The primary goals of Thailand Cultural Environment Fund (Thailand CEF) are to enhance cultural identity, pride and creative spirit. The main attention is to proactively facilitate the conservation of buildings and places of great cultural and historical significance in Thailand. Ultimately, the ideal achievements are to see cultural environment as an inspiration for beautiful and respectful natural and community life. Conceived as a means for expediting a sustainable and participative approach to addressing cultural environment related challenges, the Thailand CEF aims to ensure that the civilizing structures of the past continue to inspire present and future generations.
During the past several decades, development in Thailand was characterized by conventional economic-driven expansion. Although various sectors have been proactively addressing the resultant environmental challenges, the majority of these efforts have been focused on the impacts to natural resources. Minimal attention has been given to the degradation, neglect and loss of cultural resources which also have significant implications for sustainable development and cultural identity. The impacts of limited emphasis on the cultural environment are evident in the expeditious transformation of the traditional way of life and the lack of effective integration of Thai cultural values. Signposts include disruption in the transfer of culture from one generation to another, the growing obsession with economic prosperity and foreign cultural innovations, the rampant materialism and consumerism that has displaced self development, and the neglect and disappearance of historic structures and monuments.
If Thailand is to maintain its cultural integrity in the shadow of globalization and the information age, it's unique heritage needs to be acknowledged, appreciated and protected. The more effective the harmonization of Thai culture with inevitable modern and foreign influences, the more the country can benefit from its cultivation. By proactively encouraging a process that acknowledges and enhances Thai culture, the country's cultural strengths and traditional way of life can be balanced with the ability to thrive in a continuously changing environment enriching a sense of cultural identity for subsequent generations in the process.
Recognizing that the environment includes both natural and cultural resources, and that participation from all sectors of the community is required for sustainable management of these resources, in July 1998, a Roundtable Strategy for the Establishment of the Thailand Cultural Environment Fund was convened in Bangkok by the Thailand Environment Foundation. This pioneering session brought together decision makers representing stakeholders from various sectors to discuss potential options for addressing existing cultural environmental related challenges. Among the many conclusions from this roundtable session was the genuine need for participation from the non-government sector to adopt an active leadership role for addressing pressing challenges.
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE THAILAND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT FUND (THAILAND CEF)
In 1999, the Thailand Environment Foundation, a leading non profit, non government organization, formally established the Thailand Cultural Environment Fund (Thailand CEF) to be administered as an independent fund under the leadership of H.E. Anand Panyarachun, with guidance from an Advisory Board comprised of representatives from international organizations and distinguished experts from across the country in the fields of architecture, fine arts and the environment.
The Thailand CEF was conceived as a means for expediting a sustainable and participative approach to addressing cultural environment related challenges in Thailand, with a focus on four major areas of activity.
* CREATE AN ENHANCED LEVEL OF AWARENESS, KNOWLEDGE AND APPRECIATION of the Thai cultural environment through interactive educational programs and information exchange initiatives.
* FACILITATE OUTREACH ACTIVITIES AND PILOT PROJECTS focused on priority conservation issues in collaboration with local stakeholders.
* UNDERTAKE INVESTIGATIVE RESEARCH with the intention of introducing innovative policy related solutions to conservation related challenges, and to encourage awareness and an enhanced understanding of buildings and sites of historical and aesthetic value.
* INITIATE INCOME GENERATION ACTIVITIES in support of sustainable conservation efforts.
By undertaking these initiatives, the Thailand CEF aims to create an enhanced sense of cultural identity and inspire pride in Thailand's unique cultural environmental heritage.
Projects facilitated by the Fund will be implemented by CEF staff and consulting experts in cooperation with stakeholders from various sectors including such organizations as the Fine Arts Department, Ministry of Education; Office of Environmental Policy and Planning, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment; Tourism Authority of Thailand; Provincial Cultural Centers; Assembly of Natural and Cultural Heritage Conservation; Conservation of Environment and Cultural Heritage Association; the Association of Siamese Architects; and local communities.
SUSTAINING THE THAILAND CEF
In addition to ongoing fundraising activities, several initiatives are currently being initiated to enable the necessary ongoing support for Thailand CEF activities including the development of a Friends of CEF Program.
Organizations and individuals wishing to make a general donation to the Thailand CEF can do so by forwarding their contribution via the Thailand CEF Bank Account as follows:
Krung Thai Bank Public Company Limited
Muang Thong Thani Branch
Account Name : Thailand Cultural Environment Fund
Account Number: 147-1-14032-6
An income tax reductable receipt will be issued upon forwarding contact information together with a copy of the bank slip to the Thailand CEF.
If you would like to receive additional information or have your organization added to our mailing list, please contact the Thailand CEF coordinators.
THAILAND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT FUND
c/o Thailand Environment Foundation
16/151 Muang Thong Thani, Bond Street, Bangpood, Pakkred Nonthaburi 11120 Thailand
Tel: + (66 2) 503-3333 Ext 501
Fax: + (66 2) 504-4826-8