14 June 2011
Charoen Pokphand Foods’ aquatic feedmill plant at Baan Pru is continuing with a clean-technology project that involves the company’s cooperation with the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and Prince of Songkhla University. The project, which seeks to conserve energy, has been running for five years.Under the project, two third-year students from Prince of Songkla University are invited to study the
processes of the feedmill for two months in order to find problems and seek clean-technology solutions. Their
plans are then evaluated by the university. The NSTDA supports the study and provides further educational
funding to the student who receives the best project award of the year.
CPF vice president Suvit Praphakamol said the project created enormous advantages to science education.
Students acquire real experience and knowledge on clean technology and the industrial sector receives methฌ
ods and solutions to adapt to other plants. This leads to reductions in resource and energy use in line with
CPF’s focus on innovation. The project helps save energy and creates sustainability, he said.
14 June 2011
Security firm G4S Thailand believes that businesses can’t flourish if miserable conditions exist in communiฌ ties. Therefore, as part of the firm’s CSR policy, it strives to make communities better places to live, and in doing so, it focuses on children.This year, it went to Wat Prathum (Sonikorn Prachanusorn) School in Ayutthaya province – a small local
school with students from elementary level to Grade 6. It provided computers and Internet connections to
serve the school’s 108 pupils and to broaden their educational horizons.
To celebrate the receipt of G4S’s gift, a day-long ceremony included a range of children’s games.
Teacher Udom Naaboonpattana said the school was just a small one that had been ignored by many instiฌ
“We are very thankful to G4S for supplying the computers and Internet connections and for delivering merฌ
riment to the children,” he said.
14 June 2011
The Royal Forest Department and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating have implemented two environmental projects to honour His Majesty the King’s 84th birthday this year: “84 Communities’ Reforestation for Father” and “Urban Forests for Education – Kla Yim”.The projects are designed to mitigate global warming and generate awareness of the need to create more
green areas, as well as following the teachings of His Majesty on Forest and Environmental Conservation.
Forest Department director-general Suvit Rattanamanee said that 84 community forests had been selectฌ
ed, each covering at least 200 rai, and 840,000 tree seedlings, including timber species and producers of
non-timber forest products, would be supplied to the communities concerned. The people will plant and care
for the trees.
In cooperation with the department, Ratchaburi Electricity Generating will set up 84 seedling patches in
educational institutes and temples around the country.
The organisers of the project will gather all sorts of seedlings, including those of birthday trees, rare
seedlings that are in risk of extinction, native seedlings and seedlings related to literature and the Lord
Buddha’s history. Tags will be provided to advise the names of the plants and the project, as well as a descripฌ
tion of the plants for the sake of education, research and recreation.
Ratchaburi Electricity Generating’s president Noppol Milinthanggoon, said the two projects were in line
with the company’s CSR mission on forest-resource conservation.
The company is also committed to reducing global warming by following nature’s way, according to His
Majesty’s ideas about conserving forest resources by planting more trees. When fully grown, the 840,000
trees will be capable of absorbing 10,000 tonnes of CO2.
Of a total budget of Bt20.6 million, Bt17.6 million is earmarked for the 84 community reforestation projects
and the rest for the Urban Forests for Education – Kla Yim project. The community reforestation projects will
be implemented in 12 forests this year and the remaining 72 forests next year.
14 June 2011
Lampang schoolboy Tewit Riwcharoen was impressed when he learned how well Japanese people were caring for their environment. Thus inspired, he immersed himself in green activities, to the extent that he and his team from Lampang’s Assumption College won an award for their environment work, and the prize was a trip to Japan – the country of his inspiration.“I heard a lot about how Japanese people were taking good care of their environment, so I searched the Internet for more information and finally decided to jump into green activities,” he said.
Tewit was speaking during his trip to Japan, sponsored by Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) and the Thailand Environment Institute. The trip was an award for winners of Toyota’s “Stop Global Warming” project, then in its sixth season.
The team from Assumption College Lampang won first prize in the project’s school category. As well as the trip, the winners also received Bt100,000 in cash and a trophy from His Majesty the King.
