BACKGROUND

Contained below are links to materials that either address the impacts and responses to global warming in Thailand specifically, or provide new Thai language information about recent developments about global warming generally. While there is a growing amount of information about global warming now circulating in Thailand, very little of it relates to Thailand, so if you have suggestions for new information that you think should be featured here, please send us an email. Most of this material is in Thai, but some reports, although about Thailand, are only available in English.

 

Policy

Impacts of the Kyoto Protocol on Thailand

Two Thammasat University economists Dr. Niramon Suthammakit and Dr. Chalotorn Kansantisukmongkol released in October 2007 a (draft) report on the impact of the Kyoto Protocol on Thailand. Sponsored by Thailand Research Fund. The 81-page Thai language report assessed the status of the Clean Development Mechanism's (CDM) implementation in Thailand. The CDM is a key component of the Kyoto Protocol that facilitates investments in carbon-reduction projects, including clean energy, energy efficiency and reforestation. The report encourages Thailand to pursue those CDM projects that can help the country mitigate CO2 emission and reduce the its reliance on fossil fuels.

The National Plan

Thailand’s draft national five-year strategic plan to address climate change has been out for public comment since September of 2007. Prepared for the Office of National Environmental Policy and Planning, by Thailand Environmental Institute http://www.tei.or.th/. This plan discusses the impacts global warming may bring to the Thailand’s natural resources, such as forests, soils, water, fisheries. It also discussed the impacts to the critical industries of seaside tourism and agriculture, and examined the potential impacts to public health. The plan suggested a number of mitigation measures, such as energy efficiency, a less-polluting transport sector, and new land-use strategies in response to anticipated sea level rise. The plan does not yet address when such mitigation measures might be implemented, nor the agencies responsible for doing so. Currently, the plan’s principle action items emphasize increased training of government employees about global warming and encouraging them to incorporate this knowledge into future polices and projects. Download 5.8MB Thai pdf

Bangkok’s Draft Action Plan for Global Warming Response 2007-2012

In June of 2007, Bangkok Governor, Apirak Kosayodhin released the city’s first global warming action plan. Public comments are still being accepted. The BMA plan outlines Bangkok’s municipal infrastructure and services that contribute to CO2 emissions including transportation, solid waste disposal and wastewater treatment. The plan then lays out a series of responses: improved mass transit, promotion of alternative fuels, support for green buildings, more green areas and open space, and recycling. No timelines or specific objectives are yet contained in the draft plan for how and when such responses might be implemented.

Thailand’s Position on C02 Reduction Strategies Compared to Other Countries

In July 2007, in preparation for future international climate change discussions, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs complied 20-page summary of the activities and proposals countries throughout the world have advanced to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the report illustrates how Singapore is well underway on research toward use of alternative energy sources, while Thailand, as poor country, feels it has insufficient resources to devote to developing such a strategy.

 

General Overview

Global Warming Comes to Thailand

In March 2007 Sarakadee magazine produced one of the first feature articles specific to the threats global warming poses to Thailand. Written by the editor, Vanchai Tantiwitayapitak, the article presented a number of case studies of impacts already experienced, including more extensive flooding and coastal erosion, crop loss and declining farm labor, and increased incidents of disease. Also included is a simple and concise overview titled, Global Warming: Ten Questions and Ten Things You Can Do.

 

Science

Climate Change in Thailand, trends and issues to be addressed

 

This easily readable 20-page paper summarizes a five-year study simulating future climate variability in Thailand. The results indicate a high likelihood of more extensive rainfall throughout most regions of the country. While there will unlikely be significant changes in the maximum and minimum temperatures in Thailand, it is forecasted that an additional 2-3 weeks each year will have temperatures in excess of 33 degrees, and 2-3 fewer weeks per year will have temperatures below 15 degrees. The paper was prepared for the Thailand Research Fund by Suppakorn Chinvano, with the Southeast Asia Global Change System for Analysis Research and Training (START).

 

Adaptation

Flood Vulnerability & Sea Level Rise in Bangkok

In March 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted that global warming could cause sea levels to rise as much as 59cm by the end of the century. This is an average numbers and the amount of increase could vary considerable depending on latitude. Any additional sea level rise in Bangkok will exacerbate the existing problem of increased flooding due to land subsidence of approximately 4cm per year resulting from ground-water pumping. A study by Dushmanta Dutta from the Asian Institute of Technologies, Thailand, and Shulian Niu from the University of Tokyo found that a 50 cm increase in mean sea level will cause 55% of Bangkok to be affected by flooding, representing a 16% increase over current areas inundated. With real-estate development continuing to flourish in the delta areas, the authors suggest greater attention may need to be paid to land-use planning within these inundations zones.

Novel Coastal Barrier Technology to Combat Sea Level Rise

 

One of the main concerns facing Thailand’s coastal areas is how to plan for, and mitigate the impacts of, sea level rise. Thailand’s principal experts on coastal erosion, Dr. Thanawat Jarupongsakul, believes he’s found part of the solution. In the particularly troublesome area of Baan Khun Samutjeen in Samut Prakarn province just south of Bangkok on Gulf of Thailand, he has been experimenting with a new type of coastal barrier specifically for muddy soils. The technique has not only helped to slow down the rate of erosion, but allowed soils to again accumulate in many areas. Noting how coastal erosion is already such a problem, Thanawat feels these new barriers offer considerable promise should sea level rise further aggravate the Thailand’s coastal erosion problem further.

 

 

What you can do

You to the Rescue

 

Greenpeace Thailand has produced a simple 32-page booklet, The Climate Crisis: a Rescue Handbook, outlining a number of steps we all can take to reduce the amount of carbon we each help put into the atmosphere during our daily routine. It stresses that international agreements alone cannot effectively solve the climate crisis, instead the solutions require individuals to accept a change in attitude and lifestyle. The handbook describes how we should lead our life in the way that will leave the least possible ecological footprint by conserving energy at home and at work, switching to alternative sources of energy and fuels, increased use public transportation, eat less meat because it requires more energy than vegetable to produce, and to choose food which is produced near your home to minimize the energy used in transporting our meals. The handbook also encourages us to stay alert to new information and findings put out by scientists, and to elect politicians who support aggressive measures to combat climate change.

 

 

Environment

Biodiversity and Climate Change

A translation of Biodiversity and Climate Change, a publication of the secretariat of the Convention for Biodiversity, by Dr Sangchan Limjirakarn of Chulalongkorn University. The 44-page document was released in conjunction with the International Day for Biodiversity on 22 May 2007. It lays out the impacts and threats of climate change on different ecologies from the poles, mountains, savannas, forests, islands, coastal areas and oceans to agricultural lands and inland water resources. It also offers direction for adaptation for people living in different ecological areas.