The Cost of Climate Change in Thailand

Spotlight Activity: The Cost of Climate Change in Thailand

Climate change in Thailand is expected to have serious social costs. For instance, climate change will inflate health-related issues amongst the vulnerable populations of Thailand. It has been estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that heat waves resulting from climate change will adversely affect children, the elderly and outdoor workers of Thailand. The WHO estimates that “heat-related mortality among the Thai elderly will increase to 58 deaths per 100,000 population by 2080”. 

Dr. Thiravat Hemachudha, head of Chulalongkorn University’s Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre, argues that “climate change not only increased transmission rates and the severity of known infectious diseases, but the ecological changes from rising global temperature could also spawn new harmful diseases”. Dr. Thiravat also suggests that transmission of diseases like dengue and malaria amongst the vulnerable populations of Thailand is more likely to increase due to climate change. Here, Dr. Thiravat mentions “Climate change is creating a suitable environment for diseases to develop and spread because the warmer climate enables the propagation of tropical-disease vectors and allows them to expand into colder regions, allowing widespread and higher transmission rates of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue”. 

Finally, Dr. Thiravat recommends different measures to reduce the vulnerability from climate change-generated diseases. The measures include “building up a strong healthcare system, encouraging preventive medical care, and strengthening climate resilience and mitigation measures”. In this regard, Dr. Thiravat says that “If a person is healthy and has a strong immune system, it will be hard for him to catch a flu. The same principle applies to a country’s ability to prepare for emerging health risks- if our citizens are healthy, the country would be safe from outbreaks”. 

LEARN MORE

To know more about the social costs of climate change in Thailand, please visit the September 9, 2018, report by the Nation at https://www.nationthailand.com/national/30354070

Status: Standing Still

At present, efforts are being made to reduce climate change vulnerability in Thailand. At the institutional level, Dr. Thiravat Hemachudha, is taking steps to strengthen Thailand’s efforts to reduce climate change vulnerability. However, to further strengthen these efforts, concrete roadmaps need to be in place. Here, the Thai government, planners, academicians along with the stakeholders should come together and jointly formulate appropriate roadmaps and solutions to address climate change vulnerability. Finally, to reduce climate change risks amongst the vulnerable populations in Thailand more proactive measures will be necessary. These proactive measures can include educating vulnerable populations through educational workshops, providing hands-on training to help vulnerable populations protect themselves from climate change risks and by providing regular health checkups for vulnerable communities to reduce the risks of diseases.

Take Action

To help Thailand in strengthening its efforts of reducing climate change vulnerability amongst the vulnerable population, you can contact the members of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning with the following Action Alert message:

We congratulate the Government of Thailand for taking measures to enhance the efforts of reducing climate change vulnerability amongst the vulnerable populations. To ensure that  efforts of reducing climate change vulnerability are successful in the long-run, more needs to be done. As a prominent member of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), I request you kindly to consider two recommendations. First, one recommendation requires facilitating concrete roadmaps for reducing climate change risks amongst  vulnerable populations. Here, we recommend you convene regular meetings of key stakeholders to plan appropriate health service delivery measures that can reduce the climate change related health risks of vulnerable population groups. A second recommendation requires implementing awareness programs at the national, state and regional-levels about climate change; and providing hands-on training to vulnerable populations for protecting themselves from climate change risks.

Send Action Alert Message to:

Dr. Raweewan Bhuridej

Secretary General

Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning

60/1 Soi Pibulwatana 7, Rama VI Road,

Phayathai, Bangkok 10400 Thailand

Telephone: 0-2265-6506, Fax: 0-2265-6506

Email: rawewan@onep.go.th

Dr. Asadaporn Kraipanont

Deputy Secretary General

Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning

60/1 Soi Pibulwatana 7, Rama VI Road,

Phayathai, Bangkok 10400 Thailand

Telephone: 0-2265-6505, Fax: 0-2265-6506

Email: kasdaporn@gmail.com

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