[Thailand] Thai Coast: Coastal Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptation in Thailand.

Lead Research Organisation: Edge Hill University
Department Name: Geography

Abstract

The goal of the Thai-coast project is to improve scientific understanding of the vulnerability of Thailand's shoreline and coastal communities to hydro-meteorological hazards, including storms, floods and coastal erosion, under future climate change scenarios. In Thailand the problems of coastal erosion and flooding require immediate solutions because they affect more than 11 million people living in coastal zone communities (17% of the country's population). The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), in the Thai Government's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, has calculated that each year erosion causes Thailand to lose 30 km2 of coastal land. The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning predicts that sea level will rise by 1 metre in the next 40 -100 years, impacting at least 3,200 km2 of coastal land, through erosion and flooding, at a potential financial cost to Thailand of 3 billion baht [almost £70 million] over that time period. The Thai-coast project addresses the urgent need to enhance the resilience and adaptation potential of coastal communities, applying scientific research to inform more robust and cost-effective governance and institutional arrangements.

The Thai-coast project aims to (i) establish causal links between climate change, coastal erosion and flooding; (ii) use this information to assess the interaction of natural and social processes in order to (iii) enhance coastal community resilience and future sustainability. The project focuses on two study areas, Nakhon Si Thammarat province and Krabi province, selected on the basis of DMCR coastal erosion data and with contrasting natural and socio-economic characteristics. The Thai-coast project uses a multidisciplinary approach, integrating climate science, geomorphology, socio-economics, health and wellbeing science and geo-information technology to improve understanding of hydro-meteorological hazard occurrence, their physical and socioeconomic, health and wellbeing impacts on Thailand's coastal zone and the ways in which governance and institutional arrangements mitigate their impact. We will examine future scenarios of climate change hydrometeorology, coastal landform and land use change scenarios and assess and model impacts (coastal erosion, river-marine flooding, impacts on health and well-being), as well as population and community's adaptation, and socio-economics scenarios for sustainable development goals (sustainable cities, health-related quality of life and well-being, good governance). Our collaborative team of natural and social scientists, from UK, US and Thai research institutions, have complementary, cutting-edge expertise and will work closely with Thai Government and UK and Thai industry partners to ensure that results are policy and practice-relevant.

Thai-coast research will benefit government and policy makers, who need to plan for potential impacts caused by climate change and develop resilient strategies to deal with their impacts on natural-social systems. It will provide a link with government agencies for business/industry interests in the coastal zone of Thailand in tourism, aquaculture and associated industry and business, to assess their needs and help improve their understanding of coastal resilience in their strategic investments and management. The wider public, who inhabit Thailand's coastal communities either permanently or temporarily for work or leisure, will benefit through the advanced knowledge and awareness of identified problems and learning processes to address them. The results of the Thai-coast project will benefit coastal communities more broadly, in all Thai coastal provinces, through its contribution to more robust, cost effective, governance and institutional arrangements.

Planned Impact

The goal of the Thai-coast project is to improve scientific understanding of the vulnerability of Thailand's shoreline to hydrometeorological hazards under future climate change in order to enhance the resilience and adaptation of coastal communities through more robust, cost effective, decision-making, governance and institutional arrangements. Driven by the needs of key beneficiaries through strong, established and ongoing, two-way relationships, Thai-coast is a bespoke research project designed to improve the quality of life of coastal communities in Thailand. The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, has already identified coastal erosion and flooding hotspots where coastal community livelihoods and wellbeing are under threat. There is a clear need to understand the response of shorelines to hydrometeorological events of different magnitudes and to predict the future likely occurrence of events of different magnitudes associated with climate change scenarios and their impacts on coastal communities. These natural events have important socio-economic consequences and the DMCR have identified the need to engage with a broad range of coastal community stakeholders and decision-makers and multi-disciplinary research in order to improve governance and institutional arrangements in mitigating the impact of hydrometeorological hazards. Tourism and aquaculture, and associated industries such as port authorities, are the dominant economic activities in Thailand's coastal zone and so the results of the Thai-coast project will benefit coastal communities more broadly, in other Thai coastal provinces, through its contribution to more robust, cost effective, decision-making governance and institutional arrangements.

