Project Title: Thai Coast: Coastal Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptation in Thailand
Researcher(s): Associate Professor Dr. Kanchana Nakhapakorn, Dr. Suparee Boonmanunt
Affiliation: Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies, Mahidol University
Research Details (In Brief):
A major study aims to improve understanding of the vulnerability of Thailand’s shoreline and coastal communities to storms, floods and coastal erosion under future climate change scenarios.
The Thai-coast project, led by Professor Cherith Moses from Edge Hill University, together with Dr. Kanchana Nakhapakorn from Mahidol University in Bangkok, has received £381,024 from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to support the UK component of the project, and £123,000 from the Thailand Research Fund to support the Thai component, funded through the Newton Fund in Thailand. The project is working alongside colleagues at the University of Brighton, University of Sussex and Ambiental Technical Solutions in the UK, Mahidol University, Chulalongkorn University and Thammasat University in Thailand and the US’s National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Thailand Government on the three-year collaboration.
In Thailand the problems of coastal erosion and flooding require immediate attention and, most importantly, solutions because they affect 17 per cent of the country’s population – more than 11 million people.
The Thai Government’s Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) has calculated that each year, erosion causes the country to lose 30 square kilometres of coastal land. The country’s Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning predicts the sea level will rise one metre in the next 40 to 100 years, which impacts at least 3,200 square kilometres of coastal land at a potential cost to Thailand of 3 billion baht (almost £70m).
The study aims to enhance the resilience and adaptation potential of coastal communities, applying scientific research to inform more robust and cost-effective solutions. The project focuses on two study areas, Nakhon Si Thammarat province and Krabi province, selected on the basis of DMCR coastal erosion data and the fact they have contrasting natural and socio-economic characteristics.
The Thai-coast project will use a multidisciplinary approach to improve understanding of hydro-meteorological hazard (storms, floods and coastal erosion) occurrence, their physical and socioeconomic, health and wellbeing effects on Thailand’s coastal zone and the ways in which governance and institutional arrangements mitigate their impact. 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 contributing academics and organizations for this study are:
Professor Cherith Moses, Edge Hill University
Dr Raymond Ward, University of Brighton
Dr John Barlow, University of Sussex
Dr Yi Wang, University of Sussex
Dr Charles Watters, University of Sussex
Professor Paul Statham, University of Sussex
Dr Kanchana Nakhapakorn, Mahidol University
Dr Uma Langkulsen, Thammasat University
Dr Pannee Cheewinsiriwat, Chulalongkorn University
Dr Chalermpol Chamchan, Mahidol University
Dr Suparee Boonmanun, Mahidol University
Mr David Martin, Ambiental, Sussex Innovation Centre
Dr Jimy Dudhia, National Centre for Atmospheric Research, US
Mr Paritad Charoensit, Department of Marine and Coastal Resource, Thailand