmar-Srilanka-Thailand Economic Cooperation Forum

          (BIMST-EC)

iv)     Mekong River Commission (MRC)

* * *

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

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FORESTS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Thai Department of Land Development operates three offices that provide linkages between the national forest program and integrated land management strategy and policy, namely:

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Effective policy mechanisms exist in the form of the National Environment Board, the "Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016" (prepared by the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning), and the 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan, prepared by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board. Organizations that provide effective coordination and facilitate the mechanisms to harmonize cross-sectoral policies related to forests include the Natural Resources and Biodiversity Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, and the Royal Forest Department.

The Thai Constitution of 1997 recognizes the right of traditional communities to participate in the management, maintenance, preservation, and exploitation of natural resources and the environment in a balanced fashion and persistency as provided by law. The Community Forestry Bill currently being considered by the Thai Council of State recognizes the right of communities to establish community forests on degraded forest lands; and the right of indigenous people to establish community forests in protected areas.

No forest certification program is being undertaken in Thailand.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Thailand’s 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan (1997-2001) places a strong emphasis on sustainable development through strengthening the capacity of human resources. Sustainable forest management also is an important element in the 8th National Plan. The principal objectives of the Plan include: (i) to preserve and rehabilitate conservation forests to cover at least 25 percent of land area, and to maintain mangrove forests to be not less than 160,000 hectares; and, (ii) to promote and expand total forest cover to 40 percent of land area.

The strategies proposed for sustainable management of the forestry sector include:

  1. preserve and enrich forestry resources;
  2. protect ecological balance;
  3. protect the environment to maintain the quality of life and a solid foundation for development;
  4. establish forestry management systems for the efficient utilization and protection of forestry resources and forest ecology for the benefit of society and local communities; and,
  5. protect against and provide relief from natural disasters.

The Thai Forestry Sector Master Plan was completed in 1991 and is under consideration by the Government. Many elements of this Plan have been adopted as part of Thailand’s national sustainable development strategy. Components of the Plan selected for implementation are being adjusted to conform to the guidelines established by the IPF.

The principal elements of the 1985 Statement of Forest Policy (based on the Thai Cabinet resolution of 1985 and still in effect) includes the following:

The national forest policy of Thailand approved by the Cabinet in 1985 (and remaining in effect today) promotes the use of wood energy from plantation sources as a substitute for fossil fuels.

Status 

Research on the incidence of poverty in Thailand conducted by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board, and information provided by the Royal Forest Department on percentage change in forest cover by region (based on statistics between 1985 and 1995), indicate that the regions of Thailand that have experienced the highest rate of forest depletion have the highest incidence of poverty. Significant expansion of agriculture production for income generation has occurred on forest lands since 1960. As a result, biodiversity and land suitable for forestry have been removed from the forestry sector. The poor soils have resulted in significant incidence of marginal agriculture.

In order to conserve forest and protect biological diversity, Thailand has established a comprehensive protected areas system covering a total area of 10.6 million hectares or 20.6 percent of the land area, that is comprised of the following divisions:

  • 124 national parks
  • 53 forest parks
  • 57 wildlife sanctuaries
  • 44 non-hunting areas
  • 15 botanical gardens
  • 22 protected mangrove forests
  • 49 arboreta
   

To achieve reforestation and forest rehabilitation targets, all logging concessions have banned since 1989, and the following actions have been undertaken:

  • support for alternative agriculture
  • support for watershed management
  • support for community forestry
  • support for community networking
  • improved management through harmonizing in situ human settlements and forest conservation
  • community and civil society participation in natural resources management

The major points and concrete steps in implementing the IPF proposals for action in Thailand include:

No compensation is provided for forest owners who provide non-market environmental benefits to society by managing their forests sustainably. Thailand’s Forest Plantation Act of 1992 provides incentives to owners of forest plantations in the form of facilitating the movement of logs in the country. The Thai Board of Investment also provides tax incentives to private sector firms undertaking environmental rehabilitation and restoration projects as part of an export oriented investment of any nature, not only wood and non-wood forest products.

Thailand does not recycle forest products on any significant scale.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

To accelerate reforestation and forest rehabilitation, the Government initiated a Reforestation Campaign to Commemorate the Royal Golden Jubilee of the Coronation of the King of Thailand that was celebrated beginning in 1994. The target for reforestation was 80,000 hectares at various sites including: along 50,000 km of roads and highways; schools; government offices; religious compounds; parks; recreation areas; riversides; around dams and reservoirs; and in degraded forests.

Information 

Thailand has its own criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. Thailand participates in the Inter-governmental Forum on Forestry and the activities and programs of the International Tropical Timber Organization. It has for many years utilized the FAO guidelines for sustainable forestry in the management of its forests.

The Royal Forest Department prepares annual reports to the National Forest Policy Committee and the National Agricultural Policy Committee, that are made available to the FAO for reporting. The "Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016" (prepared by the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning), and the 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan, establish goals, policies, and guidelines for implementation of forest resources management and the management of biodiversity in Thailand. The goals and targets established in these documents are used to monitor policy implementation.

The indicator that may be useful in assessing progress towards sustainable forest management at the international level is that related to protecting remaining natural forest areas from encroachment. This policy goal is linked to the Thai Constitution and Thai Government policy to decentralize natural resources management responsibilities to local communities and other sectors of civil society.

The Thai Ministry of Agriculture ( www.moac.go.th) has a website with links to the Royal Forest Department website (www.forest.go.th) that provides information on forest management in Thailand, including forest policies. Information booklets and other media formats are made available through district, provincial, and regional forestry offices throughout the country.

Cooperation

Thailand regularly participates in meetings of international organizations, multilateral institutions, conferences of parties, and regional meetings to ensure dialogue on forest policy is maintained. Thailand consistently attends meetings and collaborates in the programs of the Inter-governmental Forum on Forestry and international conventions, namely: CBD, CITES, UNFCCC, CCD, UNESCO-MAB, ITTO, and World Heritage.