Thai-coast addresses the needs of three principal categories of beneficiaries with whom we have existing contacts on which to build. (i) Government and policy makers. Specifically the DMCR, but also including NPD (Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation), NSO (National Statistics Office), NESDB (National Economic and Social Development Board), GISTDA (Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency), MOPH (Ministry of Public Health). And at various levels including local development actors and communities, such as DOPA (Department Of Provincial Administration), Local Administration agencies and Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, who need to plan for potential impacts caused by climate change and develop resilient strategies to deal with their impacts on natural-social systems. Existing strategies will be assessed, the research tailored to gaps identified and the results used to enhance knowledge and skills to develop the strategies and build capacity. Government policy makers will benefit in the short, medium and long term (ii) Business/industry interests in the coastal zone of Thailand in tourism, aquaculture and associated industry and business e.g. multinational companies, SMEs, tourism, transport, agricultural, health care sectors. This broad group represent a potential development conflict in relation to coastal protection yet are important to the economy. Thai-coast reaches out equally to these stakeholders to enhance their links with government agencies, assess their needs and help improve their understanding of resilience in their strategic investments and management benefiting them in the longer term. (iii) The wider public who inhabit Thailand's coastal communities either permanently or temporarily for work or leisure and including the international communities who visit Thailand will benefit in the medium to longer term through advanced knowledge and awareness of identified problems and learning processes to address them.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Erosion and accretion rates are more dramatic on mangrove coastlines (-34.5 and 21.7 m/year) compared with sandy coastlines (-4.1 and 4 m/year). The rainfall has intensified mainly over the land with a relatively increase up to 200% in some regions in Southern Thailand. The future climate changes mean more extended and sever floods in Southern Thailand. While socio-economic resilience is generally higher in more urbanized areas, there are greater variations amongst subdistricts. Some of the successful coping measures in mitigating hydro-meteorological hazards include local production of life jackets, erection of village level early warning towers and sirens, and community trainings in warning and evacuation drills. However, households individually applied autonomous coping mechanisms. Different communities within the coastal regions have different levels of resilience and adopt different coping strategies when faced with emergency situations. Support provided to these communities has to build on local capacity and should be context specific. Individual coping strategies without collective action may not be effective solutions due to the occurrence of negative externalities if neighbours do not apply/maintain their own protection structures. Social cohesion within an affected community is important in binding a community together and developing together successful coping mechanisms.
Exploitation Route Key findings are being used initially for assessment of views on existing risks from and governance of hydrometeorological hazards and a needs analysis conducted through the project Workshops with stakeholders and end users. Key findings will be presented at international conferences and be published in international journals as the project progresses
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Description GCRF: Examining practices of community-driven Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) entrepreneurship in response to new knowledges of climate-change risk, Thailand
Amount £24,930 (GBP)
Organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation 
Department Global Challenges Research Fund
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 03/2021
 
Description Global Challenges Research Fund: Climate Change, Coastal Erosion and Risks of Flooding to Low-Lying Coastlines Subject to Tropical Storms, Thailand
Amount £24,883 (GBP)
Funding ID PI Prof Irene Delgado-Fernandez (CO-Is: Dr Anna Jones; Prof Cherith Moses) 
Organisation Edge Hill University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 10/2019
 
Description Newton Fund & Met Office CSSP (CHN19/6): The impact of climate change on water resources in China: WP1 Lead, Dr Yi Wang, University of Sussex
Amount £400,000 (GBP)
Organisation Meteorological Office UK 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 03/2021
 
Title socioeconomic resilience indices 
Description A new approach in looking at resilience by combining social and economic variables to come up with socioeconomic resilience indices 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact NA at this point in time 
 
Title Databases of locals' experiences 
Description Databases of locals' experiences about natural disasters they faced, their awareness, their preparedness, as well as their adaptation. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact NA 
 
Title High-resolution climate model outputs 
Description High-resolution climate model outputs have been archived at Sussex HPC. 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact NA at this point in time 
 
