Theme of the Study
"Development Cooperation between Public and Private Organizations on Industrialization and Local Adaptation to Its Current and Future Impacts"
Objectives of the Study
- To understand opportunities and challenges of economic development and industrialization under the Eastern Sea Board policy of the Royal Thai Government
- To understand the cooperation between public and private organizations in response to local livelihood in prior to the impacts of development
- To practice field research study in preparation for thesis writing
Introducing Map Ta Phut
Map Ta Phut is a town in Rayong Province, Thailand. It is the site of Thailand's largest industrial park, the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate. Provincial offices are in Map Ta Phut. According to the World Resources Institute, Map Ta Phut is "...one of Thailand's most toxic hot spots with a history of air and water pollution, industrial accidents, illegal hazardous waste dumping, and pollution-related health impacts including cancer and birth deformities.
The Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate is a large industrial park in the town of Map Ta Phut in Rayong Province, Thailand. Part of Thailand's eastern seaboard economic region, it is the country's largest industrial estate and the world's eighth-largest petrochemical industrial hub. It was opened in 1990 and is managed by the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand, a state enterprise under the Ministry of Industry.
Map Ta Phut houses five industrial estates, one deep-sea port, and 151 factories, including petrochemical plants, oil refineries, coal-fired power stations, and iron and steel facilities. The zone occupies 166 km2. The area contains around 30 agricultural and residential communities with more than 49,000 residents.
According to the World Resources Institute, "Map Ta Phut is one of the Thailand's most toxic hot spots with a...history of air and water pollution, industrial accidents, illegal hazardous waste dumping, and pollution-related health impacts including cancer and birth deformities.":20
In 2007, 11 communities in the Map Ta Phut zone filed a lawsuit against the National Environmental Board (NEB), alleging that the board had improperly failed to designate Map Ta Phut and its vicinity a pollution control zone. Another lawsuit was filed against the NEB and eight other Thai ministries by community organizations. Managed by the Eastern People's Network, the lawsuit focused on the failure to follow prescribed procedures, including conducting environmental and health impact assessments, before issuing licenses to 76 new industrial projects. In 2009, the Supreme Administrative Court of Thailand suspended the development of 65 projects at the estate, worth an estimated US$8 billion, due to inadequate health impact assessments. It allowed 11 projects to proceed. Ultimately, 74 of the 76 contested projects were allowed to continue.:21
- On 6 March 2000 a phosgene gas leak at the Thai Polycarbonates plastic factory killed two workers and injured many locals.
- A 2012 explosion at the factory of a Bangkok Synthetics subsidiary killed 11 and injured another 129 people.:21
- A day following the Bangkok Synthetics explosion, a chemical leak occurred at the Aditya Birla Chemicals plant, leading to the hospitalization of 138 people.:21
MAIDS-GRID Program would like to thank Ms. Penchom Sae-tang, Director, EARTH, on the local resource and personnel supports. We also fully regard a kind assistance from Khun Nid and Khun Tuk for their local coordination. Most importantly, we are enriched by the local community members whose knowledge are precious for our field visit. We wholeheartedly support their movement for community rights and environmental conservation.
Background of DEAR Burma
We work hard to help both male and female Burmese adults and children to integrate smoothly into their communities and at their jobs. Together, with our volunteer teachers, we operate the school to improve the lives of over 1.000 (and growing) students giving them the strength, confidence, and educational skills to have the same chances that their Thai counterparts have. Coming from insurmountable odds in their own country, often escaping to start a better life in Thailand and supporting their remaining family in Burma, the students attend the school on their own will. Due to the conflict in Burma, many of the students come from different ethnic groups such as Shan, Karen, Rakhine, Kayah, Mon, Kachin, Nepali, Padung and Indian and face the task of starting from nothing. No matter the background, all students wear a uniform of a white shirt and dark pants/shorts or skirt, bringing them all to an equal playing field and creating a sense of equality and mutual respect. The simple-but-progressive skills given to the thousands of students over the course of the 10 years Dear Burma has been in operation have changed the everyday lives of every one of them. One by one, student by student, Dear Burma is here to teach.
When the school first began operations in Sept 2002, classes were conducted in front of Ramkamhaeng University’s student club building, where they stayed for several months. The workers organised the classes themselves although it proved quite a hurdle to draw people at first. Refugees and activists also joined the classes eventually. In Feb of 2003 the Thai-Burma Coordinating Committee later decided the school should move to the Christian Students Centre in Bangkok and Myint Wai took the helm of the school. In May of 2005 they moved to the current location where they have remained up until now.
