28 June 2021 – The Risk-based National Adaptation Plan (Risk-NAP) project held a closing ceremony to virtually celebrate the achievements in climate adaptation implementation in Thailand along with its partners and beneficiaries.
This 6-year project, Risk-NAP, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has supported the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) with climate change adaptation policy planning and the formulation of significant policy planning modalities and collaborative networks for effective implementation in the development of the national Climate Change Risk Assessment and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP). Funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the project has been one of the important drivers for Thailand to achieve its National Adaptation Plan as well as many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 13, Climate Action. Its major achievements include:
At the national level, climate change risks have been analysed and integrated into the plans and policies in three sectors, namely health, tourism and human settlements. Collaborative networks with different governmental agencies were formulated through high-level dialogues and Memoranda of Understanding.
In terms of climate adaptation finance and monitoring, climate change criteria were integrated into the national budgeting system, the Thai Environmental Fund was initiated, and an analysis of economic/financing instruments for adaptation has been estimated and proposed under the (Draft) Climate Change Law. The adaptation monitoring and evaluation framework was formulated with sector-based resilience indicators to assess Thailand’s climate resilience status.
At the sub-national level, climate risk assessments with different climate scenarios were conducted and adaptation planning processes initiated in four pilot areas. Key area-specific climate risks and adaptation options were identified with engagement from local governmental officials, the private sector, and community stakeholders from the tourism, agriculture, human settlements, health, water and natural resources sectors.
With the support and facilitation of the project, enhancing resilience and achieving SDGs through co-development of integrated planning/strategies between partners have been established. The capacity of government officers have been strengthened in related areas.
Dr. Raweewan Bhuridej, Secretary-General of ONEP, stated: “Climate change is a major cause of the more severe and more frequent occurrences of natural disasters. It triggers tremendous loss and damage and we must take action to mitigate the impacts. Climate change aspects have been integrated in several national and sectoral plans. Having supporting many facets of the challenges and organizational contexts, the cooperation of the Risk-NAP project has led to success at the national and subnational levels. I believe that this achievement will be further used as models and developed into significant approaches for tackling climate change in the future.”
Mr. Heinrich Gudenus, Project Director of Risk-NAP said: “To ensure a resilient future, it is essential to build collaborative networks between different governmental agencies, at different administrative levels, with civil society and the private sector. It is equally important to enhance the evidence and improve access to climate risk information as well as tackle the challenge of adaptation finance. These perspectives have been at the core of the Risk-NAP project’s support. The leadership from ONEP and the active engagement of our national and subnational partners were a key success factor in this regard.”
H.E. Mr. Georg Schmidt, the German Ambassador to Thailand stated: No country can do this all by itself. Germany established the International Climate Initiative in 2008 for the international financing of climate change and biodiversity initiatives. Thailand has been a dedicated partner country of the IKI for driving low-carbon and resilient development since then. By 2020, over 135 projects had been approved within the area of adaptation to climate change impacts – and 62 of these contribute directly to the NAP or adaptation planning processes in our partner countries The Risk-NAP Project in Thailand is one of the first to pioneer our support and collaborative efforts in this area. I would like to take the opportunity here to sincerely thank our Thai partners for the very trusting collaboration throughout these years.”
Mr. Reinhold Elges, Country Director of GIZ Thailand and Malaysia said: “The Risk NAP Project is an outstanding example of a project that successfully implemented a wide-ranging and collaborative approach. It raised awareness about the challenges climate change will bring to the country among a broad range of stakeholders, it contributed to better planning at all levels of government and built a strong foundation for addressing climate change risks and implementing suitable actions in the future. The project is timely as the need to adapt to a changing climate becomes ever more urgent. I am confident that the project will have a lasting impact and will improve the lives of Thai citizens in communities across the country in the coming years.”
Dr. Angkana Chalermpong, Project Director of Thai-German Climate Programme (TGCP) – Policy said: “TGCP-Policy has been supporting ONEP in both mitigation and adaptation policy development as well as enhancing the enabling conditions. We recognise full well the enthusiasm of ONEP’s partners who would like to continue their work of adaptation mainstreaming, and on behalf of TGCP Policy, I am happy to be part of continuing to support your work in the field of adaptation.”
The closing conference was attended by 60 government agencies. Aside from highlighting the collaborative achievements, the participants discussed the key challenges faced during the implementation. The representatives of the Thai government agencies also expressed their commitment to continuing and enhancing their climate-related plans, policies and implementation to better the resilience of the country against climate change.