The Royal Forest Department has carefully studied the relevance of IPF proposals in the context of forest management and rural development conditions in Thailand.

The Royal Forest Department is seeking cooperation from developed countries to initiate a carbon sequestering program through forest plantations.

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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 information from the Royal Forest Department, click here:

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FRESHWATER

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The National Water Resource Committee is the government body at the national level responsible for coordinating water resource management and development. It is responsible for undertaking activities related to water resource management and supporting the operations of other related agencies or assigned activities. The Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister. Its main responsibilities include preparing and submitting for cabinet approval the objectives of, and policies for, water resource development of all scales; providing guidelines, support and coordination to other agencies in preparing water resource development plans/projects of all sizes; determining, approving, supervising and controlling the plans/projects and their implementation; appropriately prioritizing and controlling the allocation of water resources between sectors; supervising and maintaining water quality. The committee is also responsible for improving laws and regulations related to development, control and maintenance of water resources and their quality.

The office of the National Water Resource Committee supports the committee by collecting informatoin related to domestic and international water resources; preparing water resource development policies and guidance for related agencies; monitoring and supervising the implementation of action plans; determining and proposing the improvement of legal and institutional development related to water resources and working on other activities as assigned by the committee.

There are also governmental bodies for coordination of water resource management and development and policy at sub-national levels. Some of these are the regional offices of ministries related to water resource management including the Royal Irrigation Department, the Department of Mineral Resources, the Department of Rural Development and the Department of Health. At the state or district level there are : Provincial Governor Offices, and Local Administration Offices and sub-district Administration Organizations at the local level.

The mandates of these various bodies with regard to water management are: Royal Irrigation Department: Development of water resources and management of irrigation and drainage systems nation-wide; Department of Mineral Resources: Management of Groundwater Resources nation-wide; Department of Rural Development: Rural Development, including domestic water development; Department of Health: freshwater quality monitoring nation-wide; Office of Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Public Health: hospital waste management; Provincial Governors Offices: Management of provincial natural resources; Local Administration Offices: Management of resources and environment within their jurisdiction; Sub-district Administration Organizations: Management of resources and environment within their jurisdiction.

The fact that there are so many agencies involved in water resource consumption is a major constraints faced by the Government in reaching its objectives in water management. The lack of coordination between agencies make integrated water resource management a formidable task. The constraints are being solved by developing integrated watershed management and revision of water laws. The newly legalized National Water Resource Committee will be the policy hand for the government.

The office of the Prime Minister has established an office for flood and drought relief which provides policy guidance and coordinates the activities of participating agencies such as the the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Public Health which are responsible for disaster preparedness. Five centers are located in different regions to provide assistance to people suffering the effects of floods or droughts. The Royal Irrigantion Department is responsible for dealing with floods and droughts in the agricultural areas.

The grass-root subdistrict administration organization is responsible for the management of their local resources and environment, with the financial support from the government.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The general legislation and regulatory framework for water management includes the Water Quality Criteria & Standard in Thailand, 1977; the Ground Water Act, 1977; the Public Health Act, 1992; and the Public Cleansing and Orderliness Act, 1992. The Public Irrigation Act, of 1939 covers the use of water in agriculture while the Industrial Effluent Standards, 1996, the Public Health Act, 1992 and the Public Cleansing and Orderliness Act 1992 cover its use by industry. The Housing Estates Effluent Standards, 1996, Building Effluent Standards, 1994, Public Health Act, 1992 and Public Cleansing and Orderliness Act 1992 cover the use of water by households. 

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

In terms of pricing policies, industrial or commercial sectors drawing water from irrigation canals and groundwater sources are charged a certain fee. These fees are higher than the rates charged to the agricultural sector. Although the charges are not meant specifically for cost-recovery, they are intended to result in more equitable allocation of water. On water quality, public wastewater treatment charges have been recommended on domestic wastewater treatment projects. By law, the charge for agricultural use of irrigation water is applicable to farmers. In practice, the rate charged is so small that it does not provide any significant amount of revenue to the government and is generally ignored. Factories drawing water from irrigation canals and underground sources are subject to water charges from the Royal Irrigation Department and Mineral Resource Department respectively. The charges are also intended to ensure efficient use of water from non-agricultural sector rather than to recover costs. In practice, there is no charge on domestic use of irrigation water, except for the use as raw water for pipewater production.

For irrigation water, negligible percentage of costs are recovered and the National, Economic and Social Development Plan specifies a policy to charge a water fee to cover at least operation and maintenance costs. Pipewater is charged to fully recover the costs. On municipal wastewater treatment, treatment fee to cover operation and maintenance cost is also recommended. In relatively well developed urban areas, tariffs should cover up to 35% of capital cost as well.

A number of measures for protecting the quality and supply of freshwater resources in Thailand have been applied. They range from the acceleration of development and provision of water from suitable sources (that is, atmosphere, surface and underground) to the allocation and utilization of seasonally available water resources.

These measures include surveying and acquiring areas with potential for reservoir construction without destroying the ecology and life pattern of local people; dredging existing natural canals and swamps in order to increase their capacity; stimulating artificial rainfall where and when moisture in the atmosphere permits during long period of drought; giving support to farmers in order to construct community or individual farm ponds; reforesting of watersheds to conserve national water sources for domestic use throughout the year; maintaining and preventing water sources from being polluted by controlling water hyacinth and weeds in all rivers, canals, waterways and water resources throughout the country, and forbidding the disposal of garbage, industrial and domestic waste waters into water resources; prioritizing those activities which require water from constructed sources and clearly defining water allocation ratios; establishing community-based organizations and encouraging them to participate in managing water use in their areas; educating water users to appreciate the water shortage problem, especially in dry season; campaigning for efficient water use and against the misuse of water; and encouraging farmers to grow short-lived crops to supplant dry season rice growing.

