Developing Eco-Industrial Towns in Thailand
The Ministry of Industry will develop eco-industrial towns in five provinces as models for Thailand’s industries, to enable them to move toward green manufacturing.
Permanent Secretary for Industry Atchaka Sibunruang said that the five provinces selected for the eco-industrial town prototypes include Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Rayong, Chachoengsao, and Prachin Buri. These provinces have great potential for further industrial growth.
She said that the Ministry of Industry had formed a working group to conduct a study on the establishment of the eco-industrial towns. The study also involves another nine industrial areas, namely the IRPC’s production complex in Rayong; Bangkadi Industrial Park in Pathum Thani 304 Industrial Park in Prachin Buri; Sahapat Industrial Park, Si Racha in Chon Buri; Sahapat Industrial Park, Kabin Buri, in Prachin Buri; Rojana Industrial Park in Ayutthaya; IPP Industrial Community in Rayong; Hemaraj Rayong Industrial Land in Rayong; and Hemaraj Saraburi Industrial Land in Saraburi.
The pilot eco-industrial towns will expand partnerships and networking with local communities and businesses. In the next step, they will prepare for being assessed and recognized as eco-industrial towns with international standards.
Mrs. Atchaka said that the project is in line with Thailand’s strategies, which focus on “green growth” and the development of
environment-friendly industries. In this regard, the Department of Industrial Works has launched a project for the setting up of an Eco Town Center to coordinate and follow up on operations concerning eco-industries.
The development of the eco-industrial towns is based on five development dimensions: physical, economic, environmental, social, and management factors. The master plan for the eco-industrial towns has been mapped out and will be used as a guideline for industrial zoning nationwide.
It will be sent to relevant agencies and governors of the provinces where the eco-industrial towns are located. This will ensure that they work in an integrated manner and that communities surrounding the areas will truly benefit from the project. One of the targets is to reduce environmental problems and health hazards in the areas by 2018.
The Ministry of Industry has urged factories to attach greater importance to environmental conservation and safety standards and to focus more on social responsibility for sustainable development.
Under the framework of the current 11th National Economic and Social Development Plan, 2012-2016, Thailand will be developed into a “green society.” The plan seeks to develop eco-industrial towns and restore the environment in major industrial regions by creating awareness of the need for co-existence between industries and communities.