Addressing Economic, Environmental, & Climate Change Related Issues in Thailand a Huge Challenge During COVID-19

Addressing Economic, Environmental, & Climate Change Related Issues in Thailand a Huge Challenge During COVID-19

At present, Thailand is facing major economic and environment-related challenges with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, including severe droughts, and widespread forest fires. The COVID-19 pandemic droughts and forest fires have been described as “Thailand’s triple disaster.” In this regard, it has been mentioned: “The combination of the global coronavirus pandemic, droughts, and choking fires have all combined to create a particularly difficult environment for the Thai government to navigate.” 

With respect to the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand’s economic activities have come to a standstill. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has generated an adverse impact on Thailand’s Tourism sector. Here, it has been stated: “The economic fallout has been palpable. Tourism, a major sector that had already been dipping prior to the suspension of world travel,  and has been hit hard.” Similarly, severe droughts are a major concern. To elaborate upon the devastating impacts in Thailand from droughts, it has been argued: “Prolonged droughts across the country had threatened economic disaster well before the emergence of the virus.” Accordingly, the Thailand government has promised to undertake a key reform by providing welfare payments for those employed in the agriculture sector in order to address the on-going droughts in the country.

Thirdly, forest fires are also currently a major environment-related concern in Thailand. It has been highlighted: “choking fires to the north have left millions facing a series of health concerns and only increased the fracturing of trust between Thais living in the villages and cities of the north and leaders in Bangkok.” With respect to forest fires in Thailand, the Environment Minister Varawut Silpaarcha argued: “fires have been deliberately set, both by foragers and by others to cause mayhem.”

Some reforms, like the expansion of welfare and dispersion of cash, have been undertaken by the Thai government to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, droughts, and forest fires in the country. However, it is uncertain at present whether these reforms will be effective in addressing Thailand’s triple disaster. 

To know more about the triple disaster in Thailand, please visit the April 14, 2020 report by The Diplomat at https://thediplomat.com/2020/04/thailand-confronts-its-triple-disaster-in-2020/


Activity Ranking ** Long-lived Negative Impacts of COVID-19 in Thailand

The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to be long-lived in Thailand as it has currently recorded one of the highest numbers of coronavirus cases in Asia. The impacts from COVID-19 have been adverse in Thailand due to a large number of deaths, which in turn is putting more burdens upon the country’s healthcare system. Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the entire Thai economy to a standstill. COVID-19 has hit Thailand very hard with respect to facilitating climate change efforts. Due to the current economic downturn in Thailand, allocating large proportions of the budget for facilitating climate change efforts is likely to be challenging especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Take Action

To ensure that the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic are effectively addressed and for incorporating climate change efforts in Thailand, you can send the following action alert message to the Office of the Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP):

We congratulate the Government of Thailand for announcing reforms like the expansion of welfare and dispersion of cash in order to address the challenges related to COVID-19 pandemic, droughts, and forest fires. These reforms are certainly a positive move. However, more is yet to be done to ensure that the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic are effectively addressed and to facilitate climate change efforts. In this regard, as a prominent member of the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), your role will be critical. Here, I request you kindly to consider one recommendation. A comprehensive relief package should be developed for addressing health, economic, and environmental issues in Thailand during such a pandemic situation. The relief package should allocate appropriate budgets for the health sector, the agricultural sector, as well to the environment ministry. The budget allocated to the environment ministry should be utilized accordingly for supporting climate change efforts. 

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


For more information please contact Climate Scorecard Thailand Country Manager Neebir Banerjee: Neebir@climatescorecard.org or neebirban@yahoo.com

 

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