Thailand is developing and implementing appropriate national water policies for sustainable fisheries management in order to provide for the optimum long-term sustainable contribution of fisheries to food production for national consumption. These policies aim to increase fish stock intensities and reduce the impact of aquatic pollution, while simultaneously preserving the quality and availability of water for other purposes, especially human consumption. In that context, the following particular objectives have been identified: strengthen fisheries and aquaculture scientific research; reduce excess fishing capacity; minimize waste discards and the catch of some aquatic species through measures including the development and use of environmentally safe and cost-effective fishing gear and techniques; study the effectiveness of multi-species management; and conserve freshwater biodiversity.

Integrated watershed development has been introduced in order to promote the efficient allocation of water.. Pilot studies are being conducted in three watershed areas in different regions of the country. The approach provides opportunities for greater public participation in water resource management. A new water law is being drafted with emphasis on property right issues. Soil conservation practice is promoted in watershed areas and integrated pest management programs are encouraged to reduce potential pesticide pollution. Control of groundwater pumping in environmentally sensitive areas is also being imposed. Land use planning, soil and water conservation, etc are planned and managed by the basin committees composed of administrative personnel and local community representatives.

The environmental policy and action plan in Thailand is formulated with active public participation through seminars/workshops. The annual provincial environmental action plans are prepared by the local administrators and proposed to the central government for budget approval. 

The Eighth National Economic and Social Development Plan supports the establishment of comprehensive waste treatment and disposal facilities for the joint use of communities and neighboring provinces especially in the five provinces of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, the coastal cities and tourist destinations.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

In terms of mechanisms for resolution of conflicts surrounding water resource management and development, local water user groups are formed to collectively manage their irrigation water supply and for surface irrigation water, local communities have cooperated with irrigation water authorities to manage irrigation supply in their areas.

Programmes and Projects 

Based on the "Polluter Pays Principle", the command and control approach has been complemented by several tools including economic incentives such as taxes, low-interest loans from environmental funds. The declaration of "Pollution Control zones" in certain areas is to strictly impose environmental management action. With cooperation from the private sector, environmentally sound technology is being promoted. This is to ensure water quality does not fall below 1996 standards in rivers, seas, coastal areas and all natural water resources, with particular emphasis on the lower Chao Phraya River, the Tha Chin River, pollution control zones and major tourist destinations. Also coordinating efforts are being undertaken to achieve more efficient water usage in household, agriculture and industry through incentives, pricing structure adjustment and campaigns to raise public awareness of water shortages and good water-saving habits.

EIA is required for any large water resource development projects to ensure that environmental impacts are minimized. Water pricing policy has motivated the application of new technology to recycle or reuse freshwater. The integrated watershed management approach leads to optimization of demand and supply and efficient allocation of water resources between sectors.

The Department of Medical Service and the Office of Permanent Secretary under Ministry of Public Health has individually introduced Public Hospitals' infectious Wastewater Treatment and Garbage Disposal programs. Almost all hospitals under the Ministry of Public Health have their own hospital waste treatment facilities including wastewater treatment plants and incinerators for infectious solid waste. In the meantime, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has also carried out the Central Community Wastewater Treatment and Garbage Disposal programs together with Drainage System Projects under its Environmental Quality Control Action Plan. Furthermore, under Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning has also provided the financial support for Municipalities' projects on the Central Wastewater Treatment and Garbage Disposal System nation-wide via the annual budget for the project on Action Plan for Provincial Environmental Quality Rehabilitation as well as partly via the Environmental Fund while Pollution Control Department has established the similar characteristic projects in the Pollution Control Areas. For the hazardous waste generated by industrial factories, Ministry of Industry is in charge of the treatment especially in the industrial estate zones operated by Industrial Estate Authority itself or by GENCO, the private company given the concession for the industrial hazardous waste treatment.

The main objectives of the programme of action, are:

Status 

Dams and reservoirs are also being expanded in geographically suitable areas so as to augment freshwater supplies. All large dams and reservoirs will go through EIA studies and public hearing process; Small and medium reservoir development is accelerated; Rehabilitation of existing irrigation system is conducted regularly; Small water ponds for farm use are developed with the new diversified farming system approach.

The industrial sector consumes a large amount of freshwater, but at present, the main source is not from the public water supply. Many factories in and around Bankgok use a lot of groundwate although the government has discouraged the use of groundwater due to serious land subsidence problems. The availability of freshwater can thus be a constraint to industrial development in the future. Alternative sources of water supply and/or less water-consuming technolgogy should be developed. At present, the Thai government promotes the private sector to provide water supply to industry.

It is true that the effluent discharged from some industries deteriorates the water quality in the receiving water. It should be noted, however, that the effluent from this sector is generally not the major proportion of total discharge flow into the rivers in Thailand and some factories do have their own treatment facilities. The private sector is encouraged to provide industrial water supply and raw water supply for public water services and advocacy on efficient use of water resources.

In total 278,350 cubic metres of waste water are treated daily which equals the full capacity of wastewater treatment plants in Thailand; 90% of hospital wastewater all over Thailand is treated (64,000 cum/day are generated and 57,600 cum/day are treated daily). It is intended that 100% of the public hospitals have waste water treatment facilities by the year 2001 and incinerators by the year 1999 (to date there is 90% coverage). There is not data on the recycling of waste water. However, there are various large estabishments, such as large hotels, recycling their treated wastewater. The technological needs for waste water treatment include clean technology, recycling water systems etc. For water purification they include disinfection, desalination etc.

