Southeast Asia's Mekong region has lost much of its forests. A new satellite imagery technique reveals countries like Thailand are reversing the trend, not just in forests but on farms and villages too.
More than 60 percent of workers are members of the informal economy. Instead of ignoring the informal economy, cities should plan for it; doing so will increase sustainability and productivity while protecting some of the world's least-advantaged.
Communities near a toxic hot spot in Thailand want the government to tell them what's in their water. Despite the country's strong "right to know" laws, they aren't getting the answers they need.
A new report from World Resources Institute’s (WRI) The Access Initiative reveals that Asian countries are not effectively telling people if the water they use for drinking, farming and fishing is polluted or dangerously toxic.
Industrial facilities release upwards of 400 million tons of toxic pollutants into the world’s waters each year. For many of Asia’s poorest communities who depend on local waterways for drinking, bathing, farming and fishing, they need to know whether their water is polluted or dangerously toxic.
Improving communities’ health and environment through their right to access information and participate in decision-making
The world needs to add about a billion homes to meet the demand for urban housing. An "incremental" approach, where the urban poor work with the government in constructing their own homes slowly over time, can help.
About one billion people live in slums or informal settlements. Thailand's Bann Mankong program, which improved the living conditions of more than 90,000 households at a cost of just $570 per family, offers lessons on solutions.
The Flint water crisis an example of what can happen in the absence of transparent, inclusive and accountable water quality regulation and public service delivery. And unfortunately, it's just one community out of many throughout the world experiencing this problem.
The World Resources Institute (WRI) is working through the Measurement and Performance Tracking (MAPT) project to help enhance national capacities in developing countries to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emis
The authors discuss how energy stakeholders from utilities to government officials to consumers can learn from the Thai Solar PV Roadmap Initiative (TSRI), an initiative that aims to provide the Thai government with recommendations on how to both effectively and inclusively pursue greater solar power development.
A unique network of civil society organizations dedicated to promoting transparent, inclusive and accountable decision-making in the electricity sector.
Building the capacity of developing countries to effectively track progress toward meeting domestic climate, energy, and development goals.
Worldwide, one out of every five people lacks access to modern electricity. Affordability, quality of service, and social and environmental impacts pose great challenges in providing people with the power they need for lighting, cooking, and other activities. Good governance involving open and inclusive practices is essential to overcoming these pressing obstacles.
This is part three of a four-part blog series, “Improving Electricity Governance,” which explores the key components involved in effective electricity governance. The series draws on the experiences of WRI’s Electricity Governance Initiative, documented in a new report, “Shining a Light on Electricity Governance.” Read more posts in this series.
Until recently, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) held a monopoly on Thailand’s power generation and transmission since the 1970s. While EGAT provided a relatively stable supply of electricity to consumers, it was unregulated, leading to inefficiencies in the sector, such as wrongly estimated fuel supply. Consumers experienced high prices, while new power projects moved forward with little public consultation, sparking social conflict and concerns over environmental impacts.
The situation worsened in 2003, when Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra set forth a plan to restructure Thailand’s electricity sector and privatize EGAT. Rather than improving Thailand’s electricity sector in the public interest, the plan for privatization was designed to increase capital for powerful stakeholders and upper management employees. It called to maintain EGAT’s unregulated monopoly in order to maximize profits, even at the expense of public needs and environmental vulnerabilities.
Thailand’s electricity sector seemed poised to worsen--until civil society groups stepped in.
Increased industrialization in Asia has created countless hurdles for communities to protect themselves from pollution. Important government information—such as the amount of pollutants being discharged by nearby factories or results from local air and water quality monitoring—still isn’t readily accessible in user-friendly formats. This practice often leaves the public entirely out of decision-making processes on issues like regulating pollution or expanding industrial factories. In many cases, the public lack the information they need to understand and shield themselves from harmful environmental, social, and health impacts.
This state of affairs recently prompted a group of government officials, NGOs, local community representatives, and academics to demand government action to change the status quo. Last week, representatives from China, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Thailand released the Jakarta Declaration for Strengthening the Right to Environmental Information for People and the Environment. The Declaration urges governments to improve access to information on air and water quality pollution in Asia—and offers a detailed road map on how to do so.
The Declaration stemmed from a meeting organized by WRI’s the Access Initiative and the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law, held last week in Jakarta. Representatives will now bring the list of findings and recommendations to government officials in their home countries and ask for commitments on increasing transparency.
Developing countries will need about $531 billion of additional investments in clean energy technologies every year in order to limit global temperature rise to 2° C above pre-industrial levels, thus preventing climate change’s worst impacts. To attract investments on the scale required, developing country governments, with support from developed countries, must undertake “readiness” activities that will encourage public and private sector investors to put their money into climate-friendly projects.
WRI’s six-part blog series, Mobilizing Clean Energy Finance, highlights individual developing countries’ experiences in scaling up investments in clean energy and explores the role climate finance plays in addressing investment barriers. The cases draw on WRI’s recent report, Mobilizing Climate Investment.
The development of Thailand’s energy efficiency sector is an interesting case study. It demonstrates how strong government leadership combined with strategic support from international climate finance can drive the transition toward an energy-efficient economy.
In the early 1990s, Thailand’s economy was growing rapidly at 10 percent per year; the power sector was growing even faster. The government recognized that conserving energy would provide a low-cost way to meet its citizens’ rising demand for energy.
Between now and 2050, developing countries need an estimated $531 billion per year of additional investment in energy supply and demand technologies in order to limit global temperature rise to 2° C above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this scale of investment, developing country governments
Since the 1990’s, international financial institutions have urged developing countries to liberalize the electricity sector in their countries to bring financial solvency to the sector.
Forest carbon monitoring is critical to evaluating whether policies aiming to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from forest change are achieving their goals. The objective of this brief is to highlight the technical capacity needs for implementing national systems for forest carbon monitoring.