Tewit’s team has four core members. The others are Nattawitch Thanan-ittichai, Narakorn Inkamna and Napat Phetkub. Their key advisers were teachers Somsak Gathong and Wanphen Boonyarat.
“We decided to take part in the Stop Global Warming contest because it matched our green ideology,” Somsak said.
Tewit said his school had conducted green activities before, but the contest made him and his team members more determined than ever to achieve something concrete, and get tangible results.
“We wanted to see a real impact,” Nattawitch said, “That’s why we targeted ceramic production in our home town. It’s quite a huge industry. [We thought that] if we could change something there, it would make a big difference.”
After the team of youngster experimented with materials to serve in ceramic production, it found that ash from tamarind wood provided their perfect answer.
When ceramic manufacturers agreed to mix tamarind-wood ash with kaolin, they were able to reduce CO2 emissions from their furnaces by 2.21kg per combustion (furnace volume of 0.1 square metres). The reason, as proven by the schoolboy team, was that the temperature needed for ceramic production dropped from 1,250 degrees Celsius to 1,185C.
“We organised many events to communicate with ceramic manufacturers. The response was good,” Tewit said. However, the manufacturers were at first very reluctant to try the new technique. But as it proved effective, a growing number of them began to incorporate tamarind-wood ash into their operations.
The Assumption College team from Lampang also campaigned for the saving of energy and waste reduction, as well as planting trees. The energy-saving efforts lowered CO2 emissions between September 2010 and January 2011 by 46,898.27kg. Over the same period, the reduction in waste represented a further 942kg cut in CO2 emissions, while the new trees were calculated to reduce emissions by yet another 870kg.
Also on the Japan trip were two runner-up teams from the Stop Global Warming project’s school category, and three top teams from the project’s municipal division.
The winners were taken to the Toyota Shirakawa-go Eco Institute, where they learnt more about forest conservation and fuel-cell energy, and to the Togari Clean Centre in Toyota City, where they witnessed an efficient waste-treatment system.
Before the trip concluded, Napat said the Lampang team’s efforts would not stop.
“We are now planning how best to engage our juniors in green activities and how to make our initiatives sustainable,” he said.
Narakorn said that instilling the green concept into the hearts of others would be the key.
Autthaphon Yatakhot, from the second runner-up team, which came from Phrasong Samakee Wittaya School, said he also believed that conscience was an integral part of the green effort.
“Only when green activities go on can we see real results,” he said.
TMTs senior vice-president Ekachai Ratanachaiwong also pledged to continue with the Stop Global Warming project.
“We have used natural resources and thus we want to repay nature,” he said, “Our project focuses on building a green network.”
To date, the project has spent more than Bt133 million on green initiatives and green workshops.
6 June 2011
Once wastes were something of no value. The perception now is that wastes contain some value. If properly recycled, they could turn into valuable educational tools. Once, teachers held high hopes on students. Now, their hopes are set accordingly to the ability of each student.To a teacher, the perception changes when the sufficiency philosophy is applied into our education process.
This kind of perception is what the Education Ministry and the Siam Commercial Foundation are chasing for.
Late May, the foundation hosted the “knowledge market”, where over 600 school administrators, teachers and students of 145 schools attended.
Hosted for the third time, the market is set to drive forward the sufficiency philosophy. Participating schools can exchange their experiences and turn themselves into learning centres. The foundation’s main objective is to create 84 learning centres nationwide to commemorate His Majesty the King’s 84th birthday this year.
In his opening speech, Chirayu Isarangkun na Ayuthaya, chairman of the foundation, said that 13 schools have passed the criteria to become learning centres. While these centres will enjoy supports from the foundation, “they would play a crucial role in introducing the philosophy to other schools, other communities and to entire society”.
He noted that the education sector was among the first to adapt His Majesty’s philosophy into its process, since the “sufficiency” word was first circulated in 1999. In 2004, a writing contest on the subject drew over 1,500 entries, proving the public awareness of the word. The contest however showed that there is some misunderstanding in the concept of the sufficiency philosophy, and it also told educationers that adaptation takes time and needs continued efforts.
