Provinces work to include Thailand’s poor

Jul 16, 2010

UNDP Thailand/Mark S. Cogan : UNDP's Poverty-Environment Initiative has helped make decision-making more inclusive. Here UNDP staff out meet local farmers in Khon Kaen Province..

Poverty-Environment Initiative inception workshop to focus attention on pro-poor development planning

Bangkok – What can Thailand do when development, tourism, agriculture conflict with one another? In a growing society, the growing demand for food production or industry can have an adverse effect on ecosystems, and an even worse effect on the poor, who depend on the country’s natural resources for their livelihoods.

Today, the Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) a joint programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will host a workshop to mark the commencement of the implementation phase. As many as 80 participants will attend the PEI workshop at the Siam City Hotel in Bangkok, including stakeholders from three pilot provinces, Samut Songkhram, Nan and Khon Kaen to review and approve the work plans in each province, as well as the Ministry of Interior’s national level activities.

“PEI is a major step forward for human development programmes in Thailand. This inception workshop is the start of a mutually-beneficial partnership with provincial and local stakeholders, where the end result will directly benefit Thailand’s poor,” said Yuxue Xue, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.

The Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI) for Thailand focuses on how to change public and private investment to reduce these negative social and environmental impacts. It aims to strengthen planning and budgeting at all levels for natural resource and ecosystem management to achieve pro-poor growth.

The three pilot provinces were identified to conduct an ecosystem and human-well being assessment to provide evidence-based case for development decision-making at the provincial and local levels. Additionally, their results will provide inputs to the development of the 11th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (2012-2017).

Working in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe, PEI works with governments to integrate pro-poor environmental considerations into national and sub-national planning and budgeting processes. In Asia and the Pacific, PEI programmes are underway in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Lao PDR, and Timor-Leste.