- Agreement will see Ricardo-AEA working with the Mayor of Koh Samui Municipality to deliver the first ‘Green Island’ in Asia-Pacific
- This work aims to help the Municipality deliver an environmentally sustainable future against a backdrop of increasing population and a highly successful and rapidly developing tourism sector
Located in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is part of the Surat Thani Province and one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, with over one million people visiting the island each year. Yet with increasing visitor numbers, Koh Samui has experienced a growing strain on local infrastructure and natural resources in recent years. With concerns over resource scarcity and a reliance on energy supply from the Thai mainland, the Koh Samui Municipality took action yesterday to part ways with the unsustainable development practices of the past, launching an exciting and ambitious ‘Green Samui’ initiative to transform the island into Asia’s leading ‘green island’.
Under the Green Samui initiative, the Municipality plans to deliver sustainable, environmentally safe and secure solutions for the island in energy, transportation, waste and water supply – solutions that will be robust against the expected further growth of both population and tourist numbers. This initiative is being driven forward personally by the Mayor of Koh Samui, Ramnate Chaikwang, who sees the economic and social benefits available through environmental reform.
“We recognise the importance of clean energy, sustainable transportation, waste management, and water efficiency to our Island and our economy,” commented Mayor Chaikwang. “As such we are embarking on this infrastructure research and development programme to fully support the expansion of both local communities and tourism on Koh Samui. We also expect to be able to assist other key locations around the Kingdom of Thailand once our work is complete, helping to show them the way forward.”
Under the memorandum of understanding, which clarifies the roles and responsibilities of all partners in this initiative, which was signed yesterday at the launch of the Green Samui initiative, Ricardo-AEA will work with the Municipality to develop ‘roadmaps’ in the four key areas of waste management, water management, sustainable transport, and energy. These four roadmaps are the first step of the Green Samui initiative, and will provide Koh Samui City Council with prioritized actions and indicative timelines for the delivery of technologies, training, and policy support in each of the four sectors. In this way it will help to inform strategy at a highly detailed level, and will pave the way for the procurement and delivery of sustainable infrastructure over the coming decade, with some infrastructure improvements expected within two years.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with Koh Samui Municipality and local partner, Aglow InterVentures, on this very important environmental initiative,” commented Dr Adam Read, Ricardo-AEA’s practice director for resource efficiency and waste management, who attended the signing ceremony held by the Mayor of Koh Samui. “The rapid growth of Thailand’s tourism industry is extremely beneficial to the country’s economy, but in the past has had negative effects on the natural and built environment. The far-sighted approach outlined by Koh Samui Municipality today signals a shift in tourism development in Thailand, sending the message that growth can be coupled with environmental sustainability, and that, in fact, sustainable tourism is the wave of the future here in Koh Samui. We are proud to be working with the Mayor and his Council to launch the ‘Green Samui’ vision’ and look forward to a strong and productive partnership in the years to come.”
The first objective of the Green Samui programme is to deliver a robust and integrated strategy and implementation plan for addressing the immediate on-island energy, transportation, waste, and water demands of Koh Samui, and building solutions that allow for growth in local and visitor numbers.
Mayor Chaikwang concluded: “It is expected that the output of this two year programme will substantially improve the delivery of clean energy and resource efficient services and infrastructure that will inspire other municipalities across the Kingdom of Thailand, protecting the environment, ensuring economic growth and prosperity, facilitating a sustainable industrial base and reflecting the needs of communities and tourists alike.”
A full copy of this press release is available from the link at the top right of this page.