In 2004, 9 schools from 40,000 nationwide were selected to adapt the philosophy into their education process. Now, the number rises to 1,261 and the Education Ministry targets to raise it further to 9,999 this year.
The foundation’s project will compliment this effort. With 13 learning centres now, it also aims to increase the number to 84 this year.
6 June 2011
As businesses in mature markets continue to grapple with sluggish growth, businesses in emerging economies appear most concerned with reducing their impact on the environment: 60 per cent of the BRIC nations and 59 per cent of those in the ASEAN group cite saving the planet as a driver towards more ethical business practices, compared to just 30 per cent in the EU and 16 per cent in North America.According to the 2011 Grant Thornton International Business Report released on June 6, the result is encouraging. Globally, an altruistic desire to preserve the natural environment remains low on the agenda of businesses. Just 36 per cent of businesses globally are motivated to move to more ethical practices by a desire to ‘save the planet’, down from 40 per cent in 2008.
Though, businesses remain focused on the merits of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in terms of building brand, securing key staff and winning future contracts, with a low number committed to environmental preservation. Globally, 56 per cent of businesses cite public attitudes/brand building and recruitment/retention of staff as the key drivers (alongside cost management) this year, highlighting the importance of public opinion in shaping businesses’ CSR priorities.
“In an increasingly crowded and dynamic marketplace, businesses globally are becoming more aware that adopting a proactive approach to wider corporate social responsibility issues can help them to stand out in the minds of employees, consumers and potential partners. In Thailand, 65 per cent of businesses indicate that saving the planet is a driver to implement more ethical business practices,” said Ian Pascoe, managing partner of Grant Thornton Thailand.
“Moreover, as businesses, and indeed consumers, in mature economies struggle with the fallout from the economic downturn, altruistic concerns over the environment have been forced into a backseat role. Businesses are focusing on the bottom line and consumers are looking for ways to make declining real disposable incomes go further. That said, businesses in emerging markets, as we have seen with the wider global economy, appear ready to take the initiative in driving the CSR agenda forward.”
Levels of CSR activity undertaken in relation to the environment, workforce and wider community vary significantly across the globe. Businesses in northern Europe and Africa, together with much of North America and the Asia-Pacific region lead the way in initiating socially responsible practices, with those in mainland Europe lagging behind.
“CSR activities in Thailand have increased dramatically in recent years as businesses realise their value not only commercially, but also in terms of boosting their employee value. Employee value is becoming increasingly important as it is getting more difficult to attract and retain good staff,” Poscoe added.
The survey also uncovered some polarisation in the reporting of CSR practices: A quarter of businesses globally report their CSR activity, but this ranges from 53 per cent in Latin America and 41 per cent in the BRIC economies to 17 per cent in North America and 18 per cent in the G7 economies. Moreover, businesses are divided as to whether the reporting of CSR activity should be integrated with financial reporting: 44 per cent agree that this represents best practice, but 40 per cent disagree with a further 16 per cent unsure.
“All businesses should look closely at the potential commercial benefits of reporting their CSR activity. A competitive advantage exists for those businesses which can demonstrate leadership in implementing socially responsible and transparent practices and seize the opportunity to attract and retain skilled workers, build brand value and secure future contracts with multinationals who frequently adopt strict CSR guidelines in selecting their suppliers,” Poscoe concluded.
6 June 2011
Asia’s most prestigious event on corporate social responsibility, the Global CSR Summit & the Global CSR Awards, will be back for the third successive year.To take place in Cebu, the Philippines, the 2-day event will run during August 18-19.
The organiser has announced that this year’s event will examine the issues of sustainability for businesses in Asia for the 21 st century amidst weaknesses in the global economy, environmental disasters, political instability in the middle east and the global food crisis.
The theme of the event “Beyond Sustainability” highlights the directions of the future of CSR. It involves going beyond narrow concepts and responsibility of sustainability that aims at “minimising” environmental harm and maintaining the status quo towards a new paradigm of embracing innovative and cutting edge solutions that contribute beneficially to profits, societies and the environment.
