Stronger leadership and more stringent legal enforcement cited as ways to improve Thailand’s environmental governance

Dr. Peter King

Bangkok, Thailand – Stronger leadership in Thailand’s environmental administration and more stringent enforcement of green regulations are among recommendations to improving the country’s environmental governance. Addressing officials from Thailand’s Ministry of National Resources and Environment’s (MoNRE) Department of Environmental Quality Promotion (DEQP), Dr. Peter King, Head of the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) Secretariat shared ways to improve Thailand’s environmental governance in his keynote address “Good Governance for Better Environment.” In his remarks at MoNRE/DEQP’s “An Environmental Governance for Executive Officer Certificate Training Programme” jointly hosted with Mahidol University held last week, Dr. King explained “good governance” in context of environmental protection in Thailand and underscored several persistent ecological problems facing the country, including water management, land degradation, illegal logging, air pollution, and climate change. He also noted the complex administrative arrangements, overlapping jurisdictions, and numerous laws for environmental governance in Thailand. Dr. King stressed that despite an emphasis on legislation, the implementation of green laws have been proven difficult based on experience working in the Songkhla Lake Basin and the Klong Dan wastewater treatment plant. “Strong leadership of the environmental administration is necessary, from the Minister down,” said Dr. King. “Political will is a strong enabling factor for the bureaucracy and civil society to act.” In addition to improving leadership and enforcement, he highlighted other practical recommendations, including rewarding environmental staff for taking proactive steps, establishing a government hotline to report environmental damages, and creating an “environmental police force” similar to Vietnam’s experience. For Dr. King’s presentation slides, see the attachment below. About AECEN The Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) was established in 2005 by environmental agency leaders from 13 Asian countries, with support from the United States Agency for International Development and the Asian Development Bank. AECEN endeavors to promote improved compliance with environmental legal requirements in Asia. The Network accomplishes this task through the exchange of innovative policies and practices among member enforcement agencies. For more information on AECEN’s recent work, visit: