The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR) co-organized the event, “From Planning to Action: Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into Thailand’s Water Resources Management”, to celebrate the joint success in implementing the Thai-German Climate Programme – Water (TGCP-Water), which has supported Thailand in strengthening climate-resilient water resources management since January 2018. After five years of well-established cooperation and implementation, the project will conclude in December 2022.
Bangkok / 8th December 2022 – Dr. Surasri Kittimonthon, Secretary-General of the Office of the National Water Resources (ONWR), presided over the closing ceremony of TGCP-Water. Participants included Mr. Hans-Ulrich Südbeck, Chargé d’affaires and Head of Economic Affairs, German Embassy of Thailand; Mr. Reinhold Elges, GIZ Country Director Thailand; Mr. Atthapong Chantanumate, Director of Policy and Master Plan Division, ONWR; and Mr. Heinrich Gudenus, Project Director of TGCP-Water. Representatives of government agencies, civil society, the academic sector, the media, and independent organizations attended the event at Centara Grand Hotel Bangkok. The recorded event is available at ONWR’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/onwrnews
In his keynote address, Dr. Surasri thanked the Federal Republic of Germany and GIZ for their technical assistance during the last 5 years. ONWR welcomed the collaborative efforts under the project, with engagement of the Department of Water Resources, the Royal Irrigation Department, and the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning. The project’s outcomes have benefitted the Thai water sector at the policy and practice levels, by providing an operational framework for integrated water resource management and highlighting ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) as a viable solution to address the impacts of climate change in Thailand.
The support was in line with Thailand’s 20-year Water Resource Management Plan and the National Adaptation Plan (NAP), and contributed to Thailand achieving SDG 6: clean water and sanitation for all; SDG 13: climate action; and the 20-Year National Strategy (2017–2036): Strategy 5: national biodiversity, environmental quality, and natural resource sustainability, in order to achieve the country’s vision of “becoming a developed country with security, prosperity, and sustainability following the sufficiency economy philosophy”.
TGCP-Water has provided much-needed research, developed training programmes for water practitioners and technical guidance documents that will help Thai government agencies to address the impacts of climate change in the water sector. The content includes policy guidance for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into the Thai water policies, training programmes and e-learning courses for planners at the river basin level, technical guidance on climate-sensitive River Basin Planning and Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA), and climate finance. The project provided concrete support to communities by piloting its approach in the Yom and the Sakae Krang River Basins.
The joint initiative forms an essential part of achieving the goals under the Paris Agreement, which states that integrated water resource management is an important measure to achieve water security, reduce risks from floods and droughts, and address extreme climates.
Mr. Hans-Ulrich Südbeck, Chargé d’affaires and Head of Economic Affairs at the German Embassy in Thailand, emphasised that the effects of climate change are increasingly being felt around the world, threatening livelihoods and economic well-being in every region. No country will be able to address the challenges of climate change on its own. We need strong partnerships and cooperation between countries and regions. The Thai-German partnership is an excellent example of close and trustful cooperation.
In 2022, we also look back at 160 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Thailand under the motto “Partners for Sustainable Development.” On Climate Change, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German government has supported Thailand since 2008, funding projects with a total volume of 2 billion THB since then. The TGCP-Water is part of this success story.
Mr. Reinhold Elges, GIZ Country Director for Thailand and Malaysia, expressed his appreciation at the joint efforts, the spirit of partnership and collaboration that has characterised TGCP-Water and has been key to its success. Through the work under TGCP-Water, ONWR and its partners have gained the tools and know-how to mainstream and upscale climate change adaptation in Thailand’s water resources management. These will contribute to increasing water security and building a climate-resilient water future.”
Mr. Atthapong Chantanumat, Director of the Policy and Master Plan Division, ONWR, shared his insights on the challenges and opportunities for “Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation into Water Resources Management” in Thailand. A panel discussion on “Water Management Challenges in the Face of Global Warming” brought together representatives from the Sakae Krang River Basin, the Yom River Basin, the Hydro-Informatics Institute, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) who shared their expertise on the impacts of climate change in Thailand and the importance of working with nature to address the challenges. In addition, an exhibition was organized to showcase the results and impacts of TGCP-Water on building a climate-resilient water sector in Thailand.
The Federal Republic of Germany is a role model in driving climate action. It has provided financial support and technical knowledge to developing countries as it pledged to do under the Paris Agreement. Initiatives are underway to continue to support Thailand in building resilience and in achieving its ambitions of peaking its greenhouse gas emissions in 2030, reaching net-zero within the second half of this century and carbon neutrality by 2065.
The TGCP-Water is one of five components of the Thai-German Climate Programme (TGCP) that fostered cooperation across five key sectors (climate policy, agriculture, energy, waste management, and water) with a budget of 650 million THB supported by the IKI funding line of the German government and implemented by GIZ over five years (2018–2022).