Companies in Asia are now invited to submit projects to win awards in the five categories:
- Best Environmental Excellence Award
- Best Community Programme Award
- Best Workplace Practices
- CSR Leadership Award
- Product Excellence Award
Winners in the past two years included Kulim, FedEx, IBM, Globe, P&G, The Body Shop, Carl Zeiss, Merck, YTL and TNT.
6 June 2011
Central Pattana Plc’s employees, under two groups so-called CPN Volunteer and Green World, joined forces on Sunday June 3.At the 23rd CPN Volunteer Day, themed “Use less plastic”, they helped collect discarded plastic bottles and put them into the “Bottle Bank” in front of CentralWorld. This event was part of Central Group’s effort to mark the World Environment Day on June 5, to help combat the global warming.
Together, over 3,000 bottles were collected.
2 June 2011
The Department of Royal Forest and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Plc have implemented two environmental projects to honour His Majesty the King’s 84th birthday: The project of “84 Community Reforestation for Father” and the project of “Urban Forest for Education – Kla Yim”.
The projects were also designed to reduce global warming and create more awareness among people throughout the country to participate in creating more green areas, as well as to follow the teaching of His Majesty in regard to the concept of Forest and Environmental Conservation.
Suvit Rattanamanee, director-general of the Royal Forest Department, said that 84 community forests were selected covering at least 200 rai per community from forests nationwide and providing them with 840,000 seedlings of wood and edible woods to plant and care for them together with people from all communities.
In cooperation with Ratchaburi Electricity, it will also set up 84 seedling patches in education institutes or temples nationwide. The organisers of the project would gather all sorts of seedlings such as seedling for birthdays, rare seedlings that are in risk of extinction, natives seedlings and seedlings in literature and Lord Buddha’s history to be planted. The organisers would also produce tags to advise the names of the plants and projects as well as a description of the plants to support greater understanding as a source of education, research and recreation.
To Noppol Milinthanggoon, president of Ratchaburi Electricity, these two projects are in line with the company’s mission on social responsibility for forest resource conservation. The company is also committed to reducing global warming by following nature’s way according to His Majesty’s ideas about conserving forest resources by planting more trees. The 840,000 trees will create forest areas of over 200 rai and can absorb 10,000 tonnes of CO2 when they are fully grown.
Of total Bt20.6 million budget, Bt17.6 million is earmarked for 84 community reforestation projects and the rest used for the Urban Forest for Education – “Kla Yim” project. The implementation would be conducted in 12 forests in 2011 and the rest of the 72 forests will be carried out in 2012.
2 June 2011
Business can’t flourish, if communities are in miserable conditions. G4S Thailand realised that.As part of the group’s policy on CSR, the Thai unit strives to continue its mission of making a community a better place to live and children have been one of the areas of interest in the past four years.
This year, the focus was on a small local school in Ayutthaya province. Wat Prathum (SonikornPrachanusorn) is an elementary school in kindergarten through Grade 6. It locates not far from Bangkok but the learning environment resembles being in a remote area. The school has many areas of improvement. The aim of the G4S programme is not only to provide the children the wider range of learning opportunity, but also to bring joy and smiling faces to them with fun activities and presents.
On the day, computers and internet connections were provided to the school to support increasing children’s learning skills. The event was well-received and witnessed by mass-media, people in the neighbourhood as well as the school committees. It was gladly observed by Worapong Padungkirtsakul, the country manager of the security firm which employs 13,000 staff nationwide.
All 108 kids enjoyed a variety of games such as Powder Plate Passing, Musical Chairs, Running in the sack, Tug of War and etc. In this event, Chartchai Butdee, Thai athlete of G4S 4 Teen programme, came along and demonstrated his boxing and played games with the children and G4S staff. Chartchai has been most promising amateur boxer to acquire a gold medal from Olympic games in London, United Kingdom in 2012.