Under the full capacity of treatment plants, about 8% of urban sewerage is treated (based on the population of urban areas of 3.6 millions and assuming water consumption of 200 lpcd)

With regard to targets for water supply it is envisaged that 70% of all villages in the country will be supplied with rural pipe water systems by 2001. At this time already 95% of households in the country have and use sanitary latrines.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

With regard to educating the public in conservation and management of water resources the following activities are being undertaken: education campaigns in sources of water supply; promotion of the awareness of efficient use, avoidance of water pollution generation or destruction of watershed areas. Poster, booklet and broachau have been produced and disseminated to the public regularly. Technology and Capacity-Building

Information 

Information on water is regularly published in the respective agencies' statistical reports. The information is also open to public and can be requested. Information on wastewater and current important major resources development is available on the internet network On wastewater http://www.pcd.go.th

The standards used to measure water quality, include the following: Surface Water Quality Standard, Ground Water Quality Standard, Waste Water Quality Standard, Drinking Water Quality Standard; WHO Drinking Water Quality Criteria 1984; Criteria of Drinking Water Quality for Rural Areas in Thailand (Recommended by National Rural Water Supply Program Executive Committee) 1988; Drinking Water in Sealed Container (Notification of the Ministry of Public Health No. 135) 1991.

Financing 

There is no information on the total resources that would be needed to meet the targets in this area. Most water resource management and development in Thailand is funded locally or by loans from international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. For the Royal Irrigation Department, for example, the current funding from external sources is less than 0.5% as compared with the annual expenditure of approximately 35,000 million baht. Technical cooperation is provided through bilateral and multilateral cooperation from Japan, European countries, ESCAP and international organizations. Grants are provided through bilateral and multilateral cooperation and are mainly for the project feasibility stage, sometimes at the detailed design stage, and rarely at the construction stage. Loans are received from international financial organizations such as the World Bank, the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund, KFW, etc.

Cooperation

Thailand provides ODA to other countries, especially in the Indochina region. Activities include training, expert missions, equipment and others under various programs including infrastructure, science and environment. The total value of ODA in the 1995 fiscal year was 292.7 million baht.

With regard to regional cooperation Thailand currently takes part in the Mekong River Commission. It also has a bilateral agreeemnt with Malaysia on the Improvement of the Golok River Mouth. 

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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.

Information on water pollution prevention projects is provided from Thailand's Pollution Control Department

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LAND MANAGEMENT

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) established the Natural Resources and Biodiversity Institute in 1998 to serve as a mechanism to improve the administration and management of natural resources and terrestrial and marine biodiversity by MOAC through closer collaboration on program implementation among MOAC line agencies; formulation of natural resources and environmental management policies that are more responsive to local needs; and, seeking to resolve constraints to policy implementation. In addition, the Office of the Land Development Committee, Department of Land Development, MOAC, serves as the secretariat to the National Land Development Committee that coordinates policy on the management of agricultural land and soils. It undertakes policy and plan review and formulates options for consideration of the National Land Development Committee.

Coordination functions are undertaken by various national committees, namely: National Environment Board; National Agricultural Development Policy Committee; and, the National Economic and Social Development Board.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The Land Development Act of 1983 sets out the terms and conditions for policy and planning of land utilization, and defines actions in relation to land census, land economics, and management of soils. The Act establishes a national Land Development Board, with the Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives as Chairman. The Board is responsible for the following:

Thailand’s new constitution and the philosophy of the 8th National Economic and Social Development Plan to decentralize planning responsibilities provide the opportunity to delegate authority for policy and decision-making on land use planning and management of land resources to the sub-district level in Thailand. Sub-district (tambon) administrative organizations (TAO) have been established as corporate bodies at the grassroots level of local government. The TAO has a legal responsibility for formulating five-year development plans for the sub-district that are to include rehabilitation and conservation of natural resources and the environment.

According to the 1954 Land Code, there are two major types of secure land documents. These correspond to the two phases of land acquisition, namely, legal possession and utilization. Legal possession is documented in a full unrestricted title deed called NS-4. This document enables the owner to sell, transfer, and legally mortgage the land. It is issued on the basis of an accurate ground survey and is registered in the provincial and district land registrar, with clear identification of the property by boundary mark stones. The documents related to the phase of utilization are NS-3 and NS-3K: "Certificate of Use" or "Exploitation Testimonial." These documents certify that the occupant has made use of the land for a prescribed period of time. Under existing legislation, a farmer cannot obtain a full title deed (NS-4), if he does not have an NS-3 or NS-3K document.

The law allows sale, mortgage, and other transfers utilizing these documents to record the transaction. Several other documents may provide evidence supporting a claim of ownership, but are not documents certifying secured ownership, namely:

Several documents are issued by various government agencies that confer some rights to land within the context of specific settlement or welfare programs, but that usually do not grant full ownership, namely:

In addition to the above documents, many farmers have tax certificates providing evidence that they have paid a land tax. Tax is collected for most occupied land, whether legally occupied or not. All lands in Thailand are traded quite freely, whether legally occupied or not. The transactions cover land that is formally state land (e.g., forest reserve land) as well as private land that is not yet properly documented and that cannot be transferred legally.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

A National Policy on Integrated Land Management was last revised in 1997. The objectives of the policy are as follows:

    1. Effective use of land resources for various activities, based on their capacity and environmental conditions throughout the country;
    2. Conserve, rehabilitate, and develop degraded soils, and land, to be a resource base for sustainable development, by accelerating rehabilitation of infertile soils, and by mitigating soil erosion in coastal areas;
    3. Conserve and utilize areas containing unique ecosystems and geology, by maintaining the natural balance.

The Office of Environmental Policy and Planning has developed policies and guidelines for the effective use of land resources for various activities, based on their capacity and environmental conditions. The "Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016" was approved by the Thai Cabinet in 1997. Among these policies are included the following:

The Policy and Prospective Plan aims to conserve and utilize areas containing unique ecosystems and geology, by maintaining the natural balance by:

    1. preparing conservation and sustainable utilization management plans at all levels;
    2. amending and updating laws and regulations to ensure effective protection of important areas;
    3. promoting and conducting public dissemination programs for informing and increasing the understanding of public and private sector personnel and local people of the value and importance of these areas, and to induce cooperation;
    4. cooperate with international agencies at regional and global levels to foster exchanges of technical and legal information;
    5. formulate clear conditions for land use and land occupancy in areas with unique ecosystems and geological important areas;
    6. control and monitor land use practices in these areas, based on legal and regulatory framework, and ensure effective enforcement of protection measures; and,
    7. allow local people to participate in implementation and to receive reasonable benefits from any development and utilization of the areas.

