Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) launched in Thailand
10 November 2022
Bangkok, Thailand – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Supattanapong Punmeechaow presided over the opening ceremony of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) in Thailand, which was hosted today by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
The launch has marked an important step in accelerating partnerships and investments towards the green economy and green recovery policies in Thailand. A focus of the event was to take stock of progress made so far on the Inclusive Green Economy (IGE), Green Recovery Learning Needs Assessment, and Green Recovery Assessment of projects under the rehabilitation fund.
The event brought together stakeholders and more than 300 participants (both in person and online), including policymakers, researchers, investors, and other key actors from the government, private sector, academia, think-tanks, social organizations, press and media.
During his opening remarks, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Supattanapong stressed that the government was pleased to be part of the Partnership for Action on Green Economy, a global program by the United Nations.
The government’s mission is to improve the economic and social wellbeing of people and the quality of the environment in Thailand, Supattanapong said. The focus of government policies also lies on strengthening the country’s capacity to be adaptive and resilient in a post-pandemic world of economic, environmental and technological disruptions.
This mission is clearly laid out in the 13th National Economic and Social Development Plan, undertaken by NESDC. One of the key expected outcomes, which aligns with support from PAGE, involves progress on sustainable development and climate action, the minister noted.
Thailand has decided to embark on its Bio-Circular-Green Economy Model (BCG) in alignment with the 13th national plan so as to enhance the resource efficiency of natural assets, capitalize on the country’s strengths in biological diversity and cultural richness, and employ technology and innovation towards a value-based and innovation-driven economy, according to Supattanapong.
The model has been inspired by the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP), the key pillar of Thailand’s social and economic development which is aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The launch also acted as a networking platform for future collaborations among stakeholders around policies and investments in the green economy and green recovery with the aim of strengthening partnerships for synergistic actions towards an integrated green economy based on the SDGs.
During a press debriefing Dr. Wichayayuth Boonchit, Chairman of the PAGE Thailand National Steering Committee on PAGE and the Deputy Secretary of NESDC, highlighted the role of NESDC as the core agency coordinating PAGE program implementation in collaboration with other governmental organizations, the private sector, and participating social organizations.
These include the Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency (DEDE), Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), Department of Agriculture (DOA), Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA), Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), and Kenan Foundation Asia.
PAGE Thailand is targeting the implementation of the inclusive green economy in five key areas: 1) reduction of carbon emissions and pollution; 2) energy and resource efficiency promotion; 3) biodiversity and ecosystem conservation; 4) decent job creation; and 5) a just transition to equality and prosperity for all. These areas of action are aimed at overcoming the challenges of poverty, social inequality and environmental degradation while generating sustainable economic growth in line with environmentally-friendly and socially just principles.
To effectively conduct the implementation of PAGE in Thailand, NESDC as the leading coordinating government agency for this collaborative partnership has appointed the PAGE Thailand National Steering Committee to oversee the first-year work plan, which consists of four primary activities.
The first aims to construct a Carbon Emission Trading Scheme, or ETS, to act as a mandatory carbon cap and trade for major carbon emitters.The second seeks to facilitate sustainable waste management with proper financing mechanisms.The third involves capacity-building for the green economy through training in economic circularity in the agricultural and other key sectors. And the fourth entails raising awareness through public outreach campaigns, advocacy, and dialogues with local and national partners.
PAGE partners are inviting all key actors to join this national drive synergistically towards an inclusive green economy that pursues sustainability, equality and resource efficiency for the sake of future generations.
Sooksiri Chamsuk, Deputy Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), said UNIDO is the lead coordinating agency for PAGE in Thailand tasked with coordinating technical support and sharing international experience from the other four UN agencies : the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations Institute for Training and Research(UNITAR).
PAGE now has 22 participating countries worldwide. Thailand officially joined PAGE as the 20th country in 2019 and started its inception phase in March 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic. PAGE is moving towards a three-year implementation phasewith a supporting budget of US$1 million in Thailand.
At the launch, PAGE Thailand shared outputs from assessments regarding overviews of the green economy and green recovery learning needs as well as details of ongoing progress on a green recovery project under the government’s rehabilitation funds.
“On behalf of the five participating UN partners we are very pleased to be working together with Thailand,” said Sooksiri.
“Thanks to all the collaborations with stakeholders that are joining forces to put green economic policies and practices into action, we are creating a low-carbon society, improving resource efficiency, promoting clean production technologies and inspiring green consumption trends that will contribute to sustainable and long-term economic, social and environmental development,” she said.