“I am very delighted and excited that all the kind grown-ups came over and brought us a computer for our education and that we played fun games with Siss and bros from G4S and Chartchai,” said Chayanee Chinpracha, 10 year olds.
“It is my first participation and it makes me so happy. My favourite is a Powder Plate Passing game and I enjoyed the yummy ice-cream. Thank you siss and bros from G4S for coming here, for not leaving us behind, and for bringing us this fantastic time, We are looking forward to future events taking place here again”.
Udom Naaboonpattana, the teacher who is a main coordinator of the event, noted that it was good to welcome G4S Thailand employees.
He realised that the school was just a small school and has been ignored by many institutions.
“We are very thankful to G4S for supplying the computers, internet connections and for delivering merriment to the children. The school would welcome the opportunity if G4S would consider visiting us with such a great kind of activities again in the future”.
2 June 2011
Most people will, by now, have heard of a carbon footprint. It is a gauge of CO2 emissions measuring the impact of any activities at all on the environment, in terms of units, tonnes or kg of CO2, mainly because CO2 (carbon dioxide) is a greenhouse gas, contributing to climate change. But while the perception of a carbon footprint might be clear where it relates to airlines, power plants or heavy industry, there is little realisation that every individual and every product has a carbon footprint.Take, for instance, chicken masaman curry with rice plus saut้ed vegetables, served aboard a Thai Airways International flight. Preparing it, from raw materials to waste disposal, causes emissions equivalent to 1.36kg of carbon dioxide.
If the meal is accompanied by a can of Coke, add emissions of more than 170g of CO2 equivalent. And if you grabbed one of those Thai International cotton napkins to mop your face as you considered the damage your meal was inflicting, understand that the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation – a public organisation – says one kilogram of that rimmed, dark-coloured cotton fabric made by YUD Textile emits 19.3kg of CO2 equivalent.
To most Thais, these figures currently mean nothing. Around the world, few consumers are aware that every step of their consumption-driven lives creates emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere. And carbon dioxide – along with methane, nitrous oxide, and others – is a greenhouse gas that is responsible for causing climate change, the effects of which are lately becoming clear, with unusual and often violent changes to normal weather patterns.
According to Dr Lim Chooi Seng, the assistant vice president of Singapore-based certification firm Tuv Sud PSB, consumers will soon be playing a more important role in forcing manufacturers to obtain and display carbon footprints on products, in the event that there is no such official requirement.
Already, consumers in some countries like France base their purchase decisions on carbon footprints. Offered a choice of three food products that all have similar nutritional values, consumers will opt for the one with the lowest carbon footprint. In this way, they believe they can help the world by consuming products that have the lowest carbon footprints.
Calculating the carbon footprints of products takes into account the quantity of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from each stage of a product’s entire life cycle (“from cradle to grave,” as it is called). The carbon footprint calculates the carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) of the GHG emissions from acquisition of raw materials, manufacture, use, waste management and final disposal, including related transportation at all stages.
The good news is that public awareness is increasing in Thailand, though first notice is being taken by manufacturers. Starting last year, the Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation issued carbon footprint certifications for more than 50 products, ranging from THAI’s in-flight menus and soybean oil, to bras, carpets and granite tiles. The footprint measures, when shown on packaging, offers consumers a means of reducing GHG emissions by selecting the lowest, as well as promoting and enhancing the competitiveness of the Thai industrial sector by declaring the carbon efficiency of its products in global markets.
Noting this trend, Tuv Sud PSB (Thailand) is planning to offer a carbon-footprint certification service in Thailand based on ISO14064 and Britain’s PAS2050 standards. With an average cost of Bt400,000 per product, the company is expecting a range of clients, thanks to the reputation of its 100-year-old German parent company, Tuv Sud.
According to the company’s figures, the calculation of a carbon footprint for bread involves measuring emissions during the transportation of wheat flour to the bakery and from the bakery to consumers, as well as carrying wastes to landfill sites.