Thailand has a Biodiversity Action Plan, prepared by the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning, that serves as a guideline for Thai Government agencies for planning and budgeting. Thailand also includes the management of biodiversity in forest ecosystems as part of its "Policy and Prospective Plan for Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality, 1997-2016." The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has established the Natural Resources and Biodiversity Institute to coordinate and facilitate biodiversity administration and management among its line agencies. The Royal Forest Department operates a comprehensive protected areas system that aims to preserve biodiversity in Thailand.

Plans for the expansion of human settlements are reviewed by provincial level land use and provincial development committees and municipal authorities, as well as town and country planning officials, for their impacts on landscape (open space); forest lands; wetlands; and, biological diversity in coastal areas. Provincial land use plans are reviewed and revised every 5 years by the Department of Town and Country Planning working in collaboration with provincial, district, sub-district, municipal, and sanitary district authorities, with the participation of provincial and sub-district administrative organizations and district councils.

Programmes and Projects 

Main activities in implementing the policy include:

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

The Thai Constitution of 1997 guarantees the right of the Thai people to:

The principal mechanism used to facilitate the active involvement and participation of all concerned in decision-making on land use and management, is the sub-district (tambon) administrative organization (TAO), created under the Sub-District Administrative Organization and Sub-District Council Act of 1994. This involves, in particular, communities and people at the local level (including farmers, small-scale food producers, indigenous people, NGOs and women. The TAO serves as the democratic representatives of the people at the village and sub-district (tambon) levels, with built-in mechanisms for counter-balancing power. The TAO is responsible for preparing five-year sub-district development plans for consideration and approval by the sub-district councils. The TAO development plans focus on four major areas: (i) human resources development and capacity strengthening; (ii) creation of employment opportunities in the agriculture and non-agriculture sectors; (iii) rehabilitation and conservation of natural resources and the environment (including land use planning and land management); and, (iv) expand the role of people’s organizations.

Status 

The Thai Government has operated a land reform program since 1975, to address the issue of forest reserve lands occupied by settlers as a result of population growth, expansion of rural communities, and the increase in demand for agricultural land. Since 1992 the Agricultural Land Reform Office (ALRO) has distributed 3.9 million hectares of land to 1.223 million farmers, granting them secure land tenure, and permanently removing this land from the forestry sector. The National Forest Reserves Act of 1964 restricts the transfer of forest land to other uses. An act of parliament is required to degazette land for the land reform program.

The major objectives for changing the sector towards sustainability include:

  1. Designating large areas for establishing specialized agriculture production activities, focusing on integrated production linked to markets and processing, similar to production of important agricultural products for agro-industries.
  2. Reducing risks for small farmers, and ensure food security at the farm level focusing on support for: activities in mixed (or integrated) agriculture; sustainable agriculture; conserving natural resources; as well as increasing the value of products produced locally.
  3. Conducting research and developing appropriate technologies, including biotechnology for crops, livestock, and fisheries, to increase productivity and reduce production costs.
  4. Using chemical fertilizers and agricultural chemicals more efficiently by applying them with organic and biological fertilizers, in order to improve soils and to increase yields. Employ natural methods to control crop pests to reduce imports of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals. Improve soils and the environment in rural communities over the long-term.
  5. Utilizing refuse and wastes from agriculture, by encouraging private sector production of organic fertilizer and bio-fertilizers, and other products used in the agriculture sector, helping to reduce farmers’ expenditures on imported fertilizers.
  6. Identifying vacant lands and extends land tenure rights, to solve the problem of availability of land for subsistence. By revising the Land Tax Act, taxes will be collected at a higher rate from land owners not engaged in agricultural activities.
  7. Implementing projects to preserve and control conservation areas, including appropriate activities related to land allocation, forest fire prevention, rehabilitation of natural resources, and surveying and utilizing forest resources.
  8. Conserving and rehabilitating degraded ecosystems in coastal areas, and resolve coastal aquaculture problems, particularly those impacting on coastal environments.
  9. Undertaking appropriate development of natural resources for nature-based tourism (ecotourism), and promote tourism in agricultural areas, including developing local products for production and marketing.
  10. Developing agricultural potential in irrigation command areas, by producing agriculture products more efficiently, while mitigating pollution problems impacting on the environment in these areas.

The following are ways in which possible conflicting issues in land use goals are dealt with:

  1. Increase awareness of the value and usefulness of soil by extension and training programs, and effective land use practices.
  2. Promote soil improvement and conservation of soil and water resources by using measures favorable to environmental quality enabling the sustainable use of soil and land.
  3. Formulate specific laws for land use zoning and controlling activities that may affect the soil resources; such as removing topsoil and sand mining; and effective enforcement of laws and regulations.
  4. Improve and establish mechanisms for effective administration and management that facilitate national control of land use.
  5. Formulate guidelines for protection and solution of coastal erosion problems.
  6. Develop a systematic soils and land information network, as a support unit for administration and management policy and implementation levels.
  7. Encourage local administration units and community groups to participate in the administration and management of soil resources.
  8. Use economic incentives as a mechanism for promoting appropriate land use, based on potential and capacity.
  9. Develop public land and abandoned areas as deemed appropriate for the benefit of the community.
  10. Designate fertile land and irrigated areas for protection as agricultural areas.
  11. Designate management guidelines for agricultural land in irrigated areas that conform to its land use and socio-economic capacities.
  12. Use legal and fiscal measures to preserve and protect fertile agricultural areas.
  13. Prepare conservation and sustainable utilization management plans at all levels.
  14. Allow people to participate in implementation and to receive reasonable benefits from any development and utilization of unique ecosystems.

