Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) works to improve Thailand’s global competitiveness and make Thailand a world leader in minimizing local environmental impacts and contributing towards mitigating global environmental problems by engaging in projects at organizational, local and national levels designed to conserve natural resources, minimize pollution and waste, and improve environmental management. To achieve this, TEI has conducted research and supported capacity-building efforts for environmental development policies at the macro level and has engaged in activities such as providing assistance in improving environmental guidelines, processing and management systems, databases and other aspects of environmental management that need to be developed at the micro level.
The followings are some of TEI’s achievements executing various environmental management initiatives for development in the country in the last 18 years:
Natural resources and environment plan at the policy level
TEI played a vital role in the development of the 20-year Natural Resources and Environment Policies Plan (1997-2016), a master plan for the management of the central basin region of Thailand. The plan consists of proper waste management guidelines, a plan for the management of water pollution, a national strategy for adapting and taking action to mitigate the effects of climate change, and improvement plans for Thailand’s sustainable development indicator – a measure that enables the evaluation of environmental status in Thailand in comparison to the outcomes of economic and social development.
strong>Economic measures for pollution management
TEI is the first organization to conduct educational research on implementing environmental economic measures for effective pollution management. These measures which come under the “polluter pays” principle are specified in the ‘Enhancement and Conservation of National Environmental Quality Act’ of B.E. 2535. The principles are now termed as a ‘emission charge’ or a ‘pollution management fee’ (for industrial pollution). The basis behind these measures is regulatory regime where organizations are forced to incur some charges for polluting the environment as a result of their industrial and business operations. The expected outcome of this regulatory enforcement is that organizations will take efforts to reduce their pollution in order to avoid having to incur emission charges or pollution management fees.
TEI also conducted studies and encouraged the move towards the implementation of economic principles for coping with air pollution, pig farming and agricultural pollution; the restoration and evaluation of environmental damage as a result of illegal discharges of waste (soil and groundwater pollution) and feasibility studies for the introduction of pollution permits for organizations.
Development of a Life Cycle Inventory System
At present, TEI aims to conduct Life Cycle Inventory analyses of several kinds of products such as agricultural products, industrial products, water resources, electricity and other basic materials. The life cycle inventory system consists of developing guidelines and methods for monitoring and evaluating environmental management during the product development process and studying the impacts of environmental measures on international trade. It also consists of developing environmental operation indicators for industry sectors.
Supporting Measures for Greening Business Operations
TEI, in conjunction with private and public sector partners, has offered seminars and training sessions to Thai business and private sector organizations on strategies and approaches to better manage business operations and reduce environmental impact. TEI has also conducted national and international research studies for formulating suitable policies and measures for government organizations to implement. These policies and measures are meant to support organizations that are interested in making their business operations more environmentally sustainable.
Creating a Master Plan for providing assistance to Thai and Japanese Governments
TEI has created a Master Plan for a Green Partnership between the Thai and Japanese governments. The plan, which was divided into 2 phases (2001-2005 and 2006-2010), outlined cooperation frameworks between Thailand and Japan on environmental and industrial management.
Regional Environmental Management
TEI has collaborated with several research organizations in various countries on environmental projects. In addition, TEI has also joined research, assessment, and fieldwork teams in several countries in order to share knowledge, support collaboration, and seek new ways to foster results-based environmental management. The following are some examples of important international research efforts taken by TEI:
- Trade and Environmental Issues in the Asia-Pacific Region - From 2004-2009, TEI cooperated with research organizations from the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, China and Bangladesh. The research collaboration was funded by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and involved carrying out research on trade and environmental issues in the Asia Pacific region. Research was conducted on recycling initiatives in the region, the status of small and medium enterprises, data management systems for environment-related information, energy consumption and production, and free trade agreements in the region.
- Research on Climate Change - In 2008, TEI collaborated with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to conduct research on energy and climate change issues. A number of other organizations from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, China and Japan collaborated on the initiative. Because of this work, TEI now conducts research in this area in 5 countries: Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand.
- Technology Transfer for the UNFCCC - In 2009, TEI collaborated with ADB and TERI on research on Technology Transfer for preparation for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC: COP 15 Negotiation), which was held in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. The research was conducted in cooperation