Emissions from manufacturing a tonne of bread include 9kg of CO2eq from the cultivation of raw materials and their transport; 45kg from the production of flour; 8.4kg from transport of the flour; 300kg from the baking process; 70kg from packing and production-waste disposal; 12kg from transport to distribution centres; and 165kg from landfill decomposition emissions.
Tuv Sud PSB (Thailand)’s lead auditor Pasuta Tontisirin said there were easy steps by which Thai companies could obtain carbon footprints for their
First, the companies should single out their best-selling products for certification. Emission data for the entire “cradle-to-grave” life cycle of the products would then be taken into account, which would take about six months. Then, the data would be cross-checked, and an auditor would verify the final carbon-footprint figure.
Unfortunately, carbon footprinting remains a voluntary issue and this results in just a small number of companies seeking certification.
“The number of clients is few, given that carbon-footprint calculation remains voluntary. But the service fee is affordable, as we want to help companies to make the effort to be green and to try to reduce emissions. Let’s save our own energy,” Lim said.
- For consumers
lThe product label gives consumers information regarding the
GHG emissions of products and services so that they can make
informed buying decisions. It also allows them to participate in
- For manufacturers
lThe carbon-footprint label can be used for market promotion or
to support a “green image” for an organisation.
lManufacturers will be ready for the ISO14067 standard, which is
expected to be launched this year. Environmental standards set by
developed countries will require carbon-footprint labelling for
lCarbon-footprint calculations promote low-emission technologies
and manufacturing methods, and manufacturers will gain economic
benefits in the long term.
Source: Thailand Greenhouse Gas Management Organisation website
19 May 2011
Supalai Plc recently organised a trip to visit Sanpayang Withayakom School in Chiang Mai.Led by president Atip Bijanonda, the trip brought along members of the press. Together, they presented furniture and educational equipment to the school. They also donated water tanks and paints as well as a fund to help finance Song Kwai Withayakom School’s dormitory improvement project.
The donation, as part of the company’s “Saeng Prateep” (Light) policy, has won supports from business partners like TOA Paint (Thailand) Co Ltd, Index Living Mall Co Ltd, Thamsorn Co Ltd, S&T Wood Working Co Ltd and PP Ceramics Co Ltd.
19 May 2011
Airbus is helping the United Nations to raise awareness of the need to preserve the rich variety of all life on earth, to celebrate the United Nations International Day for Biodiversity on May 22.The aircraft manufacturer in partnership with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is working to encourage young people to engage with biodiversity, through participation in The Green Wave. An initiative designed to educate young people about the crucial role of biodiversity. The Green Wave encourages people to celebrate by planting a tree or through other activities and to upload pictures of this online. The idea is to create a Green Wave of action passing through time zones around the world from east to west.
18 May 2011
In TMB Bank’s dictionary, all possess the power to make things better. With that belief, it has created the “Fai Fa” (Light and Sky) campaign to motivate all to change their lives for the better.Recently, the bank dispatched a team to Wat Phai Tan Community near Khlong Toei. Led by CEO Boontuck Wangcharoen, the team helped children in the community fix the steel fences along the small canal and decorate the fences with bead chains by Grafix Design Thailand and independent designers. Together, they hoped that the fences would be stronger for community dwellers and make the community a more pleasant place to live in.
”TMB has full confidence in the capacity and power of youth. They would play a key role in changing themselves and their communities. This time, they helped fix the fences and joined the vertical gardening programme. TMB believes that their power can lead to a never-ending influence on others,” Boontuck said.
Under “Fai Fa” campaign, the bank has come up with programmes to boost the capacity of the youth. So far, it has arranged sessions to train the youth on painting, dancing, tekwando, computer graphic, cooking and English language.
18 May 2011
The goal of all nations was once attaining prosperity. But recent years have delivered some painful lessons to developed and emerging countries: prosperity itself does not last when the universal quest for it forces everyone to change their consumption patterns.A recent United Nations report says that just as developed and emerging countries are seeking ways to achieve a “green” economy for the sake of sustainability, it seems the world’s 48 least-developed and landlocked countries could be the first to reach the finish line, with low-carbon profiles, rich natural assets and promising policy initiatives.
