Phuket becomes an example of organic tourism
BANGKOK: One of the most-talked-about achievements of the Apec Summit 22 held in Bangkok recently was the inclusion in the summit’s final declaration of the “Bangkok Goals on Bio-Circular Green (BCG) Economy”.
Thailand has been actively following the BCG model for more than four years, and more especially so in the post-Covid period. In fact, it became part of the national agenda in January 2021 and is now integrated into all areas — industry, agriculture, tourism and education.
According to the BCG model, technology and innovation are used to create value, reduce waste, advance resource efficiency and promote sustainable business models.
The BCG model involves the close collaboration between the public and private sectors, important linkages with universities, and tie-ups with regional and international partners. All these give it a global dimension which augurs well for the future .
It’s not a coincidence that the world-famous beach town of Phuket is vying for the Expo 2028. But it’s important to note that Phuket has also become a pilot province for organic tourism, waste management and bio-energy.
The amalgam of hi-tech and biotech, and collaboration of private and public enterprises, are most perceivable in the newly created Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), which has been set up in three provinces of the country — Chonburi, Rayong, Chachoengsao.
These are part of the Eastern Seaboard, which is the major industrial hub of the country. The top industrial houses located in the EEC areas actively follow the BCG model. In fact, there’s an ambitious plan to build a an “EEC Smart Livable City” connecting Bangkok to the three EEC centres by a high-speed train system, and make it one of the “top 10 smart cities in the world” by 2037.
Their Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation is proof of the perfect amalgam of hi-tech and bio-tech, with their pioneering Phenomenex greenhouse and bio-refinery plant. The final aim is to make Thailand the hub for innovative economy and green industries in the region.
This ECC innovation centre is one of the many projects of the DEPA (Digital Economy Promotional Agencies) to develop Thailand into an Asean digital hub.
In the agriculture sector, we visited a strawberry greenhouse and durian orchard, which employed smart farming methods to improve the quality of the fruit and also maintain a balance with the environment.
This is what the BCG model is all about — technology and innovation uniquely combines to achieve an environmentally sustainable economy.
The mega “BCG Exhibition” was a highlight of Apec 22, where big and small start-up companies displayed an exciting range of sustainable procedures and products. These included everything from clothes to furniture and home products.
Well-known oil and gas company PTT has established a “sustainability-strategic direction” in its 2021-25 master plan.
The SCG chemical company specialises in “green polymer” created through their policy of reduce, recycle, renew. They stated that, for their digital solutions, they had a large support team from India!
All the 33 participating companies, at the Apec meet, followed the Save the Bear Campaign started by the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2018. This is a measurable project on carbon taxonomy which calculates carbon emissions every day .
During the meet, one learnt that by reducing waste in everything — food, packaging, transportation, decorations — 7,482 kg of carbon dioxide got reduced which is equivalent to 831 trees being planted!
One met the WHA group whose specialty is waste management, Energy Absolute whose specialty is EVC vehicles, and the Bangchak Corporation which is into bio diesel, gasohol and sustainable aviation oil.
The logo of Amata Company, noted for their smart city concepts, is Save Earth, Save Us.
The Kasikorn Bank has a three-point policy where they give loans only to those who follow sustainable standards.
TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand)is proud of their numerous ecotourism and community-based programmes.
One visited the stunning Forestias building complex, which, when completed in 2024, will become the biggest urban green oasis in the city, with 56 per cent green spaces on 93 acres of land having zero waste management, thermal insulation and so on.
One also visited the RISC Centre (Research & Innovation For Sustainability Centre), noted for their “sustainovation” — innovation in sustainable technology .They displayed an amazing range of products made from recyclable materials. One was happy to hear that their parent MODC company has started a centre in New Delhi.
Thailand’s BCG model is intensively geared towards achieving its long-term goal — of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero emissions by 2065.