Third National Dialogue on the Urban Nexus in Thailand

3 May 2018
Bangkok, Thailand

As part of the Integrated Resource Management in Asian Cities: the Urban Nexus project, implemented by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and ESCAP, and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), ESCAP hosted a Third National Dialogue on the Urban Nexus in Thailand, “Strengthening Collaboration and Access to Financing to Support Integrated Resource Management in Thai Cities” on 3 May 2018 in Bangkok. The “nexus” approach aims to integrate planning and management processes of the key sectors of energy, water and food, contributing to the long-term sustainable development of rapidly growing cities and their regions. Since 2013, the Urban Nexus project has supported 12 cities in seven countries in Asia with developing cross-sectoral infrastructure projects and integrating the nexus approach into urban planning. Horizontal and vertical integration, or governance that involves coordinating and collaborating between different sectors at the same, as well as different, levels is a key component of the project.

Recommendations from the First and Second National Dialogues, March 2015 and March 2017 respectively, shaped the agenda for this Third National Dialogue, which was the largest to date, attended by more than 70 participants including the Vice Governor of Chiang Mai Province and the Mayor of Korat City, the Chief Resilience Officer of Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and key policymakers from the Office of the Prime Minister’s Bureau of Budget and Ministry of Finance. Officials and representatives from several line ministries, international organisations, academia, the private sector and NGOs discussed strengthening coordination among various levels of government to access financing, including from the private sector, for local projects that are applying integrated resource management approaches. Participants learned how urban nexus initiatives in Thailand contribute to national efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Participants agreed that cities are key drivers of national growth and development as well as the drivers for implementing global agendas, but noted that more subnational actions need to be supported. The importance of continued engagement, collaboration, and integration was highlighted, especially the inclusion of local communities. The outcome of the dialogue will feed into and be shared with the project’s Eighth Regional Workshop planned for November 2018.