Ministry of Interior (MoI) officials attended training on the development of climate-integrated provincial development plans and support for climate actions that can be provided at the subnational level on 30-31 July 2020.
MoI is a key ministry responsible for the subnational implementation of several national policies. Its main role is to prevent suffering and maintain the happiness and well-being of the Thai people. Its mandates cover a variety of aspects including town planning, disaster prevention and mitigation, as well as the provision of utility services.
One of the main instruments that MOI uses to implement these various tasks at the subnational level is through the development of provincial and municipality plans. Importantly, the province can use the provincial development plan to guide its development direction. The context includes an interplay of various sectors, such as water resources, flood and drought management, agriculture, industry, transport infrastructure development, waste management and forest conservation. It is important that climate change aspects in terms of low-carbon growth and climate resilience can be integrated to ensure that actions at the subnational level and area-based development can support Thailand in meeting low-carbon and climate-resilient objectives, as well as align closely with policies set at the national level.
The two-day training course was conducted by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) in collaboration with GIZ, funded by the German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Topics included the integration of climate change aspects in the planning process of MoI to support subnational climate implementation in Thailand.
The training focused on building up understanding on the causes of climate change and its impacts as well as the integration of climate change into the planning process of the agencies and provinces. Climate change policy in Thailand was also introduced. Participants learnt and practised how to link the Climate Change Masterplan 2015 – 2050 with the Ministry of Interior’s responsibilities, sectoral climate change targets and contribution from agencies under the Ministry. Furthermore, how central agencies under MoI provide support to subnational agencies on the integration of climate change aspects with provincial development planning including other relevant subnational plans was addressed.
The participants were divided into 5 groups according to MoI’s working context, comprising natural disasters, energy and electricity, water supply and wastewater, urban green space and waste management. The group work allowed the participants to learn and practise data interpretation, data analysis for target setting and identified measures and actions to meet the targets. Legal and financial tools were considered as instruments for central agencies to support the implementation of climate actions at the subnational level.
Two executives, Mr. Songklot Sawangwong, Vice Governor of Kalasin province, who is on temporary duty at the Office of Permanent Secretary, MoI and Dr. Phirun Saiyasitpanich, Deputy Secretary-General of ONEP emphasised that the implementation of climate change policy needs good coordination and collaboration amongst the relevant agencies. Climate change-relevant targets and indicators have been clearly stated in the national plan and require action from subnational agencies. In this regard, MoI is an important player in driving climate actions. The most important element is that all actions need not only to fulfil climate change aspects but also benefit the people.