The existing policy reflects an integrated land management approach while addressing the following elements: food security, rural development, viability of rural areas, environmental and social aspects.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has proposed and the Thai Cabinet approved in 1998 several measures to encourage the best possible land use and sustainable management of land resources, including:

The following agencies are implementing programs in appropriate land management with the objective of generating income from land-based activities to reduce poverty:

The goal of the Thai Government in relation to conservation and management of fresh water resources is to systematically develop, conserve, and rehabilitate ground water and surface water resources in all watersheds, to ensure sufficient quantity and acceptable quality, and for sustainable use.

The total volume of hazardous waste produced annually from the industrial sector is estimated at 950,000 tons, of which about 530,000 tons can be treated. A total of 110,000 tons of infectious waste is generated annually, of which only 40,000 tons is burned in incinerators. Hazardous wastes from communities totaling about 360,000 tons per year is not properly collected and treated and are released into the environment with community solid waste. These wastes spread into the environment and impact on public health as well as degrade the ecosystem and natural landscapes. Facilities for the treatment and destruction of hazardous wastes from existing industries are inefficient. Mechanisms, standards, and practices for controls at all levels are not available at this time.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The capacity of each of the following agencies has been / currently is being / will soon be strengthened to ensure the improvement of evaluation systems for land and land resources:

Information 

The Department of Land Development maintains a computerized database of agricultural land use in Thailand, using satellite imagery and aerial photographs to monitor land use changes and vegetative cover. The National Research Council of Thailand also uses satellite imagery and aerial photographs to monitor land use changes and vegetative cover.

Sufficient information on all aspects of land capability and suitability on a nation-wide scale is available through the Department of Land Development. Climatic and hydrological data is available from the Royal Irrigation Department. Information on agricultural inputs is available from the Office of Agricultural Economics and the Departments of Agriculture and Agricultural Extension. Data on land covered by human settlements is available from the Department of Town and Country Planning and the Department of Land. The information is disseminated through regional, provincial, and district level offices and centers of the respective agency.

The Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources and Biodiversity Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives currently are implementing projects that will develop indicators for integrated land management and sustainable agricultural development linked to the sustainable use of land resources.

Potential users of land use data are required to make a formal written request to the appropriate agency responsible for the data being requested as follows:

This data is being incorporated into a central database and in the near future will be available through the web site of the Natural Resources and Biodiversity Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives ( www.moac.go.th)

Financing

The budget for sustainable land management is derived from the Thai Government.

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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.

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MOUNTAINS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Secretariat of the National Security Council and the Department of Land Development are responsible for the sustainable management of mountains in Thailand.

Status 

The Department of Land Development reports that the highland area of Thailand is about 96.1 million rai, consisting of a Northern Part 54.0 million rai; a Middle Part 12.0 million rai; a Southern Part 14.6 million rai; a North Eastern Part 12.1 million rai; and an Eastern Part 3.4 million rai. Natural resource degradation and deforestation has had a very negative impact on the ecological balance. The population living in highland areas is about 850,000 persons distributed among 20 provinces. Highland communities are classified into four groups: registered community; unregistered community with the potential to be a registered community; unregistered community which cannot be a registered community; and special community.

Research and Technologies 

Capacity building and technology issues relate to land and water conservation systems in highland areas. 

Financing 

The budget for sustainable land management is derived from the Thai Government. 

Cooperation

International cooperation stems from the Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) and bilateral activities with Burma, Cambodia, and Laos. Thailand receives aid from the Asia Development Bank (ADB) and Finland.

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This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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OCEANS AND COASTAL AREAS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

In Thailand, different agencies are responsible for coastal zones under their own mandates. Integrated coastal zone management is generally coordinated by the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning. The National Environmental Board is the main body to determine the national coastal resource and environment policy. Other agencies playing major roles in coastal resource management include: the Pollution Control Department, the Harbor Department, the Department of Fisheries, the Royal Forestry Department, the Department of Local Administration, the City Planning Department, the Department of Industrial Work, and the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion.

The Pollution Control Department is also the main responsible agency for marine environmental protection. Other agencies include: the Department of Local Administration, the Department of Fisheries, the Royal Forestry Department, the Harbor Department, the Department of Industrial Work, the Royal Navy, and the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning.

In the area of sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources, the Fisheries Department, the Royal Forestry and the Harbor Department are responsible.

Coordination takes place through the committees in which concerned agencies are members. At the policy level, there is the National Environmental Board. At the planning and operational level, coordination is facilitated primarily through the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning and the Pollution Control Department.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Legislation affecting integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development includes the following:

Thailand has continuously revised the laws and legislation to meet international standards, although many still need revision.

Legislation in the area of marine environmental protection includes:

Legislation affecting the sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources includes:

In general, the established guidelines and standards are mandated to compel the involved activities.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

There is no specific national policy on oceans and seas. Thailand has established a National Committee on Sustainable Development of the Sea. In general, representatives of stakeholders have been nominated as committee members. The local communities are promoted to participate in the public hearing of any major development that potentially generates environmental impacts. The new constitution has promoted information and management transparency. Access to development information must be open to the public.

There are also policies that cover the major issues, such as:

Policies for integrated coastal zone management and sustainable development are directed toward:

Fully protecting the remaining mangrove areas;

Marine environmental protection policies address the following:

Policies for sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources aim at the following:

Other related measures include:

Programmes and Projects 

Among the programmes that have been developed to address the issues enumerated above are included:

Status 

The major current uses of the coastal areas in Thailand are fishing, aquaculture and tourism. The percentage of the economy contributed by fishing is about two percent of GDP.

Methods in place to encourage sustainable use and conservation of marine living resources include:

Shipping impacts on sustainable development mainly through improper waste management, especially in relation to the ship cleaning. Oil spills from ships also generate a major impact. In addition, there is conflict over land use in port development.

