6 Ensure environmental sustainability

Where are we?

 MDG 7
Balancing economic growth and environmental protection is a key challenge in Thailand.

Thailand’s economy is booming. People are spending money, jobs are being created, and the country is producing more food than ever. But some of this economic growth has come at the expense of the environment.  This balance is one of Thailand’s greatest challenges.

Thailand is party to key international treaties, has enacted important national environmental laws, and has integrated environmental concerns into national policies and programmes. Although there have been encouraging signs that the rate of forest degradation, water contamination, air pollution and other instances of environmental damage have slowed, this improvement is still inadequate to offset the accelerating rate of growth and resource depletion. 

Water shortages put farmers on the brink of economic disaster. One sixth of Thailand’s agricultural land is vulnerable to drought, with as many as 8 million people are affected every season. Climate change is more important than ever, and there is a growing sense of urgency on the part of the Government that Thailand needs to be ready and well-equipped to manage the challenges that come with it.

Over 600 square kilometers of coastline experience severe erosion. Damage along Thailand’s many shorelines has severe economic ramifications. More than 13 million people rely on marine resources for their livelihoods.  Local communities need to build resilience to climate change impacts, while policies and actions on the ground make the transition to a “low-carbon” society.

UNDP's work in Thailand

1.69 years
until 2015

1990 2015
Targets for MDG7
  1. Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources
  2. Reduce biodiversity loss, achieving, by 2010, a significant reduction in the rate of loss
    • Proportion of land area covered by forest and proportion of species threatened with extinction
    • CO2 emissions, total, per capita and per $1 GDP (PPP)
    • Consumption of ozone-depleting substances
    • Proportion of fish stocks within safe biological limits
    • Proportion of total water resources used
    • Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected
  3. Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
    • Proportion of population using an improved drinking water source
    • Proportion of population using an improved sanitation facility
  4. Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020
    • Proportion of urban population living in slums