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Event Summary : Green Creative Economy for Thailand.

The session on Green Creative Economy for Thailand on April 21st, 2009 is a
joint initiative of Change Fusion Institute and Banyan Tree Hotel. 8 notable guest
speakers from the government, private sector and a network of green solution
providers were invited to share their knowledge and experience on environmental
sustainability projects in hoping that it will increase cooperation among
participants and make a great impact on climate change.

The first two speakers were representatives of public sector. The others speakers
are from solution network including the UN, World Bank, Clinton Climate
Initiative, Kokoboard Company, Scrap Lab, Volunteer Spirit, Supreme Renewable
Energy, and Change Fusion Institute.

Former Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayadhin who is now an advisor to Prime


Minister Apisit Vejjajiva delivered a speech about key initiatives from the
governmentʼs point of view in order to promote awareness of climate change
impact in Thailand as well as in our neighboring countries.

During his time as Bangkok Governor, Apirak and his team at the Bangkok
Administrative Office have been working with many parties including the
government and its national communities in order to handle climate change
problems more productively. To do so, cooperation among three sectors namely
public, private and social enterprises, is necessary. He has shared his
perspective on the global trend and the impact of climate change and global
warming. Starting with global trend, he mentioned that the economy today has
been changed from export-driven economy or industrialization, which caused
carbon emission resulting in climate change, to a more creative economy that
drives in innovation and imagination. For instant, C40 climate summit is the
seminar for the 40 big cities that agree to work together to find the solutions for
environmental problems without waiting for governmental supports.

Representing public sector, Apirak stated that Thai government works with the
Office of Knowledge Management and Development (OKMD) to promote creative
economy scheme. In addition, the government is willing to support and promote
the linkage among these sectors to prepare Thailand for inevitable growing
environmental problems. He emphasized that it is our duty to take responsibility
of this very global issue in order to make sure that the next generation of the
coming 10 - 30 years will have a habitable world to live on.
Regarding the use of renewable energy in Thailand, Apirak said that renewable
energy usage such as wind power and solar energy is not popular in Thailand
when compared to China and other countries in Europe. Last but not least, he
said that Thailand should follow Obamaʼs stimulas package which focuses on
promoting the opportunity for green businesses rather than financial institutions.

Mr. Pimuk Simaroj, who is an advisor to the Environmental and Natural


Resources Minister, gave a short speech for Green Creative Economy for
Thailand seminar in prospect of the government. He said that in the old day there
was no cooperation among NGO, public and private sectors regarding
environmental responsibility. However nowadays there is a stronger connection
among these 3 groups of people who come together to solve environmental
problems.

Nowadays environmental issue is the major concern for Thailand. For the
ministry itself, the strategy to raise public awareness of this issue is in form of
voluntary promotion instead of laws and regulation enforcement. One of the
government projects is the campaign of reducing the use of plastic bags for 45
days starting from the Earth day. Before ending the speech, he recommended
that CSR should not only be used as an advertising scheme but should also be
something that makes a great impact to the society. He added that the
government is willing to support and facilitate burden that private sector is facing
in promoting its CSR campaigns.

Mr. Simmathiri Appanah from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)


department of the UN emphasized on FAOʼs main focus which is alternative
energy for rural community. He gave the definition of “alternative energy”,
especially in the rural community context, that alternative energy is something
that you can not get out of the electric socket. It does not come from
unsustainable nor unrenewable resources such as petroleum of which energy
production process emits a lot of carbon into the atmosphere. Sources of energy
that we should be looking for should be the energy that is free of charge,
renewable, available within the community, and does not cause problem to the
environment. He also mentioned about the challenges of wind energy production
due to its high investment cost and unconstancy.There is some simple
mechanism, which is more suitable and lower cost than the complex technology;
hence, this should be the solution for alternative energy.

Ms. Pongthip Puwajaroen, a representative from the World bank, has given a
speech hightlighted on carbon finance, the role of the World Bank in promoting
carbon finance and plan for the future. In 1999, The World Bank has started
prototype of carbon fund, which were implemented in the waste mangement
project in Brazil. Right now, the World Bank is managing about 10 funds worth a
total of 2 billion dollars. The role of World Bank is to help funded participants
develop their carbon finance projects; project that can reduce greenhouse gas
(GHG) under Kyoto Protocol and to help develop new methodology including
complex calculation and benchmark. Another important role of the World Bank is
to prepare necessary documents and to make sure that it is align with the World
Bankʼs safe guard policies. She explained the basic terminology of carbon
finance is what you can earn from what you have reduced. In other words, if you
are able to reduce your GHG emission in some ways, you will be able to receive
carbon credits. Until now, the World Bank has developed more than 300 carbon-
credits projects around the world. And it is an honor for Thailad as 4 of the
projects have been developed in here. One of the projects is called “Community
Develpment Carbon Fund”. This means that World Bank will contribute an extra
one dollar for community development in each GHG emission unit purchased. In
the future, the World Bank aims for reducing GHG emission in the suburb using
area-based catagorization such as GHG emission of residence, waste-handling
process, transportation and etc. Following the Kyoto Protocol, three things have
been prepared, starting with carbon partnership facility, Clean Techonology Fund
and carbon finance unit focused in urban areas.