Impacts from other coastal- and marine-based industries are several. Over-fishing deteriorates the fishery resources. Conversion of mangrove forest to shrimp farms affects the coastal resources. There is over-capacity utilization of tourism resources, especially in the coral reef areas, and improper management of pollution in the areas. Oil and gas operations and transportation increase the risk to the coastal and marine environment. Operational discharges from offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation generate pollutants, including oil produced in water, oil contaminated drill cuttings, like oil-based mud, production chemicals, like residual drilling additives and well treatment agents, and other discharges and emissions, like sewage, garbage, deck drainage, heavy metal, aromatics and naturally occurring radioactive materials.

The primary sources of land-based pollution are domestic sources, industrial development areas and tourism areas, especially beach resorts and agriculture and aquaculture activities. There is also pollution from non-point sources, such as agriculture and urban runoff and coastal erosion.

The primary sources of sea-based pollution are offshore oil and gas operations, wastes from maritime transportation, shipping, oil spills, dredging and the red tide and harmful algal bloom.

The command and control approach has been strengthened through decentralization of resource and environmental management. Local communities are encouraged to play increasing roles in sustainable uses of resources. There are National Action Plans for mangrove, coral reefs and seagrass management. A seawater irrigation system has been implemented to reduce the pollution of shrimp farms. Central domestic wastewater treatment plants have been developed in the major cities, especially in the coastal areas.

Challenges

One of the main constraints recently faced by Thailand is the economic crisis that accelerates resource exploitation, reduces budgets available for ocean and coastal resource management. The unilateral action in using environmental issues as trade barriers of developed countries also seriously affects the livelihoods of the small fishing households.

Other constraints include:

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Programmes to educate policy-makers include seminars and study tours for new approaches in sustainable coastal management, such as the use of economic instruments, integrated coastal resource management, integrated watershed management. Regional meetings and cooperation, such as ASEAN, APEC, and ESCAP, also provide opportunity to exchange experiences at the policy-making level.

Capacity-building training programmes for the local administration organizations are being implemented for preparing resource and environmental management plans. Support to the factories to adopt ISO 14000 has been provided with training, auditing, etc. Local communities are also trained by NGOs to enhance their capability in managing coastal resources in their areas.

The Environmental Promotion Department regularly conducts campaigns for raising public awareness in protecting ocean and coastal resources. Similarly, the Fisheries Department also actively promotes the rehabilitation of fishery resources.

Information 

National fishery statistics include the number of catch, types of vessels, fishing gear, number of fishing households, and registered vessels. Research works on sustainable fishing, fishing efforts, etc.

Information on water quality is available in the coastal urban centers, coastal sea water quality, ocean pollution warning systems, etc. There are also statistics on oil skills in Thai waters.

Thailand has national mineral statistics, mineral deposit mapping, and a master plan for national mineral resource management.

With respect to critical uncertainties, Thailand maintains the following information: national GHG inventory for 1990 and mitigation policies to cope with climate change vulnerability and adaptation; and assessment of these uncertainties by the Meteorological Department.

There is GIS on coastal areas, and it has been utilized in marine and coastal resource management and planning, such as Songkla Basin and Phanga Bay. The Department of Fisheries has recently begun to set up GIS to assist decision-makers and planners.

Information is mainly used by the public agencies and academic institutes.

Simple indicators have been recommended for use at the provincial level in the preparation of provincial environmental action plans. At the national level, the sustainable yield of fishery resources is estimated, while the Green Account of Gross National Product is being developed. Water quality standards of the seawater are also regularly monitored.

Research and Technologies 

Basically, the lack of appropriate technology transfer is the major issue to impede the development of innovative approaches to sustainable coastal resource utilization.

The proposed technology should be effective and suitable to the areas. It should be cost-effective and harmonized with the local government.

Financing

In general, all activities are financed by the national budget. Some external assistance has been provided through research words under bilateral or multi-lateral progammes.

Cooperation

Thailand is a Party to several Conventions relevant to oceans and seas, including:

Framework Convention on Climate Change

Thailand is in the process of ratifying the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, and it is in the process of being a Party to the following Conventions: the International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships; the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness Response and Cooperation; and the International Convention on Civil Liability.

Thailand is also a member of or Party to the following:

Other bilateral, multilateral and international cooperation in this area includes:

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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.

To access the Web Site of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, click here:

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TOXIC CHEMICALS

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The Committee on Hazardous Substances has powers and duties to give opinions to the Minister of Industry or other responsible Ministers regarding the prescription of announcements. The Information Center for Hazardous Substances was established in the Department of Industrial Works as a coordinating center for all kinds of information relating to hazardous substances.

About 918 chemicals were named in the Ministerial Announcement (1994) to be controlled by the Ministries of Industry, Agriculture, and Public Health. The Ministry of Industry, among others, is responsible for the safe management of hazardous substances. The Department of Industrial Work serves as the Secretariat for the Committee on Hazardous Substances. The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) is a state enterprise under the supervision of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The main activities of PAT provide efficient services for ships and cargoes. The private sector has participated in some seminars, as well as in the Committee on Hazardous Substances.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Ministerial Announcements (1994,1995) under the provisions of the Hazardous Substance Act B.E 2535 (1992) are relevant to the management of toxic chemicals. The purpose of this act is to prevent, mitigate or arrest the dangers that could be inflicted upon persons, animals, plants, property or the environment, as well as consider international conventions and covenants. Control measures are covered in section 20 of the Hazardous Substance Act.

Toxic and dangerous products were declared hazardous substances in the Ministerial Announcements. The production, import, export or possession of any hazardous substance must be in compliance with control measures. Some hazardous substances are prohibited in all activities. The Thai Government has promoted policies for the safe management of hazardous substances under the provisions of the law. These policies have been published in the Government Gazette. The producer, importer, exporter or the person having the substance in possession must comply with the regulations which cover, for example, suitable and safe location for storage and production; placing labels on containers; safe transportation, waste management, and protection of the environment.

