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Can Thailand’s Flood Defenses Fail Again?

Last year, flooding in Thailand breached defenses across the country, killing 800 people, ruining many of the industrial estates on the outskirts of Bangkok, bringing the capital to a halt, and resulting in billions of dollars in damage.

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Last year, flooding in Thailand breached defenses across the country, killing 800 people, ruining many of the industrial estates on the outskirts of Bangkok, bringing the capital to a halt, and resulting in billions of dollars in damage.

The disaster triggered decisions by several major electronics components manufacturers to either abandon Thailand operations or open new operations to build disc drives and other parts in countries safer from flooding.

Last year, flooding in Thailand breached defenses across the country, killing 800 people, resulting in billions of dollars in damage.

Last year’s flooding was also horrible for the public image of the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, which appeared to be slow to respond, as compared to the army, which utilized the flooding, and its rapid response, to somewhat rehabilitate its image in the minds of many Thais after the army’s killing of at least ninety protestors in the streets of Bangkok in spring 2010.

Given the damage done by last year’s floods to the Thai economy, to the government’s legitimacy, to people’s health, and to the country’s long-term attractiveness to investors, one might think that this year Bangkok would be better prepared for flooding.

After all, though some meteorologists attributed last year’s floods to a once-in-decades event, the fact is that Thailand is one of the countries in Asia most exposed to negative impacts from climate change: Bangkok is built on swampy, reclaimed ground, and sinks into the water more and more every year. It is easily flooded, and even in “good” monsoon seasons water often accumulates in the lowest parts of the city.

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Thailand’s Flood Defenses to Fail Again?

Environment

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%).

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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.

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Asean

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.

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ASEAN takes on Circular Economy as part of priority agenda

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.

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