Thailand is facing significant challenges due to the impacts of climate change in all sectors and the water sector is no exception. Changes in rainfall and temperature have direct impacts on the water cycle both quantitatively and qualitatively. As a result, managing water resources under the pressures of socio-economic development and climatic change is challenging. Therefore, cooperation between relevant agencies to manage water resources under climate change conditions is essential.
Against this background, Thailand’s main water agency and Thailand’s main climate agency, the Office of National Water Resources (ONWR) and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), are stepping up efforts to strengthen the integration of climate change adaptation into the country’s water management strategies. In order to enhance the resilience of the Thai water sector under climate change conditions and to create sustainable water management policies and plans at the watershed level, recommendations from a joint ONWR/ONEP policy brief will be used as supporting information for the revision of the 20-year Water Resources Management Master Plan.
Following a high-level Policy Dialogue held on December 2, 2019 in Bangkok, ONWR and ONEP agreed to strengthen climate change mainstreaming in the Thai water sector and to ensure consistency of policies and plans on climate change and water resource management both at the policy and the river basin levels. To this end, it was agreed to develop a joint policy brief that incorporates recommendations on mainstream climate change adaptation in the water sector.
The policy brief was developed by ONWR and ONEP with the support of the Thai-German Climate Programme-Water (TGCP-Water). Its purpose is to raise awareness about the need to integrate climate change adaptation, enhance cross-sectoral, cross-agency and multilevel cooperation, and heighten understanding of the range of adaptation options, from the strengthening of political and institutional mechanisms to specific ecosystem-based measures that can help mitigate the impacts of climate change. The policy brief includes guidance for integrating climate change adaptation both at the policy and river basin levels. During the development of the brief, a broad range of relevant government agencies was consulted to ensure that views and needs of different stakeholders were reflected.
The policy brief will be submitted to the National Water Resources Committee for consideration and approval by 2022.