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Thailand - Environment & Sustainability

Date: 2024-05-02

泰國永續發展

Summary:
Since 2014, Thailand has increasingly treated sustainability as an important national issue. Furthermore, before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand utilized sustainability initiatives to foster national development. More specifically, in 2021, Thailand aimed to promote further industrial transformation and enhance social welfare by creating a BCG Model, which combined Thailand 4.0 and the work conducted in the scientific research cluster, EECi.

 

 Section:|OverviewAgenciesPolicies & StrategiesImplementationThailand-TaiwanInternational CollaborationTable

 

Overview

In 2015, Thailand set up short, medium and long-term targets for sustainable national development by drafting its Climate Change Master Plan, 2015-2050. Furthermore, in 2017, Thailand launched the Thailand Industrial Development Strategy 4.0 (Thailand 4.0) to further promote industrial transformation within the country. In addition, the disruptions of Covid-19 have made sustainable development even more pressing for Thailand. Besides solely focusing on economic development, mitigating the impacts of communicable diseases and climate change is now also of the utmost importance. Therefore, Thailand created a Bio, Circular and Green Model (BCG Model) to bring together the two aforementioned initiatives while driving international cooperation in food, agriculture, medicine, healthcare, energy, biochemistry, tourism, and creative industries.

 


 

 

Related Agencies

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Policies & Strategies

Bio-Circular-Green Model
Thailand’s BCG Model is a component of its National Strategy (2018-2037) and an important pillar of Thailand 4.0. Approved in January 2021, this initiative aims to help Thailand utilize sustainable economic development to become an advanced economy. Thailand’s BCG Model will run from 2021 to 2027 and initially focus on Food and Agriculture, Medical and Health Service, Energy and Biochemistry, Travel and the Creative Economy. The Green Economy became an important part of the BCG Model in 2022 along with the development of Thailand’s climate initiatives.

Thailand's BCG Model © NSTDA

Thailand's BCG Model © NSTDA

 

Thailand 4.0
The Ministry of Industry of Thailand launched Thailand 4.0 in 2017, which focuses mainly on utilizing technology to transform Thailand’s labor-intensive industries. More specifically, the strategy aims to transform Thailand’s economy from agriculture (1.0) to light industry (2.0) and then from heavy industry (3.0) to innovation-driven manufacturing (4.0). Thailand 4.0 initially focused on automated manufacturing, bio-technology, and the digital economy, however, in 2019, the initiative added 2 other sectors; national defense and education. By leveraging the work conducted at the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi), Thailand 4.0 also aims to raise the country’s standard of living through technological development and national sustainability.

Thailand 1.0 - Thailand 4.0 © Thailand Board of Invest

Thailand 1.0 - Thailand 4.0 © Thailand Board of Invest

 

 

Climate Change Master Plan, 2015-2050
Thailand’s National Committee on Climate Change approved the Climate Change Master Plan, 2015-2050 at the end of 2014. In 2015, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment announced that climate change is now the country’s main obstacle in achieving national sustainable development. This initiative also mentioned that climate change promotes the spread of communicable diseases while heavily impacting Thailand’s economy, especially its agricultural sector. The Master Plan set forth short-term, mid-term, and long-term targets, which Thailand aims to achieve by 2016, 2022, and 2050 respectively. The Plan also proposes three key strategies: climate change adaptation, mitigation and low-carbon development, and creating a favorable environment for climate change management.

 


 

 

Implementation Area

Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation
As an important portion of Thailand 4.0, EECi includes three provinces along the east coast: Chachoengsao, Chonburi, and Rayong, and has entered its second phase (2022-2026), which focuses on constructing railways and highways. At four development settlements: BIOPOLIS, FOOD INNOPOLIS, ARIPOLIS, and SPACE INNOPOLIS, the EECi aims to develop key industries such as modernized agriculture, biorefineries, batteries, modern transportation, aviation, and medical devices. This initiative also provides incentives to encourage foreign investment while promoting Thailand’s BCG Model.

