Government People

Since becoming Bangkok's Governor in 2004, Apirak has emerged as one of the first Thai politicians to incorporate global warming as a principal component of his platform. In May 2007, he launched a CO2 reduction campaign encouraging Bangkok citizens to recycle their garbage, use less energy and start riding bicycles. Using media events followed by placards and signs scattered throughout the capital, he’s hoping to keep the idea of reducing our carbon footprint in the public eye. In June 2007 he released a draft 2007-2012 Action Plan to guide the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration’s response to Global Warming.

Often referred to as Thailand’s climate lady, the senior official from the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), the agency charged with implementing the Kyoto Protocol in Thailand, routinely represent Thailand at international climate change meetings and negotiations. Although Thailand remains a relatively inactive player within these negotiations, she tries to secure funding from donor countries for adaptation and CO2 reduction programs. She feel Thailand, like many developing countries, will benefit from technology transfers to combat global warming.

Scientists

Dr. Sitanon, presently Technical Advisor of the Red Cross/ Red Crescent Climate Centre, serves on Thailand’s National Climate Change Committee. Since 1996, he has closely monitored the politics of climate change, from developing countries' perspectives, with a view that developing countries are persuaded to believe in developed countries' dominance in science, technology and mindset, without realization of their own weaknesses in negotiating climate change. He is a strong advocate for the Thai government to enhance its own research capacity, broaden participation of stakeholders and to implement appropriate policies. He is also founder of Climate Policy Initiative of SEA START, a global change research network, based at Chulalongkorn University.

Dr. Schipper is a Project Manager with Southeast Asia Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training. Her specialty is exploring adaptation mechanisms in response to climate change. She has written extensively on the adaptation issue, many of which can be found on her climate change adaptation website. Her focus in Thailand now is the development of a network to facilitate the training of scientists in Southeast Asia in different areas of climate change research. Email

Suppakorn is a consultant with the Southeast Asia Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training. He works closely with Anond Sanidvongs on Thailand climate models as well as his own field research. He is particularly interested in understanding the impacts global warming will have on Thailand’s agricultural sector and adaptation strategies that may need to be developed. His initial research on the impact of climate change on farmers and their production of the famous Hom Mali fragrant rice at Thung Kula was the first of its kind. Email

Dr. Thiravat is Professor of Neurology at the Department of Medicine and Molecular Biology Center for Neurological Diseases Chulalongkorn University Hospital. He studies disease transmission from animals to humans, particularly viruses. He feels strongly that global warming will alter the life cycles of animals and insects, likely changing how, when and what types of diseases we need to be prepared for. For example, Thailand’s tropical climate makes it particularly vulnerable to disease transmission via mosquitoes; major changes in their environment could change their ability to transmit new strains of tropical diseases. He has aggressively urged policy makers to look into this issue.

Dr. Anond is Director of the Southeast Asia Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training. He is one of the first scientists to seriously study the impact of climate change in Thailand, and remains one of the most cited Thai experts on climate change issues. He assisted the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration in drafting its global warming Action Plan. In November 2007 he will release the findings from new climate change modeling for Thailand, developed in cooperation with the UK-based Handley Centre.

Atsamon is a researcher with the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion. He studied earth and atmospheric sciences at Nagoya University, and his principle focus now is global warming in Thailand. He has produced a study to confirm the likely temperature changes Thailand will experience due to global warming, slated for publication by the Atmospheric Research Journal in late 2007. He also is collaborating with Dr. Sangchan Limjirakarn’s on the Assessment of Extreme Weather Events and Hotspot Areas in Thailand. Email

Dr. Sangchan is senior researcher at Chulalongkorn University’s Environmental Research Institute. One of her recent studies investigated the release of methane gas from rice fields. As methane is a greenhouse gas, the global levels of which need to be reduced, rice farming has been a target of some western governments. She has helped to document the limited contribution rice farming in Thailand make to global methane releases. Currently, she is working on the Assessment of Extreme Weather Events and Hotspot Areas in Thailand funded by the Thailand Research Fund. The results are expected in 2008, and will help Thailand prioritize areas in need of improved natural disaster preparation.

Dr. Kamphol teaches at Thammasat University’s Applied Health Faculty. He constantly warns that rising temperature in Thailand could increase the likelihood of epidemics. He's now exploring this hypothesis through pioneering research on the changing genes and DNA of the cholera virus, enabling it to spread year-round instead of during only the summer months. The three-year research project, which began in 2005, examines the mouths of four key rivers in the Central region: Chao Phraya, Bang Pakong, Thachin, and Mae Klong. His initial findings indicate that only a 0.5 degrees centigrade increase in water temperature can enable the cholera virus to grow rapidly and cause previously benign strains of the virus to now trigger the disease.

Dr. Thanawat is a lecturer in geology at Chulalongkorn University specializing in soil erosion. He studies coastal areas with severe erosion problems, and more recently has been investigating how climate change and sea level rise may be an important contributing factor to accelerating coastal erosion. He recently engineered a new type of coastal barrier installed in Baan Khun Samut Jeen in Samut Prakarn. These new barriers have received wide acclaim for their effectiveness, and are now being promoted as one of the tools Thailand should use to respond to sea level rise caused by global warming.

Advocacy Group

Tara Buakhamsri is climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. He first captured media attention as a respected critic of industrial pollution in Thailand. With Greenpeace he has lead opposition efforts to clean coal and nuclear power plants offered as mechanisms for Thailand to reduce CO2 emmissions. In August 2007, Tare and launched Greenpeace Thailand’s mobile Climate Clinic, and accompanying handbook, for people to calculate the amount of CO2 emissions they are individually responsible for through the course of any given day, and the strategies they can take to reduce these emissions.

Wanun consults for the Renewable Energy Institute of Thailand, a member of Climate Action Network, a worldwide network of non-government organisations working to promote government, private sector and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. She emerged as a vocal activist in April 2007 when Bangkok hosted meetings or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She cautioned Thai society that the government can't be allowed to use the need to reduce carbon emissions as a rationale to promote nuclear power. Wanan is concurrently a PhD candidate at the Asian Institute of Technology researching Thailand's vulnerability to climate change and its capabilities to adapt.

Chom is a public interest electricity sector analyst working to shift Thailand to more appropriate energy producing technologies. From 1999 to 2003 she worked as a policy analyst with Thailand's Energy Policy and Planning Office (EPPO), responsible for electricity policy reform. She studied environmental engineering at Dartmouth College and has a MS from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California at Berkeley. She co-found Palang Thai, a Thailand-based non-profit organization that promotes transitions within the region's energy sector to more economically, social and environmental just energy generation and distribution practices.

International NGOs

Mr Seeley is City Coordinator for the Clinton Climate Initiative. Bangkok is one of the 40 largest cities the Clinton Foundation is working with to develop and implement a range of projects and programs to increase energy efficiency and generate cleaner energy. The initiative’s main focus is to provide technical assistance by combining the purchasing power of many cities to accelerate the evolution of markets for alternative energy products.