Thailand attaches great importance to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly within the context of the Decade of Action for the SDGs. Since the last official submission in 2017, Thailand has made significant strides across all 17 SDGs. However, as with other countries, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted our economy and society, and hampered our efforts to achieve the SDGs.
The achievement of the SDGs, especially within the context of the Decade of Action and COVID-19, will not come without drastic transformative change and multi-stakeholder partnerships. This edition of the Voluntary National Review highlights Thailand’s application of the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy as our homegrown approach that focuses on human empowerment, resilience, and environmental conservation, along with the application of technology and local wisdom in addressing development challenges and promoting recovery efforts. This VNR underlines the importance of a whole-of-society approach and the interconnectedness of the SDGs, showcasing key examples of the role of the private sector, civil society, academia, youth networks, and ordinary citizens in advancing the SDGs at the national level. The VNR itself has provided an opportunity for stakeholders to engage and discuss SDG implementation.
The SDG landscape in Thailand is well-established. The SDGs have been integrated into the 20-Year National Strategy, which is the country’s main development framework. The National Committee for Sustainable Development (CSD), chaired by the Prime Minister, represents the central mechanism to advance all 17 Goals. The CSD has designated government focal points for each of the 169 targets, while its four sub-committees provide the driving force for SDG implementation, application of the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy for the SDGs, monitoring and evaluation, and environmental assessments. Thailand’s SDGs Roadmap provides the blueprint to move forward in six key areas, namely, policy integration and coherence, enabling mechanisms, partnerships, pilot projects, monitoring and evaluation, and awareness-raising.
Key highlights from this VNR cover examples from all sectors. Thailand has achieved considerable success in eradicating extreme poverty as part of SDG1, and is committed to developing a national multi-dimensional poverty index. Projects aimed at improving nutrition for school children and food security boost progress on SDG2. With regards to SDG3, the country’s Universal Health Coverage and Village Health Volunteers played an integral role in the effective management of the COVID-19 crisis. On SDG4, efforts have been expanded to provide financial support for poor students through the use of digital tools and the Education Equality Fund (EEF). Gender equality initiatives, including efforts to address domestic violence, are the cornerstone of Thailand’s implementation of SDG5.
The highlight on SDG6 is the increased access to clean water sources and sanitation. The development of a SMART Grid is underway to increase energy efficiency in accordance with SDG7. Workforce capacities are continuing to be strengthened to correspond to the needs of the global economy as part of SDG8. The promotion of a Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy Model through the development of sustainable infrastructure will advance SDG9. To support the achievement of SDG10, the Government has applied the Thai People Map and Analytics Platform to help identify vulnerable groups who require support, while projects such as Baan Mankong (Stable Home) support impoverished communities to achieve secure and sustainable housing as part of SDG11.
On SDGs 12, 13, 14, and 15, Thailand has advanced actions on climate change and sustainable consumption and production, strengthened efforts to protect marine and coastal ecosystems, and increased stakeholder engagement on forest area management. Thailand’s implementation of SDG16 centres on promoting fair and equal access to justice for all, and multi-stakeholder cooperation on human rights promotion, as well as anti-trafficking and anti-corruption efforts. Lastly, Thailand has forged effective partnerships among all sectors in line with SDG17, including civil society, private sector networks, and academia. Beyond our borders, we have expanded our role as a development partner to exchange knowledge, experiences, and best practices with neighbouring countries and countries in other regions.
These are some examples of Thailand’s SDG implementation. We aim to build on the momentum of this VNR in ensuring a whole-of-society approach as we move forward. Together with the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy as our pathway, Thailand is confident that balanced and sustainable development for all is within reach.
