From left: Mr. Tim Mahler, Dr. Chanakod Chasidpon, Dr. Adis Israngkura, Dr. Phirun Saiyasitpanich and Mr. Stephan Contius
The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) hosted an International Climate Initiative (IKI) Cooperation Meeting in Bangkok on 23 April 2018.
The meeting was organised under the framework of the Thai-German Cooperation in the field of climate change protection and sustainable development, and was designed to bring together the projects funded under the International Climate Initiative (IKI) in Thailand. Representatives from the Thai government, BMU and international implementing agencies attended the meeting to discuss opportunities to strengthen their cooperation and streamline the support provided to Thailand. The IKI Cooperation Meeting started with a panel discussion on Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The panel featured Mr. Stephan Contius, Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Head of Division for United Nations, 2030-Agenda, Cooperation with Developing and Newly Industrialised Countries, BMU; Dr. Phirun Saiyasitpanich, Director of Climate Change Management and Coordination Division, ONEP; Dr. Chanakod Chasidpon, Policy and Plan Analyst, Senior Professional Level, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB); and Dr. Adis Israngkura, Advisor, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI). Mr. Tim Mahler, GIZ Country Director for Thailand and Malaysia moderated the discussion.
In the introduction, it was explained that the NDCs and SDGs function as complementary drivers for transformational change and potential modernisation of our economies. Climate action can only be successful if living conditions are improved worldwide and production and consumption patterns are changed. Representatives from the Thai government noted that the NDC was developed on the basis of sustainable development principles and that the institutional arrangements to operationalise the SDGs and NDCs for Thailand have already been established. However, it was stressed that the successful implementation of the NDCs will also rely on private sector and civil society action and contributions. TDRI, providing the perspective of a think tank in Thailand, indicated that there are multiple objectives, for example in the energy sector, that Thailand would like to pursue and noted that it is a challenge for the government to achieve all the objectives for one sector.
The representative from BMU presented Germany’s Climate Action Plan 2050. This action plan will help Germany to move forward in the structural transformation towards a low-carbon sustainable economy. The individual sectors’ specific measures of the action plan contain references to the SDGs to which the concrete mitigation efforts contribute.
Following the panel discussion, two parallel IKI working groups were organised with a focus on mitigation and adaptation. Representatives from implementing agencies and their Thai government counterparts discussed their current work, the priorities and the anticipated challenges and opportunities to progress on climate action. Both the identification of options for synergies and streamlined support provided by IKI-funded projects and clarification of the needs and priorities for the sectors emerged from the discussion.
On 24 April 2018, the Thai and German governments met for an Extended Steering Committee Meeting which included all related parties, as well as a Steering Committee Meeting and a closed session between BMU and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE). This meeting elaborated further on issues related to climate change and climate action in Thailand. These annual meetings aim to facilitate exchange on current climate change priorities in Thailand as well as the potential for aligning the support provided through the IKI.
Since 2009, the German Federal Environment Ministry has financed more than 13 bilateral projects with a total value of nearly EUR 50 million (about THB 1.9 billion) in Thailand focusing on mitigating CO2 emissions and helping Thailand to adapt to climate change as well as to protect forest areas and biodiversity.