Bangkok, 15 March 2022, The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government Savings Bank (GSB) signed a Government Cost Sharing Agreement today, where both parties reaffirm their joint commitment to promote integrated, innovative solutions to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, including through improvements to solid waste management at the community level.
Effective solid waste management is one of the most challenging environmental issues. “The Innovative Solutions for Community Waste Bank,” a joint initiative between UNDP, GSB, Cargill (Thailand) Co., and Surat Thani Rajabhat University seeks to find innovative solutions to tackle this issue by integrating environmental science with digital technology and engaging with local communities to create behavioral change, resulting in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly waste management system.
Surat Thani province in Southern Thailand has been chosen as the project’s demonstration site, as a coastal city located on the beautiful shores of Thailand where organic and non-organic waste has been a major environmental concern as a result of tourism, businesses activities, and the routine lifestyle of local citizens.
The project implemented by the Surat Thani Rajaphat University aims to utilize an integrated approach to promote community conservation efforts and brings local administrations, private sector and academia together to improve current waste management practices.
With support from the GSB, UNDP will work with the university to build awareness and create economic incentives by creating economic value for disposed waste, through various means such as recycling plastic and organic waste to produce machinery and equipment. GSB’s vast network of branches across Thailand will enable increased publicity and the possibility of replication of this experience in other provinces.
According to Vitai Ratanakorn, GSB President and CEO, the community waste bank prototype project initiated by UNDP in the form of an SDG Station complies with the Bank’s policy driving its mission in response to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles, sustainable and responsible banking in support of the SDGs. In addition, GSB believes that the waste bank project will serve as a good start towards creating a sustainable, community-based solution on waste management where the Bank is engaged in community development, with grassroots communities as a priority group. The station’s innovative management process in creating value-added waste will enhance cooperation and raise awareness within the community, while serving as a role model that can be replicated in other parts of the country.
“UNDP welcomes and congratulates GSB for its commitment to contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals and for addressing such a crucial and practical challenge faced by local communities. Poor waste management creates risks for the environment, but innovative solutions can mitigate these risks and offer opportunities for job creation and improved sources of livelihood and income for the local community. A partner like GSB is therefore very relevant to the objectives of the Waste Bank project” says Renaud Meyer, Resident Representative of UNDP in Thailand.
The agreement is a milestone towards long-term collaboration between the UNDP and GSB to jointly create solutions for climate action and improved natural resources management, enhance sustainable and livable cities, thus contributing to advancing progress towards achieving the SDGs in Thailand.
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at undp.org/ th.undp.org or follow us at @UNDPThailand.
Government Savings Bank (GSB), Thailand, was established in 1913 by King Rama VI. GSB is a state-owned bank founded primarily to encourage Thai people to recognize a significance of savings and instill savings habits for sustainable national development, enhancing happiness and a stable future for the people. At present, GSB is a social bank and environmental concerned, which provides full-fledged financial services beyond expectations, with digital technology under the acceptable risks to all levels of customers.
Press release in Thai version read here.
Amornwan Resanond, Project Manager, email@example.com
Wadee Deeprawat, Communications and Outreach Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Government Savings Bank:
Saowanee Viengharuthai, Communication Officer, saowaneeV@gsb.or.th