Description Center for Earth System Science Tsinghua University 
Organisation Tsinghua University China
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution WP 2 Lead Dr Yi Wang brings scientific expertise and intellectual input in climate modelling. He is involved in a large research team of ~30 students, PDRAs, and staff. He is supervising ~20 PhDs and a few PDRAS at Tsinghua. The VF post also allows him to work on many NSFC (Chinese national research funding agency) projects, one of them is linked to Global climate risk assessment, land surface and hydrological processes and extreme events under projected climate which has a clear synergy with the Thai coast project.
Collaborator Contribution Centre for Earth System Science Tsinghua University provides intellectual input and scientific expertise in modelling earth systems through expertise in integrating physical and social sciences, engineering and management toward a more comprehensive and systematic study of the Earth sciences to better meet the challenges of global environmental change and sustainable development. The College for Global Change Studies, in which the Centre is based, has four broad academic fields: 1. Earth system science; 2. Earth system modelling; 3. Earth observation technology; 4. Global change economics. WP2 Lead, Dr Yi Wang currently has a Visiting Professorship (honorary) at the Centre for Earth System Science of Tsinghua University (2019-2022) where he is working on a project concerned with global climate risk assessment, land surface and hydrological processes and extreme events under projected climate which has a clear synergy with the Thai coast project.
Impact High-resolution climate model outputs archived at Sussex HPC.
Start Year 2019
 
Description National Centre for Atmospheric Research, USA 
Organisation National Center for Atmospheric Research
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution WP Lead Dr Yi Wang brings scientific expertise and intellectual input in climate modelling.
Collaborator Contribution The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is a next-generation mesoscale numerical weather prediction system designed for both atmospheric research and operational forecasting applications. It features two dynamical cores, a data assimilation system, and a software architecture supporting parallel computation and system extensibility. The model serves a wide range of meteorological applications across scales from tens of meters to thousands of kilometers. The effort to develop WRF began in the latter 1990's and was a collaborative partnership of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (represented by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and the Earth System Research Laboratory), the U.S. Air Force, the Naval Research Laboratory, the University of Oklahoma, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). WRF has a large worldwide community of registered users (a cumulative total of over 48,000 in over 160 countries), and NCAR provides regular workshops and tutorials on it. NCAR has contributed scientific expertise and intellectual input to WP1 climate science modelling + training of WP1 PDRA in downscaling WRF model for this project.
Impact High-resolution climate model outputs archived at Sussex HPC
Start Year 2018
 
Description Geographical Association of Northern Ireland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The talk was presented at Queen's University Belfast. Approximately 50 students and 10 teachers attended the event which sparked questions and discussion afterwards. To reeach a broader audience, the talk and resources were subsequently distributed to Geography departments in schools across Northern Ireland by the GA co-ordinator who has reported an increased interest in related subject areas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Past Global Changes (PAGES) Floods Working Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Floods Working Group (FWG) brings together all the scientific communities reconstructing past floods (historians, geologists, geographers, etc.) and those studying current and future floods (hydrologists, modelers, statisticians, etc.) to coordinate, synthesize and promote data and results on the natural variability of floods. The meeting aim was to produce regional syntheses on existing paleofloods records as well as to co-define key milestones and deliverables for the second phase. Planned output is a review paper on changes in flood activity related to cold/warm climate phases that will rely on the workshop material and an upcoming survey and a Science Brief describing how past flood data can contribute to implement more reliable DRR strategies. To this end, key international stakeholders are being contacted: UNESCO and UNSIDR.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://pastglobalchanges.org/calendar/upcoming/127-pages/1943
 
Description Press release to disseminate information on the project 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Press release by all project partners in January 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2019/01/major-study-could-benefit-11-million-thai-people-living-in-v...
 
Description Project launch workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Project launch for dissemination purposes and for input from stakeholders and end-users to ensure that the project work addresses their needs
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Stakeholder-End User Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact two facilitated workshops with officials, stakeholders, NGOS and community leaders at the two project study sites. Held at the Provincial Government Offices: Nakhon si Thammarat (Friday 8 March 2019) and Krabi (11 March 2019). Initial workshop to assess views on existing risks from and governance of hydro-meteorological hazards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Stakeholder-End User Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Focus group discussions with key informants from the local government and private agencies, community leaders and local people living in the vulnerable areas from hydrometeorological hazards in Nakornsithammarat and Krabi (in Mid- December 2019). Aims of the attendance were to observe and compile contextual information in order to get better understanding about factors in the area that contributed to the risks from hydrometeorological hazards, currently implemented policy interventions, governance, strategies and measures, and challenges in dealing with the hazards (both at the provincial and community levels). This information and understanding will be utilised in designing and facilitating the 2nd workshop by the WP6 with key stakeholders in both provinces, planned to be in mid-2020.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019