An Ecosystem in EECi for BCG Economic Development © NSTDA/EECi(Source: Sri Lanka Embassy in Thailand)

An Ecosystem in EECi for BCG Economic Development © NSTDA/EECi (Source: Sri Lanka Embassy in Thailand)

 


 

 

Collaboration: Taiwan and Thailand

National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)
Overseas Science and Technology Innovation Centers (STICs)
Under the Executive Yuan’s New Southbound Policy (NSP), the NSTC aims to seek and deepen international S&T cooperation while promoting the development of the humanities and social sciences. Thus, the NSTC funds research institutions to set up  STICs. These STICs use diversified and flexible methods to enhance substantive scientific research cooperation and technological innovation exchanges between Taiwan and New Southbound Countries.

WISE Center Logo

 

Center for Water Innovation and Sustainable Energy Research (WISE)|Project Date: 09/01/2021
In September 2021, National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) and National Metal and Materials Technology Centre (MTEC) partnered with the NSTC to establish the Taiwan-Thailand Science and Technology Innovation Center for Clean Water and Sustainable Energy Nexus (WISE Center). The WISE Center aims to expand collaboration between researchers from Taiwan and throughout the Mekong River to promote technological innovation, cultivate local talent, and drive technological internationalization and environmental sustainability (NSSTC, 2022)

Unveiling Ceremony of the WISE Center at NTHU

Unveiling Ceremony of the WISE Center at NTHU

 

In October 2023, members of the WISE Center at National Tsing Hua University met with Chiang Mai University Department of Mining and Petroleum Engineering Dr. Suparit Tangparitkul. Currently, Tangparitkul’s Chiang Mai University (CMU) team is collaborating with MTEC, which is the location of the WISE Center office in Bangkok, to assist the Thai government in planning its 2050 net-zero emission strategy. In addition, CMU will partner with NTHU to develop CO2 storage technology.

The Thai government plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2065. Based on Thailand’s goals, Tangparitkul explained that the country has selected five, two offshore and three land-based, potential CO2 storage sites. A representative of NTHU also explained that Taiwan currently possesses research capabilities for forward-looking technologies in net-zero emissions as well as carbon capture and utilization. Both Taiwan and Thailand agree that net-zero carbon emissions are currently an important global issue, and close international collaboration is an important strategy to promote sustainable development. As such, Thailand will establish a national carbon sequestration laboratory at CMU in 2024 to strengthen relevant technological research in Thailand (NSSTC, 2023).

In February 2023, NTHU collaborated with MTEC to launch the WISE Center, which aims to foster closer cooperation with countries throughout the Mekong River area such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In addition, the Taiwan Instrument Research Institute (TIRI) has partnered with the WISE Center to develop a MIP-based electrochemical micro-sensor prototype. From February 25 to 26, 2023, an NTHU team led by NTHU Senior Vice President Nyan-Hwa Tai and MTEC researchers visited the Mekong River in Chiang Khong to perform an on-site analysis of OPP using the MIP-based electrochemical micro-sensor prototype. Results obtained from the on-site analysis validated the applicability of MIP-based micro-sensors for OPP analysis in water samples and served as the basis for real on-site monitoring in the Mekong River (NSSTC, 2023).

NTHU and MTEC Researchers Collecting Water Samples from the Mekong River for Testing

NTHU and MTEC Researchers Collecting Water Samples from the Mekong River for Testing

 

 

Ministry of Agriculture
In October 2021, Taiwan and Thailand jointly held the 2021 Taiwan-Thailand Circular Agriculture Business Forum. Participants at the Forum exchanged views on “equipment related to the reuse of poultry excrement,” “use of smart dairy cow raising machinery and technology,” “packaging technology for instant coffee and tea” and “processing technology for waste from durians and bananas.” At the Forum, the Deputy Minister of the Thai Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives indicated that Thailand is committed to developing science, technology, and innovation, improving the country’s agriculture and food system, and providing safer products to consumers. Thailand also hoped that the Forum could further upgrade the entire agriculture and food industry through industrial coordination between Thailand and Taiwan (MOA, 2021).