Most cargoes passing through Bangkok and Laem Chabang Ports include dangerous cargoes which need safe handling and storing. In this regard, PAT has provided sufficient facilities such as open storage areas, as well as other measures to comply with the safety standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). PAT has enforced laws, regulations, and announcements issued by itself and governmental agencies related to the safe handling and storage of dangerous goods within the port area. The Chemical Goods Section under the supervision of the Director General of Bangkok Port is responsible for checking and giving advice on the handling of dangerous goods in the port area.

Dangerous goods are ranked into 9 classes accordance to the IMDG Code. In 1995, 89.07% of class 4.2 and 7.46% of class 4.1 of a total of 723,523 metric tons passed through Bangkok Port; while 5.9% of class 1 and 7 and 94.1% of classes 2,3,4,5,6 and 9 of a total of 114,711 metric tons passed through Laem Chabang Port. The Bangkok Port, with an open storage area of 9,846 m2, provides storage for dangerous cargoes and includes container box safety equipment. The Laem Chabang Port, a warehouse for the storage of dangerous cargoes with an area of 8,200 m2, is under construction. It is expected be completed in June 1998.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

The Government believes that it cannot rate Thailand's capacity to control hazardous substances as "excellent" by world standards. However, the Government is proud of the fact that its capacity is rated "fair to excellent" among developing countries.

Cooperation

The Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) has sponsored a study on improving the handling of dangerous goods in ASEAN ports. The Swedish Government provided PAT with a grant to develop safety systems for the handing and storage of dangerous goods and for emergency preparedness. Regional cooperation has also taken place within the public sector.

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This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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WASTE AND HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Solid Waste and Sanitation

In 1995, a public enterprise called the "Waste Water Management Organization" was established to run a comprehensive waste water management system in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region (BMR) and other areas designated by the Government.

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The Environmental Quality Promotion Act, promulgated in 1992, has been the main framework for integrating Thailand's decentralized domestic waste management scheme into a more systematic approach. Several solid waste management regulations have been promulgated and waste disposal areas have been declared.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Municipalities are encouraged to set up waste management action plans. Areas declared as environmental conservation or pollution control zones are being managed intensively. All hospitals have to separate contaminated wastes from domestic wastes and appropriate waste treatment facilities have been established.

Status 

During the first half of the Seventh National Plan, Thailand finished constructing 40 projects, valued at more than 60 billion baht, for domestic waste water treatment plants in priority urban centers. By the year 1998, the BMR will be able to treat 50% of domestic wastewater, and other urban areas will be able to treat 25%. Investment in 45 hospital waste treatment plants is underway.

Thailand has promoted solid waste management efficiency by improving existing solid waste management systems and promoting the private sector's involvement in solid waste management. The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has expanded its organic fertilizer plant capacity and contracted the private sector to collect and sanitarily dump solid wastes. The private sector, in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, operates a pioneer industrial solid waste treatment plant. Another four plants are scheduled by the year 1997. In 1996, 333 hospital contaminated solid waste treatment plants were operational. This number accounts for about 40% of total hospitals in the country.

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This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

Information on waste management projects is provided from Thailand's Pollution Control Department

 

 

Hazardous Waste

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was signed by Thailand in 1990. The latest information provided to the Basel Convention Secretariat was in 1996. The Ministry of Industry manages hazardous substances under the provisions of the Hazardous Substance Act BE 2535 (1992).

Status 

Thailand would like to address the need for further training in hazardous waste management. Thailand's capacity for hazardous waste disposal is approximately 100,000 tons/year. Relevant technology issues include physical treatment, chemical treatment, and landfills. The major hazardous waste groups are heavy metal sludge solids and oils.

Financing 

Hazardous waste management is financed by The Royal Thai Government budget. The Government participates in bilateral cooperation with France, England, and Finland. There is no regional cooperation in this area.

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This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

Information on hazadous substances projects is provided from Thailand's Pollution Control Department
For direct link to the Web Site of the Basel Convention, click here:

 

Radioactive Waste

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

The management of radioactive waste in Thailand is the responsibility of the Office of Atomic Energy for Peace (OAEP). This agency is the functional arm of the Thai Atomic Energy Commission (Thai AEC), the policy-making organ of the Government of Thailand on nuclear energy. The Radioactive Waste Management Division (RWMD) serves as the National Waste Management Operating Organization of Thailand.

Status 

The radioactive waste produced in Thailand is categorized as low level waste and spent radiation sources. The emissions of the low level wastes are in the range of 3.7-37 Bg/1 for liquid, and about background level to 20 microsievert per hour for solids. The emissions of the spent radiation sources can be considered as high activity waste ranging from a few kilo-becquerel up to some ten gega-becquere per piece. Conditioned waste drums have been kept in temporary storage at the present OAEP site.

Since the main radioisotope users are from the medical sector, most Thai radioactive wastes originate from this quarter and are estimated to be 60% of the total volume of radioactive waste produced annually. Wastes from the agriculture and industrial sectors account for less than 5%. The remainder is generated by OAEP. All waste is stored at the place of generation and transported by truck to OAEP.

Liquid wastes are predominantly aqueous solutions with low concentrations of salts and small amount of organic liquids. The quantity of untreated waste is approximately 200 cubic meters per year. Raw solid wastes constituting refuse or debris contaminated with radionuclides as well as biological waste are about 45 cubic meters per year. There is also a small volume of the spent radiation sources of Co-60, Kr-85, Sr-90, Cs-137 and Ra-226 sent to OAEP for further handling every year.

For liquid waste, a chemical co-precipitation process has been employed. For solid waste after separation, the burnable waste is incinerated and non-burnable waste is packaged in a compactor. Treated waste such as resin is then transferred to a conditioning processor, using cement as a means of deactivation. The spent scaled radiation sources are kept in lead-shielding and packed in high-density concrete containers. The end product in the concrete container is kept in temporary storage at the OAEP site.

Thailand receives assistance in the management of radioactive waste from the International Energy Agency (IAEA).

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This information was provided by the Government of Thailand to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.


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