When Adri Verwey, a Dutch flood expert, arrived in Thailand in early October last year, the country was struggling to prevent a wall of water from flowing southwards to Bangkok. It was also struggling against itself. Government departments were working alone – even sometimes against each other – and in charge was a weeks-old administration led by a relative unknown in Yingluck Shinawatra trying to protect the opposition-run capital.
“There were these political problems,” says Verwey, a consultant with Deltares, a Dutch institute specializing in flood solutions. Contacted by Thai authorities through the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, Verwey was soon taking charge of crisis meetings involving the new prime minister, the army and numerous ministries as they tried to plug leaking dykes and flush water out to sea via poorly maintained flood channels.
Disparity worsens ocean pollution
Most of the Thai marine waste is plastics led by plastic debris (12%), Styrofoam boxes (10%), food wrappers (8%), plastic bags (8%), glass bottles (7%), plastic bottles (7%), and straws (5%).
Ocean plastic pollution is threatening humanity and Thailand cannot escape the blame as one of the world’s worst marine polluters. Although the government has pledged to tackle marine pollution, one thing is certain. Success is out of reach if the state authorities fail to engage local communities as equal partners.(more…)
ASEAN takes on Circular Economy as part of priority agenda
The circular ‘reuse-reduce-recycle’ approach promotes a more efficient use of resources, thereby contributing to ASEAN Member States’ commitment to the Paris Agreement on climate change and the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.
Today, ASEAN Secretariat conducted an online workshop on Circular Economy. The workshop gathered relevant sectoral bodies to discuss the draft Framework for Circular Economy for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which is one of the priority economic deliverables for Brunei Darussalam’s ASEAN Chairmanship this year.(more…)
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