The report, issued by the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, points to the economic and human-development opportunities of a green-economy transition for the world’s least-developed countries (LDCs).
While developed and emerging countries face substantial costs of ‘decarbonisation’, as well as costs linked to retiring inefficient fossil-fuel-based technologies, the report suggests that LDCs can avoid these hurdles by maintaining and expanding the sustainable economic activities they are already using.
For example, low-carbon, labour-intensive agriculture and community-based forestry are sustainable practices that have existed for decades in these countries. These will be central elements in greening these sectors.
The report says that structural constraints, including dependence on fragile agriculture, limited access to energy and low economic diversification have previously prevented LDCs from significantly reducing poverty and achieving higher rates of development. These resulted from investments and policies that undervalued the importance of the economic sectors most relevant to the livelihoods of the poor.
Governments have a central role to play in putting in place strategies, targeted public expenditures, policy reforms and regulatory changes to promote further investment and initiatives by the private sector and civil society. Already, decision-makers in a number of LDCs are taking bold measures that may set a course for this transition to occur.
“LDCs face unprecedented vulnerabilities across a range of challenges. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is committed to assisting them to reduce these risks, while growing their economies and achieving their sustainable-development objectives,” said United Nations under-secretary-general and executive director of UNEP Achim Steiner. “The shift to a global green economy can put LDCs in an opportune position if the right enabling policies are put in place nationally and internationally. These policies must accelerate their development rather than constraining it and they must value, invest and re-invest in natural assets and low-carbon industries alongside human well-being and social equity.”
Currently, there are 48 countries listed among the LDCs: 33 of them are in Africa, 14 in Asia-Pacific and one in Latin America.
Numerous examples from these countries highlight progress being achieved in a range of economic sectors, from energy to agriculture, through government, private sector and civil-society initiatives.
In Laos, the National Ecotourism Strategy Action Plan, based on the sustainable use of natural and cultural resources and the delivery of measurable socio-economic benefits to local communities, has turned ecotourism into a thriving economic activity accounting for about half of total tourism revenue. Overall, the number of international arrivals in Laos jumped from 1 million in 2005 to more than 2 million in 2009.
Nepal’s approach to community forest management continues to generate employment and income from the sustainable harvesting of timber and non-timber forest products. Sustainable forest management has contributed to reversing a trend of declining forest cover. During the 1990s, Nepal’s forests were declining at a rate of 1.9 per cent per year. From 2000 to 2005, the trend reversed to an annual increase of 1.35 per cent.
Despite being an LDC located far from its major export markets, Uganda more than quadrupled its exports of organic agricultural products between 2003 and 2008, tapping into a global market worth US$60 billion (Bt1.82 trillion). Farm gate prices for organic pineapples, ginger and vanilla were 300 per cent, 185 per cent, and 150 per cent higher, respectively, than conventional products in 2006, making sustainable forms of production highly profitable for producers and local communities.
The UN report says that despite their limited contribution to climate change, the least-developed countries are among those most vulnerable to its effects. It is therefore necessary for the international community to come up with financial support to help these countries.
The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) has been created to address the climate-change adaptation needs of the LDCs. More financing is urgently needed to support the adoption of clean technology and trade-related capacity building in green sectors.
UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) secretary-general Supachai Panitchpakdi said at least four key elements had to be addressed for a successful transition. These are, firstly, identifying new sources of funding that can be directly applied to transitional efforts; second, creating an enabling environment that is conducive to private investment in green-economy markets; third, taking advantage of trade to create global markets for green goods and services exported by LDCs; and fourth, designing new and effective mechanisms for transferring green technologies to the least-developed countries.
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- Hydroponics: the complete guide to gardening without soil
- Micronutrients for Sustainable Production
- Plant Analysis Reference Procedures
- Fertilizer news and articles
- Plant Nutrition
- Soil Taxonomy 2Ed.
- สทท NBT
- อสมท MCOT
- ไทยพีบีเอส Thai PBS
- Blog Stat
- FAO EcoCrop
- KU eMagazine
- The Nation