About the Deputy Director Myint Wai
Headmaster Myint Wai, 55, a former student who fled the military crackdown in 1988, has been a source of hope and offers help to fellow Myanmar citizens in need, including migrant workers. He graduated with a B.A. degree in economics from Yangon University and currently resides in Bangkok.
He attributes the success of the school to the wide range of assistance it gets, including help from organisations and political groups inside Myanmar, which have supported and monitored the work of the school. He has said, in reference to the school, that it is negotiating with both ministries to be recognised as a vocational training institute in Thailand.
English is taught to the students on four levels:
Pre-Beginner 2 sub-levels
Beginner 4 sub-levels (L-1A to L-1D)
Elementary 3 sub-levels ( L-2A to L-2C)
Pre-Intermediate 3 sub-levels (pre-1 to pre-3)
After as few as one or two semesters many of the students gain the skill and confidence to hold a conversation in English. With their gained skills in English many are able to find jobs in numerous fields relating to tourism, sales, etc, giving them new hopes and ambitions.
There are 5 different levels of Thai language courses (Thai L-1 – Thai L-5). Some levels have as many as 10 classes and some with as few as 2.
With the hard work and dedication every student brings with them every week, after a bit of learning nearly every student can conversate and even find jobs in the Thai community. Also, being able to speak Thai helps protect them from being exploited, abused, or sent back to Burma.
While Burmese is the official language of the country and the mother language of the Bamar, many of the students come from Shan State, Karen State, Chin State, and other remote areas where the language is not Burmese but rather their local language.
To better educate them and give them the opportunity to return to Burma to work in the future, or even to help them build relationships with other migrant workers living in Thailand, DEAR Burma offers Burmese language courses.
As of late we have started to offer different courses to branch out and give more hope and opportunity to our students. We now offer computer courses, Photography, and other classes, as well as a fully stocked library with books in numerous languages.
Wasting no time, the group was then whisked away to a farming area, where a tour of a traditional fruit farm was given, allowing for a glimpse into Thailand’s agricultural practices and the challenges this sector now faces. Koh Kret island is famous for its durian fruit, which can cost up to THB 10,000 per kilogram. The farmer explained that whilst the durian trees are vulnerable to flooding, some farms build dykes to protect their trees, and there was a wider desire for more comprehensive flood protection dyke infrastructure for the whole island.
After a relaxing lunch alongside the river, the group broke up, with the MAIDS graduate students going off to practice some of their newly learned research methods and the journalists continuing their tour of the island, ending at the island’s famous pottery handicraft center, where traditional clay techniques were displayed and explained.
Story: Robert Irven / Photo: Nopakorn Paisarnmunkhong
Tucked away just north of Bangkok proper sits a tiny island on the Chao Phraya River, home to both local Thai and decedents of ethnic Mon communities who have shared this location for over 200 years. Koh Kret was the site of the second day of the CSDS/ MAIDS/ Third Pole media workshop, where our visiting journalists and new MAIDS students were taken for a day of observation and hands-on learning on 21 August 2017. Corresponding with the workshop’s main themes, the day focused on learning the island’s history and current responses to regular and severe floods, the utility of local/traditional knowledge, sustainable tourism and community cooperation and activism.
Our group was first greeted and briefed by the islands main administrators, who gave a brief history of the island, and generously answered in detail many of the group’s questions relating to flood prevention and how urban and environmental changes were affecting the island. They emphasized a ranged of challenges, including river bank erosion, managing pollution, and the impacts of flooding.
After cooling off away from the brutal midday monsoon heat, the group arrived at the community center for some traditional Thai snacks and sweets, alongside an introduction of community life and how the seven moo’s [villages] interact and work together to keep traditions alive and teach its many daily tourists about their lives on Koh Kret.
Overall, the field trip to Koh Kret was an opportunity to learn firsthand the experiences of communities who regularly experience flooding of the Chao Phraya River. We discovered that whilst the floods are regularly disruptive, the communities and the local authorities collaborate together to prepare for floods as much as possible, and minimize the harm should flooding occur. Access to information is key to enable preparation, alongside a sense of community solidarity that ensures mutual support when flooding creates difficulties.