In 2005, environmental agency leaders from 13 Asian countries established the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) to promote improved compliance with environmental legal requirements in Asia. Source: The mission of AECEN is to promote improved compliance with environmental legal requirements in Asia through regional exchange of innovative policies and practices. Members presently include environmental agencies from: Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, People's Republic of China, Lao PDR, Malaysia, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lank...[more]
In 2007 Thailand's government decided to grant tax incentives to auto manufacturers that produce small, fuel-efficient Eco-Cars. Source: UNEP, 2008, Green Jobs: Towards decent work in a sustainable, low-carbon world In order to receive tax breaks, a company must produce cars that do not surpass a certain engine size (1,300 cubic centimeters for gasoline engines and 1,400 cc for diesels), consume 5 liters per 100 kilometers (47 miles per gallon) or less, generate no more than 120 grams of CO2 per kilometer, and meet Euro-4 emissions standards. Companies must make a minimum investment, produce a...[more]
The IHO capacity building programme seeks to assess and advise on how countries can best meet their international obligations and serve their own best interests by providing appropriate hydrographic and nautical charting services. Such services directly support safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, efficient sea transportation and the wider use of the seas and oceans in a sustainable way, including the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, fishing, marine resource exploration and exploitation, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defence and security, and o...[more]
Sriracha Municipality in Thailand plays a vital role as a leader in integrated coastal management. Sriracha has linked conservation and urbanization to achieve sustainable development goals through the mobilization of local agencies. Source: The ICLEI Case Study series The concepts of sustainable development and green growth are widely recognized as means to control pollution and improve ecological efficiency of natural resources. Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) is a highly efficient approach to mobilize local agencies, and actors within local contexts. The activities aim to promote biodiv...[more]
The Sufficiency Economy Philosophy is an innovative approach to development designed for practical application over a wide range of problems and situations. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Thailand The Sufficiency Economy Philosophy was incorporated into the Ninth National Economic and Social Development Plan (2002-2006) as well as the Tenth Plan covering the period from 2007 to 2011. It is also part of the fundamental administration policy of the state, as stipulated in Section 83 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand of 2007, that The State shall encourage and suppo...[more]
Marine pollution, especially from land-based activities, poses one of the most serious threats to marine environment. Excess nutrients discharged frequently lead to coastal eutrophication and algal blooms, which consequently result in harm on marine ecosystems and resources. Problem of marine debris, especially plastic, is pervasive and increasing globally. Recent scientific reports have revealed the amount of 6-12 million tons of plastics escaped into the worlds oceans annually. Worsen situation and the detrimental effects of plastic debris on marine biota, ecosystems, as well as human health...[more]
To date, deep concerns have been placed upon the current world-wide degradation of oceans and seas, in particular coastal areas, from threats generated by both human activities and natural causes. Without attempts and appropriate means and measures to reverse the trend, the vital roles, particularly ecosystem goods and services provided by oceans and seas will be abrupt or irreversibly lost and lead to unpleasant consequences in respect of socio-economic deliverables and human livelihoods. Universal call upon concert actions regarding ocean-related sustainable development have been requested t...[more]
In response to global concerns on global-wide IUU fishing which undermines the conservation and management measures adopted by fisheries organizations, the Department of Fisheries, Thailand has established, under the provisions of new Fisheries law, measures of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) applied to the Thai-flagged oversea fishing vessels. This aims to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing of Thai-flagged fishing vessels operating outside Thai waters, both in waters of coastal states and high sea. Thailands MCS system is moving towards the approach with rules based, behav...[more]
The Urban Biodiversity towards Sustainable City and Climate Change Resilience project (UBD-SCCCR) is a local initiative in Chiang Rai, Thailand, to conserve and protect local biodiversity and natural resources for the benefit of the city's community. Source: The ICLEI Case Study series In 2008, Chiang Rai municipality established the Urban Biodiversity towards Sustainable City and Climate Change resilience project (UBD-SCCCR). The main goal was to develop the city in a sustainable way by conserving its natural areas while using them as a carbon sink, particularly a forested tract of land calle...[more]
Trang municipality has integrated biological diversity conservation into its urban development planning by initiating a conservation project at Nam Jed Canal or Klong Nam Jed. Source: The ICLEI Case Study series Tackling climate change and conserving biological diversity is an important issue for the city of Trang. With the participation of various stakeholders, the objective of the project has been to develop a better understanding of the importance and the benefits of biological diversity and conservation. The project included a site survey, sampling and data collection, and interviews with...[more]