PAGE, through UNDP and UNIDO, in collaboration with the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) led on 23 January a consultation workshop on “Shaping Thailand’s Policy towards Green and Inclusive Recovery and Development”. The event focused on the Green and Inclusive Recovery Assessment of projects supported by the Economic and Social Rehabilitation Programme, which was part of the Thai government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The consultation workshop aimed to gather feedback from all stakeholders to further refine policy recommendations to support the formulation and implementation of SDG-aligned recovery and development policies in Thailand. The event brought together 40 representatives from the public sector as well UN representatives, funding partners, government officials. The consultation outcomes will result in a final report of the assessment in the coming months.
Renaud Meyer, UNDP Resident Representative in Thailand, underlined that PAGE is a timely partnership and that Green Economies have a role to play in tackling the triple planetary crisis.
“[PAGE is a global partnership that] is extremely timely, as most countries in the world are slowly transitioning out of a COVID recovery framework and back to a SDG-focused roadmap. (…) But this transition cannot ignore the triple environmental crisis of climate change, biodiversity degradation and pollution. This crisis requires the transition to foster green economic models as part of the way forward..”, he said.
“…And that will guide and influence the policy choices that Thailand will continue to make to accelerate the SDGs, including at local level. (…) Starting this year, UNDP and the broad UN family will focus on localizing the SDGs—bringing Agenda 2030 at provincial and municipal levels.”, added the UNDP Resident representative with regards to the outlook of 2023.
Thailand’s Stimulus Package
Thailand was one of the first countries to pass a comprehensive stimulus package during the pandemic. As part of the PAGE Support for Green and Inclusive Economic Recovery initiative, UNDP and UNIDO, in partnership with the NESDC, worked with the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) to conduct an in-depth evaluation of the impact under the 400 billion Baht Rehabilitation Programme in advancing the country’s green and inclusive development agenda.
This Green and Inclusive Recovery Assessment evaluated the impacts of the six selected projects on advancing the country’s green and inclusive development vision aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Nationally determined contributions (NDCs). UNDP and UNIDO in partnership with NIDA conducted several field trips to compile data and insights.
“Through PAGE the UN is partnering with NIDA and the government to see how we can further green the stimulus package and empower local communities at the same time by creating green jobs, supporting sustainability at household level, reducing GHGs, and boosting inclusion,” said Ms. Gita Sabharwal, UNRC Thailand.
Six projects evaluated
- One Tambon One New Theory Agriculture Groups
It aims to strengthen the development of the local community’s economy and food security through providing capacity building to farmers to adopt the new theory agriculture and sufficiency economy principles as well as promoting the marketing of agricultural products in each Tambon (subdistrict) throughout the country.
- “Kok Nong Na (Land-Water-Rice Field) Model”.
It intends to foster the adoption of Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) in farming practice and livings to meet the SDGs, and the development of Community and Household Lab Model for Quality of Life.
- Development of pilot areas for travel safety zone.
It focuses on developing pilot areas for safe travel and knowledge on safe travel, and on making a public relation of these pilot areas to foreign and domestic tourists.
- Upgrading the economy in the Central-Western Economic Corridor using BCG (Bio-Circular-Green) model.
It emphasizes improving agricultural production through applications of technologies and innovation to increase the competitiveness of related industrial processes and reduce costs and environmental impact. It also aims to add values to agricultural products throughout the value chain following the BCG model.
- Cotton Valley Creation
It promotes the community-level cotton industry in Loei Province and hence creates alternative income stream for the local communities.
- Processing of dried banana using solar energy in Pang-Nga Province
Based on the findings of this analysis, policy guidance will be developed to assist the government in developing SDG and NDC-aligned policies and recovery packages. The presentation of the assessment was also an opportunity to increase awareness of policy makers of stakeholders to embed green considerations, SDGs, NDC when formulating public policies, plans and implementation projects.
“The evaluation results show that these projects were aligned and contributed to SDG and NDC targets and vision of the government’s Bio-Circular-Green economy. At the same time, the evaluation identified the improvement opportunities and explored the policy options for designing future recovery policies in a greener and more inclusive way.”, said Abu Saieed, UNIDO focal point for PAGE in Asian Countries.
PAGE and Thailand
PAGE Thailand launched last November the implementation phase of the PAGE Work plan relating to green economic transformation in Thailand. The launch has marked an important step in accelerating partnerships and investments towards the green economy and green recovery policies in Thailand.
Thailand joined PAGE in 2019. The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) is the Government focal point for PAGE. UNIDO and ILO are leading implementing agencies. UNIDO acts as the main coordinating agency for the PAGE project in Thailand.
PAGE brings together the expertise of five UN agencies: UNEP, ILO, UNDP, UNIDO and UNITAR. Together they support nations and regions in transforming economies into drivers of sustainability and social equity, by providing policy advice, assessments, capacity development and analytical tools outputs to 22 partner countries, including Thailand.