16.00 - 19.00
Chula Narumitr Hall, Chulalongkorn University
On 18 August 2017, Assistant Professor Dr. Naruemon Thabchumpon, Director, MAIDS Program congratulates Assistant Professor Dr. Ackadej Chaiperm, Director, MAG Program on the successful Opening Ceremony at Chula Narumitr Hall, Chulalongkorn University.
The MAG Program is a one-year international program. The Program is administrated under the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. It is unique among other programs in Thailand and Southeast Asia which offers three specialization in the multidisciplinary overview including state (public) governance, civil (society) governance, and corporate governance. The MAG Program is the second international program of the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University following the MAIDS Program which has been operated since 2003.
The MAG Program's Core Value is “To Provoke Critical Thinking and Propose Solutions Based on Collective Decisions on Righteousness, Justice, And the Common Good."
Find out more about MA Program in Governance at www.mag.polsci.chula.ac.th
On 7th August 2017, Associate Professor Dr. Ake Tangsupvattana, Dean of Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University gave a welcoming speech to all new MAIDS Students class of 2017. In this event, Assistant Professor Dr. Naruemon Thabchumpon, Director of MAIDS Program and others lecturers ; Deputy Director for Research Affairs Assistant Professor Dr. Carl Middleton, Deputy Director for Teaching Affairs Assistant Professor Dr. Jakkrit Sangkhamanee, Assistant Professor Dr. Thanapan Laiprakobsup and Dr. Victor Prasad Karunan joined the event and introduced themselves and courses.
Then the 16 news students from Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam and Thailand introduced themselves; while the alumni gave some brilliant tips and experiences about the MAIDS Program.
In the afternoon, the new students went on a campus tour by starting from the Computer Laboratory, Political Science Library, Central Library, CU Sport Complex, CU Health Center and Graduate School.
In recent years, the population of Hakha town, Chin State has faced growing water insecurity. This has created great hardships for the local population, especially in the dry season. For those who cannot access water from private springs, or afford to buy water, they must queue sometimes for hours to collect relatively small amounts of water. Compounding the difficulties faced by Hakha’s population, in June 2015, Hakha town suffered a major landslide. As a result, over 4000 people living in at-risk places were moved, many permanently to a new settlement. In the settlement, the government has provided land or houses, yet basic services including water and schools were lagging behind.
Two presentations reflected on the production of water insecurity, and increasing resilience to landslide risks:
- “Water insecurity in Hakha Town, Chin State, Myanmar” by Asst. Prof. Dr. Carl Middleton (Director of CSDS) and Orapan Pratomlek (CSDS project coordinator) [Download PPT]
- “Lessons learned from landslide disaster recovery in Hakha town, and how to strengthen resilience” by Hlawn Tin Cuai (Master Student of Architecture (IMARCH), Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University; and ex- Operation Manager of Hakha Rescue Committee, September 2015 to February 2016) [Download PPT]
Discussant comments were offered by Pastor Lai Cung (Hakhathar Baptist Church) and Van Bawi Lian (CSDS researcher).
The seminar can be watched on Facebook live here.
More details on our research project on water insecurity in Hakha town can be found here.
By Ronald L. Holzhacker and Stanati Netipatalachoochote
09:00-11:30, Alumni Meeting Room, 12th Floor, Building 3, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University
Co-organized by the Master of Arts in International Development Studies (MAIDS), the MA in Southeast Asian Studies Program (SEAS), the Institute for Asian Studies, the Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS) of the the Faculty of Political Science Chulalongkorn University.
During the visit, Dr Carl Middleton of CSDS and MAIDS offered a lecture titled “Think global, act ‘teleconnected’ local: Exploring the connections between regional trade, water security, and community vulnerability in Bangkok and Tokyo.” The lecture sought to stimulate discussion amongst the group on how processes of industrialization and urbanization in East Asia have impacted peri-urban wetland spaces and community livelihoods in Bangkok and Tokyo.
Following a brief discussion on the lecture, the group toured the Chulalongkorn University campus and visited the CU Museum.
On 14th June 2017, the MAIDS and CSDS programs were very glad to welcome Prof Xiangming Chen and his Faculty colleagues and 25 students from the Center for Urban and Global Studies of Trinity College, Hartford, US. The faculty staff and students were mid-journey through their field trip visiting “River Cities” in China, Thailand and Cambodia.