Nathaniel Manning from Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI), one of the initiatives
under Clinton Foundation, has shared his knowledge about CCI and its projects.
CCI was founded two and a half years ago with the mission to reduce
greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and to fight against climate change in practical,
measureble, and significant ways. CCI works with 40 largest cities in the world
that have commited to help lower GHG emission. CCIʼs roles includes assiting
partners, giving consultancy, outsourcing expertise and financing projects
focusing on waste mangement, clean energy, transportion, and plant
construction. Right now the organization empahsizes on hugh climate change
impact which was caused by GHG emission. Hence, CCI innovates energy
perfomance contract which helps existing plants to reduce GHG emission and to
use energy efficiently.

One of the projects that makes Bangkok become a very successful city to fight
aginst climate change is “Energy Conservation Fund”. The fund gives loans to
energy conservation projects at a very competitive interest rate. CCI has worked
with many institutions in Thailand such as Central departmentstore and
International School of Bangkok. In the midst of energy crisis, awareness and
pressure on corporation regarding socially responsibility continue to increase
tremendously in Thailand. So, this is an opportunity to comply with regulations to
bring in new technology to save the environment while raising revenue and profit
simultaneously.
Ms. Orapin Sinamovech from Kokoboard company described that Kokoboard is
the company that makes wood from argricultural leftover. It was inspired from the
desire to help farmer increase income. Signature of its products is the variety of
pattern and color due to nature of different ingredients from agricultural wastes.
Production process is environmental friendly, that is glue used to attatch each
layers of wooden boards together do not contain formaldehyde, which is the
cause of cancer and allergies and destroy central nervous system. However,
non-formaldehyde glue costs more than the one that normally used in the
industry, so that price of Kokoboard products is higher than its competitors.
Moreover, its products are highly resistent to humidity compared to normal
wooden board. Kokoboard is the example of social enterprise that is responsible
for social and environment in reducing pollution; at the same time, making
sustainable income to the company itself and to people in the community.

Mr.Teerawit Pimmanee, who is an architect student at Kasetsart University, gave


an information about Scrap Lab project. Scrap Lab is a project under faculty of
Architecture of Kasetsart University. The focus of Scrap Lab is to reuse waste
and left over from production and construction sites to produce valuable
products. Its products are flourished with design and innovation making it unique
among its competitors. In constructing a building, left over and waste such as
wood, ceramic, steel, plastic, metal, paper and etc are accounted for more than
40% of the total materials. So Scrap Lab gathers these wastes, categorize them
before sending the materials and designs to factory for manufacturing process.
However, Scrap Lab always stand firm on its mission of using less energy,
producing less pollution and making environmental friendly products. Its products
must be something that is practical and value-added while supporting sustainable
economy and giving job opportunity for people simultaneously.

Volunteer Spiritʼs representative Mr. Win Mektripop stated that Volunteer Spirit is
a network that promotes voluntarily activities in all sectors of the society. To
increase individualʼs awareness of social and environmental problems, the
organization emphasizes that volunteering mind need to be created and it is the
responsibility of citizens and therefore it should start from an individual level not
from an institutional level. Those contributions made by volunteers reflect positive
social actions for the betterment of the community and the country. Nowadays,
there is an increasing concern of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Some
might think that CSR is to build or improve the companyʼs image. However,
volunteer spirit representative would like to encourage us to see CSR as a good
starting point for a person to be concerned about social problems.
Mr. Yutthana Saithai from Supreme Renewable Energy company shared his
knowledge and experience on Biomass power plant. He stated that Supreme
Renewable Energy company is the company that builds the first prototype of
biomass power plant or community power plant in Chiangrai province of
Thailand. The community power plant differs from a large power plant because it
is as small as 1 MV. With simpler technology, it is easier to maintain, and requires
lower investment costs. Moreover, it does not cause pollution and the biomass
supply is available in the community. Therefore we can eliminate problems of
power supply shortage and pollution problems caused by energy production
process. At the same time, the community power plant can generate sufficient
electricity for the community. Waste and leftover from the production can be
recycled. For example, they can be used to produce charcoal and “wood
vinegar”, which is fertilizer or pesticide for crops. The community power plant not
only brings green electricity to people, but also brings in economic benefits by
increasing job opportunity and income from selling agricultural waste to the
power plant. In the near future, the company will further develop community
power plant in rural areas in Thailand.

Change Fusion Instituteʼs representative Wannasigh Prasertkul shared his


experience on biogas project. Biogas can be used as substitute of fuel to
generate electricity, heat or run motor vehicles. Biogas is produced by
fermentation of biodegradable materials such as municipal waste, green waste
and energy crops. There are many available system and size of biogas plants.
Some types are small, low-cost, and community-oriented, while some are huge
and complex. Right now, Change Fusion incorporates with Central department
store to build biogas plants in schools in Thailand. Besides direct benefits of the
biogas, this project will provide researching opportunity to school students.
Another project of Change Fusion in Buriram province also applies biogas plant
initiative for its local community. The energy produced at each plant site is
sufficient for household electricity consumption of up to 30 families. This is
beneficial for people in the community in reducing cost of waste management
and electricity bills. Next target is to build biogas plant in high-rise building in
urban areas and incorporate with municipality for acquiring municipal waste;
thus, it will help reduce environmental problems and waste management cost for
the city.