Udon Thani Governor, Mr. Wattana Poodthichart, and Director of Climate Change Management and Coordination Division, Mr.Phirun Saiyasitpanich, representatives from local government authorities and private sector, joined the kick-off workshop on “Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into Subnational Planning Process”
On 12 October, 2017 Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) and GIZ Thailand (Risk based National Adaptation Plan Project) co-hosted the kick-off workshop “Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into sub-national Planning Process” at Udon Thani with the aim of increasing knowledge of climate change adaptation, raising awareness of city stakeholder through to visualizing potential change regarding the city development plan, consequences from socio-economic factor as well as projection of climate change impact on its urban development.
Recently, Udon Thani has already experiencing rapid economic growth and expansion of residential zones and urban areas. This spatial changes has already took place in line with its city development strategy of being a logistic hub for AEC, provincial center of Upper North East region. The city development strategy includes industrial & transport development, changes in the structure of agricultural products which bring about the land use changes and increasing demand of water.
During the workshop, public and private sector including representatives from Provincial Administrative Organization, municipalities, Sub-district Administrative Organization, Office of Strategic Management, water resources – related agencies (Department of Water Resources, Royal irrigation Department, Provincial waterworks authority), Department of Public Works and Town Planning, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation; Udon Thani Real Estate Association, the Udon Thani Chamber of Commerce, and academia, learned how climate change and its consequences – floods and droughts, will hinder the development progress of Udon Thani and brainstorm their vision on how will city of Udon Thani will look like in the next 20 years under different climate scenarios. Also, the workshop demonstrated scientific evidence, results of previous study and the integration of risks into short and long-tern development goals, the need and importance of institutional arrangements. Furthermore, a decision-making tool, or is known as “Suitability Model”, was introduced with practical examples in other countries by international experts.
Through the lens of the city stakeholders, findings show that the two major concerns regarding the climate risks are; water shortages, human settlements and urban growth which tends to expand into the predicted floods risk areas. These issues accompany with other non-climate factors including an increasing water demand for new agricultural products and markets, water demand to support industrial & tourism development, and for household water consumption. Overall recommended and on-going adaptation measures for being climate resilient rely on structural options, e.g., construction of new water storage, reservoir and detention basins, enabling water transfer option from Mekong River Basin, using water pumping system to prevent urban flooding. Other non-structural adaptation measures were raised as important issue e.g, early flood warning system.