Thailand is endowed with rich biodiversity and natural resources which are important in supporting both rural livelihoods and national development. But over the past four decades, Thailand’s rapid economic growth has given rise to environmental challenges, including air and water pollution, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, watershed degradation and soil erosion, conversion of wetlands and loss of coastal habitats including mangroves, seagrasses and coral reefs.
Thailand’s relationship with IUCN began in 1948 as one of the first Asian country signatories to IUCN’s Charter. After working in the country for several decades, IUCN located its regional office in Bangkok in the 1990s, and in 2001 the Thailand programme office was established.
IUCN works with its Members and partners in the country to address conservation challenges and to ensure that the use of natural resources, urbanisation and infrastructure development are sustainable and adequately take into account ecological functions and ecosystem services, and the growing impacts of climate change.
At present, IUCN’s projects in Thailand focus on climate change adaptation, integrated coastal and marine resources management, transboundary dolphin conservation, wetlands, forest conservation and restoration and community participation in the conservation and governance of protected areas and World Heritage sites.