 

Ministry of Economic Affairs
The Ministry of Economic Affairs Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) organized the SPIRAL – Circular Design Exhibition with the public and private sectors of Thailand, Japan, Denmark and Germany. Thailand’s Creative Economy Agency (CEA) was in charge of coordinating Thailand’s participants and presenting important manufacturers and products created under the BCG policy. Thailand’s participants at SPIRAL mainly focused on those related to the utilization or refining of agricultural waste. The CEA also signed a letter of intent with the Taiwan Design Research Institute (TDRI) to facilitate more cooperation in the development of products related to the circular economy (TDRI, 2022).

In September 2022, IDB partnered with Thailand to hold the 6th Taiwan Thailand Industrial Collaboration Summit (TTICoS). The event focused on Food & Biotechnology, Textiles, Smart Cities, and Automations. 4 MoUs were signed during TTICoS, two of which were signed between companies from Taiwan and Thailand. In particular, Taiwan’s HIWIN agreed to collaborate with Thailand's Synergy Technology in ICT. In addition to the four MoUs, there were also several instances of informal cooperation such as Taiwan’s AdvMeds and Thailand's Connect Diagnosis. These informal ties have helped foster further bilateral cooperation in sustainable communications and medicine (NCSD, 2022).

 


 

 

International Collaboration

United Nations
Before 2010, Thailand had several self-declarations with UN agencies. In April 2022, the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center of NSTDA (NECTEC-NSTDA) partnered with UNESCO to establish an online database for the collection and protection of cultural heritage. The database systematically archives data on cultural heritage, local wisdom, and biological resources to assist researchers and support the development of the creative economy, tourism, and sustainable communities. (NSTDA, 2022)

 

APEC
In August 2022, Thailand hosted the APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM). During the meeting of the APEC Health Working Group, Thailand presented its achievements in medicine under the BCG policy. The presentation included Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Proton Centre, the King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Princess Sirindhorn Craniofacial Centre, the Thai Red Cross Society, Thai Red Cross Relief and Community Health Bureau, and the digital healthcare platform Mor Prom. (NSTDA - BCG, 2022)

 

France
France and Thailand have also cooperated on sustainability initiatives since 2022. In July 2022, the Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF), the France-Thailand Business Forum (FTBF) of Thailand, and the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce held the 3rd France-Thailand Business Forum. At the forum, France took the opportunity to express interest in investing in Thailand’s six major potential green industries: agriculture and high-value processed agriculture, sustainable tourism, electric vehicle and parts manufacturing, medical and health services, transportation and logistics, smart electronics manufacturing, and digital services. France also stated its willingness to cooperate with Thailand’s public and private sectors. During an official visit to Thailand in 2023, the French Minister of Higher Education and Research signed a Declaration of Intent between the two countries on cooperation in higher education, science, research and innovation.


Australia
NSTDA and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) established the Mekong Plastics Innovation Alliance on May 15, 2023. The Alliance aims to bring together local knowledge, private sector resources, and scientific expertise while focusing on areas such as plastic pollution in waterways and the integrity of oceans and rivers. The Alliance will increase the resilience of the Mekong River region by applying CSIRO’s success at The Plastic Innovation Hub Vietnam. (CSIRO - IPPIN)

 


 

 

Thailand's Policy on Sustainability & Environment

Agency Policy, Strategy, Project & Initiative
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MNRE)

Climate Change Master Plan, 2015-2050

National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA)

Bio-Circular-Green Model, BCG Model

Ministry of Industry (MIND)

Thailand Industrial Development Strategy 4.0

National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)

National Tsing Hua University (NTHU)

Taiwan Instrument Research Institute (TIRI)

National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA)

National Metal and Materials Technology Centre (MTEC)

Taiwan-Thailand Science and Technology Innovation Center for Clean Water and Sustainable Energy Nexus (WISE Centre)

MIP-based Electrochemical Micro-sensor

Testing of organophosphorus pesticides in the Mekong River

 

Keywords: #Thailand  #Sustainability


 

Reference / Sources:

Thailand

 

Foreign Sources

 

Domestic Sources

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